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Interview with Sir Alec: The communique has taken a long time to prepare, as we had to review the world situation and several tricky questions had to be written. Also there was a large programme of Commonwealth development to be discussed. In reply to a question about the Southern Rhodesian situation Home said 'the responsibility for the future of Southern Rhodesia rests with the UK government, but suggestions were made as to how we might assist progress towards independence!
Interviewer. Are you going to press for the release of political prisoners in Southern Rhodesia.
Sir Alec. Certain Prime Ministers have suggested that we should press for the release of political prisoners. this is their view expressed to us. When we come to discuss the question we will have to consider how to play the hand. We have given no concrete promises on British government action.
Interviewer. On the wider Commonwealth topics, has anything been said about forming a secretariat of the Commonwealth.
Sir Alec. This is a new development; I have always thought there might be a Commonwealth Economic Development Council, and a secretariat to coordinate action would be a good thing.
Interviewer. Critics have suggested that you must have regretted calling the conference.
Sir Alec. No, it has been well worth while, and represents the new Commonwealth in its new shape. People were expecting a walkout, but we decided that discussion was worthwhile, and if we had differences it was best to face them. (83')
Interview with Jomo Kenyatta follows:
Interviewer. Are you satisfied with the conclusions reached?
Kenyatta. Yes, in particular over Southern Rhodesia. Britain has to get in touch with the Southern Rhodesian government first and make a request for the release of African political prisoners, and after that arrange to have a Constitutional Conference which will be attended by all parties. It is only through discussion by all concerned that we can find a way out.
Interviewer. Can the British government get the prisoners released and get Mr Smith to come to a Constitutional conference.
Kenyatta. Yes, there is nothing like discussion. We cannot order the Southern Rhodesian government about, but we can discuss the matter and use its good office to achieve the points.
Interviewer. If good offices are not sufficient - what then?
Kenyatta. Well, let's hope for the best.
Interviewer. Has there been any change in the Commonwealth as a result of the conference.
Kenyatta. I think there is a change - when we came people said there would be walkouts. No one walked out and all finished in perfect harmony. (175')
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