Former Prime Minister, Ian Smith, says his Rhodesian Front party has rejected the latest British constitutional proposals covering security and the judiciary in Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
GV Rhodesian white leader Ian Smith down steps and walks into building
SCU Smith speaking at news conference
SMITH: "I accept that three are many points of argument, not only amongst our white people generally, but even in my own party. But, I believe we are all united in our insistence that there shall be no tampering with our security, and our ability to maintain law and order. Originally, I was encouraged by British statements that they had no wish to tamper with our security set-up. The present circumstances, where we are at war, and where we have recently accepted a revolutionary political change, it would be madness to tamper in ...excuse me ... the fields of security and law and order. Yet, the latest British proposals so just that. It is important to stress that part of this plan is for the Patriotic Front to return and participate in our future in the government, in the elections. People who for many years have been associated with Communism and indoctrinated with its dictatorial philosophy. The British are now asking us to accept a new set-up which will give any future Prime Minister virtual dictatorial powers in the appointment and dismissal of our security chiefs and our judiciary. And, if he should wish to go outside our country, for example, to Russia or one of its satellites to recruit replacements with these vital positions, then he amy do so. I would say to you that, clearly, these things are unacceptable. And, unless they are changed, these British proposals will be rejected by our party. And that will mean that all of the effort put into these negotiations will be to no avail."
Bishop Muzorewa's team at the London talks has conditionally accepted the constitution, and Britain is still negotiating with the Patriotic Front. Bishop Muzorewa said in London on Saturday (6 October) that he did not expect that Mr. Smith would cause trouble over accepting the constitution. But Mr. Smith said he hoped the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrignton, and his colleagues were not bluffing themselves that they were near a final solution that would be accepted in Zimbabwe Rhodesia and receive the approval of the government there.
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Background: Former Prime Minister, Ian Smith, says his Rhodesian Front party has rejected the latest British constitutional proposals covering security and the judiciary in Zimbabwe Rhodesia. Mr. Smith told a news conference in Salisbury on Sunday (7 October) that his party would not stand for what he termed tampering with the country's security and law and order. His statement came immediately after a three and a half hour meeting with Rhodesian Front Members of Parliament. He had just returned from the four weeks of talks at the Zimbabwe Rhodesia conference in London. He said the country's remaining white leaders would throw out the British-drafted constitution -- already agreed in principle by his government -- unless major changes were made.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Smith said he was speaking for the Rhodesian Front Party, which holds a veto in the Zimbabwe Rhodesian government -- now led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa.