The House yesterday approved 347 to a resolution that "strongly denounces" the government of South Africa for "repressive measures against black and white apponents of its apartheid policy."
The resolution also called on President Carter to "take effective measures against the Republic of South African in order to register the deep concern of the American people about the continued violation human rights in that country."
An identical measure was introduced yesterday in the Senate by Sens. Dick Mark (D-Iowa) and Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.) It is scheduled for consideration by the Foreign Relations Committee this morning and could come to a floor late this afternoon.
Rep. Cardiss Collins (D-Ill.) treasurer to the Congressional Black Caucus, which sponsored the resolution, said after the [WORD ILLEGIBLE] that it was the first time Congress is formally spoken out against South Africa.
"It shows that the American people [WORD ILLEGIBLE] condone this kind of treatment," he said.
Rep. John Brademas (D-Ind.) the majority whip, said the resolution also shows that "both Democrats and Republicans are united, and both the administration and Congress are united in denouncing the actions of South Africa."
Brademas added that the action would be "very helpful to the United States at the United Nations in demonstrating to other countries that Congress supports the President's proposal for an arms embargo against South Africa."
During the debate, Brademas said the resolution "represents the growing shock felt by millions of Americans at reports from South African of government lawlessness on a scale unprecedent even in that country."
Opponents of the measure argued that it unfairly singled out South Africa while not denouncing repression elsewhere in the world.
Rep. John M. Ashbrook (R-Ohio) said he, too, condemned South Africa but asked, "Why single out that country when there are 20 or 30 other nations in Africa that richly deserve similar condemnation.?"
Rep. Robert E. Bauman (R-Md.) said that South Africa was a traditionally trading partner of the United States. He said that on a trip to that nation last year he talked to black leaders who said U.S. liberals would hurt South African blacks by demanding harsh sanctions.
Rep. Philip M. Crane (R-Ill.) said the resolution showed "moral schizophrenia" by focusing on human rights violations in one country and not others.
Rep. Stephen J. Solarz (D-N.Y.) argued, howere, that COngress had already condemned human rights violations in such countries as Kampuchea (formerly Cambodia), the Soviet Union and Cuba and that the opponents of the South Africa resolution had not raised similar objections during the votes dealing with those Communist nations.
Yesterday's resolution expressed "deeped concern" over the death of black leader Steve Biko on Sept 12 while he was detained by the South Africa government and the recent crackdown by the government that included closing newspapers, outlawing religious and social groups and the "banning," or severely limiting the freedom of South African critics of apparheid.
The resolution originally called on Carter to take the "strongest possible deplomatic measures" against South Africa "to register the contempt" of Americans against its human rights violations.