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TRANSCRIPT: A.D. BUTLER:
This statement only deals with the more important matters concerning the people of Rhodesia at the present time.
Independence and U.D.I.
IN ANY SMALL NATION TRUE INDEPENDENCE RESTS ON TWO MAIN FOUNDATIONS : THE STRENGTH AND VIABILITY OF THE ECONOMY, AND THE STRENGTH AND UNITY OF NATIONAL PURPOSE OF ALL THE PEOPLES WHO DWELL WITHIN THAT NATION. BESIDE THESE THINGS, CONSTITUTIONAL INSTRUMENTS OF INDEPENDENCE MEAN NOTHING.
In Rhodesia today we have not achieved, and by unconstitutional action we would never achieve, unity of purpose among all our peoples. OUR DEGREE OF REAL INDEPENDENCE THEREFORE, IRRESPECTIVE OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS, MUST DEPEND ALMOST ENTIRELY UPON OUR ECONOMIC STRENGTH. There is no material of practical reason why Rhodesia today should not be enjoying becoming economic prosperity. Both the Republic of South Africa and Zambia are enjoying boom conditions, as indeed are most of the countries of the Western world. During the past year circumstances have emerged which would normally indicate the development of boom conditions but this has been repeatedly knocked on the head and entirely destroyed by the Government's repeated U.D.I. brinkmanship.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS PRODUCED NO FACTUAL EVIDENCE OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER TO SHOW WHAT ADVANTAGES WILL FLOW FROM U.D.I. if the only advantage is that they will be able to tear up the Constitution, then I say it would be utter folly for them to place themselves in the same boat with Nkomo, Wilson and all the others in the world who want to upset our established and hard-won position.)
A common fallacy exists that if Rhodesia were to become independent by unilateral declaration, Britain and other countries in the world would be less likely and less able to interfere in her affairs. This is nonsense - in fact, the reverse is the case, Countries have been interfering in each other's affairs since the beginning of time and will do so until the end of time. BRITAIN IS LESS LIKELY TO INTERFERE WITH OUR VITAL ECONOMIC INTERESTS WHILE WE ARE A CONSTITUTIONAL SELF-GOVERNING NATION CONNECTED TO HER, THAN IF WE WERE AN ILLEGAL STATE.
Factual evidence of the disadvantage of U.D.I. runs into many pages and is accumulating daily from responsible organisations in every sphere of activity in Rhodesia, irrespective of the political affiliations of the members of those organisations. In many cases, I am sorry to say, these warnings are treated with scorn. In many they are met by determination to face any economic consequences rather than remain dependant. I believe this attitude entirely misses the vital point, that it is not the ability of the individual to take a cut in income and living standards that matters so much as the ability of the state to maintain essential services, including especially the security services, when individual belts have been so tightened that nothing is forthcoming in taxes. I do not doubt the ability of Rhodesians to face discomfort and privation for their country. What I doubt is the ability of the state to survive an act of economic suicide of this nature.
The Government implies that the alternatives facing the European in Rhodesia are an African Nationalists government on the one hand or U.D.I. on the other. This is utter nonsense. THE CORRECT COURSE AND THE REAL ALTERNATIVE TO U.D.I. IS TO STICK TO THE BARGAIN WHICH WAS MADE ON THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE 1961 CONSTITUTION: MAINTAIN THIS CONSTITUTION AND THE FRANCHISE QUALIFICATIONS WHICH CAME WITHIN: AND REFUSE TO ACCEPT ANY ATTEMPT BY BRITAIN OR ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD TO ALTER IT. If we adopt this attitude with firmness and resolution it will be physically impossible for Britain or anyone else to impose changes upon us except by armed force which, in my opinion, it would be impracticable for her to attempt. U.D.I., on the other hand, can only lead to economic chaos, emigration and I believe, to the early introduction of a black nationalist government.
IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT WE CANNOT REMAIN AS WE ARE. I FAIL TO SEE WHY NOT. CONSTITUTIONALLY WE ARE ENTIRELY INDEPENDENT IN OUR INTERNAL AFFAIRS, AND ECONOMICALLY WE ENJOY BENEFITS WHICH ARE OURS TO DEVELOP. WE HAVE THE ADVANTAGES OF COMMONWEALTH PREFERENCES: WE HAVE FAVOURED NATION STATUS WITH SOUTH AFRICA, AND WE HAVE THE SAME STATUS WITH MALAWI AND ZAMBIA. PROVIDED WE DO NOT TAKE UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTION I BELIEVE WE HAVE GOOD PROSPECTS OF TRADING WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH IN IDEAL CIRCUMSTANCES FOR A NATION WHICH DEPENDS SO LARGELY ON ITS TRADE FOR THE SOLUTION OF MANY OF ITS INTERNAL PROBLEMS.
I BELIEVE THAT IF OUR ECONOMY IS PROSPEROUS AND GROWS STRONGER, AS IT CERTAINLY WILL DO IF THE CONTINUAL TREAT OF U.D.I. IS REMOVED, THE TIME WILL NOT BE FAR OFF WHEN BRITAIN, AND INDEED THE WHOLE WORLD, WILL HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT WE ARE IN A REAL SENSE INDEPENDENT, WHETHER THEY LIKE IT OR NOT, AND THAT OUR LEGAL INDEPENDENCE MUST FOLLOW. IN THIS RESPECT TIME, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MANY YEARS, IS ON OUR SIDE. The power of the United Nations, and with it of the Afro-Asians in world affairs is on the decline and opinion in the United Kingdom and the United States is beginning to become more balanced in its approach towards the situation on the African continent. For all these reasons I believe we shall get independence in the not too distant future - an independence based on consent and respect from the world, and above all on our own economic position as a nation standing on her own feet. I BELIEVE OUR FUTURE LIES NOT AS AN ECONOMIC SATELLITE OF SOUTH AFRICA OR PORTUGAL, WHICH CAN BE OUR ONLY HOPE IF WE HAVE U.D.I.- IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF EITHER OF THESE TWO COUNTRIES ACCEPTING US - BUT AS A RHODESIAN NATION, DEVELOPING OUR OWN SOLUTIONS TO OUR WON PROBLEMS AND OUR WAY OF LIFE IN PRIDE AND FREEDOM.
I have been asked many times in what circumstances, if any I would support a U.D.I. People who ask this question conjure up hypothetical cases ranging from British reluctance to support us at the United Nations to her outright suspension of our constitution. My answer is that THERE ARE NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH HAVE BEEN PUT TO ME IN WHICH I COULD SEE THE SENSE IN US DECLARING INDEPENDENCE. IN MY OPINION, THE UNITED KINGDOM DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT, WHATEVER TECHNICAL OR LEGAL ARGUMENTS MAY BE ADVANCED, TO IMPOSED CHANGES ON RHODESIA WHICH ARE UNACCEPTABLE TO THE LEGALLY AND CONSTITUTIONALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT OF RHODESIA. THEREFORE, IF ANY ATTEMPT IS MADE TO IMPOSE CHANGES IN THIS MANNER THEY SHOULD NOT BE IMPLEMENTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF RHODESIA, AND WOULD THEREFORE NOT COME INTO EFFECT. IF WE ARE UNITED AND DETERMINED IN THIS POLICY THEN I BELIEVE THERE WILL BE LITTLE DANGER OF UNILATERAL CONSTITUTIONAL ACTION BEING INITIATED BY BRITAIN.
IT IS MY DESIRE TO SEE AN EXTERNAL POLICY FOR RHODESIA AGREED BEEN GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION. THIS WOULD GIVE STRENGTH TO OUR STAND AGAINST ANY AGGRESSION AND ENABLE US IN PARLIAMENT TO FULFIL BETTER OUR IMPORTANT DUTIES OF DEBATING AND DECIDING ON OUR INTERNAL AFFAIRS. THE BASIS I HAVE OUTLINED PROVIDES A FOUNDATION FOR SUCH AGREEMENT.
Representation and Franchise
IT IS MY BELIEF THAT THE FRANCHISE PROVISIONS INTRODUCED WITH THE 1961 CONSTITUTION, WHICH ARE NOW IN FORCE IN RHODESIA, ARE FAIR AND REASONABLE; THAT THEY OFFER TO PEOPLE OF ALL RACES IN RHODESIA THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE CONSTITUTIONALLY IN THE GOVERNMENT AND CONDUCT OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS IN RHODESIA ON A FAIR AND EQUITABLE BASIS. THEY WERE AGREED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF A WIDE SECTION OF OPINION IN RHODESIA FROM ALL RACES AND ACCEPTED BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT. THEY WERE NEVER INTRODUCED ON A TEMPORARY BASIS OR AS A STEPPING STONE TO SOMETHING DIFFERENT BUT AS THE NECESSARY STANDING OF EDUCATION AND STAKE IN THE COUNTRY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT. THE FRANCHISE IN FORCE IN RHODESIA SHOULD THEREFORE NOT BE CHANGED.
Up to the present time only a proportion of those Africans in Rhodesia who are able to register as voters have done so and there are indications that in the event of a re-registration only a proportions of these would re-register. It is my opinion to be directly represented in Parliament. It is also my opinion that the door should be left open for African voters to participate in Parliament though the medium of the 'A' and 'B' Rolls, so that when it is realised - as it finally must be - that threats of blackmail, boycott and rebellion will achieve nothing, the constitutional and correct course of participation in political affairs is available and is indeed the only way. If the door is slammed shut the majority of educated Africans will, as they become disillusioned to Communism for good. They will be received with open arms and given every assistance and effective militant support, growing in cunning and volume from year to year.
It is not my view that the Chiefs of Rhodesia should assume the duties of ordinary Members of Parliament. However, if it was ever decided in the future to set up a second House or Senate, then representation of the Chiefs in such a body might well be desirable. In the meantime, their views can be made known through the Council of Chiefs.
I do not accept that the Land Apportionment Act is a fundamentally sound basis for the long-term development of Rhodesia. However, the prospect of the Act being repealed overnight has given rise to considerable fears in the minds of many people. I, personally, believe these fears to be unfounded and that they have been deliberately played up for political purposes, but I believe equally that they must not be ignored and that the proper course therefore is a phased removal of the Act.
Land Apportionment has two aspects - economic and social. In the economic field it inhibits development which would otherwise take place. I therefore propose that the Act be removed in the agricultural, commercial and industrial life of the country and be maintained with respect to residential areas until this has been satisfactorily accomplished.
I anticipate that once this first step has been taken all Rhodesians will see how groundless their fears are with respect to the removal of this Act, but it is equally clear that if difficulties are encountered of any serious nature the next step should not be proceeded with until such difficulties have been overcome.
A national policy of racial discrimination in places which would otherwise be open to the general public is something which exist virtually nowhere in the world except in Rhodesia and the Republic of South Africa. It is necessary that this type of discrimination should be removed. This would in no way affect the rights of the individual to form clubs, nor would it stop anybody running a business insisting that the standard of his establishment be maintained. All over the world and in all history such matters have been determined by economic factors and it would be so determined in Rhodesia.
The integration in schools of separate racial groups of different traditions, economic and social background, is an extremely difficult and dangerous procedure which could lead to a great deal of misunderstand and suffering for the children concerned, and their parents. The first thing for Rhodesia is an adequate and thorough education for all. This is the vital requirement for permanently securing a progressive and civilised nation; therefore, I do not recommend that integration be permitted in government schools. Private schools should, however, be free to accept whom they wish.
Law and Order
Rhodesia is situated in a continent where violence and intrigue are widespread. I believe the maintenance of efficient and well-equipped security forces, including Police, Police Reserve, special constabulary, army and air force, is vital to the continuation of a civilised and ordered state. I shall do everything I can to see that they get the equipment needed to do the job.
A period free of U.D.I. threats and crises will enable our economy to become stronger - the stronger our economy is, the stronger and better equipped our security forces will be.
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