Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith says the failure of the Pearce Commission to find the terms of the Angle-Rhodesian settlement acceptable brought an end to the possibility of a negotiated settlement between the two countries.
CU Smith interviewed (SOUND)
SMITH: "I'm a practical man and I wouldn't like to hold out much hope far any further changes in the position."
REPORTER: "If you mean that, you mean that we've reached the end of the road with negotiations?"
SMITH: "Yes. I Don't...I reiterate...I don't see the Rhodesian government giving any more ground. We've calculated this..We believe it to be to the determinant of Rhodesia if we were to give any more. This is, after all, the main function. In fact there are many people who think we may even have gone too far, in the terms we have accepted. But as it was part of a package deal, we assessed the overall picture and decided it was all right. I think what Sir Alec Home is hoping for, and waiting for, is that African opinion may change in Rhodesia and they will come to the conclusion that certain proposals are in their best interest. And, of course they are."
REPORTER: "Well, what do you think will happen inside Rhodesia now? Do you expect trouble, conflict between the races?"
SMITH: "No. We have lived in the most peaceful country in the world in the last six or seven years and I don't see this position changing. Of course the advent of the Pearce Commission gave the political opportunities an opportunity to beat the table and stamp on the platform. But this happens in any time of political uncertainty, such as a general election. So it was no different to that."
REPORTER: "Do you accept that you will..or may have to have a political relationship with people like Bishop Muzorewa now?"
SMITH: "There is a political relationship continually in Rhodesia. This is a democracy, and he and any other African have a right to say their views."
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Background: Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith says the failure of the Pearce Commission to find the terms of the Angle-Rhodesian settlement acceptable brought an end to the possibility of a negotiated settlement between the two countries.
The British government commission under Lord Pearce, a British judge, reported on Tuesday (23 May). Their finding after six weeks of hearings two countries were not acceptable to the majority of Rhodesians.
Mr. Smith was interviewed by BBC reporter Richard Kershaw after the release of the Commission's report. The Prime Minister said that Rhodesia could not give any more ground towards a settlement. Mr. Smith also said that the negative report by the Pearce Commission would not cause any trouble in Rhodesia, and that the outcome will not change the relationship of his government to African leader Bishop Muzorewa.
A verbatim of Mr. Smith's comments follows: