Britain's Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home reaffirmed Britain's responsibility in Rhodesia after completing a brief visit to Liberia on Tuesday (13 February).
GV International Airport building
SV Sir Alec Douglas-Home off aircraft & greeted by Dr. Weeks & British Ambassador
SV Security around aircraft
SV Sir Alec & Dr. Weeks walking to terminal
GV Presidential mansion
SV INT Sir Alec & Dr. Weeks pass through-hall & greeted by President Tolbert
SV Tolbert PAN Sir Alec & delegates seated
SCU Sir Alec speaking
Sir Alec said, however, Britain could not use force. He added: "If we ever find the kind of constitutional re-arrangements as we would like, we have to do it by persuasion."
SIR ALEC: "But of course one has to remember that never since 1923, and that's a long time ago, nearly fifty years... never have we interfered in the internal affairs of Rhodesia. Even when they were an independent country, there was a convention we never interfered. And so, when you say we've got a responsibility, that is true. It is also a responsibility, which it is now, which is extremely difficult to exercise. We've made it quite clear - this was made clear by Mr. Wilson - also been made clear by the Conservative Government - we cannot use force. And therefore, if we ever find the kind of constitutional re-arrangements as we would like, we have to do it by persuasion."
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This item includes part of Sir Alec's press conference on Tuesday.
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Background: Britain's Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home reaffirmed Britain's responsibility in Rhodesia after completing a brief visit to Liberia on Tuesday (13 February).
Speaking at a Press Conference before leaving for Lagos, Sir Alec said of the Rhodesian question: "Our concern is to arrive at a constitutional reform which in due course will lead to getting Africans on the voting roll, eliminating discrimination and having a majority of Africans in Parliament."
A joint communique signed at the Liberian Foreign Ministry after Sir Alec's visit, the first ever by a British Foreign Minister, said there was an exchange of views of common concern.
SYNOPSIS: British Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home was given a warm welcome when he arrived at Roberts International Airport in Liberia on Monday. Sir Alec was greeted by Liberia's Foreign Minister Mr. Rochetefote Weeks, deputy Minister Robert Okai and assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Oliver Bright. Sir Alec is the first British Foreign Secretary to visit Liberia.
From the airport Sir Alec and his hosts drive to the Presidential Mansion in Monrovia for a meeting with President William Tolbert. During the seventy-minute conference, Sir Alec and Liberian Government officials discussed the Middle East situation. The Ministers were also interested in Britain's entry into the European Common Market and its effects on Liberia. But the main topic of the discussions was Rhodesia. President Tolbert expressed the hope that through British influence a solution which is fair to all races may be found. At a press conference before his departure on Tuesday, Sir Alec was asked about Britain's responsibility in Rhodesia.