• Short Summary

    In Rhodesia, Mr. Ian Smith is still confident that Bishop Abel Muzorewa will not carry?

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    CU Ian Smith speaking, John Humphrys putting questions (6 shots)

    SMITH: "Well, I don't think it's going to happen, so don't lets anticipate things which I believe are unlikely to happen."

    HUMPHRYS: "But he did say categorically that if Mr. Hove was not reinstated, then the U.A.N.C. would leave the transitional government...."

    SMITH: "Wait, just wait and see. Just wait until Sunday."

    HUMPHRYS: "So you think he won't walk out?"

    SMITH: "I don't believe that any man in his right senses would resort to that sort of action, because it would be almost disastrous, well as far as the internal settlement is concerned it could almost be disastrous, but even for the party concerned, it could be disastrous because we're all together in this exercise. I remember the comments of some of my Black colleagues when we started it. They said well we're now in the same boat together, and we either swim together or we sink together. I think this kind of realism will be the deciding factor. You know it's all very well for politicians to talk, and I include myself in this. They all resort to extravagant things and say many things in public which I don't believe they have any intention of following through."

    HUMPHRYS: "So you're saying the Bishop is bluffing, in essence?"

    SMITH: "No, what I'm saying is you mustn't always believe that politicians are going to put into practice what they say, in public. I think as far as I and the rest, the other two on the Executive Council are concerned, we must avoid being provocative, 'cause this might tend to push this is the wrong direction. If we just leave things alone, I think It'll come back."

    HUMPHRYS: "You talk about provocation, but wasn't it provocative to sack Hove in the first place?"

    SMITH: "No, no I mean, it would have been absolutely ridiculous to have done nothing about it. Here was a man who was trying to undermine the agreement between sides."

    HUMPHRYS: "But he was only saying what many other people believe to be the case, that there is discrimination within the Civil Service."

    SMITH: "No, you're quite wrong there. You see, I think that's where you're out of touch with due respect. There's very little of this. This is stirring up things politically. Here was a man who had come from outside, who'd been out of this country for how many years, about a dozen years I think. He was completely out of tune with the new situation in Rhodesia. Once we'd come to that agreement, there was a transformation. The people that had previously been opposed to one another and fighting one another, who now came together to work with one another. Now this man was out of tune with that."

    HUMPHRYS: "Surely it would make sense now since feelings run so deep, and I've spoken to many Blacks, who are deeply disturbed about the sacking of Mr. Hove, surely it would make sense to reinstate him?"

    SMITH: "It would be one of the most ridiculous things I could contemplate, I must say. Here was somebody who was undermining our agreement. Why do we want to bring a person like that, do we want to undermine our agreement.? I believe that if he came back, it would be disastrous for the agreement. And I believe that this is the feeling of most thinking people, including people within his own organisation. The problem is I believe, the snag is that the decision wasn't implemented firmly and positively when it was taken, it was allowed to drag on and to faster."

    Initials BB/2100


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Rhodesia, Mr. Ian Smith is still confident that Bishop Abel Muzorewa will not carry out his threat to pull out of the interim government following the sacking of his Justice Minister, Mr. Byron Hove. Earlier in the week, Bishop Muzorewa failed to turn up at a rally organised for the four members of the Executive Council, strengthening fears that he may be on the varge of withdrawing from the agreement. But in an interview in Salisbury with the BBC's John Humphrys, Mr. Smith discounted these fears.

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