INTRODUCTION: Roman Catholic Bishop Donal Lamont arrived in England on Thursday (24 March) after being expelled from Rhodesia, and predicted "a great tragedy" in the country unless a quick solution was found to its problems.
GV Roman Catholic Bishop Donal Lamont surrounded by newsmen, in London, U.K., taking seat and talking to seat and talking to reporters (in English).
LAMONT: "Well gentlemen , all I can say is that I am a new boy at this kind of thing and again I am very pressed for time because I've got to go across to the other side and get the plan direct to Dublin. I take it you are wanting to know what my feelings are at this moment, and naturally enough after 30 years in one country, trying to serve it as best I could, it was a bit or a disappointment to be interrupted in my work and not be allowed to continue what I have set out to do. On the other hand, I regard that my having been deprived of the citizenship of Rhodesia isn't any great disadvantage at this moment considering the regime which confers citizenship. I am unhappy about the way things are going, I think a great tragedy looms before us unless a settlement can be achieved quickly. I don't know if any of you read an article I wrote for the observer a couple of weeks ago. In that I did say that opinion against the white people was hardening, and opinions are becoming very bitter. The African is feeling that he can no longer count on the sense of justice that he once expected from the white man. What I did say there again is also true the African has no particular desire to get himself tied up with the Russians or the Cubans or indeed with any of the communist group. He still looks forward to Britain. He expects action from Britain and I say this as a dedicated and peace-loving Irish Republican , he expects from Britain the justice that has been denied him for so long. And certainly at the moment, to me its a great relief to come here and to get away from the daily recriminations, to get away from the daily reports of brutality, of people being sentenced to death, no one knows it would be a useful exercise for you to try to find out the number of people who have been hanged for political or politically motivated offences. I don't know whether you know or not that since April 1975 its no longer necessary for the government to publish the names of those who have been hanged. And this is a very seri
ous manifestation of what goes on in a country that professes to defend Christianity and western civilisation, this most servers indictment."
REPORTER: "What are your plans now?"
LAMONT: "I go back to Dublin because its necessary by Law to be repatriated. As soon as possible I propose to go to Rome and report to pope Paul about what has happened."
Initials VS 18.30
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Roman Catholic Bishop Donal Lamont arrived in England on Thursday (24 March) after being expelled from Rhodesia, and predicted "a great tragedy" in the country unless a quick solution was found to its problems. The 65-year-old bishop, who was put on an aircraft out Rhodesia on Wednesday night (23 March), was stripped of his Rhodesian citizenship and declared " an undesirable inhabitant of or visitor to Rhodesia."
SYNOPSIS: The Bishop, convicted of failing to report the presence of black nationalist guerrillas in his diocese, spoke to reporters on his arrival in London.