Sir Humphrey Gibbs, Governor of Rhodesia for the last ten years, has decided to relinquish his post.
SIR HUMPHREY GIBBS ENTERS ROOM: SIR HUMPHREY MAKES STATEMENT. (SOF)
TRANSCRIPT: HUMPHREY: "The results of the referendum are known to you and from them it is apparent that the majority of the electorate have demonstrated that they want Rhodesia to break all ties not only with Her Majesty the Queen, but also with Britain and the Commonwealth. As there appears to be no chance of negotiated settlement in the foreseeable future, there is no further useful purpose to be served by my remaining in office.
"I'm deeply grieved that there's been no settlement and that Rhodesia is now about to change course away from the traditional paths which have served us so well over the years, to a completely new and untried concept of Government.
"It is my firm hope and prayer that Constitutional Government acceptable to the world at large will be re-established in this country before long and that in the intervening period no serious or irreparable damage will have been inflicted upon the fabric of our multi-racial society.
"I relinquish office with sadness but without bitterness or rancour, and I look forward to the day when the deep divisions of the country are replaced by feelings of goodwill and friendship when a united people without fear or prejudice will lead this young country forward to peace and prosperity for all. Thank you gentlemen."
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Background: 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.