Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and 700 other White Rhodesians have celebrated the ninth anniversary of the country's Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Britain on 11 November, 1965.
SV Mr. & Mrs. Smith begin dance, Mrs. Smith beckons on other couples
CU Guests seated
SV Other guests dancing
SV Guests seated
CU Smith addresses guests
CU Guests applaud
SCU Smith tolls Liberty Bell for midnight PAN TO guests applauding
CU Smith drinks champagne toast
SMITH: "Yesterday in the House of Commons the British Foreign Secretary made a statement in which he said that I had problems in Rhodesia. Well, ladies and gentlemen, he's entitled to his view. Let me give you my view. I believe that he is as far from the mark as was his Prime Minister nine years ago when he said that UDI would be a wonder of days, not months."
Initials BB/1726 JW/MR/BB/1736
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Background: Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and 700 other White Rhodesians have celebrated the ninth anniversary of the country's Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Britain on 11 November, 1965.
But among Rhodesia's predominantly-black population the feeling runs strongly that this would be the last such celebration. They point to recent developments in surrounding southern African states -- especially Mozambique's imminent independence. They also underline the significance of the growing detente between Zambia's President Kenneth Kaunda and South Africa's Prime Minister John Vorster. Their growing determination for self government has been re-inforced by increasing guerrilla activity in Rhodesia itself and by the numbers of white Rhodesians who have left their country in recent months.
Undeterred by the storm clouds gathering around them, Rhodesia's white ruling class danced the night away on the floor of Salisbury's tobacco auction rooms. The highlight of the evening was Mr. Smith's speech to the assembled guests and his symbolic ringing of the Liberty Bell. The bell's inscription reads: 'Justice, Civilisation and Christianity'.
The Premier's speech was delivered with some emotion. He said British Foreign Secretary James Callaghan had been "far from the mark" in saying the Rhodesian leader had a problem that would get progressively worse. He concluded by adding: "We have always governed ourselves, and this is the way it's going to continue in the future".
Ian Smith's speech to the nation on the actual anniversary of independence was more revealing. He then referred to a settlement of the Anglo-Rhodesian constitutional dispute and said it might now be possible because of "developments emanating from certain other countries".
But Bishop Abel Muzorewa, leader of Rhodesia's black African National Council, saw the whole event in a more sombre light. He said the ninth anniversary of UDI should be regarded as "a day of mourning and prayer".
Mr. Smith spoke at length on Rhodesia's future. An excerpt of his speech appears on film. A transcript follows:
SYNOPSIS: It's nine years since Rhodesia's Prime Minister Ian Smith declared his Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain on 11 November 1965. And in Salisbury the Premier, his wife and 700 other white Rhodesians celebrated the event in what has become traditional style. But as they danced the night away, many black Rhodesians were saying this would be the last such event. For the storm clouds are gathering around Rhodesia's predominantly-black borders. Neighbouring Mozambique is fast approaching independence, Zambia and South Africa are reaching a detente and guerrilla activity in Rhodesia itself is escalating. But Mr. Smith's speech was determined:
Then the traditional ringing, at midnight, of the Liberty Bell. It bears the inscription: "Justice, Civilisation and Christianity".
The final event of the evening was a symbolic toast to the year to come ... possibly the most difficult one in the country's short history.