CAPE TOWN, June 16 – The announcement of the repeal of the Simonstown Agreement was met today with near-unanimity by white South Africans of all shades of political opinion. The Simonstown Agreement (sic) was a cooperation agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Union of South Africa, then officially signed on 30 June 1955; 65 years ago (1955-06-30). As part of the agreement, the Royal Navy (RN) abandoned its naval base in Simon`s Town, South Africa, and transferred the South African Navy (SAN) command to the South African government. In exchange, South Africa promised to use the Simonstown base for Royal Navy ships.  The agreement also enabled South Africa to purchase six anti-submarine frigates, ten coastal mine prospectors and four Seaward defence vessels from the United Kingdom for a value of 18 million pounds over the next eight years. Between 1921 and 1930, the United Kingdom and the EU government entered into agreements on the ownership of buildings and land within the naval base. One such agreement is the “Smuts Churchill” agreement, which would transfer the management of land defence from the Cape Peninsula to South Africa. In 1930, the Union government recognized the British Admiralty as an “eternal user” for the naval missions of several ships and lands in the city of Simon. This “cordiality” between the British and EU governments would persist throughout the decade and during the Second World War. LONDON, June 16 (UPI) — The British government today ended a 20-year-old agreement on the British use of a naval base in South Africa to protest politically against racial politics in that country.
The agreement was indeed a mutual defence agreement for the protection of sea lanes between the United Kingdom and the Middle East. The agreement has been controversial because of South Africa`s policy of racial segregation, known as apartheid. The debate has gone far beyond that and I have sometimes thought that this is a dress rehearsal for the defence debate that we are about to have. Maybe the MP for Haltemprice wants more than we bite the cherry. Everyone who listens to the Hon. Gentleman`s remarks about Simonstown and the South Atlantic might imagine that our discussions failed in total failure. It is quite clear – and the Member knows this – that our discussions with the South African government took place in the friendliest atmosphere. A conclusion was reached and we agreed. This was announced in South Africa and in response to a request from Hon.
Gentleman on Friday last week. James Callaghan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, simply stated that the pact ended today with an exchange of letters. But officials have made it clear that the political embarrassment of the deal that allowed Britain to use a base in Simonstown far outweighs all military advantages. Before these measures, the Simon`s Town Agreement between Great Britain and South Africa was revised. Britain would make a small representative section under a commodore at Youngsfield, south of Cape Town, as it withdrew its last frigate from the Royal Navy, permanently stationed in the town of Simon. Both countries agreed that the South African naval chief should be more responsible for Cape Town in times of war. One of the most important changes was British access to Simon`s Town. According to Admiral de Rear du Toit, “there was a restriction that required mutual agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and South Africa before the facilities were used in a war without South Africa.” On 30 June 1955, a maritime cooperation agreement was signed between the United Kingdom and the Union of South Africa. The Simonstown Agreement marked the end of British control of Simon`s Town Naval Base (also “Simonstown”) and officially transferred command of the South African Navy to the South African government.