WASHINGTON — Secretary of State George P. Shultz pleaded with Congress today not to bind the Reagan Administration in a "straitjacket of rigid legislation" aimed at punishing the white minority government of South Africa. In a sharp exchange, one senator told Shultz he was "ashamed" of the U.S. policy.
Shultz told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that a bill passed by the House calling for complete U.S. disinvestment from South Africa amounts to "a declaration of economic war" that would "end our capacity to have any positive influence on the struggle for justice and human rights in southern Africa.
"Other legislation, although less extreme, would similarly weaken our ability to have a positive effect on what happens in South Africa," Shultz said.
Nothing Has Worked
But Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) complained that "blacks have tried everything available to them in the last 20 years" and nothing has worked.