Rhodesian premier, Ian Smith, told newsmen on Friday (30 April) that by appointing blacks to his cabinet, he had created a national coalition government which he hoped would eventually win support from the country's black majority.
LV & CU Smith at news conference in TV studio (2 shots)
SV Smith answering question
SMITH: "But I believe it will help to bring about a decrease in terrorism because the more we can win black Rhodesian support on our side, the better will we be able to combat terrorism. I think we must concede that many of the black tribesmen today are sitting on the fence. To a certain extent of course, because of intimidation because if they were to come out on the side of government, they know what the alternative would be. Yes, it's a complicated business, but I do believe that by the creation of these black ministers and these black leaders, we are going to have a better chance of winning black tribesmen onto our side, going along with their chiefs and realising that this is their best way of overcoming terrorism and intimidation. But I would add to you, that even if there was no hope of influencing terrorism in this way, it is still necessary to appoint these people, as I have already mentioned, in order that they may represent the views of black Rhodesians, whether there is terrorism or no terrorism. I don't want you to think that I was mainly motivated by terrorism. This is something that I believe we would do even if there was no terrorism in Rhodesia. We have got to get on and work together in Rhodesia, black and white, and this is an effort in that direction."
NEWS CONFERENCE: SMITH SPEAKING.
Initials BB/1630 DE/MF/BB/1640
This film is serviced with an extract in English from Mr. Smith's speech. A transcript of the extract follows.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rhodesian premier, Ian Smith, told newsmen on Friday (30 April) that by appointing blacks to his cabinet, he had created a national coalition government which he hoped would eventually win support from the country's black majority.
He said he thought the day would come when African ministers would have responsibility for national, as opposed to tribal, affairs and he did not rule out the possibility of black nationalist politicians joining his government.
He devoted much of the news conference to answering questions about last week's appointment of four tribal chiefs as cabinet ministers and the introduction of three black deputy ministers, with three more to be named later.
Mr. Smith rejected charges from Black Nationalists and Rhodesia's foreign critics that the moves are mere window-dressing. He said he had planned the appointments for more than two years, but had been dissuaded by the British government, from which Rhodesia's white minority government seized independence in 1963.