A delegation from the African National Council (ANC) of Rhodesia had a meeting with the Rhodesian Premier, Mr.
A delegation from the African National Council (ANC) of Rhodesia had a meeting with the Rhodesian Premier, Mr. Ian Smith, in Salisbury on Thursday (22 May), but apparently little progress was made towards a proposed constitutional conference to decide Rhodesia's future.
The talks dealt mainly with the ANC's refusal to resume full-scale talks with Mr. Smith until the Government meets the terms of a ceasefire agreement which was reached in Lusaka last December. The agreement required the Smith regime to release about 300 black nationalist detainees.
But the regime has stopped freeing detainees because it says the ceasefire was not working. The nationalist leader, Mr. Joshua Nkomo, has said that the ceasefire failed because the Salisbury Government dropped pamphlets telling guerrillas to surrender or leave the country. Those demands had already been rejected by the ANC.
After Thursday's ninety-minute session of talks, Mr. Smith's only comment was "Well, it was a meeting". A spokesmen for the ANC - which is an umbrella organisation for black nationalists in Rhodesia seeking African majority rule - said that another meeting might be arranged. When asked if this was so, Mr. Smith said, "I hope so. I am always an optimist".
When he returned from the Commonwealth Conference in Jamaica the day before, Mr. Nkomo said that any constitutional conference would have to include the British Government.