In the latest Anglo-American initiative on Rhodesia, Field Marshal Lord Carver has been nominated as the Resident Commissioner-Designate.
GV & SV Foreign and Commonwealth Office building, London (2 shots)
SV ZOOM IN INTERIOR Lord Carver speaking
CU Lord Carver speaking
SV Newsmen PAN TO Lord Carver seated at table
CU Lord Carver speaking
CARVER: "I am under no illusions whatever about the difficulties that face the Resident Commissioner in carrying out the role which has been laid down for this in the white paper. It's a very difficult job to do, it's a very rather unique one in a very difficult situation. Nevertheless, I think that if we are to get the Problem into its true perspective we want to take account particularly of what we said in the Secretary of State's Statement in Salisbury this afternoon -- that unless the conditions and the basic premise of the proposals are clearly going to be accepted, then of course the Resident Commissioner doesn't start work at all, and I think that is a very important point to bear in mind, which are basically, fundamentally, that there is an effective ceasefire and secondly that all those concerned have accepted the proposals as a basis for going forward, however much they individually dislike various parts of it. I believe that it is possible to devise and produce the Zimbabwe national army, in the Secretary of State's words -- statement in Salisbury -- based...based on the liberation forces an including acceptable elements of the Rhodesian armed forces."
CARVER: "Well I suppose its perfectly possible that I would never take it up, but I would have though perhaps that the first reactions that I've just seen are perhaps not as negative as one might have expected them to be."
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Background: In the latest Anglo-American initiative on Rhodesia, Field Marshal Lord Carver has been nominated as the Resident Commissioner-Designate. Aged 62, he is widely regarded as Britain's cleverest soldier since World War Two and his job will involve taking overall control of Rhodesia during the proposed period of transition to black majority rule.
Under the proposals put forward by British Foreign Secretary Dr. David Owen and United States envoy Andrew Young Lord Carver would have full legislative and executive authority during a six-month transition period, following a ceasefire between the present Rhodesian army and nationalist guerrillas. Lord Carver has served in most parts of the world, but has never been to Rhodesia. As an officer and commander in the tank ???, he took part in many historic battles during World War Two and was decorated three times for gallantry. Until his appointment Lord Carver has been in semi-retirement, after his last job as Britain's Chief of Defence Staff.
SYNOPSIS: Following the announcement of his appointment Lord Carver spoke about the problems he might face at a news conference in London on Thursday (1 September).
Lord Carver was asked if, in view of rather negative comments from Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith, he was ever likely to take up his appointment.