Will you please refer to Khartoum Secret Despatch No. 89 of August 4th, 1945, of which copies were sent to you (or to your predecessors in Office) personally under this number.
2. You will see that in paragraph 2 of the despatch there are contemplated three possible political futures for the Southern Sudan. The crucial sentence is: It is only by economic and educational development that these people can be equipped to stand up for themselves in the future, whether their lot be eventually cast with the Northern Sudan or with East Africa (or partly with each).
3. Since the despatch was written, and since the decisions on policy which it records were taken not only have further decisions on policy for the South been taken (of which a list is attached) but great changes have taken place in the political outlook for the country as a whole. Whatever may be the final effect, inside the Sudan, of the present treaty negotiations, it is certain that the advance of the Northern Sudan to self-government, involving the progressive reduction of British executive authority, and public canvassing of the Southern Sudan question, will be accelerated. It is therefore essential that policy for the Southern Sudan should be crystallized as soon as possible and that it should be crystallized in a form which can be publicly explained and supported and which should therefore be based on sound and constructive social and economic principles. These principles must not only bear defence against factious opposition, but must also command the support of the Northern Sudanese who are prepared to take logical and liberal points of view: while the relief of doubts now in the minds of British political and departmental staff who have the interests of the South at heart is also pressing and important.
4. You w111 see from the foregoing paragraph that 1 do not suggest. that the future of the two million inhabitants of the South should be influenced by appeasement of the as yet immature and ill-informed politicians of the Northern Sudan. But it is the Sudanese, northern and southern, who will live their lives and direct their affairs In
future generations in this country: and our efforts must therefore now be concentrated on initiating a policy which is not only sound in itself, but which can be made acceptable to, and eventually workable by patriotic and reasonable Sudanese, northern and southern alike.
5. Apart from the recent rapid political development in the North the following conclusions have further emerged since His Excellency's 1945 despatch and enclosures were written:
a) with reference to Appendix I to the despatch, Section 7 last sentence of
penultimate paragraph. East Africa's plans regarding better communications with
the Southern Sudan have been found to be nebulous, and contingent on the Lake
Albert Dam. Whatever the possibilities, we have no reason to hesitate between
development of trade between the South and E. Africa and development of trade
between the Southern and the Northern Sudan. Our chance of succeeding depends 1
think upon confining ourselves to the one aim of developing 'trade in the South,
and between the North and the South.
6. The preceding paragraphs are an attempt to indicate briefly the reasons which have led me to think that an important decision on Southern policy must now be taken. The biennial report to His Britannic Majesty's Government is due early next year. Subject to your comments on this letter, 1 propose to advise His Excellency that in His Excellency's next report he asks His Britannic Majesty's Government to approve that two of the alternatives mentioned in paragraph 2 above be ruled out as practical politics at the present time. It may in the future be proved that it would be to the advantage of certain of the most southernly tribes, e.g. of Opari or Kajo Kaji, to join up with their relatives in Uganda. It may be that the feeling which now exists among a few of the wisest Northern Sudanese, that they should not, when self-governing, be asked to shoulder the financial and communal burden which they believe the South will always prove to be, may become an important political policy among them. But we should now work on the assumption that
the Sudan, as at present constituted, with possibly minor boundary adjustments, w111 remain one: and we should therefore restate our Southern policy and do so publicly, as follows:
"The policy of the Sudan Government regarding the Southern Sudan is to act upon the facts that the peoples of the Southern Sudan are distinctively African and Negroid, but that geography and economics combine (so far as can be foreseen at the present time) to render them inextricably bound for future development to the middle-eastern and arabicized Northern Sudan: and therefore to ensure that they shall, by educational and economic development, be equipped to stand up for themselves in the future as socially and economically the equals of their partners of the Northern Sudan in the Sudan of the future."
7. Certain changes of detail, in each sphere of Government activity in the South, would I think have to follow the approval and publication of a policy so defined. You will wish to suggest briefly the major points.
8. Will you please consider this matter carefully, consult the senior members of your staffs upon it (particularly of course those who have experience of the South), and let me have your views as briefly as possible. Those of any individual member of your staff which you wish to forward separately with your comments will also be welcome.
The views of senior Sudanese in whose judgment and discretion you have confidence may also be asked for.
9. Finally I ask you to read again the late Sir Douglas Newbold's note to Council No. CS/SCR/I.C.14 of 3.4.44, reproduced as.Appendix 'B'(1) to the despatch and to bear in mind that urgency is the essence of the problem. We no longer have time to aim at the ideal: we must aim at doing what is the best for the Southern peoples in the present curcumstances.
J. W. ROBERTSON, Civil Secretary