The United States early reaction to the news of the agreement in principle on an internal Rhodesian settlement was toned down on Thursday (16 February).
MV EXT African National Council Vice President, Joshua Chinamano speaking on settlement in English
MV EXT Former Rhodesian Prime Minister Sir Roy Welensky speaking in English on settlement
MV EXT Former Rhodesian Front minister Ted Sutton Price speaking on settlement in English
REPORTER: "Mr. Chinamano can you tell me your immediate reaction to yesterday's breakthrough in the internal settlement talks?"
CHINAMANO: "Well, as far as I am concerned my organisation there's nothing that has happened to make us change our own position; that the whole thing is a damn waste of time.... which time Zimbabwe cannot afford to lose. In the first place I don't see anything that has happened really that can be described as a settlement. It is, as I can call it, intent to settle. And intent to settle is far from a settlement. My own belief is that judging by the rate at which they are having these talks they will take a very long time and during that time the tempo of war will have reached such a pitch that Zimbabwe will be sorry as there will be a lot of bloodshed by that time. The so called free elections will not take place."
REPORTER: (indistinct) ....do you think this is also feasible?"
WELENSKY: "I think it would be most unwise of the British government not to stand clear and let us see how far we can get because if something good comes out of this why shouldn't it be possible to build something more on top of it, rather than destroy anything. So far we've got nowhere. This is the first time we seem to have been within reasonable distance of achieving something and I think it ought to be encouraged and I'm no supporter of Mr. Smith as you well know."
SUTTON PRICE: "That you will get a rapid process of Africanisation for its own sake. Not because it's on merit, but simply because the pressures from the rank and file will demand that across the structure of government, statutory boards, commerce and industry many people's jobs are taken away from them and replaced in order to meet the pressures from below. That there will be a total integration of health and educational facilities, which inevitably will lead to a variation in standards which will produce problems for minority communities also. And then the most important point of all is that the white community, and particularly the white citizen force, both in the army and the police, are the stabilising factor which keep at bay the prospects of inter-tribal civil war in this country. If you undermine the confidence of that community in its long term future and reduce its numbers substantially then you draw ever closer to the risk and prospect of civil war breaking out."
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Background: The United States early reaction to the news of the agreement in principle on an internal Rhodesian settlement was toned down on Thursday (16 February). Originally, the United States U.N. Ambassador, Andrew Young, labelled the agreement as invalid. But this view has now changed. The State Department in Washington says the initial reaction was a mistake. They're now adopting a wait and see attitude. Meanwhile in London, the British Foreign Secretary David Owen said the settlement represented a significant advance -- but judgement on it is being reserved. In Rhodesia itself reaction is also mixed. In these interviews three people with different political backgrounds gave their opinions of the settlement. First there is Mr. Josiah Chinamano, vice president of the African National Council -- and the Rhodesian representative of the Patriotic Front. He is followed by Sir Roy Welensky, an former Prime Minister and finally Mr. Ted Sutton Price a former minister with the governing Rhodesia Front Party.