In the Rhodesian town of Gwelo on Friday (10 February) the Rhodesian premier, Mr Ian Smith declared the Rhodesia's security forces were becoming stronger every day.
In the Rhodesian town of Gwelo on Friday (10 February) the Rhodesian premier, Mr Ian Smith declared the Rhodesia's security forces were becoming stronger every day. Speaking to a passing-out parade of 18 young white officers, Mr Smith said this enabled him to negotiate on Rhodesia's future from a position of strength. Mr Smith also said anyone who thought Rhodesia could continue as it had in the past 50 years was living in a fool's paradise.
SYNOPSIS: More than 160 troops took part in the passing-out parade in the grounds of the Gwelo School of Infantry.
The parade coincided with a government decision to draft more blacks into the armed forces.
Mr Smith wants to increase the size of the security forces, and the new regulations will mean that about 200 African apprentices will now qualify for national service in white-led army.
This is the first time large numbers of blacks have been called-up for the bush war against African nationalist guerrillas. Several thousand blacks, however, have volunteered for service, and now form the bulk of the army.
For Mr Smith, the parade was a chance to parse the security forces and to stress the need for changing attitudes.
Mr Smith then returned to Salisbury for further talks with internally-based black nationalist leaders.