Many people have written me and others have asked me personally what part the African National Congress is taking to bring to the attention of Allied Nations and [the] outside world the back-breaking and hope-destroying restrictions and disabilities of the Africans. Many are just now desperately catching at every straw that something must be done. There is a scramble for all sorts of makeshift activities for celebrating V Day. It has just dawned upon them that the order to cease fire in Europe may be given by Marshall Stalin and General Eisenhower any day, any hour and any minute now [document revised in ink to read: "cease fire in Europe has been given now"].
The African National Congress, your leaders, who believe in method and planning instead of patchwork grabbing at every straw have long anticipated all these events. They have not been caught napping. As far back as December 1943 they prepared and submitted a document, "The African Claims" which was adopted at the national conference.
This document was delivered to the Prime Minister, General Smuts, whom we know to be the Constitutional leader of the South African delegation to any Peace Conference as things are at present. It was made clear to him in a covering letter that these were the claims of the African people and that they were an essential and honest basis for any just and permanent peace.
These "African Claims" deal with Land, Labour, Education, Political Status and other problems of the status of the African.
In order to know the truth and be intelligent about the Congress demands on behalf of our people order the booklet "African Claims" 1/3 post free.
Some dishonest and unthinking people may endeavour to mislead you that this document was drawn up by your leaders without the masses. Tell them that in every part of the world the leaders and representatives of the people and not the mob think and plan for them. General Smuts alone will commit the whole of South Africa, black and white, in San Francisco. Dr. Soong will speak for the 400 millions Chinese, Mr. Anthony Eden for Great Britain and the Empire, Mr. Edward Stetinius for 130 millions in America while Mr. Molotov stands for nearly 200 million Russians.
Consequently in ordered world and interracial affairs Africans must depend and place their full confidence upon their true leaders to champion their cause and protect their interests. In order to futher allay your anxiety I wish to state that besides handing over the African Claims to the Prime Minister we have sent that document and another entitled "San Francisco and the Africans" which appeared in the Democrat 5th May, 1945 to our overseas connections, England, America and other countries. Still further, we want you to realize that the San Francisco Conference is not the last word. It is only one of the necessary but important steps toward the final Peace Conference. In other words, there is still opportunity to continue pressing your claims for full freedom as human beings.
Demonstrations on Victory Day must be merely a stage in this fight for freedom. The struggle must be continued, intensified until the peace is won including full and human benefits for the African soldiers, ex-soldiers and their families.
The battle for the full freedom, for the winning of the peace calls for every African man, woman and child to join the ranks of the African National Congress and take part in this noble cause.
Yours for freedom for all, A.B. Xuma President-General, A.N.C.