Ian Douglas Smith, who was 60 last Sunday (8 April) will complete fifteen years as Prime Minister of Rhodesia on April the 14th.
SV PULL BACK TO GV Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith ringing Liberty Bell.
SCU Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Smith on steps of 10 Downing Street, London, 1965.
(GIBRALTAR; 1968:) SV Smith looks through telescope. (COLOUR)
SV Wilson and Smith on board Fearless, walk along deck and enter.
(SOUTH AFRICA 1970:) SV former South African Prime Minister John Vorster, Smith and wives talking, CU Smith.
(1975:) GV Railway bridge over Victoria Falls, ZOOM IN TO Train.
CU Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, followed by Vorster.
SV Smith and party walk along bridge.
(1978:) SV PAN Smith with black Rhodesian leaders.
CU Rhodesian constitutional agreement, opened, signatures.
CUs Bishop Abel, Muzorewa, Smith, chief Jeremiah Chirau, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole. (4 SHOTS)
SV Smith shakes hands with three black leaders.
GV Smith arriving at petrol storage depot.
GVs Firemen fighting blaze. (2 SHOTS)
CU Smith, PULL BACK TO firemen, GV petrol tanks blazing.
(1979:) GV INTERIOR Smith walks into meeting, applauded.
SCH Heckler rises, shouts
SV Smith and Chairman on platform.
CU Heckler speaking, PULL BACK TO audience reacting.
GV Smith walking across parade ground.
MLV Smith addressing audience form dais.
SV Smith and other members take seats in Rhodesian parliament, TV members seated.
GV Parliament in session, ZOOM IN TO MV Smith walking to table to speak.
HECKLER: "Mr. Smith, please resign in the interests of the country before you betray us any more."
SMITH: "Anyone who believes that we can go on living in the future Rhodesia under conditions similar to those which have prevailed in the past fifty years, and there are some such people in Rhodesia, is living in a fool's paradise."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Ian Douglas Smith, who was 60 last Sunday (8 April) will complete fifteen years as Prime Minister of Rhodesia on April the 14th. Much of his term of office has been spent in charge of a regime that is regarded by most of the world as illegal and was never expected to survive so long. Now, with the elections in Rhodesia about to lead to black majority rule in Rhodesia, Mr. Smith's premiership is due to come to an end.
SYNOPSIS: Each November the 11th since 1965. White Rhodesians have celebrated the anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence (U.D.I.) with a ball, at which MR. Smith has rung the Liberty Bell.
Rhodesia was technologically a British colony when Mr. Smith became Prime Minister in April 1964. His efforts to negotiate independence with the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, foundered because Britain insisted on majority rule. After U.D.A., the United Nations imposed sanctions against the illegal regime. Twice Mr. Smith and Mr. Wilson met on British warships -- Tiger and then Fearless -- in the Mediterranean to try to reach a settlement, but failed.
Mr. Smith on a visit to John Vorster, then South Africa's Prime Minister. His regime depended on South Africa for its survival. The meeting in a railway train over victoria Falls in August 1975 was brought about by the joint efforts of President Kaunda of Zambia and Mr. Vorster. But the talks, between Mr. Smith and Rhodesia's black leaders, broke down in mutual recriminations.
The dramatic change came in March 1978, when Mr. Smith reached agreement with three black Rhodesian leaders. The man who once said that black majority rule would not come in his lifetime put his signature to a document designed to bring it about within a year. But the question that remained was whether the black leaders who joined him really represented the black population of Rhodesia.
He could see for himself the evidence that they did not. Guerrillas of the Patriotic Front stepped up their pressure. An attack on a petrol storage depot near Salisbury cost Rhodesia several weeks' supply of fuel. Raids on farms and mission stations steadily increased the toll of Rhodesian lives.
Until recently, Mr. Smith had always enjoyed the solid support of the white population. But some former supporters began asking why they must endure mounting casualties and onerous army service, and still find that majority rule was coming after all.
Mr. Smith has come to terms with Rhodesia's realities;
Ian Smith has made his last Parliamentary speech as Prime Minister, but he will be a member of the new Parliament after the elections. He has already been returned unopposed for one of the "white" seats.