• Short Summary

    After a week of shuttle diplomacy around southern Africa, Britain's new Foreign Secretary, Dr. David?

  • Description

    SCU Dr. Owen with his wife outside airport lounge (MUTE)

    CU Sign "Alcock and Brown Suite"

    CU Dr. Owen speaking (3 shots)

    TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 3) OWEN: "Now I can only conduct negotiations on the basis that people mean what they say. And, I have no illusions myself. I am well aware that things have been said in the past in this area which have not been said with honest intention, and there have been many cases where people have gone back on agreements previously made. But I think we do need a new climate. We've got to built trust and any negotiations to have a chance, have got to start on the basis that people will believe what other people say, and that they will negotiate in good faith, and this applies to black and white. The dangers of going ahead and having a failure are very considerable. I warned many white Rhodesians that if they entered into these negotiations and six months time their actions gave cause for disbelief in the world about their intentions, then there would be a very, very vicious backlash, and the world opinion would, in my view, would react very adversely to...... .....anything. The days of moving on this issue in a way that will be thought to ... not to carry true conviction, are over. The patience of many people, in Africa and elsewhere, is close to exhaustion. And there is of course the continued armed struggle which could very easily increase in extent and in scope, very considerably. So there are big stakes in Africa and grave dangers of getting it wrong. I'm cautious about predicting the future ... and also the events and decisions we'll make over the next few weeks. But I come back even more resolved than before I left to do everything I can to achieve a peaceful settlement. If we could do that, the prize is a very great one for stability and for improving everyone's lives and the standard of their lives, both black and white, in Africa."

    Initials BB/1915

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: After a week of shuttle diplomacy around southern Africa, Britain's new Foreign Secretary, Dr. David Owen, arrived back home on Monday (18 April). He had visited eight African countries -- including Rhodesia -- in an effort to find a plan for defusing and settling the explosive situation caused by the breakaway British colony.

    SYNOPSIS: Dr. Owen and his wife, who had been with him on the trip, arrived at London's Heathrow Airport, and immediately held a news conference in the airport lounge. During the tour he had put forward the possibility of convening a constitutional conference under the auspices of Britain and the United States. He was, however, keen to emphasise the difficulties.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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