Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith on Monday (28 April) pointed to recent events in South Vietnam to warn Rhodesians against putting to much faith in detente in Rhodesia and southern Africa.
MV Smith arriving at Trade Fair as crowd look on (2 shots)
GV ZOOM IN TO MV Band
GV AND CU Smith speaking
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 3: SMITH: "Look that detente has meant for the people of South Vietnam. Where did that exercise go wrong? They were gullible enough to put their trust in the promises of those with whom they were negotiating. And what is their redress now? What can the greatest military power on this earth do to recover the situation which developed because they dropped their guard without covering themselves against the possibility -- indeed probability in this world of double standards -- that the other side would not honour their part of the agreement. what use is it in this present world of complaining that the other party did not abide by the rules of the game. You will be told that if you were gullible enough to let them take you for a ride, that's your hard luck. Let us be honest with ourselves. In this world we live in today there are no rules to the games As we know from recent history in other parts of the world, sometimes your own best friends walk out on you.
"In this part of the world the communists are doing their utmost not only to so bewilder Rhodesians that they will turn against each other, but also to drive a wedge between Rhodesia and South Africa. In this campaign they are aided and abetted by the press. Day after day I am completely amazed at the distortion and slanting that is printed in ?? many newspapers. Speculation which has no bearing on the truth and which is deliberately exaggerated to create alarm in people's minds.
Recently they have led people to believe that Rhodesia is the major obstacle to detente and that as a result of this the South African People have become disenchanted with Rhodesia and the South African Government is about to ditch us. They go so far as to say that they know what is going on in the mind of the South African Prime Minister, That he and his Government are pressuring us and that as a result an about-face in our policy is imminent. However, when one reads the speeches that have been made by the South African Prime Minister in Parliament during recent months, these completely debunk the stories that have appeared in the news media. When the press accuses Rhodesia of being the main obstacle to detente you'll note that they deal in vague generalities because it's impossible for them to pinpoint any area in the detente exercise where the interests of our two countries do not detente exercise where the interests of our two countries do not coincide."
Initials CL/0116 CL/0121
EDITORS NOTE: This film is serviced with a segment of MR. Smith's speech.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith on Monday (28 April) pointed to recent events in South Vietnam to warn Rhodesians against putting to much faith in detente in Rhodesia and southern Africa.
Speaking at the opening of a trade fair in Bulawayo, Mr. Smith also warned against slanted and biased news media reports about efforts to achieve a settlement in the area.
However, he did say he plans to call a meeting of what he termed "the southern Africa detente parties" to clear up confusion over a ceasefire with nationalist guerillas.
Mr. Smith did not name the "detente parties" but it is thought he was referring to the South African and Rhodesian Governments and the Governments of Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana.