Lord Pearce, chairman of the British Commission to test the acceptability of the Anglo-Rhodesian settlement terms, had a full day of discussions on Tuesday with Rhodesia's 26-man Council of Chiefs.
MV PAN Lord Pearce in car arriving at High Court building
MV African chefs out of coach and walking into building
MV African chiefs walking out of building(2 shots)
CU INT. African MP Ranches Makaya interviewed by Martin Bell
SOF STARTS "I have told... "...correct on the point."
It was the first time hat Lord Peace and his deputies had heard evidence outside their headquarters, and even then they didn't have far to go,a couple of hundred yards up the road to the High Court building. There they had an appointment with the 26-man Council of Chiefs, the tribal dignitaries who are traditionally the representatives of the African people. They also enjoy an entrenched position in the present Rhodesian constitution, and at a council meeting three weeks ago they'd come out in favour of the settlement terms. What they said to Lord Peace on this occasion remained confidential. The session was a closed one, and afterwards they wouldn't comment on it. But in the present climate of opinion here, it isn't easy for Africans to say "yes",and the chiefs also are under pressure. Their own Parliamentary spokesman, the eight African MPs whom the chiefs nominate, have come out against the proposals. It is on the face of it a strange collision of opinion, which the MPs' leader, Mr. Ranches Makaya, explained.
I have told you earlier on, that wherever, from the day they started going out, they met chiefs in various areas, who said "no" - so it's a jointly "no".
But yet the Council of Chiefs issued a statement saying "yes".
Well, if they said "yes", why are their colleagues, the chiefs and headmen in the most areas saying "no", if they said their own mind?
You don't think they are saying their own mind?
Well, I think what I have said is enough, and it is correct on the point.
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Background: Lord Pearce, chairman of the British Commission to test the acceptability of the Anglo-Rhodesian settlement terms, had a full day of discussions on Tuesday with Rhodesia's 26-man Council of Chiefs.
The meeting, at the High Court building in Salisbury, was the first Lord Pearce has attended outside his commission headquarters,though members of his commission have been hearing evidence in cites and rural areas throughout the country.
The proceedings took place behind closed doors, and no statement was issued. One of the problems Lord Pearce will have been probing is the apparent conflict between the chiefs themselves, who earlier expressed support for the settlement terms, and the eight African MPs they nominate, who have come out against the terms.
In this film, shot by Mohamed Amin, BBC reporter Martin Bell questions Mr. Ranches Makaya, leader of the Rhodesia Electoral Union which groups the eight MPs. He rejected the settlement terms when he saw Lord Pearce on Monday. The film also includes commentary by Martin Bell, which may be used. An alternative commentary appears overleaf.