Following are extracts from the speech by Sir Roy Welensky.These extracts may be quoted as?
TRANSCRIPT: There are some nine million people in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, but only 50,000 income-taxpayers, and only 212 of them are African.
You might ask why so few. One reason is that most of those in the taxable income levels have so many dependents they are exempt.
Under the Constitution of 1953 such subjects as the education of the whites and the mixed races, white agriculture and subjects akin to this, were placed in Federal hands; whilst African education and African agriculture went to the territorial government, whose purpose was to reassure the Africans by keeping what could be described as matters affecting their day-to-day life in the hands of the territorial governments, over which, so far as Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland were concerned, the British Government continued to exercise a considerable measure of control throughout the life of the Federation.
Their purpose may have been good, but the result wasn't. From the very start we had to work with built-in constitutional divisions, which made the Federal Government representative of virtually the white man only. We did what we could to bridge these divisions, realising the threat to national unity they presented and especially the threat to race relations.; but what we could do was not enough. Other forces were at work, and they were forces which had no identity with our purposes. I refer to thee movement of racial nationalism which has swept through so much of the Continent under the banner of pan-Africanism.
A most unpleasant matter is the form of government which pan-Africanism is bringing to the Continent of Africa, the dictatorships and single-party states which that movement favours. I have called it a confidence trick that these new dictatorships a are now accepted as suited to the African. It is also, I think, a matter of dishonour.
Let me put this question: Do you believe that a man who happens to have a coloured skin is less of a man, has fewer rights and fewer feelings than a white man? Of course I know what answer you will give. It is straightforward and the same ads mine. It is the answer all decent, thinking people would give.
But by what standards, then, do the United States, Great Britain and the other great democracies judge the affairs of Africa? By what right do they condemn its people to dictatorship? What indeed was the very purpose of the last war? And how can one deplore the trend in South America yet condone the same in Africa? For the evils of dictatorship remain as they've always been. The limitation of freedom which dictatorship invariably brings is the same for black and white; both need and value freedom of speech; freedom of political choice, a free judiciary and the freedom to choose a parliament and a government.
What I cannot understand is the double standard by which such evils are judged anathema to the United States, Britain or France but acceptable for Africa and its people.
And I need only remind those who believe these new dictators in these single-party states to be lovers of freedom, that in Nyasaland in recent months 15 Africans have been imprisoned for no more than criticising the head of state; or that the parliamentary opposition in Ghana is a shadow of itself the substance being in gaol.
I have heard it argued that this new dictatorship suits the African people, their background and their culture; and of course it does if you look to the past of Africa, to its tribalism, and tribal wars, to the rule of force and the elimination of rivals which was its character seventy years ago.
But I'll ask another question: Do we not want progress for the African as much as we want progress for the people of this Continent, or Europe or elsewhere? Must he be forced back into the past? This I know is not what the African wants. The people of the Continent cry out for education, for skill and work their condition is as poor today as it has ever been yet all they are getting is the costly pomp of independence which to them means subservience to more ruthless and exacting masters than ever colonialism came near to being.
There are no checks and balances in these new states, and little integrity. Instead power is growing more absolute day by day - and poverty for the people remains as real as it ever was before. The gift of freedom has been to the politician in power, not the people, nor can the people now easily change the governments they have got. They cannot do it by constitutional means. They cannot do it by opposition to the ruling party.
Change now can only come with the death of the dictator, and in condoning what has happened the Western Powers have made it almost certain that political change in Africa must be by assassination. To those who may think I have exaggerated, may I say that in the last two years in Africa alone one such dictator has ben assassinated and at least two attempts made on the life of a second.
And so, I repeat- what right have we to wish this upon the people of Africa and why should we think that it suits an African to be the subject of such a state?
Not for publication in any form until 1315 hours, Eastern Daylight Time, October 7,1963
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Following are extracts from the speech by Sir Roy Welensky.These extracts may be quoted as part of the speech - which will be delivered from notes.