The Commonwealth Summit Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, has decided to give full support to the African struggle for black majority rule in Rhodesia.
SV Villagers carrying goods
GV Street scene (2 shots)
SV People at coffee shop
SV Woman walking
SV PAN Railway station and Rhodesian train (2 shots)
SV PAN Tourist walking
GV AND SV Rhodesian Consulate building (3 shots)
SV Mozambiquan street scenes (2 shots)
GV ZOOM BACK Ship in harbour
SV White Mozambiquans in street (6 shots)
GV Harbour scenes with congested shipping (4 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: "The Mozambique rail link with Rhodesia. For nearly ten years it's been a major factor in sanctions-busting. Thousands of tons of internationally illegal Rhodesian imports and exports moved along the railway to help keep the economies alive - both of Rhodesia and of Beira. Through the bush and villages of Africa for about four hundred kilometres, the trade has survived - United Nations ban of no ban. Nevertheless, farcical though sanctions may have so far been, the idea of sanctions is no joke for the people of Biera. For the city has grown up since Cecil Rhodes's day as the main port serving Rhodesia Beira's traditional economy, expansion and prosperity is built largely upon the Rhodesian connection. Everywhere, the links are plain. In the station for instance, there's the Rhodesian Railways office. On the line itself are the wagons of Rhodesian Railways.
In the streets there are Rhodesian tourist still, though many less these days than before the Portuguese upheavals. But, symbolically and diplomatically, above all the Rhodesians have an active consulate here. Just as they operate in the Mozambique capital of Lourenco Marques, with a Consulate-General. Now, however, things look as if they may be going radically to change. It's reliably estimated that sixty per cent of this country's trade is still the Rhodesian business. If that's lost, if the borders with Rhodesia re closed by Frelimo, then the one hundred and fifty thousand or so citizens of Beira might feel the draught. Jobs could be threatened, political and economic anxiety increased beyond the present uneasy level - the probable result would be a further exodus of white Mozambiquans, who are badly needed for their skills and know-how in helping to built a new, non-colonist nation. It's estimated that up to a third of the whites here have so far got out, but twenty to thirty thousand remain in Beira,hoping that a brighter future will follow today's uncertainty. Businessmen all agree that the Indian Ocean trade through Mozambique with Rhodesia must be replaced from other sources if the economy is to be maintain. To some extent, closer relations with Malawi and Zambia might help, but it's a long job, especially with Port congestion and labour problems over the past year."
Initials CL/1816 CL/1837 EDITORS NOTE: The film is serviced with an English commentary by BBC reporter John Osman. A transcript appears overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Commonwealth Summit Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, has decided to give full support to the African struggle for black majority rule in Rhodesia.
Conference sources said the Commonwealth leaders realised the importance of giving "practical" help to Mozambique, so that the country may cut trade routes to Rhodesia.
The railway link from the Mozambiquan seaport of Beira has for nearly 10 years provided a very important supply route to Rhodesia. Should the proposals to close the trade links go ahead, it will not only be Rhodesia which will be affected.
Mozambique's economy, and particularly Beira's, depends heavily upon the Rhodesian supply routes. It's estimated that about 60 per cent of Mozambique's trade is still the Rhodesian business.
The proposals to cut the routes could also escalate the white-Mozambiquan brain-drain, which would threaten the country's chances of becoming an non-colonialist nation.