Britain's proposal to sell arms to South Africa is the leading issue in the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference, beginning in Singapore on the 14th.
LV Lesotho Prime Minister Jonathan down steps of aircraft & greeted
MS Botswana President Seretse Khama being greeted
SV Kaunda down steps of aircraft and greeted
SV Nyerere being greeted and towards car
CU in car and away
LV Busia of Ghana down steps and greeted
CU in car and away
Initials CM/JH/OS/2333 CM/JH/DS/2344
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Britain's proposal to sell arms to South Africa is the leading issue in the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference, beginning in Singapore on the 14th. of January.
Arrivals on Tuesday (12 January) included Lesotho Prime Minister Chief Leabua Jonathan and the President of Botswana Sir Seretse Khama.
On Wednesday (13 January) the Zambian President Kaunda and President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania arrived together, followed later by Dr. Kofi Busia, Prime Minister of Ghana.
On the opening day of the conference, Britain faced a Zambian declaration attacking racialism and calling on Commonwealth members to deny assistance to any nation practising discrimination. It was referred to a committee of the conference for study, and it will be considered at a later stage.
Zambia and other African and some Asian countries maintain that if Britain supplied arms to South Africa under the Simonstown agreement it would be supporting apartheid.
Initial reaction to Zambia's draft declaration, which stressed the "unmitigated evil of racial discrimination", was favourable, but several delegations are known to want amendments before it is finally approved.
Australia, whose white Australia immigration policy could run foul of the declaration in its present form, is expected to press with Britain for revisions in the document.