Rhodesian Prime Minster, Ian Smith, buoyed by a massive election display of white voter support, indicated on Thursday evening (1 September) that he would spurn the Anglo-American proposals for a Rhodesians settlement had transition to black majority rule.
SV Mr. and Mrs. Ian Smith entering party headquarters
SV Party member announcing results
CU Ian Smith walks into polling station
CU Ian Smith speaking in English
SV British Foreign Secretary Dr. David Owen arriving at Independence House, Salisbury
CU Dr. Owen speaking in English
SMITH: "It has strengthened my hand tremendously in terms of both an external and an internal settlement. Nobody but a fool would disregard the kind of results which we witnessed today. It would be stupid, it would be irresponsible of people to pretend that the Rhodesian are not.....dedicated and united in their resolve to fight for the things that they believe in, and to protect their country. And if people disregard this, well it does not bode well for future peaceful settlement."
OWEN: "Well at the moment, white Rhodesian find it very difficult to accept a universal suffrage. At the moment, they've just voted, 97 thousand or so of them, when what we're offering is an election based on three million. If three million people had voted for a new President, that new Army must reflect the changed situation. What we can't however have is a new Zimbabwe Army that is an Army that is supporting only one President candidate, and during the transitional period the massive task facing Field Marshal Lord Carver, if he is by then installed as the Resident Commissioner, will be to try and weld together the liberation forces, with some acceptable elements of the Rhodesian defence forces, into a viable structure that will owe its allegiance to the new President. Now, nobody hides from anyone that that's going to be extremely difficult to achieve."
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Background: Rhodesian Prime Minster, Ian Smith, buoyed by a massive election display of white voter support, indicated on Thursday evening (1 September) that he would spurn the Anglo-American proposals for a Rhodesians settlement had transition to black majority rule. The proposals, made officially public earlier in the day, call for the establishment of an independent Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) in 1978. In the meantime, Mr. Smith would hand over power to a British-appointed Resident Commissioner, Field Marshal Lord Carver, who would take overall responsibility for the transition to black majority rule. Already, though black nationalists have rejected parts of the proposals, and Mr. Smith has said that he will continue with his won plans for an internal settlement. On Wednesday (31 August) the Rhodesian Premier and his wife went to the Rhodesian Front Party headquarters in Salisbury to celebrate his election victory.
SYNOPSIS: Mrs. Smith led the way, telling her husband's supporters that it was Ian Smith who won the election. It was a popular claim at this gathering, a claim backed up by the clean sweep Mr. Smith's Rhodesian Front party made o all the fifty white population seats. Through the night, election officials announced the voting results as they came to hand. From the start, it was clear that Ian Smith's party was set for a handsome victory, at the expense of the ultra-right Rhodesian Action Party, committed to maintaining white supremacy, and of the National Unifying Forces, which argued the benefits of a rapid move to black majority rule. With the results on the board, Mr. Smith was keen to interpret their meaning.
British Foreign Secretary Dr. David Owen, and United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, spent three hours with Mr. Smith on Thursday. They outlined their proposals and later Dr. Owen commented on white Rhodesian reaction.