Sir Humphrey Gibbs, Governor of Rhodesia for the last ten years, has decided to relinquish his post.
Sir Humphrey Gibbs, Governor of Rhodesia for the last ten years, has decided to relinquish his post. His action means that the British Crown will no longer have a direct representative in Rhodesia. He is the last British Colonial Governor in Africa.
The 67-year old Governor is expected to retire to his farm near Bulawayo, which he has not seen since before UDI in November 1965.
The action of the Smith regime in declaring Rhodesia independent abruptly changed Sir Humphrey Gibbs' role as Governor. Normally, the Governor under the British system of government has no political role. He confirms various appointments, signs numerous documents and represents the monarch on State occasions.
But UDI forced Sir Humphrey to enter the political world in a practical way. He acted as the British Government's link with the Smith regime, and was largely responsible for the moves which culminated in the abortive talks aboard HMS Tiger, and later aboard HMS Fearless.
He was subjected to many petty annoyances by the regime, such as being denied the use of official cars, and having his telephone cut off. He rarely left Government House because of the risk of it's occupation by a Smith appointee.
In Salisbury yesterday (Tuesday) he announced his decision:
He is expected to travel to Britain as a guest of Queen Elizabeth.