• Short Summary

    MR PIETER VAN DER BYL, DEPUTY INFORMATION MINISTER IN MR SMITH'S GOVERNMENT, SAID IN SALISBURY YESTERDAY (WEDNESDAY) THAT RHODESIA WOULD NOT HESITATE TO CARRY OUT A SCORCHED EARTH POLICY IF BRITAIN SENT TROOPS.

  • Description


    AN INTERVIEW WITH MR PIETER VAN DER BYL.



    QUESTION: "WOULD YOU EXPLAIN, EXACTLY, WHAT A SCORCHED EARTH POLICY WOULD ENTAIL?"



    MR VAN DER BYL: "I THINK THAT'S OBVIOUS. IT WOULD BE THE DESTRUCTION, FIRST OF ALL, OF ANYTHING THAT COULD BE OF ANY USE OF THE ENEMY WOULD BE THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE AND THEN ANYTHING ELSE WHICH COULD MAKE THE ENEMY'S TASK -- IF HE WAS TO OCCUPY THE COUNTRY -- ANY EASIER, I THINK BUILDINGS AND AMENITIES AND THINGS OF THAT SORT".



    QUESTION: "DO YOU THINK THAT RHODESIANS, IN THEIR PRIVATE CAPACITIES, WOULD DESTROY THEIR OWN PERSONAL PROPERTY?"



    MR VAN DER BYL: "FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN ON RHODESIAN RESOLUTION AND FORTITUDE, I BELIEVE THEY WOULD BE THE FIRST AND FOREMOST TO DO THIS".



    QUESTION: "IN YOUR OPINION, JUST HOW POSSIBLE IS INVASION AND WHAT MEANS WOULD MR WILSON HAVE OF JUSTIFYING SUCH ACTION?"



    MR VAN DER BYL: "WELL THE FIRST PART OF THE QUESTION -- THE POSSIBILITIES -- IT'S A POSSIBILITY. A REMOTE ONE I BELIEVE. AND THE MORE UNIFIED AND DETERMINED WE ARE SEEN TO BE -- AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S INCREASING EVERYDAY -- THE MORE THAT POSSIBILITY FADES INTO THE REALM OF IMPROBABILITY. BUT AS REGARDS THE JUSTIFICATION, OF COURSE, WHEN SOMEBODY IS DETERMINED TO DO SOMETHING OF THIS SORT ITS PERFECTLY POSSIBLE HE COULD TRY TO MANUFACTURE AN INCIDENT. I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS ALREADY BEING DONE. I THINK ITS GENERALLY KNOWN THAT THE TONE OF THE BROADCASTS WHICH COME FROM ZAMBIA FOR INSTANCE, ARE ONES DESIGNED TO INCITE EVERY SORT OF INSURRECTION AND CONFUSION AMONG THE AFRICAN POPULATION. THE FACT THAT WE'VE GOT THE CENTRAL AFRICAN RELAY STATION, SITED IN BECHUANALAND ALSO BEAMING PROPAGANDA AGAINST US MUST BE DESIGNED TO THE SAME ENDS. SO IF HE COULD PRODUCE A SITUATION WHICH HE COULD JUSTIFY AS AN INTERVENTION -- ON THE BASIS OF RESTORING LAW AND ORDER -- THAT WOULD BE WHAT HE WOULD BE LOOKING FOR BUT OF COURSE, I THINK OUR FORCES OF LAW AND ORDER ARE FULLY IN CONTROL OF THE SITUATION. I THINK IT IS UNLIKELY BUT WE MUST NOT LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT HIS POLICY MUST BECOME".




    Initials



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: MR PIETER VAN DER BYL, DEPUTY INFORMATION MINISTER IN MR SMITH'S GOVERNMENT, SAID IN SALISBURY YESTERDAY (WEDNESDAY) THAT RHODESIA WOULD NOT HESITATE TO CARRY OUT A SCORCHED EARTH POLICY IF BRITAIN SENT TROOPS. THE 44 YEAR-OLD DEPUTY-MINISTER COMPARED THE DETERMINATION OF RHODESIANS NOW TO THAT OF THE RUSSIANS IN FACE OF GERMAN MILITARY ADVANCES IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

    SO FAR MR SMITH HASN'T COMMENTED ON BRITISH PRIME MINISTER HAROLD WILSON'S PROPOSAL FOR AN INTERIM RHODESIAN RECONSTRUCTION GOVERNMENT. IT WAS THOUGH THAT MR SMITH MIGHT MEET YESTERDAY WITH RHODESIA'S CHIEF JUSTICE SIR HUGH BEADLE, WHO RETURNED TO SALISBURY AFTER TOP-LEVEL TALKS IN LONDON. BUT INSTEAD MR SMITH LEFT THE CAPITAL FOR HIS FARM, SOME 200 MILES (320 KILOMETRES) TO THE SOUTH.

    OUR REPORTERS SPOKE TO MR PIETER VAN DER BYL SHORTLY AFTER HIS SPEECH WHEN HE SAID THAT RHODESIA WOULD ADOPT A SCORCHED EARTH POLICY.......

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2XW7NB096P7XDHOZYQW7UCVMD
    Media URN:
    VLVA2XW7NB096P7XDHOZYQW7UCVMD
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    27/01/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:14:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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