• Short Summary

    BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, HAROLD WILSON, SAID TODAY (WEDNESDAY) HE DID NOT EXPECT SPECTACULAR RESULTS FROM HIS MISSION TO NIGERIA.

  • Description


    WILSON INTERVIEW (SOF)



    TRANSCRIPT: QUESTION: PRIME MINISTER, WHY ARE YOU GOING TO NIGERIA?



    ANSWER: THE NIGERIAN WAR IS A MATTER OF WORLD CONCERN, IT'S A MATTER OF DEEP CONCERN IN BRITAIN. WE ARE LINKED WITH THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT BY VERY LONG TIES GOING BACK EVEN TO COLONIAL DAYS, BUT VERY CLOSE TIES SINCE NIGERIA GOT HER INDEPENDENCE. THERE IS CONCERN ABOUT THE BOMBING OF CIVILIAN TARGETS. THERE'S CONCERN ABOUT THE RELIEF SUPPLIES, OF GETTING THE RELIEF LINES, THE RELIEF SUPPLIES THROUGH TO THE AREAS WHERE FOOD IS NEEDED BECAUSE THE WHOLE WORLD, INCLUDING BRITAIN, HAVE PROVIDED FOOD AND WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT FOOD GO THROUGH. THERE ARE OTHER ANXIETIES. I'M NOT GOING WITH THE IDEA OF MEDIATING. I DON'T THINK THAT THE PRESENT SITUATION REALLY ADMITS MEDIATION AND INDEED IF THERE IS A CASE FOR MEDIATION IT MUST BE AFRICAN MEDIATION, THROUGH THE ORGANISATION OF AFRICAN UNITY, HEADED BY THE EMPEROR OF ETHIOPIA. I REALLY INTEND TO TRY AND FIND OUT FOR THE BRITISH PEOPLE ALL THAT'S GOING ON AND TO BE ABLE TO EXPRESS SOME OF THE ANXIETIES THAT THE BRITISH PEOPLE AND THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT ARE FEELING IN THEIR HEARTS.



    QUESTION: BRITAIN'S BEEN CRITICISED FOR NOT HAVING ENOUGH INFLUENCE ON THE COURSE OF EVENTS IN NIGERIA. WHAT SORT OF INFLUENCE CAN THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAVE PRIME MINISTER.



    ANSWER: WELL, YOU KNOW, THIS IS A NIGERIAN PROBLEM. IT'S A PROBLEM OF A GREAT FEDERATION ONE OF THE RICHEST COUNTRIES IN AFRICA. ONE WHICH FOR MANY YEARS WORKED, DESPITE ALL HER INTERNAL DIFFICULTIES AND HER TRIBAL PROBLEMS WORKED VERY WELL AS AN INDEPENDENT NIGERIA AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE PROBLEMS MUST BE SOLVED BY AFRICANS. WE HAVE THIS FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH NIGERIA, AND OUR FRIENDSHIP GOES OUT NOT ONLY TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUT TO THE IBO TRIBE AND WE HAVE TRIED TO EXERCISE OUR INFLUENCE, BUT NOT TO THE POINT WHERE WE WOULD EVER CONSIDER BECOMING A COLONIAL POWER AND ATTEMPTING TO PUT ILLEGITIMATE PRESSURES UPON THEM. WE HAVE REPRESENTED VIEWS OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE AND I BELIEVE A WORLD OPINION, FOR EXAMPLE IN SAYING WHEN THEIR IS A SETTLEMENT, AS THERE MUST BE A SETTLEMENT ONE DAY, THERE MUST BE NO RECRIMINATIONS, THERE MUST BE NO GENOCIDE. THE IBO PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE MADE MISTAKES UNDER THE LEADERSHIP THERE, MUST NOT BE SUBJECT TO THREATS, MASSACRE, GENOCIDE ANY INTERFERENCE WITH THEIR LIFE, LIBERTY, PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS AND THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE PRESSED UPON THEM. BUT WE'RE NOT IN A POSITION TO DICTATE AND I DON'T WANT TO DICTATE.




    Initials CP/ITN/JH/OS



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, HAROLD WILSON, SAID TODAY (WEDNESDAY) HE DID NOT EXPECT SPECTACULAR RESULTS FROM HIS MISSION TO NIGERIA. IN A PRESS INTERVIEW ON THE EVE OF HIS DEPARTURE FOR NIGERIA, MR. WILSON DENIED HE PLANNED ANY SPECTACULAR TASK OF MEDITATION BETWEEN NIGERIA AND BIAFRA.

    MR. WILSON TOLD INTERVIEWERS HE WANTED TO EXPRESS BRITISH ANXIETY ABOUT THE CONFLICT AND FIND OUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

    THE BRITISH LEADER FLIES INTO LAGOS EARLY TOMORROW (THURSDAY) ON A FACT-FINDING MISSION IN THE TROUBLED AFRICAN NATION.

    HIS VISIT WAS ARRANGED AMID GROWING CONCERN IN BRITAIN ABOUT THE CIVILIAN DEATHTOLL IN FEDERAL AIR RAIDS OVER BIAFRA.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2ZS0BV0KXYYJP86QVKW2X0746
    Media URN:
    VLVA2ZS0BV0KXYYJP86QVKW2X0746
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    26/03/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    MP4
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:09:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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