• Short Summary

    In Rhodesia, Prime Minister Ian Smith has blamed Britain for the apparent stalemate in negotiations over the country's proposed transition to black majority rule.

  • Description

    CU: Rhodesia Prime Minister Ian Smith speaking.

    SV: newsmen listening (2 shots)

    SV: Smith speaking

    TRANSCRIPT SEQ 1: SMITH: "The hostile reaction of the British government to any internal settlement in Rhodesia is out of keeping with their earlier encouragement of such an agreement. I can conclude that the British government have now become completely behoven to the Patriotic Front that unholy alliance of terrorists and to the black presidents who give them their orders. Mr Richard told us quite openly that in his view the only settlement would be one acceptable to the black presidents. For this reason Mr Richard and his political masters are doing everything they can to dissuade black Rhodesians from holding internal discussions with ny government. Coul there be any greater indications of the cynical disregard for the real views of the millions of black Rhodesians who do not regard the terrorist leaders as their spokesmen?"

    SEQ 3: SMITH: "According to our information we are satisfied that the vast mass of the children were taken at gunpoint that they were given no option. However, as you will have noted from recent reports a number of things are happening which we hope will help to clear the air, and it is possible that some of the parents of these children will be taken to Botswana, where they will be given an opportunity to speak to their children. And I hope that under the impartial eye of the Red Cross we may be able to get the correct answer. But I would point out to you that even if some of these children were forcibly extricated at the time it is possible that now in the euphoric atmosphere in which they find themselves, and in the company of terrorists, that some of them may have changed their minds because of the circumstances under which they have been living for a few days now bearing in mind that they are young, immature people."

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION During his news conference Prime Minister Smith also said that his security chiefs are satisfied they can contain the rising tide of guerrilla war on Rhodesia's borders indefinitely. He added that he thought failure to reach apolitical settlement with Rhodesian nationalist leaders would not mean any change in the war "if you come here in ten years time things will be pretty much the same" he said. Mr Smith remarks came against a background of intensified guerrilla activity and reports that black African states were sending forces to start an all-out war on the white minority government in Rhodesia.

    Initials RH/MF/JB/0207


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Rhodesia, Prime Minister Ian Smith has blamed Britain for the apparent stalemate in negotiations over the country's proposed transition to black majority rule. Speaking at a news conference in Salisbury on Friday (4 January), Mr smith said that he believes the British government has become behoven to the Patriotic Front nationalist alliance and the black "Front Line" Presidents.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr Smith also gave his views on the situation surrounding the 400 schoolchildren who crossed from Rhodesia into Botswana.

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