Ghana's Prime Minister Dr Kofi Busia, one of several African leaders to talk to Britain's Premier Mr Edward Heath on Friday (16 October) on the subject of Britain's proposed sale of arms to South Africa, later spoke in an interview of the damage he thought this would do to the Commonwealth.
CU Dr Busia
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 1: QUESTION: "Did you get Mr Heath to change his mind on arms for South Africa?
BUSIA: I wouldn't say that but he gave an interested hearing to my approach to this question.
QUESTION: What was Ghana's approach particularly?
BUSIA: Ghana's approach is this, that basically the value of the Commonwealth today lies in the moral sphere in that here is a demonstration that people of different cultures and colours can unite on the basis of agreed principles, and that if Britain goes ahead with the sale of arms to South Africa, she would be considerably reducing her moral authority and leadership not only in the Commonwealth but also in the world.
QUESTION: Does that mean you'd walk out?
BUSIA: I wouldn't do that."
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Background: Ghana's Prime Minister Dr Kofi Busia, one of several African leaders to talk to Britain's Premier Mr Edward Heath on Friday (16 October) on the subject of Britain's proposed sale of arms to South Africa, later spoke in an interview of the damage he thought this would do to the Commonwealth.
President Kaunda of Zambia, another of Mr Heath's visitors, was probably the most outspoken of the African leaders on the issue, advocating sanctions against Britain if she went ahead with her arms sales plan.
British sources re-iterated on Friday (16 October) that no decision has yet been taken on the arms issue, and that a number of Commonwealth countries must still be consulted before the final choice is made.
Most African countries have expressed strong opposition, although Lesotho was one of eight countries reported to have had reservations about the Organisation for African Unity's formal protest delegation, led by President Kaunda. Chief Jonathan of Lesotho also had discussions with Mr Heath during the day.
Ghana's Dr Busia supported the OAU protest delegation, but he said in the course of his interview that Ghana would not leave the Commonwealth if Britain were to sell arms to South Africa.