• Short Summary

    In Rhodesia, celebrations were held on Friday (11 November), marking the 12th anniversary of illegal independence from Britain.

  • Description

    SV Prime Minister Ian Smith tolls independence bell 12 times as audience applauds, Salisbury, Rhodesia

    SV PAN FROM Audience toasting Smith TO Smith and party on platform (2 shots)

    SV & CU Africans drinking in hotel in Highfields suburb of Salisbury (3 shots)

    CU African men replying TO reporter's question

    CU Another African replying to question

    BURNS: "Today is independence day. What do you think about this?"

    BLACK RHODESIAN: "Well, my own opinion is that the independence is organised for the majority, not for the majority of the people. The African especially is not honoured. I don't feel it is independence day at all. And the British government must do something if they have got the power. If they don't have the power, the battle must go on."

    ANOTHER MAN: "Following the results of the declaration of UDI I think we have gone off-course. Maybe that is why we have problems which we are facing now."

    BURNS: "And the immediate future?"

    MAN: "Well, I am looking forward to the immediate future -- if there is a settlement."

    BURNS: "Will there be a ... (indistinct)... on the occasion of independence?"

    MAN:"I don't think so. It could be, but I don't think so. I think this is the last we are having. That is my opinion. I think this is the last celebrations we are having we are having."

    Initials BB/2310

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Rhodesia, celebrations were held on Friday (11 November), marking the 12th anniversary of illegal independence from Britain. A high-light of the celebrations was the anniversary ball in the capital, Salisbury, attended by Prime Minister Ion Smith. While Rhodesian whites were enjoying themselves, blacks interviewed by a Visnews reporter were largely unmoved and said the anniversary meant nothing to them.

    SYNOPSIS: At the ball held at Harry Margolis Hall and attended by 1,000 whites, Mr. Smith rang Rhodesia's glittering silver independence bell 12 times.

    He said the bell was always rung 12 times because it signified the ringing in of midnight, But his words were engulfed in a storm of cheering and applause when he added that he could imagine a successor having to ring the bell 100 times -- if he rang for every year of independence.

    The Prime Minister said the end of the 12th year of Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence did not bring any diminution of the problems the country faced. But they were going forward with good spirits and a strong resolution.

    A Visnews correspondent, Gary Burns, who visited bars favoured by the black population in the Salisbury suburb of Highfields, found little enthusiasm among them for the occasion.

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