In a 25-minute statement filmed five days ago but released only last night (Tuesday), Rhodesia's Prime Minister Ian Smith declared that all hope had gone for a negotiated settlement of Rhodesia's independence dispute with Britain because of the intractable British attitude.
IAN SMITH SPEAKING (SOF)
TRANSCRIPT: "Throughout the entire series of discussions the British have been obsessed with the question of majority rule. Everything else was subservient. The fact that Rhodesians, black and white did not want it -- was irrelevant. The fact that it would be harmful to Rhodesia -- was irrelevant. And so it went on, meeting after meeting, day after day. I do not believe that we could get these people to change their minds even if we lived for a thousand years. The wisdom of our decision, which we took well over a year ago, to prepare two reads towards our goal, will be clear to you now. As the intractable British attitude has ended the hopes of a negotiated settlement, we now have the alternative available which we are about to place before you. This new constitution epitomizes a sincere search for a formula which will reconcile radical differences of race, culture and society of all the people who live in Rhodesia. We have drawn freely on the experiences of less fortunate countries whose progress from dependence to independence was marked by bloodshed and violence. The lesson of most independent African government has been a sad one and it is one which we have no intention of repeating. We have aimed to create a Constitution which will enable us to develop conditions in Rhodesia under which the two main races can enable us to develop conditions in Rhodesia under which the two main races can live in harmony without fear of dominance or subjugations. The very essence of the constitution is the maintenance of stable and progressive government. This is offered to you in large measure far as far ahead as we can see. Thereafter it will be lodged safely in the hands of future generations."
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Background: In a 25-minute statement filmed five days ago but released only last night (Tuesday), Rhodesia's Prime Minister Ian Smith declared that all hope had gone for a negotiated settlement of Rhodesia's independence dispute with Britain because of the intractable British attitude. And Mr. Smith added, he did not believe that Rhodesians would ever make the British "change their minds if we lived for a thousand years."
Mr. Smith's statement came on the eve of his government's publication of the white paper setting out the terms of the new proposed Constitution which is to go to the vote by referendum on June 20th. In it, Rhodesians are promised a new form of political and geographic apartheid with power forever held by the European minority.
In his statement, Mr. Smith said: