Shortly after his return from the Geneva conference on Rhodesia's future, the country's white minority leader, Mr.
LV INTERIOR Smith seated facing newsmen
CU AND SV Smith speaking (3 shots)
SMITH: I believe too much work has been put into this idea... this scheme, to let it collapse easily. I certainly, would be very reluctant to let all the good work now go by the board, and if there is anything I can do to maintain the momentum, then I shall do so, and I believe I was speaking on behalf of my government when I say, we are of the opinion that there are many responsible black Rhodesians who want this operation to succeed. In fact the representations to my office over the last few weeks while I have been away, have been even greater than they were before, and have exceeded my optimistic expectations. You will not find anything about African majority rule in the five principles. You will recall that I said I would support responsible majority rule in Rhodesia. Well now, I go along with African majority rule, according to my definition. Of course, I'm an African, same as the majority of whites who live in this part of the world. I am not prepared to give consideration to future constitutions for Rhodesia on a basis of colour.
In principle I believe this is wrong. I believe we have got to dedicate ourselves to ensuring that we have the best government in Rhodesia irrespective of colour. Surely we are entitled to that. Once we get to a stage where we are determining people's right to govern purely on the colour of their skin as opposed to their efficiency, then I believe that will be a sad day for Rhodesia.
Commenting on the talks in Geneva, Mr. Smith said that he had found all four nationalist groups represented there to be unacceptable, but he reserved his harshest criticism for the Patriotic Alliance formed by Mr. Robert Mugabe and Mr. Joshua Nkomo. He stressed that his criticisms were aimed only at some of the nationalists, and his comments on Bishop Abel Muzorewa, who leads one faction of the African National Council (ANC), could be an indication of his future thinking. He said the general view in both Geneva and Salisbury was that Bishop Muzorewa had the support of the majority of blacks in Rhodesia. He also said that the Bishop was regarded as the most responsible of the black leaders in Geneva.
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Background: Shortly after his return from the Geneva conference on Rhodesia's future, the country's white minority leader, Mr. Ian Smith, gave a news conference in the capital, Salisbury, on Friday (5 November). During the news conference,which was televised, Mr. Smith said that no progress had been made at the Geneva talks, although he thought there was still a chance of success through pressure from the western world on some of the other participants.
SYNOPSIS: He was then asked what he would do if the conference failed.