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international system of safeguards satisfac-
tory to all concerned. The treaty provides a
unique opportunity for progress to this end.

Agreement on a treaty to stop the spread
of nuclear weapons will be an historic turn-
ing point in the long effort to bring the atom
to heel. It will, I am confident, permit further
cooperative steps to reduce nuclear arma-
ments. Plain sanity calls for a halt to the
competition in nuclear arms.

There is nothing to choose here between
the interests of the nuclear and the non-
nuclear nations: there is a terrible and ines-
capable equity in our common danger. I wish
you Godspeed in your work.

Mrs. Neuberger Appointed
to ACDA Advisory Committee

The Senate on February 28 confirmed the
nomination of Maurine B. Neuberger to be a
member of the General Advisory Committee
of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency. (For biographic details, see White
House press release dated February 20.)



Southern Rhodesia: The Issue of Majority Rule

by Joseph Palmer 2d

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs ^

The question of Southern Rhodesia has
lately attracted a great deal of attention here
in the United States, as is appropriate for a
matter of such paramount concern to the
world community. But the problem is not a
new one. More than a year has now passed
since November 11, 1965, when the Rho-
desian regime illegally declared its independ-
ence from Great Britain. In that time, the
Security Council, acting at the request of the
United Kingdom — the sovereign authority
responsible for the welfare and progress of
the people of Southern Rhodesia — attempted
to assist in resolving the controversy by
measures involving the voluntary coopera-
tion of member states. Why, we may ask
ourselves, has this issue now taken on such
added importance, and how has it become a
focus for the attention of virtually the entire
international community?

The most immediate and dramatic reason
for this is the fact that on December 16,
1966, the Security Council of the United
Nations, exercising its responsibility as the
world body primarily concerned with the
maintenance of international peace and
security, adopted a resolution 2 declaring
that the situation in Southern Rhodesia had
become a "threat to the peace," under the
terms of article 39 of the U.N. Charter. To
cope with this situation, it imposed against

' Special public affairs lecture sponsored by the
California Institute of Technology faculty commit-
tee on programs, at Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 28
(press release 44).

' For text, see Bulletin of Jan. 9, 1967, p. 77.

that territory limited mandatory economic
sanctions in accordance with article 41 of the
charter, which authorizes the Security
Council to "decide what measures not involv-
ing the use of armed force are to be
employed to give effect to its decisions," and
to "call upon the Members of the United
Nations to apply such measures."

It is noteworthy that this marked the first
time in the 21-year history of the United
Nations that the Security Council applied the
measures called for in article 41. In so doing,
it decided that all member states shall pro-
hibit imports of Rhodesian asbestos, iron
ore, chrome, pig iron, sugar, tobacco, copper,
meat and meat products, and hides, skins,
and leather, as well as dealing by their
nationals or in their territories in such
products originating in Southern Rhodesia.
The resolution also obligates U.N. members
to embargo shipments of arms, aircraft,
motor vehicles, and petroleum and petroleum
products to Southern Rhodesia.

These are indeed serious measures; they
are, nonetheless, limited. There were many
demands in the United Nations and else-
where for more comprehensive sanctions or
for the use of force to bring down the Smith
regime. The Security Council, however, in
line with the desire of the majority of its
members to find a peaceful solution to the
problem, decided on more limited measures.

Under article 25 of the charter, the mem-
bers of the U.N. have agreed to accept and
carry out the decisions of the Security
Council. This is a solemn treaty obligation

MARCH 20, 1967


binding on all members. Accordingly, the
President of the United States, acting under
the authority granted to him by the Congress
in section 5 of the United Nations Participa-
tion Act of 1945, issued an Executive order
on January 5 of this year* to prohibit U.S.
firms and individuals from engaging in the
activities proscribed by the Security Council
resolution, including transactions involving
the commodities described therein.

It is primarily this action that has at-
tracted the attention that we find in the
United States today. This interest has been
reflected in widespread comment, much of
which is favorable. However, much is also
critical. Doubts have been cast on the legality
of the action as well as on its wisdom. The
line between informed opinion and misinfor-
mation or misunderstanding has often be-
come blurred. For example, we hear that
U.S. support for the Security Council action
derogates from our own sovereignty, that it
constitutes misguided support of the British,
and that its purpose is to curry favor with
some members of the international com-
munity at the expense of others.

U.S. Interest in Africa's Stability

We are all aware of the fact that the
United States as a permanent member of the
Security Council has the power under article
27, paragraph 3, of the charter to prevent
the Council from taking any action in any
situation where we may deem it inappro-
priate. But in the case of Southern Rhodesia,
we considered that the Council's finding of a
threat to the peace and its decision to impose
mandatory sanctions were appropriate and
necessary. We voted for them only on the
basis of a considered judgment that it was
clearly in our national interest to do so.

This raises the question of the U.S. inter-
est in the Rhodesian problem. As the leading
free-world power and as a member of the
United Nations, we have a direct interest in
contributing responsibly to stability and

' For text of Executive Order 11322, see ibid., Jan.
23, 1967, p. 145.

progress in Africa, as in many other areas
of the world.

The situation in Southern Rhodesia, where
a racial minority has seized power illegally
and attempts to continue its domination over
the vast majority of Rhodesians, forms a
basic threat to that stability. It has already
served to heighten racial tensions in and
around Rhodesia itself. In time, there is a
real danger that it could develop into a con-
frontation along racial lines between the
African countries north of the Zambezi
River and the white-dominated nations of
southern Africa. Black Africans, frustrated
and embittered by vestiges of colonial or
racial repression, are understandably con-
cerned by the state of aff"airs in Rhodesia. At
the same time, the continued defiance by the
white minority regime of Ian Smith of legal
authority and international opinion in South-
em Rhodesia could serve to consolidate and
extend the strength and attitudes of white
supremacists in southern Africa. The result
of such a continued polarization in Africa of
extremist racial philosophies can only be
instability, strife, and chaos.

To do nothing to avert such a confronta-
tion would play into the hands of those
forces seeking to undermine the stability and
progress of Africa as a whole. Our national
interest therefore dictates that we play our
proper role in doing what we can to
strengthen the forces of moderation among
white and black alike, to try to minimize
those conditions of instability that create the
opportunity for Communist penetration and
subversion, and above all to encourage peace-
ful and responsible change. Our policy on
Southern Rhodesia supports these ends.

I will not dwell tonight on the detailed
legal arguments in support of the Security
Council's decision to impose mandatory
sanctions against Southern Rhodesia. Am-
bassador Goldberg has eloquently and force-
fully expounded them in his recent speeches
and letters on that subject. I intend instead
to concentrate on the nature of the problem
the international community faces in South-
em Rhodesia itself.



U776 and 1965: The Contrast

Only twice in history have British terri-
»ries unilaterally declared their independ-
mce of Great Britain: the American Colonies
in 1776 and Southern Rhodesia in 1965. Rho-
desian spokesmen have chosen to equate
these two events and have carried on a
vigorous campaign to try to convince the
world of the identity of these two acts.
Central to this effort has been their deliber-
ate attempt to model the Rhodesian declara-
tion of independence after our own. Both
documents contain bills of particulars. More-
over, the Rhodesian declaration begins:

' Whereas, in the course of human affairs, history
ihas shown that it may become necessary for a people
to resolve the political affiliations which have con-
nected them with another people. . . .

Perhaps we should be charitable and
attribute this pallid formulation to a general
decline in style over the intervening 190
years. But if we look more closely at the
substance of the two documents, we find that
any superficial parallel breaks down in one
very vital respect: The Rhodesian declaration
is completely silent on human rights. There
is no attempt to state or even to rephrase the
ringing words of the American Declaration:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
men ere created equal; that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Happiness. That to secure these rights. Governments
are instituted among Men, deriving their just pow-
ers from the consent of the governed. . . .

Here is the heart of the difference. Very
few remember the details of our bill of par-
ticulars against the King of England. But
every child has learned the words of these
self-evident truths. Without a passionate
commitment to their realization, our Revolu-
tion might have been just another national
conflict, important to the participants but
not significant for the future of mankind.
But instead our forefathers chose to place
themselves in the broad stream of human
aspirations and progress. They justified their
bold, enlightened rebellion in a way that lit
_ fires in men's minds and hearts. They

reaffirmed the validity of man's age-old
search for justice and equality and gave
direction and substance to our national
development. They set forth a broad view of
human aspirations, charting such an imagi-
native course that it subsumed the immediate
act of rebellion.

The authors of the Rhodesian declaration
sought to assert an historical parallel. I sug-
gest that they missed the point completely.
Seldom in history have two such superficially
similar acts been so vastly different in pur-
pose and meaning. The Rhodesian document
makes glancing references to "ci\nlization"
and the "principles of Western democracy,"
but its aims are narrow and its direction is
a retreat from the main currents of the times
and from the international community of
nations. No broad vision emerges to inspire
mankind; rather, an obstinate defense of
narrow privilege, based on racial bias and
minority rule. The Rhodesian document is
inward-looking and static, holding no prom-
ise either for progress for the majority or
for creativity for the minority.

Different Principles, Different Directions

The decisive difference in the American
and Rhodesian experience lies in the direc-
tion of each society. I do not wish to suggest
that we were or are perfect. Man is a fallible
being, and perfection will probably always be
a distant goal as mores change. But the con-
ceptions underlying the American experi-
ment were and are bold, imaginative, and
liberating, providing a built-in dynamic for
the achievement of the American promise.
They remain responsive to the needs and
aspirations of the American people and in ac-
cord with the principles of the United
Nations Charter, which were laid down 170
years later.

Thus Jefferson, after his work on the
Declaration, returned to Virginia to give
meaning to his beliefs by plunging into polit-
ical war with the ruling oligarchy of the
day. He crusaded for a more equitable
distribution of land, the expansion of limited

MARCH 20, 1967


educational opportunities, reform of the
penal code, broadening of the franchise, and
the abolition of slavery. He succeeded in
some of his efforts, partly succeeded in
others, and failed in others. But he took a
stand, based on principles of enduring
validity. His acts as well as his words
charted a course for the democracy of the
future not only for our America but for
many diverse peoples, providing clear proof
of the universality of his beliefs and of a
common humanity.

Each generation of Americans has joined
in this adventure and enlarged the frontiers
of freedom. It has not been an easy, nor a
straight, nor an uninterrupted path. We have
been steadily, if too slowly, removing dis-
criminations due to religion, sex, national
origin, and race. We have continuously re-
examined our concepts in order to broaden
the contents and limits of human rights.
Underlining the continuity of this concept in
American history. President Johnson stated
this month on Lincoln's Birthday, "So
Lincoln began his troubled journey ... to
the establishment of a multiracial com-
munity — in which a man's pride in his racial
origins would be wholly consistent with his
conmiitment to the common endeavor."

There could be no greater contrast than
exists between the words and deeds of 1776
and those of 1965. Jefferson spoke out
against British tyranny and gave meaning to
his words by waging political war against
the entrenched minority ruling Virginia. The
Rhodesian Front attacks the British for
supporting the principle of government
deriving from the just powers of the
governed. The Front seeks to perpetuate
minority rule, using almost exactly the same
instruments of power in Southern Rhodesia
that Jefferson tried to destroy in Virginia.
In 20th-century Southern Rhodesia, by com-
parison with 18th-century America, the roles
of rebel and constituted authority are re-

At the time of our Revolution, America
produced leaders who were more modem in


their political and social thought by 20th-
century standards than the men who rule
Southern Rhodesia today, nearly 200 years
later. We set out on our road inspired by i
principles that continue to lead us forward
and attracted millions to America to these
shores to share in this great adventure. What
promise does the Rhodesian declaration hold
for its own people and the world? Even leav-
ing aside what cannot be left aside — the 4
million Africans in Southern Rhodesia —
what course is charted for the 220,000 white
minority? Can they really hope to find
creative expression by trying to isolate them-
selves from the continent in which they live
and by incurring rejection by the rest of the
world ? Can they hope to continue indefinitely
to defy world opinion and really create a
narrow sanctuary of privilege and domina-
tion ? I think not.

Continuity in American Policy

There is a continuity between the princi-
ples enunciated in our Declaration of Inde-
pendence and our present policy toward the
Rhodesian situation. President Johnson
spoke in the authentic American tradition
when he stated to the ambassadors of the
member nations of the Organization of
African Unity last May: *

As a basic part of our national tradition, we sup-
port self-determination and an orderly transition to
majority rule in every quarter of the globe. These
principles have guided our policy from India to the
Philippines, from Viet-Nam to Pakistan. They guide
our policy today toward Rhodesia.

We are giving every encouragement and support
to the efforts of the United Kingdom and the United
Nations to restore legitimate government in Rho-
desia. Only when this is accomplished can steps be
taken to open the full power and responsibility of
nationhood to all the people of Rhodesia — not just 6
percent of them. . . .

The foreign policy of the United States is rooted
in its life at home. We will not permit human rights
to be restricted in our own country. And we will not
support policies abroad which are based on the rule

* Ibid., June 13, 1966, p. 914.


lof minorities or the discredited notion that men are
lunequal before the law.

Let US now examine the situation in South-
lern Rhodesia. How does it appear in practice?

iRhodesian Realities: Land and Education

i| Despite the racial disproportion in the
'■population, the Land Apportionment Act
divides the land roughly equally between the
white and the African communities. Accord-
ing to the Rhodesian Ministry of Informa-
tion, there are approximately 44 million acres
for 2,400,000 Africans and 36 million acres
for 220,000 Europeans. The Ministry does
not add, incidentally, that the acreage re-
served for the white minority consists of the
best land, much of which lies unused. I lived
for 2 years in Southern Rhodesia and vividly
recall an instance in the rural area in which
the African population was required by the
Government to destroy part of its cattle
wealth because of the fact that the pasture
land was overgrazed. Meanwhile down the
road a white farmer was burning off his sur-
plus grazing land ! Need one look more deeply
for one basic cause of discontent?

Let us look at education. Southern Rho-
desia spends roughly equal amounts on the
education of white children and of African
children, although the latter greatly outnimi-
ber the former. Upper secondary and college
education is available to more whites than
Africans. Although it is true that a higher
proportion of Africans receives education in
Southern Rhodesia than in African-ruled
countries, the fact remains that relatively few
Rhodesian Africans are permitted the facili-
ties to complete the highest secondary grade
or to go to college. They are trained for a
place in society determined by the ruling
minority, not by themselves.
I A few statistics will reveal the dis-
' parity: In 1965 there were 638,000 Afri-
can children and 32,000 white children
in primary school. In the same year there
were some 15,000 African children and
20,000 white children in secondary schools.
Thus only 21/3 percent of the African chil-

dren continue from elementary to secondary
school as compared with 621/2 percent of
white children. Nor do these figures really
tell the whole story, since many additional
white children receive their secondary educa-
tion at boarding schools outside the country.
These circumscribed educational opportu-
nities have an obvious relationship to political
expression in a country in which the fran-
chise is severely limited on the basis of prop-
erty, wages, and educational qualifications
laid down by the white minority.

Racial Trends in Southern Rhodesia

Even before the illegal declaration of inde-
pendence, the direction of the Rhodesian
governments had become increasingly repres-
sive and racially motivated. Each succeeding
government has moved further to the right.
Prime Minister Garfield Todd was removed
by the minority-dominated electorate because
he favored the liberalization of the African
franchise. His successor, Sir Edgar White-
head, was considered too liberal because he
favored some modification of the Land
Apportionment Act to benefit the African,
even though he had also introduced the Pre-
ventive Detention Bill to curb African politi-
cal expression. He was succeeded as Prime
Minister by Winston Field, the head of the
new Rhodesian Front. And Field, in turn,
was replaced by Ian Smith. And now reports
are current that some elements in the Rho-
desian Front consider Smith as too soft on
African advancement. Must this trend con-
tinue, and where will it end ?

The Rhodesian regime is at pains to pre-
sent the image of a successful rebellion by
a united people. And yet not even its geo-
graphically and philosophically closest neigh-
bors have recognized it. Within the country,
3,000 white Rhodesians recently took their
courage in their hands to sign the book of the
Governor, who still represents the Crown, as
an apparent gesture of displeasure that the
regime failed to reach agreement during the
Tiger negotiations. There is also evidence that
the business community would prefer to

MARCH 20, 1967


negotiate a settlement and end this anomalous

But despite these and other encouraging
signs, it would be premature in the super-
heated and controlled atmosphere of Salis-
bury to conclude that the voices of reason and
moderation can yet give effective expression
to their doubts, much less their dissent. On
the contrary, there are elements on the right
who are demanding an even more extreme
course. In accusing the present illegal Smith
regime of moderation, a recent Rhodesian
Front Party document asks rhetorically:

Where in the Party Principles is it stated that
we, the Rhodesian Front, favor a multi-racial soci-
ety or even a multi-racial state?

Where in the Party Principles is it stated that
we accept "majority rule"?

Where is it stated that we accept full integra-

Thus, the present leaders of the white
minority have embarked on a course which
increasingly leads them to separate them-
selves from the majority of the people in their
own country and to isolate themselves from
the world community of nations. One seeks in
vain some principle that would justify such
a course of action. Whatever the deficiencies
of the policy of "partnership" pursued by the
predecessors of the Rhodesian Front, there
was at least the possibility of a continuing
dialog and the prospect for conciliation
among the races and orderly progress toward
majority rule. All the evidence indicates that
the dialog has been broken off and that there
has been an increasing polarization of politi-
cal life. There is a growth of suspicion, which
inhibits even whites from expressing any
doubts. For more than a year, there has been
censorship of the newspapers and of mail of
anyone considered unsympathetic to the
Smith regime. Smith himself has said that he
will lift censorship only if "satisfactory
alternatives to safeguard our national secu-
rity can be devised." Under the Emergency
Powers Act the Rhodesian Front regime has
established regulations which provide for
"the summary arrest or detention of any
person whose arrest or detention appears to
the Minister (of Law and Order) to be ex-

pedient in the public interest." Detainees are
placed in distant camps without trial or

The effect is to develop a closed society
which feeds on myths and rumors and main-
tains an unnatural stability enforced by police
control. These repressive measures have their
effect not only on the African but also on the
white community. As long as these circum-
stances prevail, there is little prospect of an
accommodation between the races.

The regime itself is apparently aware of
its vulnerability to charges of repression of
the African majority and has been at pains
to enlist the support of the African chiefs.
But there is serious question as to the repre-
sentative character of a group that is paid
by the regime and is part of its administra-
tive arm at the same time that the leaders of
the African political parties remain under

Rhodesian Front spokesmen have at times
indicated that they favor majority rule ulti-
mately. If they really accepted this premise,
within a reasonable timespan, it should be
possible to reach a satisfactory resolution of
the Rhodesian problem. But hear what Ian
Smith himself had to say when he was ques-
tioned in an interview in Newsweek of
December 19, 1966:

Q. Are you an advocate of eventual majority rule
in this country?

A. No, I cannot in all honesty claim that I am
an advocate of majority rule. When one sees the
evidence of Africa to the north of us, this is the
last thing I would advocate — in fact quite the re-
verse. But I am a realist. I accept that our present
constitution, whether I advocate it or not, is one
that was planned for majority rule. . . .

Q. How long do you think majority rule might

A. This I find very difficult to try and predict.

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 56, Jan- Mar 1967) → online text (page 77 of 90)