JOHANNESBURG (May. 4)
Hopes for a closer relationship between Israel and the Union of South Africa were voiced here last night by Paul Sauer, Minister of Transport, and official representative of the Government at the reception here marking the first anniversary of Israel’s independence.
“In behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I wish to congratulate Jewry on this first anniversary of the state of Israel,” Sauer declared, “My people have in common with you an intense nationalism–I don’t mean chauvinism. They also struggled for a land of their own and having achieved this, it is right for us to congratulate you on doing likewise. Successive South African governments have always viewed the aspirations of the Jews with sympathy and understanding. The Union’s relations with Israel are cordial and our reciprocal trade is capable of expansion. We hope our trade relations with Israel will be further extended.
In replies to this statement, S.M. Kuper, chairman of the South African Jewish board of Deputies and Bernard Goering, chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, reviewed South Africa’s pro-Zionist policy and welcomed Sauer’s statement. Goering said that an Israeli trade mission was ready to proceed to South Africa to conclude mutually beneficial agreements.Representatives of all South African political parties attended the reception.The Dutch Reformed Church sent a message of greetings.
In Capetown, Field Marshal Jan C, Smuts, former Premier of South Africa, told a gathering there last night celebrating the first anniversary of the establishment of the Jewish state that “Israel’s rebirth is the most astonishing thing in our time.” The veteran statesman said that Moses, David and Dr. Chain Weizmann’ were the three greatest Jewish leaders. Israel, he said, was “a living monument” to Weizmann’s work and Jewry’s answer to Hitler.