The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr. Arnold Smith, was interviewed in London today (Thursday 31 May) about?
GV TILT DOWN EXT. Marlborough House & CU sign Commonwealth Secretariat
CU Mr. Smith interviewed
REPORTER: "Mr. Smith, what was the purpose of your recent trip to Africa?
SMITH: I was invited by the Organisation of African Unity to be their guest at the 10th anniversary celebrations in Addis Ababa.
REPORTER: What do you now see as the major problems facing Africa today? And how in your view can the Commonwealth Secretariat do something to help?
SMITH: The major problems are problems of development, and problems of eliminating colonialism and racial injustice, ah, especially in the southern parts of Africa. It's not so much a matter of the Commonwealth Secretariat helping as of the Commonwealth helping, and I think the Commonwealth has helped as much in these problems as any of us would wish seeing a lot remains to be done. The Commonwealth is essentially a creation of the leaders of national independence movements and um, I think the African leaders have made quite an impact on the thinking of the people of....the Canadians for example, of Asians, and this is good for Africa....it's good for the rest of us too.
REPORTER: Speaking of independence, this brings us to Rhodesia. As for as Rhodesia's concerned, you've tried to organise sanctions to achieve majority rule but without success. If there's anything else you think can be done?
SMITH: My own view is that a more sturdy method of dealing with the rebellion right at the beginning would have been wiser but of course it's up to governments to take the decisions. Ah, the Commonwealth has failed to deal adequately with the Rhodesian racist regime, so has the Organisation of African Unity, so has the United Nations. I think the situation would have been much worse if it hadn't been for Commonwealth consultations and Commonwealth action. Just about every step that has bene taken by the international community has begun as recommendations of the Commonwealth meeting, as a government meeting or as a meeting of our Sanctions Committee.
REPORTER: Without majority rule, can there be a peaceful future for Rhodesia?
SMITH: I think majority rule and equality among races is absolutely inevitable. You can't go one with a small racist minority holding down a people indefinitely. The question is how it's going to be attained. My hope is that despite present attitudes of many of the white minority, it can be attained peacefully.
This would be in everybody's interests. But if it's not attained peacefully, it will inevitably be attained by fighting, and there's already violence, you know..."
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Background: The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr. Arnold Smith, was interviewed in London today (Thursday 31 May) about his recent trip to Africa as the guest of the Organisation of African Unity. Mr. Smith, a Canadian, was appointed the first Commonwealth Secretary-General in 1965, and was re-appointed for a further five years in 1970. He's former Canadian diplomat. Mr. Smith was interviewed by Visnews journalist John Sutton at the Secretariat's headquarters in Marlborough House, London.