In Salisbury on Wednesday (26 January) Sir Roy Welensky...a former Prime Minster of Rhodesia before?
LV Sir Roy Welensky and interviewer seated in deck chairs in garden.
CV Reporter Martin Bell interviews Welensky.
"Do you think that the normal political conditions do exist, under which the commission is supposed to do its work?"
"I'm very troubled about the way the commission is going. I have said already in public that I do feel it might be a good thing to pause and re-look...have a fresh look at the situation, at the commission going on. I'm not suggesting they withdraw...I don't support that, I don't see how they could possibly do that merely because there's been intimidation. Of one thing I am certain, that the vast majority of Africans are not considering the proposals at all. In many ways I feel this is a desire to get a kick-back at a regime that they've considered was oppressive."
"And that's way they're saying "no"?"
"That, in my opinions one of the important factors."
"Where are you laying the blame, Sir Roy?"
"Well, I don't lay the blame on many people because, quite franky, the move in this country since the introduction of the '61 constitution has been to the right, constantly and consistently...and the constant promises to introduce legislation that appeared to introduce more and more segregation...the threats to do it, even if it wasn't done, have all created a state of mind with many Africans which indicates that they can't expect very much."
"And if the answer is "no" in the end, what then do you think the future hods for Rhodesia and the Africans in it?"
"I think it's a very sombre future for both races, and I think we're in for a tremendous trouble. I think it will lead to confrontation...it must...because there will be considerable resentment here. Many whites don't like these proposals, let's be realistic about it, but I think they'll go along with them principally because sanctions are hurt, the drop in commodity prices has been an important factor, and what's more, I think Rhodesians have got somewhat tried of being illegal in the eyes of the world. I think 'they're going along with this thing and I think they're genuine and want to give it a try...and if this is turned down there'd be resentment."
Initials BB/1601 OJP/PW/BB/1607
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Background: In Salisbury on Wednesday (26 January) Sir Roy Welensky...a former Prime Minster of Rhodesia before the leadership of Mr. Ian Smith...predicted a very sombre future for both races in Rhodesia, and said he believed the majority of Africans were not considering the current proposals at all because it was a means of "kick-back" at a regime they considered oppressive.