The Battle For Rhodesia

The Battle For Rhodesia

 The Battle For Rhodesia by Douglas Reed published: 1967 – this PDF prepared by
CONTENTS [Editor’s Note: Although no chapter numbers were used in the original book, they have been
adopted here for convenience] 1 INSANITY FAIR, 1966
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are
just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good
report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. – (Philippians 2 v
These are the golden rules for a writer. The qualities enumerated are hard to find in the picture of
our times, but I have tried to discern them as I went along and to give them their place in this
chronicle of events as seen by me.
* Chapter One
Respected reader, To those of you who know my books (a diminishing band: but aren’t we all?) and
to those who know them not, let me recall that in 1936, sitting at a window in Vienna, I wrote a
book, Insanity Fair, about the coming Second World War. In 1966, sitting at a window in
Salisbury, Rhodesia, I find myself writing this book about the coming of a Third World War. This
is where we all came in. The scene has shifted from Europe to Africa, but the new post-war years
have seen the same ladderlike process calculably leading to war.
In these latter years I did many things, and writing was of the things undone, for my writ, I felt, ran
out. There was only the oft-told tale to re-tell and its constant iteration came too near the praising of
myself, for every fool can play upon words. If “warnings” were needed, let others warn, and
probably in vain, for by a divine instinct men’s minds mistrust ensuing danger. So I sought other
paths and spent many years in South Africa.
Man proposes: looking for pastures new, I found myself in the centre of another world conflict in
the brewing. Africa was this time the scene of the preparatory steps, and Southern Africa the last
rung of the war-ladder. The British Government’s onslaught on Rhodesia, in 1965, returned the
world to its plight of 1937, when war was two moves away and could yet have been averted by
obvious countermoves.
Let me briefly recall those days to you, senior and junior classmates. From 1933 Hitler’s patent
intention to make war was fore-told by all competent observers in Berlin. Even the date (about five
years ahead) was accurately estimated, in its despatches to London, by the Berlin office of The
Times (where I was a correspondent).
The London government, however, to the end encouraged Hitler on his warpath by the method
called “appeasement” (throwing children to pursuing wolves until only the parents remain, in the
fleeing sleigh, for the wolves to devour). German rearmament was let pass, then the seizure of the
Rhineland, then the recreation of the German air force (in 1935 Hitler personally told the British
Foreign Minister of its massive strength, as I then reported).
That left two pieces on the board, and they provided the final test. If Hitler kept within his frontiers,
“appeasement” would be vindicated. If he forayed out of them, it would collapse and war follow.
Seeking to reach the public mind, I wrote in Insanity Fair “Austria means you” and
“Czechoslovakia means you”.
Austria was invaded as the book appeared. One last move remained. If he were allowed to invade
Czechoslovakia, world war was certain. I repeated this in a second book, Disgrace Abounding, and
also opined that the Second War would begin with a Hitler-Stalin alliance.
Six months after the Austrian invasion, the British Prime Minister, from a meeting with Hitler, sent
a timed ultimatum to the Czechoslovak President to surrender his defensive zone. M. Benesh,
saying “We bequeath our sorrows to the West”, capitulated. Mr. Chamberlain, back in Downing
Street, announced “Peace in our time”. Hitler took the Czechoslovak defences, disclaimed any
further “territorial demands”, and six months later invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia. Six months
after that, punctually to the foreseeable moment, the Second War began.
As the German tanks entered Prague, I left (as I left Vienna a year earlier, after telephonic warning
from my London office that the Gestapo disliked me, which I knew). Soon I quitted journalism,
too, for Insanity Fair was not popular with the highpriests of appeasement, a sacred word at that
time. My editor, a Mr. Dawson, was a foremost advocate of it and told me “Insanity Fair is an
excellent book, but not one for The Times” (I had submitted it before publication as in duty bound)
so I resigned. (The Times, in its later 0fficial History, confessed error about its policy of 1933-1939
and in the same breath unrepentantly sneered at “junior members of the staff” who resigned in
protest. The History also admits that The Times had “abandoned the practice of basing a foreign
policy of the paper’s own upon the dispatches, published and private, of ‘our own’ Correspondents
abroad”. Had The Times, then a powerful force in the world, maintained that policy it could, in my
judgment, have averted the Second War. Today, 1966, it still does not base policy on the
information of trustworthy correspondents abroad: if it did, it could not support the policy pursued
by British Governments in Africa since 1945, of destroying order in Africa and thus preparing new
war. (Incidentally, the term “junior members”, quoted above, should be read in the singular: in fact
the resigner was a singular person called Douglas Reed).
Insanity Fair, in 1938, gave a true picture of the wrath to come at a time when it could have been
averted. It was simply prognostic and not “prophetic”.
These are my credentials, good reader, for returning, in 1966, to write one more book. I have
briefly retold the events of 1933-1939 in Europe to draw the comparison between them and those of
1960-1966 in Africa, and to say: “Rhodesia means you”.
Ten years ago a major war beginning in Africa was inconceivable. While wars, “hot” and “cold”,
went on elsewhere, Africa was a continent of order. It was steadily moving to an improving future
for all its peoples under the colonial powers, as they pursued the established policy of gradually
uplifting the tribespeople towards an increasing part in the management of affairs. With folk
separated by millennia from every “Western” concept, gradualism was the only method. Violent
interruption of this process meant (as is now being seen) reversion to a chaotic tribalism of slavery,
warfare and disease, the things of which Africa was slowly being purged.
Only one power in the world admittedly desired this. Lenin, in 1920, decreed that the expulsion of
the colonial powers from their territories was vital to the achievement of world communism. In the
years 1960-1966 Western “liberalism” openly supported this Leninist aim. This partnership, indeed,
between the governments of the “free world” and communism, their professed enemy, is the basic
fact of the years 1960-1966 in Africa. Only when that is understood does the picture of what has
happened become plain, as a photograph emerges from a film in developing liquid.
The “wind of change” speech began it all. I see Mr. Macmillan now, mellifluously addressing the
Cape Town Parliament. Icy rejection underlay the courtesy of the Afrikaner Members who listened,
and their unspoken comment was, “Here we have it again: perfidy”. I recall my own feeling that
day: “This is Mr. Chamberlain again”. I thought of the days, thirty years before, when British
policy towards Hitler was formed by knickerbockered figures at country-house parties, during
weekends on grouse moors or beside trout streams, in too-substantial midday meals at the Carlton
and Athenaeum Clubs, far from the madding truth of events in Europe. Had, any been there to
watch, t’would have been pitiful to see me wring my hands and murmur, Oh dearie, dearie me, here
we go again.
The “wind of change” speech began the era of Doubletalk, the use of words to disguise, not express
intention. These particular words suggested a natural process, uncontrollable by man: the wind
bloweth where it listeth. They meant a political decision to abandon Africa to turbulence and war.
From that day fiasco followed on perfidy in Africa as if some grisly Quixote, followed by his
Sancho Panza, rode on skeleton mounts through a dark vale of bones. The sudden change of policy
was as if a good ship, built to ply the seas until in high old age it should be honourably consigned to
the wreckers’ yard, were scuttled in mid-ocean.
Almost at once Belgium, under the mysterious outside “pressure” which governs governments in
our time, jettisoned the Congo, and for three years killing and rapine followed. Under American
pressure, “United Nations” troops, now of unhallowed memory, were sent, not to preserve life or
restore order, but to prevent the secession from chaos of its one orderly and well-governed
province, Katanga, and to drive out the only black statesman produced by Africa until that time, M.
Moise Tshombe.
The London government, under similar occult pressure, offered 1,000 lb. “blockbuster” bombs to
help subdue Katanga and M. Tshombe. Rhodesia’s Sir Roy Welensky redeemed the name of
England at that moment by refusing to allow “the transit of bombs which we know are destined to
be used against almost defenceless people who are fighting for their homeland, but who have
ranged against them at least one of the great powers of the world today”. Mr. Macmillan, when Sir
Roy refused to withhold this statement withheld the bombs. (This incident of blockbusters to be
used “strictly for defensive purposes” against black people in the Congo is a classic example of
After that the rot set in which, in the next five years, moved swiftly from the north of Africa
southward, destroying the fabric of orderly development as white ants devour a good floor.
Ghana was then already independent and Nigeria followed at once. These were held up as the
showpieces of Western-type, parliamentary government, successfully transplanted. In those two
dark pools the Western “liberals” thought to see, Narcissus-like, their own fair reflection: blood had
not yet surged across the surface, blotting out this illusion. They were given paper constitutions of
the Western kind. Titles and orders of nobility were bestowed on their leaders. This was to be The
New Commonwealth.
The destructive process quickened as one new “State” after another, lacking the resources or
experience to qualify it for state-hood, was hurled into independence. The vote-for-all, after one-
vote-once, became a free-for-all. Massacre was followed by tribal wars (simmering beneath the
surface during the period of colonial control, these revived when it was removed). One-party rule,
military governments and dictatorships appeared on all hands, “Strong men” popped up and were
ousted by other strong men, soon to be ousted. Foreseeably, “the army” took over in many places.
“Army” does not mean, in Africa, what Western folk understand, with their mental images of West
Point parades, Changing the Guard, or stomping Red Army masses. It means, the few men who
have guns. Where no law runs, he with the gun prevails, as at Tombstone, for instance, in Wild
West days.
The tribesman accepts strength as the ultimate. Force, deliberately used, is to him unanswerable:
unintentionally used, it amuses him. I have seen a Zulu struck in the forehead by a cricket ball
travelling at something near the speed of sound: whether he lived I know not, but his friends around
laughed themselves into the ground.
Mrs. Dugauquier (Congo Cauldron) gives two illustrative examples. A silent film of the trial and
execution of Jesus was shown in a Catholic Church to Congolese tribesmen. At the whipping,
“excited cries of ‘Pika!’ Strike! rang out … quite naturally, as in a Western film we cheer on the
goodies and boo the baddies, they were encouraging the strong against the weak”. In another film,
showing the white man’s suppression of the Arab slave traders (their hereditary enemies), “each
slash of the long whip on the wretched black man’s back was cheered wholeheartedly” and when
the rescuing white man was floored by the Arab slaver, “their shouts reached a crescendo of
support for the Arab, not as representing a race, creed or idea, but simply because he symbolized
power and force”.
A Basuto chief, who impressed me by his authority, dignity, good English and knowledge of the
great world, was later hanged for a ritual murder (a “strong medicine” killing: parts taken from the
living victim, are used to reinforce a compound potent against spirits hostile to the chief or the
tribe). This was nothing personal against the chosen victim. The chief had no sense of wrongdoing,
and the tribespeople (save possibly for the child victim’s parents, and they would not dare protest)
respected his motive and act.
In short, people are not only funny but different, and the hundreds of tribes now more or less
“represented” by the 35 or 36 new African “States” at the United Nations were truly not ready for
the responsibilities thrust upon them.
However, these new apprentices, with the support of what is called “the Afro-Asian bloc” and of
the Soviet group, acquired a majority at the United Nations. In December 1965 this combine voted
out the rule about important issues requiring a two-thirds majority and changed it to simple
majority. By that time the London and Washington governments were on the verge of using force
to compel “one-man-one-vote”, with the same foreseeable result, in the small remaining area of
orderly government in Africa. They appeared constantly to retreat before ‘the demands of the
newly-created majority in the United Nations, where Togo (population 1,500,000) had about 175
times the voting power of the United States (population 180,000,000): yet these governments must
have foreseen what would happen in New York when they brought into being this new voting-
The new “States”, inevitably, began to clamour for their powerful godparents, in London and
Washington, to use “force”, for, as I have shown, force is the thing they understand, and they could
by this time count on a majority, artificially created, at the United Nations for any warmongering.
By this means they did, in 1966, bring the world to the very verge of another world war, and the
danger is not past.
There remained only, in 1966, as the last bulwark of order in Africa, the last dam against the waters
of chaos, South Africa, Rhodesia and the two Portuguese territories, Mozambique and Angola.
Punctually to the moment, a sound like that of jackals in the African night arose from the building
on East 42nd Street, as the new “majority” imperiously demanded that war be made against
Rhodesia, which stood between them and their supporting cohorts of “Western liberalism” and the
real target, South Africa.
The war they wanted was to be waged, not by them, but by Britain and America. These two
countries, by their actions between 1960 and 1965, gave enough cause to fear that they might do
even this bidding.
At that moment in the debacle Rhodesia declared independence and opposed itself to the outer
world gone mad. Two sentences from Mr. Ian Smith’s independence day speech leaped at me when
I heard them: “To us has been given the privilege of being the first Western nation in the last two
decades to have the determination and fortitude to say, ‘So far and no further’ … We may be a small
country but we are a determined people who have been called upon to play a role of worldwide
Was it possible, I thought, that at last a country, this little country in Africa, would oppose itself to
the Gadarene process of these last three decades (I would say three, not two: because all this began
in the Thirties)? Might one still hope that the rot would be stemmed, the destructive process held
and turned back? To me, more perhaps than to any other hearer, Mr. Ian Smith’s words fell into the
context of world events stretching back to 1933 and into a historical perspective of my own
For I saw Austria and Czechoslovakia fall. They would have resisted if they could, but the foe was
too close and mighty, and all their friends false. Now Rhodesia was in their plight, and faced a
world entire of foes bent on its destruction for a purpose further beyond.
If this wonder could happen, I knew, if Rhodesia could in fact stand fast and hold out and win, the
prospect for all our tomorrows would vastly change and improve.
Thus, dear reader, that busy little bee your humble servant, having watched what brewed from
South Africa for many years, went to Rhodesia to watch the outcome of this epic struggle, for on it
depended the future: chaos in all Africa and general war; or stability restored in Africa and peace in
Africa, at least for some time yet.
Rhodesia means you, good people, as Austria and Czechoslovakia meant you. This is a warning
book about a coming Third World War. So was Insanity Fair, in 1938. Now, as then, it need not
happen, and that is why I have written. Room and time remain to avoid war, in 1966 as in 1938.
Had Hitler been stopped at the gates of Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938, no Second War would
have occurred. If simple reason prevails, and Rhodesia survives, there will be no Third World War,
beginning in Africa: those who desire one will have to look elsewhere for a pretext.
It is simple enough, a mathematical calculation. Rhodesia means you, from Whitehall to
Washington, Wisconsin to Worcestershire, Wigan to Wilmington and Winnipeg, and you cannot
escape it. Rhodesia is no distant, isolated African episode: it reaches into your very home, however
far away you be.
And now, good companions, let us look at this “little country far away, that we know nothing
about”: Rhodesia.
*** Chapter Two
In 1890 the American frontier halted. The last Indian hunting-grounds were overrun and the
Redskins (in Canada too) left in enclaves similar to South Africa’s “Bantustans” of today, (save that
these are to become self-governing states).
In Africa the moving frontier went on moving. In both places the pattern was the same: the
horsedrawn covered wagons and the oxen-drawn trek wagons formed laagers when the attack
came: Custer’s Last Stand of 1878 and Major Alan Wilson’s last stand of 1893 alike left no white
man alive. Destiny was “manifest” in each case and “pioneer” was a brave name.
It was an old name, too, for pioneering began four hundred years earlier, when Bartholomew Diaz
reached and Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape. The seas were uncharted and their seamen feared to
fall off the edge of the world. Da Gama’s feat of seamanship in reaching and planting the Cross on
Natal’s shore on Christmas Day 1498 (hence “Natal”, for the Nativity) in his wooden cockleshell
was great, for these are treacherous waters where even in the 1960’s big steel vessels such as the
Aimèe Lykes, may strike the shoals. Then in 1652 Jan van Riebeeck was left at the Cape to store
water and grow vegetables for Dutch ships eastward bound, and out of this market-garden sprang a
new nation, Afrikanerdom, now a growing moral force in the world.
In 1776 the American colonists proclaimed their independence of government from three thousand
miles away. The word “colonialism” then meant this mismanagement by remote control: today the
word has been turned upside down and is used as a reproach against government-on-the-spot.
The Boers followed the American example when the Dutch ceded the Cape to England in 1806.
They too, could not endure the distant hand and proclaimed UDI in their own way: they inspanned
their wagons, trekked over the northward mountains and across the Orange and Vaal, and set up
their own republics. Therewith the moving frontier moved far inland and with the Portuguese
settlements on the western and eastern coasts, Southern Africa became the white man’s settled
Remained the unknown middle part of Africa, a dark enigma, and soon the moving frontier moved
thither. Into that unknown land, in the 1840’s and later, came first the missionaries, led by those
great Scotsmen Robert Moffat, his son-in-law David Livingstone, John Moffat, James Stewart and
others. The world hailed them, too, as Christian pioneers, and America shared the sense of pride
when the Britisher, Henry Morton Stanley (late of the U.S. Navy), sent by Gordon Bennett and the
New York Herald to search for Livingstone, found him in 1871.
Even today Central Africa is a formidable place and the dangers these men endured, though
different, were not less than those braved by those later pioneers, the astronauts of today. Slave
raids and inter-tribal wars, wild beasts and reptiles, malaria, dysentery, blackwater fever, yaws,
Little Irons: all these made for nightmare journeys and the men who achieved them were held in the
awe that is the due of Spacemen now.
The world they left behind was solidly with them, for their great purpose was to root out slavery,
which the warrior tribes and the Arab slave-traders together practised. They were the banner-
bearers of Christian civilization in Central Africa, and all Europe and America, in that Victorian
heyday, shared this belief. So did the “settlers” who followed.
From the day when Livingstone, seeking the source of the Nile, discovered the Thundering Smoke
(Victoria Falls) and went on to explore the Zambezi River, the frontier began to move northward
again, into what is today Rhodesia. Its original peoples, the Bushmen and Hottentots, had been
exterminated by warrior tribes and the area now was held by later comers, the newly-arrived
Matabele in the west and the Mashona in the east. The Matabele, under King Moselikatze, some
decades earlier split off and fled from the Zulus of Natal, under the terrible Chaka. They were
warriors and scorned the Mashona “dogs”. (After seventy years of the white man’s peace this feud
still simmers and would at once burst out if one-man-one-vote were imposed here, for the Mashona
are far more numerous than the Matabele, who would not submit to this “majority rule”: for this
reason both groups want the white man’s protection to continue).
Into this dangerous scene stepped a clergyman’s son from England, Cecil Rhodes, who by 1878
gained control of the Kimberley diamond industry. His vision went beyond money and a diamond
empire. His conviction was that the white man was best fitted to open up Central Africa, the dark
enigma. Like Livingstone, he believed that white enterprise alone could save the continent from
poverty, slavery and disease and that British rule would be a blessing for its peoples. Britain, he
held, could not afford to stand aloof: without her overseas possessions the little kingdom would be
but an overcrowded, insignificant island in northern European waters. Today his belief is receiving
its ultimate test (and you, dear insular reader, will see the answer).
Rhodes looked northward, wondering if another gold and diamond empire might lie in the land that
now bears his name. In 1888 John Moffat[1] obtained from King Lobengula, Moselikatze’s
successor, the concession of “all metals and minerals” in the Matabele Kingdom for Rhodes and his
“British South Africa Company”. In 1889 Queen Victoria signed the Charter empowering the
Company, in effect, to govern the territory.
Next came the task of moving the frontier across the territory thus assigned, where were only a tiny
handful of white men, isolated among Lobengula and his redoubtable impis and the Mashona.
Rhodes formed the Pioneer Corps of some 200 picked men, accompanied by 500 British South
Africa Company police.[2] This column succeeded in by-passing the hostile Matabele and on
September 12, 1890 reached the spot which they called Fort Salisbury: the beleaguered Salisbury of
With that the moving frontier halted and the white man established himself in the land. The
Pioneers (”duke’s son, cook’s son …”) dispersed and were given mining claims and farms. Among
them was an American, William Harvey Brown. He called his farm Arlington (after Arlington,
D.C.) and travellers landing at Salisbury Airport today alight on its site.
The white man was in Rhodesia but three wars had to be fought before he was secure. King
Lobengula had agreed that he might mine for gold, but the Matabele warriors did not agree that
they must cease from enslaving the Mashona, who in turn deduced that the white man was too
weak to protect them and refused labour for his mines and farms. In 1893 Mashona were massacred
near Fort Victoria and when the Matabele king refused to give up his claim to the Mashona raiding
grounds, war began. Lobengula burned his capital and fled. Major Alan Wilson with a small force
tried to capture Lobengula in his kraal and failed: all were wiped out. Lobengula escaped and died,
possibly by suicide, Matabele resistance collapsed, and in later time a great city, Bulawayo, rose on
the site of Lobengula’s kraal.
After that the number of settlers quickly increased, but in 1895 the collapse of Dr. Jameson’s raid
into the Transvaal, which dimmed Rhodes’s prestige, and the consequent absence of white troops
from Matabeleland, again persuaded the Matabele that the white man could be crushed: he was
weak! They rose in 1896 in the usual manner: 130 unsuspecting white men and their families were
shot, stoned, bludgeoned or speared. A force of 2,000 white and 600 black troops was raised to put
down this rising but (as in the later South African war) an elusive enemy, fighting on his home
ground of precipitous kopjes, rocks, boulders and caves, proved hard to find and fight.
Then the Mashona, of whom the white folk had adopted the Matabele’s opinion, surprised all by
rising too. They also thought the white man was weak, that the Matabele would win, and that they,
the Mashona, would pay the price if they did not help crush the white man. Their rising followed
the Matabele pattern: servants thought faithful suddenly turned and did women and children to
death, murdered prospectors in their camps, miners in their shafts, storekeepers behind their
counters. (In the 1960’s this pattern was often repeated, in Kenya, the Congo and other newly
“independent” places: the old ways reappeared).
The Mashona were subdued in 1897. In the meantime Rhodes performed his legendary exploit of
pacifying the fierce Matabele. With a small, unprotected party, including two women, he met the
Matabele chiefs and induced them to lay down their arms. They gave him the name “Lamula
‘mkunzi”, “Separator of the Fighting Bulls”, for this, his greatest triumph. This, the start of seventy
years of peace, is today a memory as vivid and significant in the Matabele and Mashona mind as
that of Magna Charta or Independence in the British and American one. For them, a new life began
that day.
(Seventy years later, a Mr. Arthur Bottomley from Walthamstow met the Matabele and Mashona
chiefs, to whom Rhodes and his achievement were a living memory, as they repeatedly told him.
He could not at all grasp the significance of the episode: they found him unintelligible; and
although the African chief is a model of courtesy in such debates, one of them in despair was
moved to say, “If I had my own way we would walk out of this meeting and leave Mr. Bottomley
here alone”. Kipling was right: when two strong men stand face to face they can understand each
other, no matter what their skin or language. Between such as Mr. Bottomley and these tribal
leaders no communion of minds was possible. Across the great gulf fixed between them, the chiefs
looked and saw the living emblem of the white man’s weakness, to them the fault beyond
The two rebellions cost the whites about one-tenth of their numbers in casualties, a percentage, I
believe, never otherwise known in war. ‘The white folk never faltered or thought of quitting. They
stayed and (as Mr. L. H. Gann says[3]) “Their will to rule remained unbroken. They felt that history
was on their side, that Europe stood behind them, and that they formed the vanguard of civilization
in Darkest Africa … The whites in Rhodesia never experienced that clammy sense of moral and
political isolation, which weighed down their successors two generations later”.
That means today. If “history” is that which is manufactured in our time by machines that reach the
ear, eye and mind of millions, then it is against the whites. But they still believe what their
grandparents believed. When a British Minister told Rhodesian representatives. “We have lost the
will to govern”, one of them told him “But we have not”. In Rhodesia, and in South Africa, the
white man’s will still “remains unbroken” for a’ that, no matter what may happen in Rhodes’s
overcrowded little island in the North Sea or elsewhere.
The moving frontier halted at last, in 1897, seven years after the American one stopped. Followed
seventy years during which no black man needed fear the slave-raiders or the outcry of enemy
tribes in the night, around his huts. There was peace in the land.
Today the attempt is to destroy all that thus was gained.
Chapter Three
In following years the territory encompassed by the moving frontier was divided into three parts:
Southern and Northern Rhodesia (effectively governed by the Company) and Nyasaland (governed
directly from London). Between 1900 and 1910 slavery and tribal wars were stamped out in all.
Southern Rhodesia (today’s Rhodesia), the area of the original conquest, was a case by itself. Its
white population was greater and its development quicker: the African bushveld began to blossom
like the rose; and the settlers grew restive under the hand of a board of directors in London, as the
American colonists, earlier, under that of King George. As the date for the renewal of the
Company’s charter from the Queen approached, their demand for self- government swelled. In 1922
the voters were offered, by referendum, self-government or (at Mr. Winston Churchill’s suggestion)
union with South Africa. Much talk of a republic was heard from South Africa and the Rhodesians,
intensely loyal to The Crown, chose Responsible Government, which London granted in 1923.
Rhodes was dead, but his work flourished. From that day, 43 years ago, Rhodesia has governed
itself, London retaining only some control over laws affecting the tribal population and
safeguarding them against any discriminatory disabilities. The successive Constitutions have
contained no racial discrimination. The qualification for the vote requires moderate amounts in
cash, property or income.
In practice the black community votes little, for reasons which lengthy residence among them alone
can make clear. Most of them find “voting” unintelligible: their immemorial tradition is against
“choosing” and for decisions reached in pyramidal tribal conclave, of villagers, village elders,
district headmen and chiefs. The notion that “the children”, at the bottom level, should challenge
tribal authority and unanimity is as Chinese to them. They believe that the tribe’s spirits, or
ancestors, consulted through the chief’s medium, or oracle, ultimately decide the tribe’s weal or
For example: in one tribe a child was sacrificed, at the spirit’s bidding, to the rain-god. The Chief
was imprisoned for eighteen months and on the day of his release rain fell. The tribespeople drew
the obvious conclusion (incidentally, their beliefs are respected by white folk who live among
Again, the educated and well-to-do African townsman, with a business, remains subject to his
tribe’s communal custom of sharing possessions. If a man has six wives and sixty-one children, (a
cast known to me), he well may not wish to declare even the modest amount of property qualifying
him for a vote.
Time and patient responsible statesmanship might in time produce a harmonious solution to the
most difficult problem of the world. Only an irresponsible interruption, engineered from outside,
can endanger that. The British Socialist Party, founded in 1900, never yet obtained a majority of
votes, yet it seeks to force the dogma of “black majority rule” into Africa’s resistant soil, which is
like trying to grow cokernuts in Camberwell.
The only statesmanlike leader yet produced by that party, Mr. Clement Attlee, in 1952 told one of
the now-now politicos from Northern Rhodesia, “You have a long way to go in this field. look how
long it took our British Parliament to achieve fully responsible government”. To Mr. Nkumbula’s
reply, “We have received guidance, we can reach political maturity in much less time”, Mr. Attlee
rejoined, “I don’t think you are right on that point. Constitutional government can’t be learned from
textbooks. You’re trying to rush things. My experience has taught me that it takes a long time to get
a democratic idea working effectively”.
Had Mr. Attlee’s successors been men of such balance, the world would not find “Rhodesia” in the
headlines every day. Statesmanship takes time. Given time, it works: denied time, all falls into a
smouldering shambles that can only be kept down by the lid of force. This result has been seen
everywhere in Africa where Britain and America have “tried to rush things”.
I discussed these things with African leaders of the opposition in and out of Parliament, and also
with Chiefs and tribesmen in the tribal districts and the towns. The political gentlemen were against
gradualness and for immediacy (black majority rule now): what political gentleman would not be,
with great outside powers threatening to bring the world in arms to enforce everything-now and all-
The Chiefs were strongly for orderly development which to them meant peace in their districts. The
man-in-the-kraal took guidance from them. As to the African man-in-the-street, I quote a French
journalist, with an interpreter, who once stopped the first black man he saw in a Salisbury street and
asked whether he wanted the white folk to stay or go. To stay, the man answered. Why, asked the
Frenchman. “If you had been here last year” (1964, the time of the killings and burnings by
communist-trained terrorists from outside) “you would not ask”, said the man, “we want them to
protect us”.
Gradualism produced results, in the form of increasing African[4] participation in Parliament and all
walks of life. However, gradualism, though the best expedient now and for the near future, is not a
solution. The solution, as I will later show, lies elsewhere.
In thirty years of self-government, 1923-1953, Rhodesia strode ahead as if on seven-league boots.
The astonishing thing is how much was done in how short a time. That impressed me in South
Africa, too, but South Africa has a white population of some millions and has had three centuries to
build. Rhodesia has a white population of about a quarter-million and has had but seventy years.
At the start the land was scrub, constantly impoverished by the tribal method of farming and by
erosion. The lifegiving waters drained away into the Indian Ocean. Disease, tribal raids and wild
beasts ravaged the people and the land. It was still, as James Stewart found it in the 1860’s, “a
lonely land of barbarism, of wild beasts, of timid and harried but not unkindly men, harassed by
never-ending slave raids and inter-tribal wars”.
Today water conservation in Rhodesia is a model for the world. The lethal diseases, killing and
slavery have been stamped down and almost out. The white farming areas show crops, the equal of
those in the Mid West or anywhere in the world. The tribes occupy more than half the land, but the
contribution of this to the economy is insignificant because the tribesman clings to his immemorial
custom of growing just enough to eat, grazing the land bare, and when it is denuded, breaking up
his huts and moving elsewhither, there to repeat the process.
The allegation is often heard that the tribes “only get the poorest land”. The matter may be checked,
by any who care, at the great Triangle sugarlands in the Rhodesian lowveld. This land was raw
scrub in 1912 and little that looked less promising could have been found when another
indomitable Scotsman, Tom MacDougall, saw it then. The First War delayed him but in 1919 he
began with his hands to clear a patch or two. A secondhand mill, bought in Natal, needed two years
to reach him, by lorry and ox-wagon, from the border at Beit Bridge. By 1935 he produced ten tons
of sugar. Today, when big concerns have taken over, twenty thousand acres are under sugar and the
endless crops gladden the eye of man.
The land problem may be studied at the Domboshawa Training Centre, near Salisbury, where men
from the tribal districts receive instruction in local self-government. It was formerly an agricultural
training centre and still has a farm, where fine crops grow. On the side of its fence is tribal land,
bare and denuded, where, one might say, nothing would grow. The land on either side of the fence
is the same: only the method is different.
The white man’s achievement may be studied, for example, in little Umtali, which reminded me of
a mountain village in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It has 9,000 white and 35,000 black people, and
the white ones provide nine-tenths of its revenue. Over the years this small place has built some six
thousand houses for the African community and (from beer-hall proceeds) a stadium for the black
folk costing £75,000, a swimming pool, picture-theatre, infant schools and crèches and much more.
I doubt whether an English or American town of comparable size could equal this achievement.
Rhodesia’s growth was always fast but the great acceleration came after the Second War, in 1945.
The next twenty years brought probably the most rapid development the world has ever seen. Still
building on the tradition of sound administration and probity in public affairs which it thought to be
its rocklike heritage from England, the country flourished exceedingly, managing its own affairs
and spending nobody’s money but its own.
Within Rhodesia the people, white and black, grew in beauty, as one might say, side by side. The
emphasis is on side by side, as distinct from together, and here lies the difference between the
temporary expedient, gradualism, and the ultimate solution, separateness.
Before Responsible Government was granted in 1923 the Rhodesian delegates in London raised the
question of territorial segregation and Mr. Winston Churchill (then the Minister competent) agreed
that the existing law might be changed if an impartial enquiry upheld this method. Seldom was so
emphatic a judgment delivered as that of the Commission then appointed (under Sir Morris Carter):
“The evidence … leaves no doubt as to the wishes of all classes of the inhabitants … an
overwhelming majority of those who understand the question are in favour of the establishment of
separate areas in which each of the two races, black and white, should be permitted to acquire
interests in land … However desirable it may be that members of the two races should live together
side by side with equal rights as regards the holding of land, we are convinced that in practice,
probably for generations to come, such a policy is not practicable or in the best interests of the two
races. Until the Native has advanced very much further on the paths of civilization it is better that
the points of contact between the two races should be reduced and a lengthy period afforded for the
study of the whole question of the future of the relations between the two races in an atmosphere
which is freed as far as possible from the setbacks which would ensue from the irritations and
conflicts arising from the constant close proximity of members of races of different habits, ideals
and outlook upon life” (my italics).
This was then, and today is the immutable African truth, unpalatable to those who live snug, and
perhaps smug, on Boston’s Back Bay or Bournemouth’s beachfront, and very anathema to those
high initiates who seek through chaos in Africa to set up the World Dictatorship. Wisdom spoke
then. Today, the pressure, and the menaces, from London and Washington are used to enforce the
very opposite of this prudent ruling, to exacerbate “irritations and conflicts”, to set the two races
against each other, and to foment an atmosphere of war.
But if the future is to be one of improving relationship between white and black folk, and of mutual
betterment in material things, separate life in separate lands is the only longterm solution. In
Rhodesia policy followed this recommendation and the white and black areas are distinct, but
dotted in enclaves over the map. What the chief and tribesman most would like would be a separate
homeland, side by side with a white homeland, in Rhodesia, and for this reason he gazes
approvingly across the frontier at the Transkei, South Africa’s first “Bantustan”.
The end of the Second War and the great boom which followed gave impetus to an idea, long
discussed, for closer union between Rhodesia (then Southern Rhodesia) and its two neighbours,
Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Together, these would have provided a hard core of political
stability, and a great source of common wealth, in the heart of Africa. Out of this came conferences
in 1949 and 1951, when the British and the three territorial governments together drafted a scheme
for a Federation “which would be a much-needed stabilizing factor in a continent which is in such a
state of flux”. The Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister of that time, Sir Godfrey Huggins, said, “It
is up to us to save Central Africa by our exertions and Africa by our example”.
Of all sad words … In 1953 the great Federation of the two Rhodesias and Nyasaland was set up,
and a splendid future opened for Central Africa. The London government, as now transpires, at that
time was already set on a course which could only worsen Africa’s “state of flux” into a state of
shambles. Within ten years the British Government destroyed the Federation created by it and all
Africa was deprived of the gyrostabilizer in its central hold.
Let us now take a look at those years of Doubletalk which left Rhodesia alone in a world
determined to incite its races against each other.
As to that, there is one simple test by which the white folk’s supreme achievement in Rhodesia, in
relation to the black ones, may be measured. If life be the greatest gift of all, then the white man
gave the black one life. Seventy years ago some 400,000 tribespeople occupied this area, and but
for the coming of the white man they would not be many more today: disease, the assegai and the
slaver would have seen to that. Today they number over 4,000,000, half of them children. They
have been rid of disease, infant mortality, death by the spear and burning, and abduction and sale to
the bordellos and harems of Arabia.
*** Chapter Four
The Federation began like a rising sun. Three territories, separately small, by joining their resources
formed a great union with a productive capacity enough to ensure the betterment of all its peoples.
Investment money and immigrants poured in, and, symbol of the brightening future, an old dream
was at once realized: the Kariba Dam was built to store the Zambezi’s waters and fructify the lands
on either side and far beyond.
This hope and confidence were in fact illusory, for the Federation rested on two buttresses, one in
London and one in Rhodesia, of which the London one was a hollow sham. The compact between
both parties there, to abandon the African possessions, already existed, and that inevitably meant
wrecking the Federation and producing a war situation in Africa: the years have shown this. For a
decade the Rhodesian leaders struggled against what they thought was delusion in London but in
truth was resolve. At the end they found themselves on the ruins of Federation and facing a levelled
Quickly, then, the sunburst paled as the years of doubletalk followed, when the Rhodesian leaders
tried to sink anchors into the pledges and assurances of London and found no hold. Sir Roy
Welensky’s tale of these 4,000 Days shows the development to a high art of the use of words to
confuse and confound all who sought to cash them at face value. Sir Roy and his men, struggling to
pierce this mass of wordage, passed from trust through perplexity to dazed unbelief and at last gave
up, defeated.
The process gave a new word to the Barotse people (who were among the black folk sacrificed to
the dogma of “black majority rule”): “ku-makmirana”. Its definition, according to their Litunga, is
“to discuss at great length and get nowhere: from the English Makmirana, or Macmillan”. This way
of employing speech now seems to have become general British usage (new in the West, that is: it
is ancient in the Orient).[5]
When the decade of decadence began, the phrases “Safe as the Bank of England”, “A.1 at Lloyds”
and “An Englishman’s word is his bond” were as the law and the prophets to folk of British stock in
Southern Africa. The Afrikaner’s cold disbelief and the Frenchman’s talk of Albion’s perfidy
brought smiles: they did not understand us. I saw the British in Rhodesia and Natal, where they
were predominant and devotedly loyal, gradually veer during this decade to the Afrikaner’s side in
distrust of London government. Inwardly they remained true to the ancient Crown and the British
heritage as they understood it, but when menaces against themselves were put in the mouth of the
Crown’s wearer they feared that the ultimate intent must be to degrade or even destroy the
monarchy, for such things seemed to them to deprive the concept of “constitutional monarchy” of
The fiasco of the Federation was in truth ordained before it was born, for in 1948 Sir Roy
Welensky, canvassing support in London for an amalgamation of the two Rhodesias, was told by
both Socialist and Conservative spokesmen that no government, of whichever party, would ever
consider placing the control of the black folk in the hands of the fewer whites. This was the existing
situation, and no public statement of its abandonment was ever made. Therefore the future deed
was already foreseen.
However, at that point Sir Roy was put off the scent by a hint that “some form of federation” might
be acceptable: and conferences between 1949 and 1953 hammered out the framework of a
federation of the two Rhodesias and of little Nyasaland. By that time the Mau Mau killings had
shown the indifferent world the facts of life in Africa, and a foremost authority, Lord Salisbury,
said, “If England abandons these Central African territories they will go straight back to the
conditions in which we found them, until they are gobbled up by people far less enlightened than
ourselves”. The years have shown and will show the truth of this.
Obviously the Federation, if it were to be set up at all, had to be built to last, or have that
appearance. Lord Swinton (Commonwealth Secretary) said he knew of no federal constitution
anywhere that contained a secession clause (save, he added smiling, in the Soviet Union). The
Federation would need loans, and could never raise a penny if its continuance were in doubt. Mr.
Lyttelton (Colonial Secretary: during the decade the harassed Rhodesians had to struggle with two
distinct departments of State in the distant government) concurred, adding that they must have
“legal assurance that the Federation could not be dissolved without the consent of all governments
engaged”. (Lord Swinton agreed, but commented, prophetically, that “You cannot legislate against
the United Kingdom Government going off its head”).
On this basis the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland was born in September 1953. Within
it Southern Rhodesia was fully self-governing, as for thirty years: the other territories remained
protectorates of the Crown. A review conference was foreseen in about ten years, but not (said
London) “to decide whether Federation has succeeded or failed, or should be abolished or
continued”: it would merely recommend “such alterations as experience of its work has shown to be
necessary during the first decade of its life”.
The decade was to see many strange things. As it began the Korean war ended. It was supposedly
waged against Chinese Communist aggression, yet Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, through
General Marshall, set up Communism in China. The American commander was not allowed to win
that war, which ended (like the Second War in Europe) in partition, the most fertile source of new
war. America’s part in world affairs became another riddle inside a mystery within an enigma. The
great Republic stood fast, in words, against Communism, but, by deeds, showed growing hostility
to countries which repressed Communism in their territories. And during this fateful decade
America’s mystifying presence began to be felt in Africa.
After three years came the Suez debacle, and London began to peel off its African possessions as at
a clearance sale. Westminster-type paper constitutions were bestowed on them and Socialist
politicians agitated loudly for the Federation to receive one patterned on that of Ghana (the working
results of which have now been seen). In 1960 Mr. MacMillan, in Africa, announced his “wind of
change” and British newspapers immediately claimed that this meant the end of the Federation, in
the sense that any of its members now were free to secede.
Like hounds unleashed by these encouragements, “African nationalist leaders” (as the press called
them) thronged to London, vociferating for “independence now” and were courted and fêted there
as the voice of Africa. The Conservative government gazed, not at Africa, but at the next by-
election, where the Socialists beat the big tomtom of “independence now”: and the Socialists, when
they came to office, would gaze, not at Africa, but at their own left-wingers, clamouring for
“independence now”. Chaos in Africa was being made on the British hustings. “Black majority
rule” was a vote-getting slogan from London’s slums to Manchester’s suburbs (as was “Chinese
slavery in Africa” sixty years before). Lenin’s plan for Africa was being realized in London.
In 1960 Belgium overnight abandoned the Congo, which fell into chaos. Troops from various
distant lands, with “U.N.” painted on their helmets, arrived to prevent the secession of Katanga (no
“secession” there!). These men, and their countries, had no conceivable interest in the Congo and,
as they were paid, might be considered mercenaries. Those who were called “mercenaries” were a
handful of fighters, mostly from Southern Africa, to whom most of the white hostages rescued
owed their lives.
By 1960 the London government’s actions, after Suez, had released a tide from the north which
menaced the Federation. Katanga bordered it and thousands of refugees crossed into Northern
Rhodesia. The involvement of Britain and America in the Congolese fiasco brought not only
danger to the Federation but peril of general war. American troopcarriers were used against
Katanga and, the “defensive bombs” from Britain were withheld only at the last moment. The
world, in 1960, was again very near a brink.
Thus the Federation was in a closing cage as the time for the “review” approached. In Northern
Rhodesia and Nyasaland the “African nationalists” began by terrorism to force London’s hand: any
move to put them down was checked and rebuked by London. The Nyasaland Governor, at one
point, was forced to use police and troops, and an investigating Commission (appointed at the
instance [ed: insistence?] of the clamorous African nationalists and their Socialist friends in
London) found that he had so to act “or abdicate”. The London Government’s choice was the same,
and its decision was already plain: abdication.
The Conservative government, ever in retreat before the sound and fury of the Opposition and the
African nationalists”, then appointed a Royal Commission, under Lord Monckton, to enquire into
conditions in the Federation. This obviously supplanted the Review Conference originally foreseen,
which was committed to “no secession”: once more the ulterior intention showed through the
verbiage. Sir Roy Welensky said that if all that was needed to produce a Royal Commission was to
stage a riot, the future was dark. He was soothed with a syrup of words.. it would not be like that at
all. Well then, asked the Rhodesians, suspicious but still loath to suspect, “what are to be the terms
of reference?” Mr. Macmillan, in an exquisite exercise in phraseology, told the House of
“I regard the Commission as free in practice to hear all points of view from whatever quarter and on
whatever subject … it is never wise to be too specific or rigid in interpretation … the terms of
reference … include a very wide possibility for Lord Monckton and his colleagues to conduct their
affairs in such a way as to bring about the result we all wish …” and so on and so on.
Sir Roy urgently asked what was this result so devoutly desired and Mr. Macmillan said he had
“not yielded and would not yield an inch on the Commission’s terms of reference.” These,
according to his statement quoted above, were elastic enough to stretch to infinity, so that an inch
was of little moment, but Sir Roy still struggled to get down to brass tacks. Were the terms of
reference to include secession? If so, he referred Mr. Macmillan to his pledge of April 27, 1957.
Mr. Macmillan emphatically assured him that the British Government would not include secession
in the terms of reference. Sir Roy so informed Rhodesia. Lord Shawcross, a member of the Royal
Commission, then announced that he felt “completely free to entertain the views of any people on
the whole future of the Federation”. Mr. Macmillan, arrived in Salisbury, told indignant Rhodesian
Ministers that he had been misunderstood by English newspapers which reported him as pledging
“no forcible federation in Rhodesia”. “I was not”, he said, “referring at all to the possibility of
secession from the Federation”.
By this time it was clear that, in fact, the British Government would permit, and even prompt the
two lesser members of the Federation to claim their Unilateral Declaration of Independence, but the
game of words went on. Back in London, Mr. Macmillan ordered the release of Dr. Hastings
Banda, then under detention on security grounds after the violent disturbances in Nyasaland. This
was to the African nationalists the familiar “sign of weakness” and even louder uproar at once
broke out.
To the very last the Rhodesian leaders thought that truth and the pledged word were somewhere to
be found, if they could only discover where, and they burrowed on. They invited Lord Home
(Commonwealth Secretary) to Salisbury and once more were engulfed by words:
“It is not inconceivable that, in the hypothetical event of an over-whelming volume of evidence
being in favour of secession, the Commission may have to consider whether, in fact, it can report
within its terms of reference or whether it may not have to say that it is unable to report.”
The efforts of Sir Roy and his weary men to get to grips with their problem during all the years are
wondrous to behold. Ever and again they thought they knew which thimble contained the pea and
always they were wrong. The Monckton Commission next recommended that “the British
Government should declare its intention of permitting secession” (UDI). However, the
Commissioners “regarded with concern” the possibility of the Federation’s break-up, now that they
broke it up, and hoped that, given proper safeguards, a right of secession might prove a “valuable
safety valve”, and far from weakening the Federation might enable it to survive. This is Parkinson’s
theory of seacocks, that the more water is let in, the likelier the ship is to remain afloat.
After “this terrible piece of high explosive” was dropped from London into Salisbury, Sir Roy
reminded Mr. Macmillan of all the pledges given between 1952 and 1959, and culminating in the
Governor General’s Speech from the Throne even in 1960, stating that secession was not to be
considered by the Monckton Commission. Mr. Macmillan replied that the matter was indeed very
delicate and difficult and Sir Roy again felt himself enveloped “by clouds of chilly cotton wool”.
He then hastened to London, to be confronted by Mr. Macmillan, Mr. Duncan Sandys
(Commonwealth Secretary), Mr. Ian Macleod (Colonial Secretary) and “a huge array of African
nationalists”, and listened to “many hours of their oratory with all its prejudice, racial hatred,
special pleading and demand for immediate and total political power”. Then all were taken for the
familiar “full treatment” of a weekend at Chequers, where Messrs. Kaunda and Banda demanded
the immediate dissolution of the Federation, and Sir Roy asked bluntly if the British Government
intended to destroy it. He could obtain no answer but was wished a happy Christmas and safe
journey home.
All was over but a little more doubletalk. Two months later the “Commonwealth Prime Ministers”
(by this time including many new, “emergent” personages) met in London and forced the
withdrawal of South Africa by the methods which thenceforth provided a majority for any
irresponsible warcry from the “United Nations”. In February 1962 Mr. Sandys personally conveyed
to Sir Roy Dr. Banda’s demand for Nyasaland’s secession, and being told that a firm exercise of
authority would keep Nyasaland peacefully in the Federation, replied (says Sir Roy), “No, you see,
we British have lost the will to govern.”[6] Sir Roy says this incident left him with a severe migraine
and the British High Commissioner in Salisbury went home and vomited.
In London, at last, the two departments, Commonwealth and Colonial, were combined under a
single Minister, Mr. R. A. B. Butler, who for thirty years looked like the next Conservative Prime
Minister but was not destined to reach that office. The wonder is that he now undertook the
executioner’s task, and the strong possibility is that he did not know the purpose for which he would
be used. This is indicated by the fact that in July 1962, when the Federation had but nine months to
live, Mr. Butler, speaking in London, in specific terms urged investors from Britain and the
Commonwealth to put their money into the Federation and assured them of the British
Government’s determination to back them if they did. Mr. Butler would not have said this, had he
not believed it, and the only inference to be drawn is that, once more, somebody knew more about
the government’s intention than even he.
A few months after his speech he informed the House of Commons, and through the High
Commissioner in Salisbury Sir Roy Welensky, that the British Government agreed to Nyasaland’s
withdrawal from the Federation. Sir Roy replied, from Salisbury, “… there is little if any honour left
in dealing with the British Government. I say that Britain … is utterly reckless of the fate of the
inhabitants of the present Federation”.
In March 1963 the Federal Ministers were invited to London to see if at least the two Rhodesias
could not be kept together in the Federation. The pattern of events repeated itself: Mr. Kaunda,
already in virtual control in Northern Rhodesia, refused to attend the meeting unless his terms were
accepted, and Mr. Butler told Sir Roy, “If we were free to decide, we would like to see the closest
links between the Rhodesias … but we haven’t any forces in Central Africa to impose our will”.
Three days later came the end, when the Federal Ministers saw Mr. Butler again. “He looked wan
and grey and ill”, says Sir Roy, “averting his gaze he spoke rapidly and tonelessly”. His message
now was that any territory might secede, (ergo, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland).
Sir Roy asked Mr. Butler to inform Mr. Macmillan that he and his Ministers would not be able to
lunch with the Prime Minister: “I don’t want to be discourteous but I cannot accept the hospitality
of a man who has betrayed me and my country”. Mr. Butler “sat in silence, looking stricken”, while
messengers scurried away.
Sir Roy raised a last matter, that of the Barotse people in Northern Rhodesia, who wished to secede
from Mr. Kaunda.[7] Mr. Butler, says Sir Roy, remained silent. “He seemed so near to collapse that
I changed the subject.”[8]
Such, in March 1963, was the end of the Federation, begun with such brave hope in 1953. This
reduced the area of stability in Africa to a last bastion, composed of Southern Rhodesia, South
Africa, and the two Portuguese territories. After that, the deluge.
All that remained was the formal liquidation of the Federation and the matter of Southern
Rhodesia’s independence. Independence had been thrust on the two lesser territories, both backward
and unready for it. The logical next step was independence for Southern Rhodesia, far more
advanced than the others, self-governing for forty years, raised by its own bootstraps to its status,
without monetary or other help from others. More than thirty new “States” had been fabricated out
of the tribal complex of Africa and were being propped up with British money while they
clamoured for war in New York.[9] It was unimaginable, in 1963, that to Rhodesia alone, in all this
continent, independence should be denied.
But this was the case, as the next eighteen months of doubletalk showed. Mr. Winston Field,
Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister, now took up the burden. Looking back on Sir Roy Welensky’s
four thousand days, he resolved not to be washed away with waves of words. Firmly he informed
Mr. Butler that his government would not attend the liquidation conference “unless we receive in
writing from you an acceptable undertaking that Southern Rhodesia will receive its independence”
concurrently with the secession of the two other territories.
Mr. Field felt that he had at last pinned the issue down. Mr. Butler’s reply, smooth as silk, “accepted
in principle” that Southern Rhodesia should “proceed through the normal processes to
independence” and then stated “what we consider should be done” before independence could be
granted. There should be many discussions on various matters before … and so on and so on.
Nothing in writing. The game of words went on.
Mr. Winston Field repeated his demand for an undertaking “in writing” and submitted that the
record and achievements of Southern Rhodesia already constituted much more than “the normal
processes to independence”; moreover, the other territories had been given independence without
going through any such processes. This argument is unanswerable, but the London Government
was not interested in arguments: it already knew the facts, and just wanted to keep Mr. Field
stringing along.
Mr. Butler’s reply was affable and as elusive as a soaped eel. Yes, indeed, he well knew Southern
Rhodesia’s proud record of achievement, and his Government repeated its acceptance, “in
principle”, that Southern Rhodesia should proceed “through the normal processes” and so on and so
on. Above all, he said, Southern Rhodesia was still a member of the de facto defunct Federation,
which could be brought to an end only by the passage of United Kingdom legislation enacting that
the Federation already destroyed in London should cease to exist and so on and so on.
(I imagine that the lawyers who draft these communications must writhe with mirth as they devise
them. Sir Roy Welensky relates that he and his colleagues, after wrestling long with one such
earlier message, tried to understand it by means of a diagram, and at last threw the diagram away in
By now Mr. Winston Field, like Sir Roy before, was hopelessly befogged. His next letter no longer
requested an undertaking “in writing” and asked only that Southern Rhodesia should receive
independence “not later than the date when the dissolution of the Federation occurs”. Apparently
failing to perceive the trap, or still unwilling to believe in anything less than utter sincerity at the
other end, he then invited Mr. Butler to discuss “the terms on which Southern Rhodesia would
proceed to independence on the dissolution of the Federation”.
Mr. Field was undone. Mr. Butler’s legal advisers pounced on that phrase, “the terms”, like eagles
on a brood of chicks. But of course, of course, they replied (through Mr. Butler) more affably than
ever, Southern Rhodesia should have its independence – “subject to the satisfactory conclusion of
the discussions about the terms.” (Mr. Kaunda’s Northern Rhodesia and Dr. Banda’s Nyasaland
gained all they wanted without any palaver about “terms”).
Thus the liquidation conference was held, in July 1963, and Mr. Winston Field and Mr. Ian Smith
who accompanied him, came empty away. All that was determined was that the Federation, already
dead, should formally expire in December 1963. Mr. Field and Mr. Smith were told privately that
the matter of their independence would be finalized once the conference ended, but they had
nothing “in writing”, and when it was over found themselves in Southern Rhodesia, alone, and
facing a sea of troubles, which, after two more years of doubletalk, Mr. Ian Smith and his
government resolved to oppose and end.
Historically, the outstanding event of this ten year story was the decline of the Conservative party
in England, once a powerful element of stability in the word. The eclipse of its leaders was not
brought about by advancing years but was the penalty of recurrent fiasco. Its headlong retreat from
responsibility showed it to have lost the sense of purpose and national interest. It repeatedly ran
away from any loud clamour, whether from the Opposition benches or from the petty demagogues
who hastened from Africa to London to exploit its weakness, and supported their demands by
organized terrorism in the countries they left behind them. Its pretence that these represented “the
people” was painful to watch, for it knew better. It offered the world the spectacle of a great
government reacting like puppets on a string to the manipulation of any here-today-and-gone-
tomorrow upstart who paraded himself in London as an “African nationalist”. Above all, it set up a
coterie of such in New York as a tribunal with authority to dictate the world’s affairs.
If, as Mr. Sandys said, it has lost the will to govern, it has little claim to govern again, for it
squandered the British heritage of faith-keeping and would command little confidence. If it cannot
find in its ranks new men of another kind, who will stand for the British heritage (as Rhodesia
stands today) its day may well be done.
The Socialist government which succeeded continued the method of doubletalk and out of that
came at last what is colloquially known as Wilson’s War. However, Mr. Wilson but continued in
the Conservatives’ ten-year footsteps. This was not a party matter, whatever else it might be. Some
occult clutch seemed to drag both parties from fiasco to fiasco.
These fiascos led, in November 1965, to the Battle for Rhodesia.
*** Chapter Five
The monument to the great Federation is the Kariba Dam, the symbol of what might have been and,
if the Western governments returned to reason, what might yet be again. Power began to flow from
it in 1960, when it was declared open by the Queen Mother, but the truth behind the splendid
ceremonial of that day was that the Federation was already being destroyed thousands of miles
Thousands of Italian workmen built it in three years and a whole township of houses, schools,
hospitals and roads sprang up on Kariba hill, in a country wild, peopled by primitive tribes, remote
and previously inaccessible. Now the Italians are gone and when I was there, in 1966, the
settlement was almost a ghost town, for petrol rationing kept away the throngs of visitors and
fishermen from far away who otherwise would have reanimated it.
The Italians, nevertheless, left behind something greater than the dam: a token of man’s
indestructible hope and of the Christian’s faith. They worked six-hour shifts, six-on-six-off, to beat
the timetable, and succeeded, against great odds of flood and mishap. Some of them, and some
African workmen, died of the heat, down there far below the Zambezi’s bed. Yet the Italians, during
their six-hour respite, built on the very top of the hill the loveliest church a man may see in many a
day’s march. They were craftsmen as well as artisans and adorned it as only men from Italy,
perhaps, know how to adorn a church. It is circular and open to the air, because the congregation,
then, was more than it could contain, and many knelt outside.
They dedicated it to the patron saint of workmen and to those who died during the toil: the names,
Italian and tribal, are engraved on a common plate. They knew they would soon be gone and for the
simple love of God built this exquisite place where they might worship while the work went on.
The task, once done, was meant to uplift men on both sides of the great river, fertilize their lands
and improve their lives: what better signature to it than the sign of the cross? On the church’s roof
they set a great cross, which boatmen on the lake made by the dam, if they lose their bearings, may
see from forty miles away.
The waters stored by the dam rose to form the biggest man-made lake in the world: an inland sea it
seemed when I flew over it. The spreading lake, too, brought new problems. The people who lived
on the river’s banks from time unknown, the Batonka (they with quills through their noses and front
teeth removed) violently objected to this, the white man’s disturbance of their solitude, but in time
they were persuaded, moved away, and contentedly settled in new lands. Then came the game, big
and small. The larger animals were able, with encouragement, to swim to land as the water rose,
but the smaller ones had to be tenderly caught and saved. This rescue operation by means of rafts,
boats, nets, nylon ropes and tranquilliser drugs was something new in the world, an epic, done by
devoted men of the Game Department. Only the rhinoceros, among the big creatures, sometimes
refused to shift, and their transport to dry land was an undertaking, unimaginable before it was
What followed was as darkness to light. Today, on both sides of the river, soldiers keep watch
against each other, and from either side aeroplanes patrol to see what goes on. The great turbines
have to be guarded by day and night. From the northern side Radio Zambia incites the tribesmen on
the southern one to murder and arson. The Moscow- and Nanking-trained terrorists slip across the
400-mile border in the darkness, and in Rhodesia a handful of police and helicopters watch to stop
them before they get too far with their Chinese and Russian bombs and weapons. But for the
Western governments and their patronage of these “African nationalists”, save the mark, all would
now be as it was before. Law and order would reign and men on both sides of the river, black and
white, would live in amity, sleep secure at night, and work unafraid by day.
On the hilltop the cross stands between the new severed territories. The church is not quite
deserted, though its congregation is gone. The Italian priest has stayed: I was told that he would not
leave because he believed he had much work to do among the Africans. Three nuns are there, too,
and early each morning he celebrates Mass, alone with them.
I went to the church and on the steps met a lady with (I thought) a Northumberland accent, who
looked at me and said, hesitantly “I’m not a Catholic”. “Shall we go in?” I said, and we went. The
three white nuns prayed and told their rosaries and presently the priest came in, with an African
acolyte, and celebrated mass as the sun rose over Kariba.
The Mass, whatever your belief or unbelief, is a majestic ritual, worthy of a king of kings. In this
setting, beneath the great cross and the blue African sky, with dogs of war waiting to be unleashed
around and the distant world howling Havoc, I felt in it a particular meaning and poignancy.
*** Chapter Six
Before we watch the Battle for Rhodesia itself, come with me, gentle reader, and look at the means
by which matters were brought to that pass, by which the Western world was persuaded (or for
some ulterior motive professed to be persuaded) that “African nationalists” spoke for “the people”
of these parts and that the white man must be driven hence.
Imagine (but in your secure, watertight, all-electric, main-drained abode this will be hard), imagine
a thatched, mud and wattle hut in the African bush, in the silent and unholy night. The desert itself
is not much more lonely. The next kraal is a mile away, the nearest township twenty miles, help, in
effect, a million miles. At the weekend thousands of young men have come from Salisbury,
Bulawayo or another place, among them the town-tainted wastrels and neerdowells (all cities, white
and black, produce quantities of these, as many British and American citizens well know today).
Among these, again, are those few who have been trained in arson and murder cattle-maiming and
crop-destruction, in faraway Asia, and around them are a larger number who have not been so far
but have listened to those others and caught the taint.
You, in your thatched hut in the black, lightless night, cannot read or write. Your world is bounded
by the tribe and its tradition, which is just what memory has handed down from the remote recesses
of time. Because you have no “history”, as the West knows it, your memory is long and keen and
vivid, and although you have always slept in peace your flesh still chills at the elders’ tales of those
other, million and one African nights, stretching back to the unknown beginning: the nights which
were rent asunder by the sudden clamour of “Kill, kill” around the huts, the shrieks of the old men
and women (the young tribesman might not marry before his assegai was blooded and this blood
was cheapest) and the roar of flames. A few minutes and all was done. The captives were gone, to
the slaver, and the bodies lay among the embers, which cast a fading glow into that black, black,
friendless night.
Now these nights, suddenly and violently, have come again. The young men have been and gone,
and before they left spread the word among the kraals: wreck the dips, poison the fodder, hamstring
the cattle, stone the white man’s car, slash his crops: do all this, or we will burn you when we come
So you lie and fear to sleep, in your lonely, thatched hut. Or perhaps you take your babes and creep
away into the bush, to try and sleep in a cave or beneath a tree. If you stay in your hut, then at last
you do sleep, deeply, immovably, unwakeably, as tribespeople sleep. You do not smell the burning
bark-strips, even when the flames rise to the thatch, for the smoke goes upward, until with a sudden
roar the roof falls on you.
This is original Africa, now, after seventy years of peace, being rekindled as ancient embers might
be stirred. This is the African reality which Western politicians call “African nationalism”, which
newspapers, radio and television conceal from the mass-audience.
Next morning, if you live, you talk endlessly with the others around, and try to understand. Why
are “our children” doing this? The only world you know ends at the headman’s boundary, but you
gather, without comprehending, that “the children” are being told in the outer world to do these
things, that mysterious outer world where your protectors have lived from the time of the great
Queen who first made your nights secure. What is this new thing? Why cannot the Chief protect
you, or your white “fathers”.
What would you do, gentle reader, if you were the Chief of 70,000 tribespeople in this district of
some 120 miles by 30: or if you were the District Commissioner, with his six white and twelve
black police? What would you do if you were in their place and you were told that the distant
Protector would no longer protect you, because you do not speak for “the people”?
I went over the story of one such affair on the spot. It occurred during the eighteen months
following the destruction of the Federation and was meant to force the hand of London into
capitulation in Southern Rhodesia, as it had been forced by the same means in Northern Rhodesia
and Nyasaland. The word had gone round: the white man is weak: strike, strike!
This particular reign of terror (other districts suffered similarly) was brought under control in two
days, by the arrival of a small force of black troops and the use of a few helicopters. The eyes
watching from above unnerved the terrorists and reassured the tribesfolk, who slowly returned to
their huts to sleep after spending cold nights, men, women and children, in the bush. Freed from the
terror, they began to report the presence of any “intimidator” who showed himself. Today the
district is a picture of peace, where the people work and sleep without fear, the cattle thrive,
dipping goes on as authority insists. Any who go there may see a tribe happy in its fashion.
These are the facts of what happens. The other fact is that such deeds of criminal violence are
presented to the Western world by its newspapers, radio and television as the gallant exploits of
“freedom fighters”, “guerillas” and “outlawed African nationalists”. This constantly happens, and
has happened again as I write; the burning and killing of black folk by black folk are presented as
an understandable reaction against the white man’s authority.
Let me show you, good reader, what truly occurs. These men are picked up somewhere in Rhodesia
and smuggled over the border to Lusaka in Zambia, where are the terrorist headquarters. They seem
to be studied there and after a few weeks are forwarded by road to Dar es Salaam in Tanganyika,
which today seems to be a Communist outpost, or colony, on the north-eastern coast of Africa.
From there they go by air to Moscow, Nanking or North Korea, are trained in the use of weapons,
explosives and petrol for some months, and then return by the same route to Dar es Salaam, Lusaka
and Rhodesia.
I have seen the statements made by many of these men, who were captured, and they all tell the
same story, save for the few who refuse to say anything at all. The others describe their experiences
similarly and in detail and by cross-checking one can see that they are true. They are all provided
with a “cover story” for use if captured, and it is always, the same story: that they were induced to
go to Moscow (or Peking, or North Korea) by the offer of “a scholarship” which would qualify
them for a better post on their return to Rhodesia: they say they would not have gone if they had
known the real purpose; but they all agree that, when they discovered it, they submitted without ado
to the training in weapons, explosives and the rest. Some of them have been caught with caches of
Russian- and Chinese-marked weapons and bombs.
The communist budget for this Operation Africa must be enormous. The permanent shuttle-service
by air between Dar es Salaam and the terrorist training-centres in Moscow, Nanking and North
Korea alone must be most costly. During their stay there, and in Dar es Salaam and Lusaka, they
have to be housed, fed, clothed and given money. A large staff in the Russian and Chinese
embassies at Dar es Salaam is needed to supervise their reception and transport, and this in addition
to the cost of all the instructors and buildings at the other end.
When British politicians in London and American ones in Washington and at the United Nations in
New York insist that a solution “acceptable to the African people” must be attained in Rhodesia,
they mean these people, for they refuse to listen to their victims, the tribespeople, their headman
and chiefs, who are the true “people”. The arrogant and ignorant disdain shown by politicians from
England, particularly, towards them during the last five years has been a spectacle, as humiliating
to responsible white folk as was Mr. Chamberlain’s performance at Munich and President
Roosevelt’s at Yalta. Every day now the question poses itself larger and ever larger: why is
America, and Britain under America’s wing, supporting communism in Africa? Why are they
fulfilling Lenin’s plan?
But for that, peace would return to Africa. The terrorist gangs were brought under firm control,
without great difficulty, in the year preceding UDI, and but for the organization in the communist
East and the support it receives from “the free world” in the West, they would never be heard of
again. In fact, very much will be heard of them during the rest of 1966 and in 1967 if general war
has by then not occurred, because this is considered to be the now-or-never time for the complete
subjugation of Africa. The greatest possible amount of violence will for this reason be unloosed in
order that The Voice of America (today, apparently a Mr. Goldberg) may declare that this is The
Voice of Africa speaking.[10]
From the support of terrorism in Southern Africa to war is but a short step. Such a war, obviously,
would not be one “against Communism”, but, in truth, in support of it, because the impulse comes
from that quarter, and the encouragement from the professedly opposite one.
This is the time set for that war, and if the world somehow skids past the peril in coming months it
will be blessed indeed. As by careful planning, all the sources of war conjoin at this moment in
time: the case against South Africa at the International Court, the published plan for war on South
Africa (see a later chapter), the siege of Rhodesia, the communist terrorism in Rhodesia, the war-
mongering majority of irresponsibles in the United Nations, and, above all, the now public
incitement by the United States (if its representative there speaks for the President, as one must
assume, and not against him).
A perilous brink, my masters, and I trust that you may think on these things when next you hear or
read about “freedom fighters” or “guerillas” in Rhodesia. May your minds then conjure up the
image of that constant shuttle-service between Lusaka, Dar es Salaam and the distant communist
terrorist-camps; of the encouragement given to all that by your politicians in London, Washington
and New York; and of that lonely mud-and-wattle hut blazing in the night with black folk trapped
Let us go back for a moment to that place. Near the charred site of such a hut I talked with the
Chief, in his good suit, white helmet, and chief’s badge. A German film-cameraman, in search of
the picturesque, once asked the District Commissioner here if he would ask the Chief to pose “in
his ostrich feathers”. This one, who has been half round the world twice, had none and if he ever
saw an ostrich feather, then perhaps in Bond Street or Fifth Avenue. The only tribal costume ever
known in this tribe was nothing, and today’s tribesman there has long worn white man’s clothing.
I sat beside him in his little court while he adjudged what I thought must he a small matter, for he
tried it in a room and few came to listen, whereas for anything of tribal importance the people
would have gathered in thousands around the big indaba tree outside. Thus I was surprised when he
murmured to me the dread word, “Arson”, for I knew the terrorists were gone.
Benign and judicial as any High Court judge in the West, he questioned the complainant (a woman)
and I learned, as he translated for me, that the matter was but a domestic one. “I want to know,”
said she, “why my husband burned my hut”. The Chief looked at the husband: “Well”, he said,
penitently, “I came home from a beerdrink and went to her hut” (she was his second wife) “but she
called out ‘I am tired’.” Such words are not unknown in the West, I am told, but the husband did not
put the proverbial Western counter-question. He was a tribesman and knew a woman’s place. He
demanded to know what she had been doing, that she was tired, whereon she admitted him. But his
question, repeated, remained unanswered, so that he removed the children and whatever else the
hut contained and burned it (an act, I believe, of symbolic meaning). The Chief quietly interrupted
his eloquence (the tribesman, if allowed, will talk forever) and asked, “Do you love your wife?”,
and the husband said, Yes, but he was very, very drunk that night. Thus the Chief sorted the thing
out, in a few moments, to its happy ending, and as we left the tribesfolk outside made respectful
farewell, hands clapping in unison and a shrill, birdlike call.
These, fellow seekers after knowledge, are “the African people”. Given the protection, against other
tribes (today, against the outer world) which they have had for seventy years, they know how to
manage their affairs and live in content. This Chief, and nearly all the people I met, black and
white, spoke bitterly of the earlier terror by night, applauded what had been done to end it, and
prayed only that it might never return. Word had reached them of what went on in neighbouring,
now “independent” territories and their fear, outweighing every other thought, was that the old
times of killing and burning should come again.
I asked the Chief if he had spoken for independence at the great Indaba of over six hundred chiefs
before UDI Yes, he said, they had discussed and debated for five days, every man his say, and
every one agreed that, as the protector no longer protected and was weak, they must “cut the
strings” and look for protection to their own government.
Was all well now, I asked. Yes, he said, very well: the people no longer went in fear, they could
sleep and tend their cattle and work their fields in peace. He had been to London, been turned
away, and could not comprehend why the great men there listened to “our children” (the terrorists)
and ignored the leaders of the people. I recalled a day, just before Independence, when a British
Prime Minister (after one week in Rhodesia and meeting forty-six people) said in the Commons,
“The Chiefs cannot, by the widest stretch of imagination, be said to be capable of representing the
African population as a whole”.
A lot of ignorance is a dangerous thing. Unless and until the tribal system can be destroyed (and it
goes back beyond any time that we can record) they and only they are so capable, and a man who
thus frivols with the basic fact of African life is as a child who plays around a gusher with a
“What do you think of one-man-one-vote?” I said. To the ordinary tribesman even the question
would be incomprehensible. The Chief was a travelled man and knew what was meant. These
people, from chief to kraalsman, always choose words which will not offend, and, fearing to
affront, he said deprecatingly, “I think that is not good here. This country must grow”, he made a
gesture towards a tall tree, “like that”. “Is there anything you need here?” I asked. “Yes”, he said,
“more big schools” (he meant secondary schools: two days later, as it happened, the Government
announced a new African education programme providing for three hundred new secondary
schools in the next ten years).
As I came away I thought of smoking ruins, of wrecked dips, dead cattle, hamstrung beasts unable
to rise, of a lonely white farmer or two gunned down through an open window. All that was done,
and could not come again unless it came from outside. But the voices from across the border, from
London, from something incomprehensible to “the African people” called the United Nations in
New York continued their incitement: the shuttle-service between Dar es Salaam and communist
Asia plied on …
The terror by night still lurked in the alien shadows.
Picture the burning hut to yourself, gentle and listless reader, for with your tacit assent and that of
your Members and Congressmen these things are done.
*** Chapter Seven
During the two years that followed the break-up of the Federation the alien-organized terrorism
continued in the kraals and the chiefs clamoured for the help which their government could not
give, because of the obsession, or pretence, in London that the terrorists “represented the people”.
In June-July of 1964 Mr. Ian Smith arranged for twenty-nine senior chiefs to visit many countries
of the strange, new world. They were received with ceremony by the Pope in Rome and by
Ministers in India, but the British Prime Minister refused to see them and they achieved only two
half-hours with Mr. Duncan Sandys, who told them that in London’s opinion the “African
nationalists” had the following of the people. The chiefs pointed out that whatever following these
had came out of intimidation by murder and arson. Mr. Sandys intimated that methods did not
concern him, he was satisfied that they had the following. Thereon the chiefs said they were law-
abiding people but by calling out their impis they could soon show who were the true leaders.
Mr. Sandys at once retreated, with the familiar cry of “no violence”: on all these occasions the
chiefs were told that “a following” produced by violence had been “demonstrated” but that they
must not demonstrate a following by replying to violence with counter-violence.
The chiefs returned to Rhodesia humiliated and angry and, after taking counsel with all the other
chiefs and headmen, told Mr. lan Smith of their strong support for independence, the only way in
which peace and law could return to the kraals. Mr. Smith went to London, for some more
doubletalk, and was told that Southern Rhodesia could only receive independence if the British
Government were given “evidence” and “views freely expressed by the population” that the
majority supported him. (During seven weeks of this period 1,725 acts of terrorism, from murder
down to cattle-maiming, were committed, the two “African nationalist” parties were banned, and
the kraals became peaceful again).
Mr. Smith, still hoping to satisfy London, then set about to “ascertain opinion” in the only possible
way, in Africa, by consulting the chiefs and headmen, some seven hundred of whom gathered at
Domboshawa in October 1964 and for five days reasoned together in the traditional tribal way.
Each in turn rose at the end and called for “the strings” to be cut, that is, the bond with England
severed, and independence be given. They were embittered by the indignity of their leaders’
reception in London, by the refusal to see, listen to or learn the truth, and by the deference shown
there to the organizers of terror. Some of their words deserve record:
“It is amazing that anyone who lives six thousand miles away should think they understand
conditions here.”
“We have asked the British Prime Minister to come here and confront us … The thing that
depresses us is that his representative is here next door in Northern Rhodesia and has not the
courtesy to come … You see for yourselves the manners of a person who lives six thousand miles
“There is no such thing as one man, one vote, casting your vote on a piece of paper. This is quite
foreign to our way of life. By our customs, our method of voting is to discuss the matter openly, as
we are doing today in this hall. After a matter has been fully discussed anyone who has any
objection is invited to stand up and give his reasons for objecting. This is our traditional method of
reaching unanimity … We have seen that Britain does not wish to respect our customs, she is
destroying them.”
“I am one of those who visited Britain. Face to face they said to us, they no longer recognize the
chiefs, they only recognize two people who are our children, Joshua Nkomo and Ndabaningi
Sithole” (the leaders of the two banned parties which were identified with the reign of terror).
“Right from the beginning we were recognized as the leaders of the people, by the missionaries to
whom the chiefs in council first gave land: by Rhodes and by Queen Victoria when he sent Chief
Lotsha to her as his representative: in 1914 and again in 1939 it was we chiefs who called our
people to the aid of Britain. The King, with his Queen and their two daughters, came especially to
thank the chiefs for that. When the Queen Mother came here I, together with all the chiefs,
presented her with our token of loyalty … Now I wonder if the London we have always known still
exists. This is perhaps another London which has emerged because they suddenly cannot remember
all that the chiefs have done … It makes us believe that it is the British Government that is saying to
these young thugs, ‘Go and kill your fathers’. In London they know about the deeds of these young
thugs yet they have not bestirred themselves nor yet even raised a voice in protest. This convinces
me that they are the ones who are behind it all …”
“Where Rhodes met the chiefs in the Matopos there was an enormous boulder high up above them
on the hill. Recently that boulder tumbled down to the bottom. This is a sign that we who are
gathered here must come to a decision … When that rock fell it indicated to us to cut the strings and
have our independence so that we can live our own life in this our land.”
You observe, companion of these pages, that these people, who do not write down their history,
carry living history in them. Everything that has gone before is there, in its proper place and given
its rightful meaning. And by their “traditional method of reaching unanimity” they reach truth.
Consider those words, “This convinces me that they are the ones that are behind it all”. They recall
the child’s cry at the court of the unclothed king: “The king is naked”. What folk in the enlightened
West fear to say, these people discern and utter.
Consider also that fallen boulder. A hundred years from now that event will be part of their living,
though unwritten history, in its right place and given its apt significance: “The protector is gone: we
must cut the strings”.
1965 began and the doubletalk continued: “every time we moved nearer to them, they moved
away”, said Mr. Ian Smith later. In February, at last, a British Minister agreed to meet the chiefs in
another great indaba at Domboshawa. The kopje at Domboshawa has an especial place in the
beliefs and customs of the local tribes. They believe it to be the haunt of spirits, and not of benign
ones, apparently, because when the Queen Mother was there tribesmen were posted round about
with guns, which they fired to keep the spirits away. This did not happen when Mr. Arthur
Bottomley, Commonwealth Secretary, arrived; possibly one may attribute the unhappy outcome to
the hostile spirits.
I have contemplated political gentlemen for nearly forty years and cannot recall one who seemed
less suitable for the post he filled. Hailing from Walthamstow, he seems to have risen in politics
through the Labour Party machine, and knew nothing of Africa (he once confused Zambia with
Gambia). He was a natural master of the mot injuste and aroused in others that unease which the
sight of a hippopotamus walking on eggs would cause. His mind moved in a world of ballots,
shows of hands, card votes, motions and amendments, points of order and rulings from the chair,
and he tried hard to ascertain that the chiefs had consulted their people by such methods: when this
baffled them, he thought they were evading his interrogation.
Some of the chiefs remembered Rhodes and Lobengula and even the four Household Cavalry
officers sent by Queen Victoria[11] to impress that king. When they contemplated Mr. Bottomley
they felt that the boulder’s fall was significant indeed.
Mr. Bottomley, facing the red-robed figures, courteously instructed them that there were “some
differences of opinion among the African peoples”: however, he would listen to their views. His
advisers were also maladroit, for someone put into his mouth two native proverbs, “A river is filled
by its tributaries” and “The breast of man is a granary”. The use of tribal idiom is perilous, unless
you have some acquaintance with the allusive and indirect form of speech used by tribesmen, and
Mr. Bottomley asked for one Chief’s comment, that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
The Chiefs spoke in Sindebele or Shona yet their tongue was nearer to that which Shakespeare
spake than the man from Whitehall’s. Their theme was always the same: protest against the present
Britain, and reminder of the British past:
“You know full well that many people have died, have been incinerated in their huts, that our huts
are thatched with grass. It seems clear that the British Government has no concern for us. You said
we have proverbs that say this and that: to my mind it would have become you better to come here
humbly to learn from us Chiefs what the position is in this country. I stand here in fear because my
home may be burning … You do not realize that we do not sleep of nights because of this fear that
by the morning we and our children may be dead …”
“I am astounded to hear that the Chiefs and headmen are not the leaders of the people. What have
you been doing for seventy years that you have not discovered this before?”
“We waited here for you a whole week in October and then heard you were gone back to England
… You, sir, if you had a thatched roof and your wife and children were incinerated in it, would you
be content? Many of the Chiefs and Headmen here present have had their wives and children
“A person from the British Government came through these parts and said there would be a wind of
change and because of what the British Government then did the whole of Africa is now in turmoil
and strife … Everywhere the people are fighting like dogs over a bone because the power was let
fall into wrong hands … We live in fear because the Europeans overseas are giving our youngsters
bombs and weapons … When we went to London … the British Ministers ran away and hid. One of
them said, ‘I can see you for thirty minutes’ and then had the nerve to tell us, ‘You are not the
leaders of the people, Nkomo is the leader’.”
“I stand so that you can see me, your servant who has had his houses burned and children and
wives killed.”
Then the repeated reminders of the past, with its pledges and protection given. Ever and again these
men retold the story of peace that began with the meeting between Rhodes and Lobengula, the
period that began with the Separator of the Fighting Bulls and now ended with the crashing
boulder. That meeting in the Matopos was a monument, erected in their minds, which was more
real to them than any marble statue to a white man:
“Rhodes set us our great example when he said that everybody must work together, put down their
weapons and work as one community, and we did this and have lived very happily together. Had
we known that this would be changed, we certainly would not have laid aside our weapons.”
“From the time when I was a child, brought up by my fathers, the old people, they always made me
understand that the British word and the British sense of justice was something that one had to look
up to and therefore I have grown up to be what I am today … Now we have doubts whether
England is still England, or whether she is standing on one side with some ulterior motive, and we
are left with the impression that those who hold the reins in England are no longer British, probably
some other nationality. And I say this because I am certain that the British in the past would never
have allowed this state of affairs to continue.”
The reader will see that these men, though they spoke their own tongue, spoke with what was once
the voice of England. Today one may borrow the words of a song and ask, Where are all the
flowers gone? These eloquent words appeared to fall from Mr. Bottomley as water from feathers,
and the next encounter (a week later he met the Council of Chiefs, twenty-six senior Chiefs elected
by the rest) was still unhappier.
Mr. Bottomley began by informing the Council that he had seen the “African nationalist leaders”,
and my readers may care to put themselves inside the skin of the men who heard that, with their
minds full of pictures of burning huts and death. He then asked the Chiefs to “demonstrate that they
represent the bulk of African opinion”, and informed them that they used “the ballot” in the election
of traditional chiefs within the tribes. Even for Mr. Bottomley, this was an astounding assertion:
chiefs are chiefs by tradition of birth.
One Chief, stung beyond endurance, said, “It is obvious to us, Sir, that however much truth we
speak it is not the intention of our honoured guest to be satisfied with what we know to be the truth.
If we take him to the grave of people killed, to the graves of children murdered, to wrecked
churches and schools and diptanks, he still would not be satisfied that this was done by the African
nationalists. If I had my way, I would say, ‘Let us get out of this meeting. Let Mr. Bottomley hand
over government to these people and see what would happen …”‘
Any meeting of minds between Mr. Bottomley and these men was impossible. To them, Mr.
Bottomley was a hostile and incomprehensible figure: to him, they were slippery customers who
would not stand up to questions about “ballots” and “votes”. From first to last Mr. Bottomley
ignored every reference to what was the very root of the matter: the terror in the kraals. At the end,
when one chief personally asked him, “What do you want? If you want us to demonstrate our
following, let us call out our impis and restore law and order”, Mr. Bottomley patted his shoulder
and said something which sounded like, “Oh, Oi pray yew, no violence”.
The meeting had to be wound up, when its hopelessness became clear, by a man of different kind,
young, able, active, airman, farmer, now Minister: Mr. William Harper, of Internal Affairs. He
spoke language which both parties could understand, saying (for the benefit of Mr. Bottomley) that
they were on “completely different wavelengths”, and (for that of the Chiefs) that “the hippo and
the lion do not talk the same language”. Possibly in a last, faint hope of reaching Mr. Bottomley’s
mind, he explained that the tribal system and the Western electoral system were as worlds apart,
and that the best evidence of the hold of the tribal system on “the people” was that those who
sought political power in the land had to resort to force to try and upset it.
With that Mr. Bottomley went his way, having learned and forgotten nothing, 1965 wore on, and
the course of human events neared the point where Rhodesia would be driven to declare
independence, if only to be able to put down the terror and settle the land again. At the last instant
(in October) Mr. Harold Wilson consented to meet the Council of Chiefs (for ninety minutes). He
refused to have the proceedings recorded so that no verbatim exists (a fortnight later Mr. Wilson
tape-recorded and published a telephone conversation with Mr. Ian Smith, without informing Mr.
From notes made by the Chiefs (who protested against the refusal to have the meeting recorded) it
is clear that they spoke as they had spoken to Mr. Bottomley: that is, they recalled the British past,
pointed to the terror in the kraals and to the “African nationalists” as its organizers, and said they
wanted independence so that they could handle it, as the British Government encouraged it.
Like Mr. Bottomley, Mr. Wilson, when he reported to the Commons, ignored the great issue, the
terror. He disparaged the Chiefs as being “paid by the Rhodesian Government”. They do receive up
to a maximum of about £550 in salary and allowances. British M.P.’s get £1,750 and have been
heard to ask for more.
Finally, Mr. Wilson fired his memorable dictum, based on a non-recorded meeting of ninety
minutes, that the Chiefs were not capable, “by the widest stretch of imagination”, of representing
the African population as a whole. This stupendous misjudgment cleared the way for another
period of “African nationalist” courtship in London, and produced an impasse in the Rhodesian
negotiations which could only be broken by “cutting the strings” and declaring Independence.
The descents on Africa during these twelve years of British Ministers, Conservative and Socialist,
and their performances there, made people who live in Africa writhe with embarrassment: they
were as some quite new form of human life. The same sensation was experienced earlier by those
who lived in Europe, for instance, at the time when Mr. Chamberlain spoke of “plucking this flower
safety from this nettle danger” by abandoning “a little country far away” to Hitler’s invasion.
Six months later, when “sanctions” were in top gear and “talks” between London and Salisbury
were arranged, in hope of a settlement, President Kaunda of Zambia renewed his clamour for
Britain to attack Rhodesia. The London government, the newspapers then announced, assured him
that “the rights of Rhodesia’s four million Africans will be fully protected”.
And the rights of Zambia’s Africans? Zambia’s independence was ushered in by the massacre of the
Lumpa sect. They were Africans. Nobody in England cared or remonstrated. The “rights of four
million Africans in Rhodesia”, if London had its way, would obviously be “protected” in the same
Their only true hope of protection lay in independence, and it was given them.[12]
*** Chapter Eight
The propagation of falsehood about Rhodesia by newspapers, radio and television has chiefly
brought about the present “ridiculous situation” (Mr. Ian Smith) between Rhodesia and the
mesmerized masses of the outer world, and in a later chapter I shall seek to persuade you, good
people, of the means by which people are persuaded of that which is not true. I pause here to give a
classic illustration of the method. hoping that you, percipient reader, will bear it in mind when in
future you read, listen or look. It is the case of Miss Phombeya’s toe which, with a little more
forethought and planning, might have caused a big war.
For great wars may from small beginnings grow, and as Captain Jenkins’s car caused one between
England and Spain (which enlarged into the greater war of the Austrian Succession) what might not
Miss Phombeya’s toe have effected, efficiently handled by the machines of mass-information?
True, Captain Jenkins, de-eared by a Spanish coastguard, was left earless for eight years before the
Commons heard his tale (did he say, “Those who have cars to hear …?) and rose in fury against
Spain. Possibly a bellicose reason was desired in 1739 which was not sought in 1731: “history”
does not say.
Then again, the goods and chattels of Don Pacifico, a Portuguese Jew, nearly caused a war, for he
was by chance of birth in Gibraltar a British subject, so that Lord Palmerston sent the British fleet
to Greece to obtain redress for that act of pillage in Athens.
Therefore the world may have been fortunate in being spared grave consequences arising from
Miss Phombeya’s toe.
Miss Phombeya, a Malawi girl of twenty was one of a “Number of Ladies Present at the Scene”
(Mr. Justice Southworth uses the public-convenience labels throughout his report and one hears a
chuckle coming from the chambers where he prepared it) when Mr. Macmillan arrived at Blantyre
in Nyasaland (now Malawi) in January 1960. He had just announced “the wind of change” at
Lagos; this, being reported everywhere as an intimation that Nyasaland would be allowed to break
up the Federation, encouraged the Malawi Congress Party to arrange a nice little demonstration for
him at Blantyre, to reinforce his faith in the desire of “the African people” for independence now,
now, now. The representatives of The Times, the News-Chronicle, the Standard and the whole of
the daily press also were there.
The reports which reached London that evening, and from there the world, variously estimated “the
Number of Ladies and Gentlemen Present at the Scene” at two hundred up to two thousand. They
spoke of “shaming scenes” and “a sickening spectacle” provoked by “the stupidity of the Nyasaland
white police officers” and “an ugly situation” provoked by “a few young undisciplined policemen”
who “stamped with heavy boots on bare feet” and went “berserk” and were “frenzied”, of “baton-
swinging”, of “hysterical white settlers” of “Africans being seized indiscriminately” and “bundled
roughly with punches and whip slashes into caged lorries”, of other Africans being “grabbed and
hurled, yelling and struggling” into a jeep, of Black Marias, and much more.
Through all this Mr. Macmillan, in Ryall’s Hotel, quietly ate his pheasant especially flown from
Scotland (one report changed this to “grouse”, as being more suitable fare for a Scotsman: another
added local colour to the tumultuous scene by putting in some non-existent “eucalyptus trees”).
By that evening the “build-up” of the story had begun and one of the white police inspectors
engaged remarked to his wife, as he listened to the B.B.C.’s depictment of what had occurred,
“They must have gone to another incident than the one I went to”. An African merchant who also
heard it also was “surprised when I heard there was a rioting and beating, and so on … because
there was no such thing at all”. An American missionary of twenty-three years residence in Malawi,
Mr. Barr, said when he heard the incident described as “a riot”, “Riot. What riot?”
No matter: the build-up went on in the manner familiar to those who know the news-rooms of
British and American newspapers. By the time it reached the Swedish Stockholms Tidningen, it
took this shape, in shrieking headlines: “THE AGGRESSION OF THE WHITE POLICE
FRIGHTENS THE BRITISH”, and the report of the “violent riot” continued:
“The black masses acted calmly and with restraint until white police started to tear their banners
away and attacked them with their truncheons. With uncontrolled brutality they whipped the black
women and men and received willing assistance from local white civilians. The incident was also
immediately echoed in the English Parliament where the Minister for Colonial Affairs promised the
indignant home front to undertake at once an official investigation … the incident has opened the
eyes of the English public to the Police State conditions which prevail in Rhodesia and Nyasaland
… aggressions by the whites … something has to be done to curb the white extremists …”
In ever-growing form these reports spread over the world, until, two days later the Daily Herald in
FOR ALL! It went on to speak of “a shameful, brutal, UNNECESSARY clash between police and
African demonstrators, provoked by senior British police officers”. What happened could not be
denied, it said, because it took place “under the eyes of experienced reporters”. NAME (it cried) the
plain clothes officer who, in a state of frenzy … started the whole thing. NAME the senior officer
who started lashing out with his baton. NAME the officer in charge of the whole operation. This
brutal, barbarous, bullying attitude of mind must be kicked out of the colonial administration. No
wonder that “hatred boils up in the hearts of friendly coloured folk when boneheads are let loose to
knock them around with batons. NAME the men … PROSECUTE them.”
By this time the affair was an international headline one. Questions In The House had been asked,
and the thought of such gives Ministers nightmares.[13] The Minister yielded, fortunately as it
transpired. Mr. Justice Southworth of the Nyasaland High Court was appointed to investigate the
matter. He is evidently a man of subtle humour, as well as judicial impartiality, and his report
greatly adds to the gaiety of nations, if any of that commodity remains. I recommend any who
enjoy a good laugh to read it, even if they have to go to the British Museum for it.
At enormous expense the enquiry was held. It lasted four weeks and two days. Eighty-one
witnesses were heard, including ten news paper correspondents who were invited to substantiate
what they reported (although the day was cool when he was examined, one of them perspired so
much that he appeared to be wearing drop earrings, a friend tells me). Six counsel were engaged,
including the Nyasaland Solicitor General. The report covers 125 pages and its author’s grave
portraiture of The Ladies and Gentlemen in the witness-box deserves publication in paperback form
throughout the English-speaking world.
It deflates the newsroom-inflated balloon to the size of a shrivelled pea. The brutal white police
were thirteen in number, and one plainclothes one who took photographs (fortunately, because
many of these showed what in truth occurred). They wore light walking shoes (not “heavy boots”)
and seven of them carried swagger-sticks weighing four and a quarter ounces (not “batons” or
“truncheons” or “whips”). Some of them were former “London Bobbies” or from other British
police forces (some of the reports said there would have been no trouble if only “London Bobbies”
had handled the affair). They rapped and prodded unruly demonstrators with these swagger sticks
to get them back on the sidelines.
The crowd, Mr. Justice Southworth estimates on the strength of all the evidence, was between eight
hundred and a thousand people (not 2,000), nearly all of them onlookers, come only to look. The
actual demonstrators numbered between fifty and eighty, but he thinks fifty nearer. The police had
a landrover and a Bedford truck, the truck covered with wiremesh against stone-throwing, (not
“Black Marias” or “caged lorries”). Thirty-five demonstrators were removed, but not “hurled” or
“bundled” into these vehicles: they fought to get in, to the perplexity of the reporters present, who
do not know that “Get arrested” is an instruction given on these occasions.
The actual demonstrators were a small group who broke out of the cordon into the road. These were
headed by five Young Ladies, of whom Miss Phombeya was the most active, the prima ballerina,
as it were. The behaviour of these Young Ladies, again, appeared to the newspapermen, unfamiliar
with the African scene, to indicate irrepressible emotion and enthusiasm for some cause, for they
shouted and danced themselves into a frenzy (one of the young men around them threw himself
into a mud-puddle, tore off his coat and threw it at the police). Those who live in Africa know that
dancing is the native form of self-expression among the tribal peoples, and often ends in an eye-
rolling condition where the dancer throws himself or herself or falls to the ground. Miss Phombeya
and her friends were in fact dancing (and between you and me, friend reader, if ever you are in my
part of the world I can show you something of this kind any Sunday you choose).
They continued to self-express themselves in this manner in the truck which took them away. Mr.
Barr, the American missionary, says “The girls and several of the boys were carrying on their
dancing rhythm similar to a normal village dance, inside the van”. Mrs. Warr, a white lady, also
describes one of the Young Ladies in the truck “giving us all a little dance, clapping her hands and
seeming quite happy”.
In the course of the little melée someone trod on Miss Phombeya’s toe. Perhaps then, or perhaps at
the climactic moment of her dance, she fell to the ground, and was courteously helped to her feet by
a police inspector. A photograph of this episode was published in London and over the world as
“Police slap down girl demonstrator”.
Says Mr. Justice Southworth, “In the course of the disturbance, two or three of the demonstrators
kicked or struck European police officers, and three European police officers kicked or struck
demonstrators. One young lady had her foot trodden on by a police officer, and sustained a slight
injury. The two officers who kicked demonstrators say they did this to make the demonstrators let
go of them when they were dragged into the crowd: and the officer who trod on the lady’s foot has
explained how this was done by accident, an explanation which on the evidence one would not be
entitled to reject. One other young lady may or may not have had her foot trodden on on this
occasion, but if this occurred, it appears to have been done accidentally by someone in the crowd.
The distance between the two furthest points between which the demonstrators moved throughout
the course of the demonstration is about eighty yards. The entire incident took place on a straight
stretch of road covering an area less than one-sixth the size of a football field … and appears to have
occupied not more than forty minutes”.
Mr. Justice Southworth’s concluding sentences may have given him as much pleasure as they give
today’s reader. They place his report high among the literature of humour. More than that, if this
standard of reporting were kept by newspapers, radio and television, peace in Africa, and in the
world, would be secure:
“As far as can be ascertained the amount of skin lost by both police and demonstrators as a result of
injuries received on this occasion would hardly cover an area of one square inch, probably no more
than the area of a penny postage stamp: and it does not appear that the amount of blood that was
shed would be sufficient to test the capacity of an ordinary mustard spoon. Contemplating the
measure of the injuries sustained by the demonstrators, one cannot avoid the reflection that when
the face of Helen launched a thousand ships, and brought Agamemnon and the great Achilles to the
shores of Phrygia, it hardly achieved as much as Miss Phombeya’s toe when it brought the paladins
of Fleet Street in the aerial argosies of our day across two continents to appear before your
Commissioner in the remote highlands of middle Africa.”
May you bear those words in mind, reader of mine, when next you read or hear such tales of
mystery and imagination as those which I have quoted earlier in this chapter.
And may I, in the role of old Polonius, lay one more precept in your memory. The tale of Miss
Phombeya’s toe, which reached you in such inflammatory form, might be said at least to have been
founded in fact. Miss Phombeya had a toe, probably ten, and one was trodden. Even such a grain of
truth, the size of a mustard seed, is not to be found in many reports published or depicted about
Southern Africa today. I have a collection of a score or more of such reports, completely invented,
and will enumerate some of them later.
I think you never heard one word about the massacre of 480 people, black, white and brown, men,
women and babes, in Angola in March 1961. You heard a great deal, as you have now seen, about
Miss Phombeya’s toe in January 1960.
*** Chapter Nine
November The Eleventh, and famous words (slightly changed) coming over the air: “Whereas in
the course of human affairs …”
I foresaw this five years earlier and then made plans to go to Rhodesia and follow events, but was
hindered. I had long stopped writing: now the phrases, “The first western nation in two decades to
say ‘So far and no further’ … and “A role of worldwide significance” jolted me into the resolve to
fare once more unto the breach.
Particularly the words, “a role of worldwide significance”. This pricked my interest like a spur.
Nowadays, among governments, truth hid its head: there was only cant about “world peace” and
“the United Nations” while the body so-called obviously was devised as the instrument of new war.
These words of Mr. Ian Smith and the men around him seemed to mean that they saw the whole
shape of the great Plan to obliterate nations in a world state and, like the Chiefs at Domboshawa,
were not afraid to say “The king is naked”. They wanted independence, in truth, from this scheme
and only from Britain because of Britain’s part in it. They realized that Rhodesia was the linchpin in
the remaining area of peace and stability in Africa, and if it were knocked out, the way would be
clear for the final move in the great game. I wondered that men so far from the hub of international
machinations should see so clearly what all others, at the naked king’s court, professed not to
perceive. When I came to know these men, later, I was equally surprised by their clear
understanding of what was in truth at stake and by their determination to hold the pass.
November The Eleventh! As I heard the words, somewhere in South Africa, I saw myself lean
against the wall of a Flanders farmhouse in the drizzling dusk and watch the horse-gunners riding
to their lines, with guns behind them that at last were quiet. I remembered many other Eleventh of
November’s: in London, where the multitudes stopped and stood with bowed heads as the eleventh
hour struck; in villages where the scene repeated itself in miniature around the green; in small
colonies abroad, when a few expatriates gathered for this annual homage in the English Church. I
remembered, as the years passed, how true meaning gradually faded from this celebration, while
the shadow of new war grew, and it became little more than an empty form. The course of human
events led to no better future but doubled back towards the old shallows and miseries.
Now, after nearly fifty years, another Eleventh of November dawned and brought with it what
sounded to me like a new note of truth. Might this be the turn in the disruptive tide? I thought of the
other acts of Independence, all of them achieved only by blood, and wondered if this time reason
would prevail, or England again go from folly to fiasco.
I remembered my children playing in the British trenches and on the British cannon at Yorktown.
How bitter a war was that, and how long and vain a wrangle followed it. As late as 1796 Talleyrand
wrote to his English friend Lord Shelburne (a friend of the Colonists):
“The only obstacle that I foresee to the rapid improvement of relations between the two countries is
the incredible folly of the British Government, in doing everything that could possibly offend the
susceptibilities and alienate the affections of the Americans. Their diplomatic representatives are
treated with contempt in London and England is represented in America by men who are known for
the fervour of their opposition to the cause of independence or else by minor officials of no
Were we to go through all that again, with a Mr. Wilson playing the part of King George? We
were, as the reader now knows, whose cars have heard all the uproar about “rebellion” and “an
illegal act” and “restoring the rule of law” (where else in the world, these twenty years, has the rule
of any law been invoked, upheld or restored? The rule has been that of war, not of law).
Here let me interpose a thumbnail sketch of a Rhodesian “rebel”, for the reader’s album. About
seventy years ago a Rhodesian trooper, quick to go to England’s side, rode behind a convoy of
wagons carrying Boer women and children to safety. A woman in one wagon called that the
children were hungry and the troopers must find food for them, so they rode off right and left, and
found apples in an orchard, which they stuffed into their shirts and gave to the children when they
rejoined the convoy. This trooper jogged along behind a wagon, over the tailboard of which leaned
a little girl of some ten years, munching one of his apples. Nine years later he returned and married
her. Some sixty years later their son, an Air Marshal serving as Minister of State in the British
Embassy at Washington was putting on his best uniform and decorations (on November 11, 1965)
when he was summoned to the chargé d’affaires, who informed him that Rhodesia had declared
independence and he must declare his loyalty.
The Air Marshal answered that his loyalty was to his country, his government and The Crown. That
was not enough, he was told. He must plainly declare his loyalty. His loyalty, he said, was to his
country and government. His interlocutor solemnly wrote “Traitor” against his name!
American independence was the first, and Boer, or Afrikaner independence the next. My first
memory in life is of seeing, from a nurse’s arms, British soldiers move off from Saint John’s Wood
barracks to the South African war. My infant ears were filled with tales of dum-dum bullets (Boer)
and infant Boer ears at the same time were filled with tales of powdered glass (British) in food:
always the home-front propagandists besmirch the valour of the fighting men. The “wicked man” of
those days was Oom Paul Kruger, whom I learned later to have been a genial and sturdy old farmer.
When I lived in South Africa I came deeply to respect the hundred-year struggle of the Afrikaners
for their independence and their eventual achievement of it after defeat in war. Today, steeled in the
fire, they stand as an example in a degenerate time of a nation forged out of adversity and resolved
to remain a nation. But what a waste of years and wars on England’s part!
Then came Ireland, another small nation which persevered for three hundred years after Cromwell
and at last won back its nation-hood. Through the centuries were wars and talk of “rebels” and at
the end the Black and Tans, but nothing availed. At the last, full-scale war appeared imminent.
There was, as all agreed, no hope or possibility of compromise between London and “the rebels” in
Ireland (as today in Rhodesia). By 1921 three British divisions were in Ireland, waiting the order to
shoot. Then, quite suddenly, it was all blather: there was no difficulty at all: and the Irish delegates
walked out of Ten Downing Street with Independence in their pockets (and today some of my
grandchildren play happily around the shores of Dublin Bay).
And now, the fourth in the line of protestants against colonial government from distant London:
Rhodesia. This was a different case. If “force” were to be used once more, to prevent a claim for
independence obviously just by any moral law (as the former three were proved by time to be), the
war that ensued would not be a local one, as in Virginia or the Transvaal or County Dublin, but
general war, in Africa first, and then ballooning into another total war. This war, though
“unnecessary” as Mr. Churchill called the last one, would not come from any chapter of errors. It
would have been deliberately brought about and the true purpose (as in 1945) would only appear at
its end.
To me, the theory of “unintentional” or “unwitting” follies, leading to war, is patently untenable
today. The London and Washington governments must have known that by creating thirty or forty
new “States” in Africa and installing them in the “United Nations” with as many votes (against
America’s an England’s two for their 225 millions: Africa’s total population is somewhere around
250 millions) they would put power of war into the hands of irresponsibles, who in the event
clamoured for war as soon as they arrived there. What is more, London and Washington, by with-
holding their veto at any moment, could unleash these dogs of war, and they must have known that
Clearly we are in the period when some league above nations is to be set up, through war, over
nations dispersed. Mr. Ian Smith and his colleagues, I saw with surprise, realized this and opposed
themselves to the furtherance of the grand design.
Thus Rhodesia’s Declaration of Independence was in fact a thing of “worldwide significance”,
affecting all of us, not a localised or limited quarrel (incidentally, cocks must have crowed in the
shades when America and Ireland joined in the blockade).
The outcry that followed UDI unhappily followed the pattern of those earlier ones, of 1776, 1880
and 1916. The Archbishop of Canterbury, in the van, told the British Council of Churches that
Christians should support the use of force (ah, these apostles of the Prince of Peace and Love!).
Possibly murmurings were heard, for he later added that force should not be “resentfully” used, thus
adding the theory of non-resentful force to the military manuals of the globe. He was stoutly upheld
by four Canons of Westminster Abbey, where Kings and Queens are crowned. When other voices
demurred that British soil should not be manur’d by British blood, the Bishop of Accra remarked
that such talk of kith and kin was a form of “racialism”, a word worth pondering by those who
cherish family ties. Several other bishops joined in the warcry, and from America a Mr. Goldberg,
appeared cometlike as United States representative at the United Nations, told “the misguided
rebels” in Rhodesia that they should heed his warning voice “if the problem is to be solved by
peaceful means and not by violence”.
In the babble of bellicosity the only tranquil place, I found, was Rhodesia. While Mr. Wilson
instructed the Bank of England to seize Rhodesian funds and Lloyd’s to refuse payment on
Rhodesian claims, and the Queen at Jamaica found in her hands a Speech from the Throne which
“supported all measures which may be used to put an end to the illegal Government in Rhodesia”,
people in Rhodesia went placidly about their affairs, peace reigned, and the squeeze of “sanctions”
was equably borne.
In earlier times such situations, broadening down from precedent to precedent, invariably ended,
after the waste of wars and words, in confessions of error in London and recognition. The outer
world stood aside and let the issue decide itself. Today we have the bogus concern in New York,
where petty communities far distant from the matter cry that they cannot endure “the rebellion” and
demand war to end it, and the London and Washington governments pretend that they must submit
to this source of “international law”.
While Rhodesia remained tranquil, “emergent” Africa, whence came the loudest uproar, was in a
constant flux of revolt, rebellion and bloodshed. Against this background Mr. Wilson flew to
Lagos, in Nigeria, to concert with other “Commonwealth Prime Ministers” measures to end
“rebellion and chaos” in Rhodesia.
In former days public derision, I think, would have toppled the British Government at that juncture,
for immediately after Mr. Wilson’s departure the Nigerian Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa
Balewa, Knight of the British Empire, Privy Councillor of her Majesty the Queen, was murdered
and left lying by a tree for some days (with his eyes gouged out, I believe). The rising had actually
begun before Mr. Wilson reached Lagos and its extent has only lately become known by the
evidence of mass graves. Mr. Wilson reported that “despite some of the gloomy forecasts made
before I left London, the Commonwealth has emerged stronger than ever”: it had been entirely
devoted to Rhodesia and “the principle of one man one vote is regarded as the very basis of
democracy and should be applied”. The Nigerian “rebel régime” was forthwith recognised in
Then Dr. Nkrumah of Ghana, Privy Councillor to Her Majesty the Queen, went to his spiritual
home, Communist China, and while there was deposed by the Ghanaian military (immediately
recognised in London). The day before this happened Punch, which has developed from its “elderly
party” phase into a sort of leftist pamphlet, published an article by Dr. Nkrumah which began:
“When a social system becomes as diseased as that of Southern Rhodesia, a point is reached where
the only alternative to constitutional change is a violent revolution”. For once Punch made a good
joke: and Dr. Nkrumah, returned to neighbouring Guinea, threatened to lead a violent revolutionary
army into his native Ghana.
During all this period military uprisings (a large name for the true, tribal events) occurred in
Burundi, Congo Leopoldville, Dahomey, the Central African Republic and Upper Voita, and the
three southern provinces of the Sudan were in violent rebellion, claiming to secede into an
independent republic. In Tanzania, once peaceful, a second revolution brewed and Zanzibar
islanders suspected of complicity were shot or buried alive by the “Revolutionary Council’s”
gunmen. In Zambia, whence came the loudest clamour for British force to be used against
Rhodesia, the Barotse people were persecuted, on the Copperbelt the Bemba tribe were resuming
earlier tribal feuds, and, of course, the Communist-trained terrorists were foraying into Rhodesia.
All this happened in parts of Africa where, ten years before, an African might walk and work in
peace and look for redress if he were wronged. It was the foreseeable result of forcing
independence on unready groups and of encouraging terrorist-trained ones to move into the vacuum
under the pretence that they “represented the people”. Reason might have expected that his turmoil
in Africa, which is but beginning, would cause second thoughts in London, but reason had no place
in all this: only some ulterior motive can account for the attempt to force Rhodesia, the one
peaceful and orderly place, into the northern chaos.
Such was the scene when this wandering scribe arrived in Rhodesia. I found that great argument
still continued about the timing of UDI, whether the moment chosen was right, or too early, or too
late. As to that, I have no opinion for I was not there and am not Rhodesian and of all glad words of
tongue or pen the gladdest are these: I do not know. But from the moment of the Declaration the
issue became a world one, affecting all who here on earth do dwell, and that was why and where I
came in.
I found that Rhodesians are inveterate controversialists and that even when the country was
engaged in a struggle of life and death they continued vigorously to dispute with each other about
the colour in which the parish pump should be painted. However, in the matter of Independence,
now that it was declared, they were all at one, and each new move or menace from the outer world
brought them closer. If they survive, a second white nation in Africa will have been created at this
point in time. Before there were people living in Rhodesia. After UDI there were Rhodesians.
*** Chapter Ten
Try, agile reader, to put yourself in the place of the quiet man in this quiet room, whom destiny has
matched with the hour of Rhodesia’s independence. You are forty-seven years’of age and twenty-
five years ago you, and many of the men around you, were of those to whom England, still
inviolate in the silver sea, looked upward and gave thanks for island freedom preserved. You were
of those to whom America too, having thought that England’s day was done and that Hitler would
wring its neck chickenwise, as he undertook, began to look with admiration and a changing mind.
You are of those who, without a second thought, hastened from far away to fight the battle for
Britain. You are Rhodesian-born but your blood and loyalty are British, and, as you once wrote,
you would have to unlearn to be British than to do otherwise than you now do.
Today you are “a rebel” and the head of “an illegal régime” and invective is showered on you from
the island you once helped defend, and you may ask yourself, where, oh where is loyalty bred.
Mr. Ian Smith, a quiet man in a quiet room, sits in the quiet eye of the storm, for sunwashed
Salisbury outside and the lands around are peaceful and tranquil, in violent contrast to the sound
and fury in Africa beyond and in London and Washington further still. Never a hard word has gone
out from here.[14] The epithets “liar”, “frightened little men” and “bunch of thugs” are those of The
New Statesmanship in London. At this end of the disagreement is dignity and words are measured
before they are used, which is not too often.
Provocation is ignored. What did Talleyrand say nearly two hundred years ago: “… the British
Government is doing everything that could possibly offend the susceptibilities and alienate the
affections of the Americans” (today, the Rhodesians). When I saw Mr. Smith he, in agreement with
Mr. Wilson, was just about to send three negotiators to London to see if the matter in dispute could
not be composed. The anonymous, and sometimes scurrilous “spokesman” in Whitehall, where
“news” is “managed” nowadays, announced through the press, when they arrived, that they were
“rebels under safe conduct”. Even this was ignored in the quiet room where Mr. Ian Smith sits.
The Queen’s portrait is on his wall there. His table is bare and tidy. A few papers lie in the familiar
red box, opened before him. Here is calm. The menaces put into the Monarch’s mouth brought from
him only the comment, “This is a very serious matter”.
If a destiny shapes our ends, it prepared Mr. Ian Smith for this hour, for everything in his life
formed him to meet as grave a responsibility as ever fell on any human shoulders. I met men who
knew him at school and university and their common recollection was of a quiet fellow to whom
others turned without any exercise of attraction on his part. The gift of leadership was his, and of
courage inherited from a Scottish father and strengthened by the nature and climate of the country
where he was born and bred. Head Prefect at his school (Chaplin), and captain of rugby, cricket and
tennis. Senior Student at his university (Rhodes), and colours for rowing, rugby and athletics. Then
the Second War and the Royal Air Force.
He flew in the Desert, in Italy and on the Western Front and was twice brought down, once behind
the enemy lines. He fought for five months with the Italian partisans, then escaped to rejoin the
Allied forces and serve out the war. The traces of plastic surgery are still to be seen on his face.
He is about the same age as Washington when the struggle for American independence was fought.
Like Washington, he is a farmer. They called it “country gentleman” in those days: well, Mr. Smith
is a gentleman whose farm is in the country and, like Washington, he grows tobacco.
The difference is in the task before him. Washington had but one antagonist, the King in London
and his soldiers. Mr. Ian Smith faces a rabble of demagogues who think to use the United Nations
to bring the world in arms against him. What the sequel will be if he gains the day, none can yet
tell. Today it seems doubtful that Washington succeeded in creating a nation in the United States,
for national interest no longer governs that country’s acts. Mr. Ian Smith, if his Davidian contest
with the Goliath of engineered menace be won, might succeed where Washington may have failed.
His strength lies in the fact that he is not a professional politician and has a population behind him
which is small but staunch and determined. It is predominantly of British stock but nearly a third of
it is Afrikaner. In these two groups his country has a bedrock of granite, and if it survives a
splendid future lies ahead.
I have met a host of political gentlemen in my time, among them many Most Forgettable
Characters, such as Hitler, Litvinoff and Mussolini, and count this meeting with Mr. Ian Smith as
exceptional and memorable. I felt in him the quality of leadership remarked by others who knew
him earlier and well, and which I remember encountering only once before in my life (all the
officers in No. 16 Squadron, R.F.C., in 1917 felt it in a young major who in the Second War
became head of the Royal Air Force, and after it was one of four resplendent figures grouped
around the Queen at her coronation).
Mr. Smith is modest, disciplined and informed: as cool as if the business in hand were that of an
interim board meeting.. void of heat or rancour and, above all, candid and honest. He is the kind of
man of whom any other knows at once that his word is his bond, words once held in high esteem in
When we talked the Battle for Rhodesia had reached a most dangerous point and you, encloistered
reader, may be thankful that the moment passed without much worse befalling.
From Portugal Dr. Salazar the silent, who never lets words become his master, if, unspoken, they
may remain his slaves, had warned the London Government that “one more false step” would set
the world aflame. From South Africa Dr. Verwoerd, a master of prudence, in measured but weighty
terms conveyed a similar message.
The moment of no-return was nearly on us all then, and this was one of the things we privately
talked about. Another was the matter of a republic, for which some people in Rhodesia, finding the
provocations too much, began to press. What he told me, on this point, was what he has publicly
said, so that I may repeat it. A republic was not in his thinking at that stage. In this, I judge, he may
have been a wiser head than some outside who were impatient.
The Rhodesians have an indestructible loyalty, which indeed can only be destroyed by others, for it
is their birthright and pride, as once it was England’s. They are true to themselves and cannot
slough off this quality like a skin. Even if they were forced to declare a Republic, this inmost faith
would remain for long to come. If they survive, they, and their neighbour Afrikaners, may
regenerate the name of the white man in Africa, and one day effect the rebirth of the old quantities
in England.
I took leave of Mr. Ian Smith, a leader beleaguered and unafraid, and walked through the park
nearby, where the war memorial bears seven simple words, “We fought and died for our King”.
Salisbury was tranquil and pleasant. The people around went their ways unhurriedly. A few empty
shops and flats marked the damage done when England destroyed the great Federation at the behest
of those who now clamoured for war. This, and what more might come, dismayed none. it was part
of the price of survival.
In the room I left Mr. Ian Smith, beneath the portrait of the Queen, turned without haste to the red
despatch box and the few papers in it. Only when I left him did I recall that this was the third time
in my life that I sat and talked to a head of government, at whose door invasion bade to knock. Dr.
Schuschnigg in 1938, in the Chancellery where Dollfuss was murdered: years in Nazi captivity
awaited him, and then reclusion in a quiet American university. Dr. Benesh in the Hradjin at
Prague: years of exile in London lay before him, and then assassination when he returned to
Prague. For Mr. Ian Smith, I hoped, time had better things in store.
*** Chapter Eleven
History, as the late Mr. Henry Ford truly observed, is bunk: somebody’s version of past events,
tinted to taste and moulded to the historian’s idea of what ought to have happened. Living history
cannot be made by stitching events onto a framework of dates, any more than a skeleton can be
reclothed with flesh and reanimated with coursing blood. True history is best written before it
occurs and that is why I write this book about the brewing of a third world war for the purpose of
setting up a World Directorate. The advantage of this method is that it can be checked. A
disadvantage is that such books, at occult promptings, soon are withdrawn from shelves in public
libraries. The public is not desired to enquire within on everything, only on such things as are held
good for it to know, this being the purpose of “History”. I like to study, with a psychopathist’s
interest, the image of the Hitler period in Europe which “History” has left on the mass mind. Most
people now living, I suppose, experienced it, either from afar or, like myself, at first-hand, but the
mental impression retained by nine folk of ten is remote from the truth of what happened: “History”
has been at work on them.
Knowing well that our good old friend, The Future Historian, will not be deterred by my or any
other’s account from setting down his own version of events, I nevertheless want to describe the
great Rebellion in Rhodesia while I am watching it.
I conjecture that the word “Rebellion” conveys a picture of violent revolt to the mass mind,
especially if it is printed in capital letters. If doubt about the violent nature remains, this is probably
removed when “rebellion” becomes “rebellion and chaos” (Mr. Wilson’s words, I believe). The
rebellion in Rhodesia, as I saw and am seeing it, presents a somewhat different picture.
One evening, six months after UDI, I sat with a gifted Rhodesian lady in a Salisbury picture-
theatre. She never saw England and her heart and soul were in The Rebellion: that is, in Rhodesian
independence. Nevertheless, her British blood and birthright were the most precious things in her
life and not even the England of 1966 could deprive her of that heritage, which would stay with her
while life lasted, whether Rhodesia were independent or not, and even if England sank below the
sea. As the curtains drew apart she complained to me that the Queen’s anthem had not been played.
I was able to tell her (having read this in my newspaper) that other complaints had been made, that
the theatre manager explained that the film of the Guards’ Band playing the anthem had been
damaged, and that he would soon procure another.
Continuing in search of rebellion (as Mr. H. V. Morton might say) I found myself on a day in one
of Salisbury’s verdant avenues, on my way to see Her Majesty’s representative. His occupation
gone, Sir Humphrey Gibbs was still in the Governor’s mansion and his flag, the golden Crown on a
blue ground, still flew there. As was to be expected, the Queen’s portrait dominated his room. On
the other side of the avenue, in another mansion, sat the rebel Prime Minister, head of “the illegal
régime”, Mr. Ian Smith. As might not have been expected, the Queen’s portrait dominated his room.
At the time of independence Mr. Smith referred to “this lady whom we love so much” and these
words described the feelings of Rhodesians of British stock, who combined a personal devotion to
the wearer of the Crown with their loyalty to the ancient monarchy as such. In some this was
destroyed by the Jamaica speech, but even then it survived in most, I think, and the betrayal was
separated from the speaker and laid at the door of “advisers”.
I imagine that the British newspapers of this period will have received a picture of Sir Humphrey
Gibbs and his vis-a-vis in that avenue, Mr. Ian Smith, as sworn antagonists, facing each other in
melodramatic enmity like Montague and Capulet. The truth is other.
Sir Humphrey may be the most unpopular man in Rhodesia.. so they say and they may be right.
People wished that he had resigned at the moment of Independence. As to that, I would not care to
have been in his dilemma, a sore one indeed for a man of honour. I did not ask him about this,
because I could not expect him to speak of it, but from what others tell me I believe his choice was
made at the last instant and then under certain “pressure” most difficult to withstand. (I kept my
conversation with him to matters that would not embarrass and what I have to say about him here,
though well founded, comes from other sources).
Sir Humphrey is another country gentleman, or farmer, with a big ranch near Bulawayo: tall,
distinguished, courteous, a little tired from the burden of a task as yet thankless and efforts still
unknown, the model of a breed now nearly gone: the Royal Governor.
His decision to remain, which Rhodesians bitterly resented, may prove to have been their greatest
blessing. One cannot say that it will so prove, because the end is not yet, but it may: too many
others, irresponsible men, have a hand in this for any optimism to be justified yet. While Sir
Humphrey stayed one line remained open with London, and with it the faint possibility that the
parties at either end might yet reason together.
Probably the most terrible responsibility that could be laid on one man’s back was put on Sir
Humphrey’s when Mr. Wilson stated that he would not use “force” unless the Governor called on
him to restore law and order. At that time, as London knew better than any, the Moscow- and
Peking-trained terrorists in Zambia were straining every nerve to contrive some incident which
could be represented, by the press, radio and television in England, as a disturbance of law and
order. Imagine, good reader, whither that phrase of Mr. Wilson’s could have led, had a lesser man
been at Sir Humphrey Gibb’s post in Salisbury.
Instead (and here again I quote others who should know, not himself) he toiled away to get some
sort of discussion started, and the heat reduced. I believe he reached the point where he hinted that
he could not continue unless this happened. This was around the time when Dr. Salazar warned
London against “one more false step”, and at that point “the talks” between Salisbury and London
at last began. As I write, they afford at least a breathing-space and in this fateful year of 1966 any
man who can help bring even that much about deserves the gratitude of mankind.
Continuing my hunt for the rebellion and chaos, I went to see another of the figures in this drama,
so small in itself, so big in its importance to the world (for, as you know, well-informed reader,
independent Rhodesia constitutes a grave threat to world war and for this reason is the object of the
present organized attack).
In a developing situation, new expedients have constantly to be devised to maintain continuity until
the new edifice of state is finally completed. Mr. Ian Smith and his men have shown extraordinary
ability about this, worthy of experienced statesmen of the older school. They play it cool and long,
in the modern phrase, and have never yet made a false step.
Here was the strange situation that Independence was proclaimed and at the same time unbroken
loyalty to the Crown expressed, whose Ministers in turn declared the Independence Government to
be an illegal one, with whom the Queen’s Representative in Salisbury must have no truck. Various
ways of filling this gap were considered, among them the appointment of a Regent. Had this been
done the Minister for Defence, Lord Graham, might have had to fight hard not to have the honour
thrust upon him, for he is in fact the Duke of Montrose, and looks it (and genealogists might
determine that he is also the rightful King of Scotland). This would have produced a tableau vivant
of Shakesperean proportions, with Scotland’s famous Duke acting as Regent for a Queen whose
speech-writers declared the Rhodesian government unlawful and rebellious.
The idea of a Regency paled and the problem was solved by the appointment of an “Officer
Administering the Government”, Mr. Clifford Dupont, whose part might be described as that of
proxy for Sir Humphrey Gibbs until the issue is determined, one way or the other. He opens
Parliament and delivers the Speech from the Throne in which governmental policy is outlined.
Mr. Dupont presides over another mansion, also with the Queen’s portrait. In him I found another
cheerful and most able man, unalarmed, with a keen legal mind and a distinguished war record in
the Desert.
My memories of political gentlemen in many lands cover a long and wide range. In addition to the
Most Forgettable Characters earlier mentioned, they included many worthy personages from
Herren Luther and Stresemann, through Messrs. Ramsay Macdonald and John Simon, Drs.
Schuschnigg and Benesh, to Messrs. Anthony Eden and De Valera and General Smuts. Thus I
considered the men around Mr. Ian Smith with a practised eye and found them to be something new
in my experience.
They were not professional politicians. They were all active men, not sedentary ones, mostly flat
stomach’d, younger than the run of their counterparts in other countries, many of them farmers,
several with exceptional war records on land, at sea and in the air, quiet in speech, candid and not
evasive, and they looked you in the eye. I felt myself again among men of the kind I grew up to
think of as typical Britishers, a breed which seems to have diminished greatly in England, and I
found this climate rejuvenating.
These men spoke the language I understood and I felt at home. Take Lord Graham, for instance.
Eton, Oxford, an agricultural degree and then to Rhodesia to farm. Then the war, and years at sea as
a destroyer commander, and after that, back to farming in Rhodesia. I think his heart is in farming,
but the ominous “wind of change” in London, and the threat to all that had been achieved in
Rhodesia, pressed him into politics, as it pressed others whose natural bent was not that way, and
now he has, under Mr. Smith, the heavy onus of Rhodesia’s defence.
Consider, again, Mr. William Harper, of Internal Affairs. Here is another “rebel” who was a Battle
of Britain pilot, one of those “few” whom Britain so lauded and decorated then and vilifies now. He
has the courage one would expect, and a quick brain and understanding of the greater picture of
what is truly at stake. He, too, came to Rhodesia to farm, and started at the beginning there, built
his first abode with his hands, and came up the hard way. Like many of these men, he has a large
family, and the spectacle of Africa to the north falling into chaos brought him, also, into the
political battle for survival.
Mr. Desmond Lardner-Burke, of Law and Order, is South African-born. On him fell the brunt of
the task of putting down the terror, and the obloquy from London that followed. He has the power
to “restrict” persons identified with the terror, and in exceptional cases to hold in prison for a
limited period. The “restrictees” have four hundred square miles where they may move freely
about, are fed, clothed and housed, and may run a business if they will. His power of restriction is
used with restraint. There are in Rhodesia no concentration camps such as that which President
Kaunda in neighbouring Zambia (whence comes the terrorists and the loudest outcry for war)
blithely announced in May 1966 that he was preparing for political opponents on a remote lake
island, Chibue. This, he said, would have a stockade around the central part with “big-thighed
policemen” to prevent escape: and to it would go Zambians who “misbehaved”.
I found instruction in comparing these men, as I saw them, with the picture of them presented to the
masses overseas. When I met Mr. Lardner-Burke, for instance, he was receiving messages of
thanks from Africans in the townships (and even the odd gift of the traditional rooster) for enabling
them to sleep safe at nights. At the same time I saw a two-page “spread” about him in one of
London’s Sunday newspapers. A large picture of him appeared under the headlines, “Hatchet man
… Behind his mild manner the ruthless boss of a new police state”. “He looks like a benign bank
manager” said the caption, “but a stroke of his pen puts hundreds in gaol without a trial”. The
number of persons in gaol was fifty-two, and these were dangerous saboteurs.
As to Mr. Ian Smith, whose true acquaintance you have now made, good reader, vilification knew
no bounds. At this same time I read in a London daily an allusion to him, dragged by the ears into a
paragraph about a rowdy election meeting at Birmingham. It spoke of “screaming yahoos” who
placed themselves in “the same sub-level class as the agents of Dr. Josef Goebbels and Mr. Ian
Smith who, with anything from bludgeons to blue pencils, try to eliminate all opposition”.
I knew Hitler’s Germany and Dr. Goebbels, the Storm Troops and the concentration camps, very
well at first hand, so well, that I wrote books to warn England about them. The writer of the words
just quoted knew them not, and knows Rhodesia not, unless by some fleeting visit. I consider his
words as foul a calumny as could be found. Those who visit Rhodesia will never see a bludgeon,
very rarely an armed policeman, and seldom a policeman at all. As to blue pencils, many an
English writer could tell a tale.
Meeting these men was a rare and refreshing experience for me, and I wondered what the future
held for them. Would they one day become as legendary as the men who signed the other famous
Declaration (I hoped they would) and if so, would their work endure better than that of those others
(for America is no longer truly “independent”)? Or would they be swept away? The odds were
stupendous; and yet, a few resolute and courageous men, convinced of a just cause, had often
accomplished seeming miracles.
Between meeting them, I roamed around Salisbury and Rhodesia, studying the great rebellion.
Everywhere the British flag still flew. In every government office hung the Queen’s picture. The
guns were being readied for the traditional twenty-one gun salute on her birthday.
The chamber beneath the room in which I saw Mr. Ian Smith was a replica in miniature of the
House of Commons (and perhaps that was a mistake, to try and transplant Westminster ritual and
customs, unchanged, to any and every foreign clime and soil). The usher, with his measured tread
and chain and badge, came first, calling “Mr. Speaker” to clear the way until the little procession
reached the chamber itself.
Next that grave and reverend seigneur, Mr. Speaker, wigged and gowned, and after him the
Sergeant at Arms, silk-stockinged and besworded, bearing The Mace. The Government benches,
where Mr. Smith and his followers sat beneath yet another portrait of the Queen: the Opposition
benches, where the thirteen African Members sit. Mr. Speaker’s chair, with the Royal Arms.
Members, black and white, entering and bowing to the Chair: leaving, and bowing to the Chair.
All most decorous and traditional, and, you will agree, a different kind of rebellion.
Chapter Twelve
After searching for and finding the rebellion, as I have described it, I went in search of the “police
state”. Mr. Wilson, in his acts towards Rhodesia, only continued what Conservative governments
began, but he gave his actions so personal an imprint of rancour and vainglory that his name must
forever attach to the outcome, whatever it may be, and for this reason the phrase, “Wilson’s War”,
became current in Southern Africa.
He especially liked to call Rhodesia a “police state”, and was so attached to this term that he
congratulated the Liberal Mr. Jo Grimond on using it, saying that made three of them, the
Conservative Mr. Edward Heath having employed it earlier (Hansard, 21/12/1965).[15]
In my judgment, two words have seldom conveyed so much mis-information to so many, and I am
led to wonder what picture your mind, perceptive reader, received from their iteration. Does it
resemble this:
“Every bank and government building is guarded day and night by machine-gun-toting
gendarmerie” (a report from Conakry in “emergent” Guinea in March 1966).
Or perhaps this:
“Twenty-six determined soldiers with automatic weapons trained in one’s stomach surround one as
one steps off the airliner at Accra Airport” (from twice-emergent Ghana, March 1966).
Or possibly this:
“Police mustered a security force of 13,000 in the capital, including armed riot police and one
thousand — troops. Extra-ordinary precautions, including the scaling of the 180-mile border were
in force. Armoured cars patrolled the frontier to keep out suspected members of the —. At
sandbagged strongpoints armed police made close checks on cars crossing the frontier.”
That seems a fair picture of a police state, judicious reader, and if you fit into the blank spaces
which I have left the words “British” and “outlawed Irish Republican Army” you will see where it
was. This Reuter message describes the precautions taken on Easter Sunday 1966 on the border
between Eire and Northern Ireland (where the dogma of “majority rule” apparently stops).
Rhodesia is much bigger than England and Scotland together and is menaced on all sides, but it
could not raise a “security force of 13,000 in the capital” or “seal off its four hundred miles of
northern frontier. “It has one white policeman and less than three black policemen to every two
thousand of its four million inhabitants, a total force of something under two thousand white and
around five thousand black police. Its entire army is under four thousand strong, and of these less
than one thousand are Europeans. The police go unarmed, save on some night patrol, and the visitor
and the Rhodesian in the street alike very seldom even see a policeman.
In truth then, as I found in my search, Rhodesia is less a “police state” in any honest meaning of the
word than any African country since Africa “emerged”, and I speak from knowledge. That law and
order are kept by so insignificant a force is due to four factors: first, to the seventy years of peace
which the tribes have known under the white man; second, to the clamant wish of the tribes, after
their experience of the Communist-sent terrorists, that this peace may continue; third, that the men
who govern Rhodesia know how to live with the tribespeople; and fourth, that the numerically tiny
British South Africa Police, like the Mounties in Canada, are an élite force, bred by tradition and
experience to understand and deal with masses of tribesfolk in great areas of remote, wild and
lonely country.
I have already given the picture of a tribal district, as visited by me. When Mr. Wilson was briefly
in Rhodesia he was invited to visit, unled and unescorted if he wished, any tribal district he chose,
but did not avail himself of this offer to “see for himself”.
Is there any conceivable sense in which an honest man could call Rhodesia a police state, in our
world of today, full half of which now lives under literally terrorist régimes? Rhodesia has
“emergency laws”, renewable by Parliament every three months, of the kind which England
repeatedly has used in times of violence unrest. These were forced on it by the encouragement
given in London and New York to the terrorists called “African nationalists” (a meaningless term in
any context, let alone that of a continent containing a multitude of different, mutually antagonistic
races, peoples and tribes. Are there, then “European nationalists” and “Asiatic nationalists”? Would
the United States tolerate the idea of “South American nationalists”?).
Against these young, detribalized men who are spirited to far Cathay and Muscovy, for instruction
in murder and arson, emergency laws were the least that was needed. They were not needed before,
and could lapse at once if the incitement given these men in London and New York were stopped.
If people in the West could see what has been done by them in Africa in the last few years, they
would themselves rise against it, I imagine, but the massacres are hidden from them.
Little was ever heard there of the massacre of the Lumpa Sect at the very moment when Zambia,
with the blessing of London “emerged” into independence: that was its birthmark. This sect was
founded by one Alice Lenshina who, after a long coma brought on by illness following childbirth,
said she had communed personally with God and obtained a very large following. Her
achievement, near unbelievable to people who know African tribal life, was to liberate her
followers from the fear of witchcraft. She ordered her adherents to destroy all the charms and
practices associated with it and they would be immune. Her fame, as a woman who could confer
immunity from the witchdoctors and their spells, spread rapidly and the number of her churches
The Lumpa Church refused absolutely to have any part in politics or the campaign of violence and
intimidation by which, for the benefit of London, the demand for “independence” was being
supported. They resisted all attempts to force them into participation and the strife between them
and the “African nationalists” became so heated that African troops, under British officers, were
sent to preserve order.
This was a tragic episode in the British story because it occurred while Britain was still legally
ruling. The excitement engendered among the African troops by the near approach of
“Independence” was too much for them. Their officers could no longer control them as they
reverted to tribal ways and went berserk. While the British officers vainly tried to stop them (one
“with tears running down his face”, I was told) they mowed down some eight hundred of the
Lumpa people with machine-guns. Forty-five women and children were butchered in a church.
Photographs of this massacre exist but are unlikely ever to reach the outer world (similarly, the
Rhodesian Government’s report on the deeds perpetrated by “U.N. troops” in Katanga was withheld
at London’s request).
One published document exists which, if it were widely distributed in England, might at last
awaken opinion there to what has happened and will happen in Africa, and so produce a restraining
effect on London and New York. This book, The Fabric Of Terror, did achieve publication in
America (the publisher, Mr. Devin Garritty, tells me that “no one in England would dare touch it”).
It is an unemotional account, by a Portuguese writer, Mr. Bernardo Teixeira, of what was done
along a 500-mile stretch of northern Angola on March 15, 1961, by terrorists from a communist
camp across the Congo Republic border who, says Mr. Robert Ruark in his introduction, “did not
hunger and thirst for freedom: they hungered for rape and thirsted for blood”, massacred more than
five hundred brown, black and white folk that day, from aged men and women to newborn babes
and even babes unborn. The peak of obscenity was reached when living victims were bound to
planks and passed through a sawmill.
The leaders of the usual “African nationalist” organization which carried out this massacre (called,
in this case, the “Union of the People of Angola”) were interviewed in New York four months later
by M. Pierre de Vos of the leading Paris newspaper, Le Monde. They confirmed, and even boasted
about all that was done. M. de Vos said there was proof of tortures perpetrated upon men, women
and even children: “Do you deny these massacres?” “No, all that is true … They massacred
everything”. “Women and children included?”, asked M. de Vos. “Yes, why deny it”. M. de Vos
then asked about the sawmill killings, and one of the group, “with a broad smile”, said, “We sawed
them lengthwise”.
Nothing of this reached the mind of the outer world and the men involved continued to be courted
in the corridors of the United Nations, and to pursue their propaganda there, “and in the
chancelleries of those many nations which judge, for one or another reason, that they have
something to gain from sailing with the African wind”, says an eminent American writer, Mr.
James Burnham, in his afterword to the book. He adds, “on the political warfare front impressive
victories have been won, as the votes of the U.N. bodies and the anti-Portuguese bias of most of the
press demonstrate”.
Then he says, “Not the least of the propaganda victories has been the concealment of the events of
March 15, 1961″.
Well, the book, with its photographs, is to be had, by those who wish to know. But as yet the
Western world only hears of such things as Miss Phombeya’s toe, and the political gentlemen
continue to talk about the “police state” in peaceful Rhodesia.
*** Chapter Thirteen
Empires invariably pass: that is something old under the sun. The Roman Empire declined: other
empires progressively decayed: some crumbled under defeat in war. The British Empire seemed
until recent times to have found a new way of gradually liquidating responsibilities too heavy for it
and yet maintaining strong bonds with the lands come of age and able to manage their own affairs.
The sudden decision, apparently made in some secret compact between the two political parties, to
abandon the African possessions, immediately after a victory in war, was something new in the
story of empires. It was in the nature of a fraudulent bankruptcy, rather than an honest liquidation,
for long after the decision was made the white folk were being assured that Mother England never
would desert them.
The first results have been seen, in the form of chaos in northern Africa, but the strangest result was
that which followed after November 1965. Revolutions are said to devour their young: the
spectacle of an empire devouring its young, Rhodesia, was novel in the pattern of decline.
The physical attempt to starve Rhodesia into submission, by means of warships, aircraft, seizures of
money, repudiation of claims and the rest was one side of the unusual affair. The other aspect of it
was to my mind more repugnant. This was the siege by words, spoken, written and illustrated.
What we now call propaganda is nothing new. It might be accounted among the oldest professions
in the world, despite other claims to this seniority. A famous instance comes down to us from two
thousand years ago, when “The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that …”
Ever since then the multitude has been persuaded of one thing or another, and usually to its own
undoing. In our time the means of such persuasion have vastly multiplied, and only retirement into
a cave can offer escape from them. Before the last war radio was added to them and during that war
the audience on both sides of the battle was equally persuaded. “Juice of cursed hebona … and in
my ears did pour the leperous distilment”, said the British when they heard the Rundfunk: “juice of
cursed hebona … etc.,” said the Germans when they heard the B.B.C.
After the Second War, and in good time for any third, came television, so that the multitude might
be optically as well as aurally persuaded. Television encompassed almost the whole world and
from this time on innumerable millions spent hours each day, on bar-stools or in armchairs,
watching images on a screen, and in this shadow-show thought to see their world exactly as it goes.
Came the moment when this great apparatus of persuasion was to be turned, from England, like a
swivelling weapon, against Rhodesia. “Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound?” asked
Shakespeare’s Bishop of Carlisle. All that was mere racialism, said the new-age bishop already
quoted. In this nutshell lie three hundred years of England’s story and decline.
This war of words and flickering images was to me the strangest part of the siege of Rhodesia. I
was amazed by the lengths to which the bombardment by falsehood was carried. Could this be the
B.B.C., during the war dear for its reputation through the anti-Hitler world? With a shock of alarm,
I looked at myself and wondered: had I stayed in England these forty-five years, not wandered the
globe, would I have believed all this?
As a political writer of very long experience in many lands, and an intimate knowledge of the
various methods of presenting, suppressing or distorting information, from open dictatorship and
censorship down to “slanting” and insinuation in countries where “press freedom” supposedly
prevails, I was astonished to find how completely the outer world’s press, radio and television were
scaled against faithful, factual and objective reporting from Rhodesia.
The country’s stout nerves were proved by the serenity, and sometimes detached amusement, with
which it suffered this new kind of beleaguerment. To an Englishman it was painful to watch. I had
to believe my ears, but no longer recognized the country where I was born.
Every night the B.B.C. came on the air with “The World And Rhodesia” (the world, mark you, not
Britain). The “Voice of America” joined in from various points in the globe, and was often more
violent. The B.B.C. set up a station in Bechuanaland, just across the Rhodesian border, set a guard
of British troops around it, and fired salvoes of persuasion into Rhodesia. From Zambia, where Dr.
Kaunda repeatedly called for “force”. Africans in Rhodesia were incited to kill, burn, maim and
The explosive background to all this was provided by Mr. Wilson’s statement that he would use
force against Rhodesia if invited by Sir Humphrey Gibbs to restore law and order there. Compare
that with what a speaker from Zambia said (in Sindebele) to Rhodesia on December 10, 1965: “The
English troops will come if there is terrible disorder … That is when they will come. That is when
all nations will come”. (In these programmes B.B.C. news and talks were also relayed).
The B.B.C.’s French service from Mauritius (of all places) advertised in the local newspaper,
Action, the offer of a transistor as prize for the best letter to Mr. Ian Smith or Dr. Verwoerd “to
convince them that they should renounce their policies”. The “best letters” were to be broadcast by
the B.B.C. in French and English.
The B.B.C. and British newspapers frequently carried reports from the terrorists at Dar es Salaam,
an obviously communist source and one a thousand miles distant from Rhodesia, about “riots” and
“fighting” in Rhodesia. I can vouch, from my years as a foreign correspondent, that in earlier times
reputable broadcasters and newspapers would not have given currency to such reports without first
checking with their “man on the spot”, in this case, in Rhodesia. The worst instance of this came at
the very moment when, after six months, talks were at length announced to begin between London
and Salisbury.
The attempt was at once made to wreck these talks by producing some incident in Rhodesia which,
magnified out of all recognition (like Miss Phombeya’s toe), might be presented to the listening
myriads oversea as a sign that “law and order” were tottering in Rhodesia. A band of terrorists
slipped across the Zambezi by night with grenades, guns and explosives. Although the Rhodesian
police are so few, they were detected (helicopters are useful in this kind of country) and in a short
encounter near Sinoia seven of them were killed and their cache of arms discovered. The incident
only briefly disturbed the calm of a very small area.
A few days later, as the Rhodesian negotiators were packing their bags for London the B.B.C.
broadcast every hour on the hour between 6 and 9 a.m. the statement of “a spokesman for one of
the outlawed African parties” at Dar es Salaam “that African guerilla fighters in Rhodesia have
killed five policemen … and shot down twelve Rhodesian planes”.
This is fiction without even a toe of foundation in fact: I was there and vouch for it. No policeman
was killed or aircraft shot down: the district was completely calm. The B.B.C. had its own
representative in Salisbury and did not check with him before broadcasting this “news” in its
“World News”: a telephone call to Salisbury would have shown its falsity. In fact, reports from Dar
es Salaam or Zambia about Rhodesia should never be published or broadcast without verification.
(In this case the B.B.C. next day gave out a casual “disclaimer”: disclaimers never correct the
original impression made on the mass mind).
Two instances (of many reported to me) have been verified by me, of “persuasion” by television.
The Rhodesian managing director of a big international concern, happening to dine with an M.P. in
Belfast, saw on television pictures of a large building burning “during current riots in one of the
main cities of Rhodesia” and thought of returning at once: he said to his wife, “Things must be
getting bad.” Then the smoke cleared; he saw through it the name “Meikles”, and realised that the
picture was of the burning of Meikle’s department store in Bulawayo many years before.
The daughter of the Rhodesian Minister for Law and Order, Mr. Lardner-Burke, was similarly
alarmed when, in Britain, she saw pictures of “rioting in Rhodesia”. Then a friend said, “What are
those camels?” Rhodesia has no camels and these were pictures of rioting in the Sudan.
A leperous distilment indeed! I would like to live the day when, of the machine of persuasion as
now employed from England, one might again say that it is honest, just, of good report and
deserving of praise. Between November 1965 and June of 1966, as I write, there may, for aught I
know, have been things true and of good report in it, but they were drowned in this thunder of
persuasive falsehood, a sound which, as I listened, reminded me of the great barrages on the
Somme in 1916.
I thought then that nothing could ever he more deafening, incessant and destructive. Now I am in
doubt, for minds can be destroyed as well as men.
*** Chapter Fourteen
Chance alone brought me to Salisbury. I had ties elsewhere and felt no impulse to go there,
thinking that it would differ only in its more recent beginnings from other of the white man’s cities
in Africa. The chance was fortunate (I mean, the chance of the attack on Rhodesia) for I found it
the most agreeable city I ever knew, and to my taste it is the best achievement of the white man in
Totting up, I see that I have lived (that is, spent six months or more) in eight of the world’s great
cities (London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, New York and Durban) and spent shorter
times in innumerable others, from Moscow to San Francisco, Warsaw to Washington, Belgrade,
Sofia and Athens to Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Los Angeles and many more). Vienna I dearly
loved: in Budapest and Prague I would fain have pitched my tent, but that Hitler drove me away;
Durban became my home.
Of them all, Salisbury, to my great surprise, was the best for a man of my mind, and my mind is
that of a townsman: I am not drawn to rural life, though I could be happy in a shack on some
seashore if I had a boat. But the world’s cities today are too big for a townsman of the kind I am:
they become great cages, inescapable. This young, small city, Salisbury, had all that I desire in a
city, and yet was not a concrete trap. You may walk out of it (but this rare pleasure may be one
savoured only by me: I seem to be the last city-dweller who likes to go afoot).
Give a city a good ground plan to start, and the rest, I think, takes care of itself. It grows organically
and may hope to be spared the laboured artificialities of town-planning.[16] Salisbury was blessed
among cities when Cecil Rhodes, as they tell me, ordered that the streets must be wide enough to
turn a span of oxen. I was fortunate to spend a night in Rhodes’s house, the first one built (around
1898, perhaps). A photograph shows it standing alone on a slight eminence in the bare African
scrub. not a tree in sight and, a mile away, a few shacks and wattle-and-daub huts. Out of that has
sprung today’s city and Rhodes’s house, which looks as if it would last for ever, now is lost among
its neighbours. I wondered how, in those remote and dangerous days, he contrived to get the
materials and builders for this sturdy, foursquare and attractive dwelling.
Rhodes’s original ground plan saved Salisbury from the squeeze of “the accursed rent values”
which has made most modern cities into places of deep ravines between high concrete cliffs,
wherein the midget, man, feels himself all cabined, cribbed, confined and bound in, and produced
the most spacious city I ever saw.
A good site helps a good ground plan and Salisbury was well chosen when the Pioneer Column
halted here in 1890. On this roof of Africa, the high Central African plateau, you are on top of the
world. Nothing is higher than you and even the tall buildings are set so far apart that they do not
oppress. The land is flat, so that you may look along any of Rhodes’s broad avenues, perhaps in the
dawn when the traffic’s blur is absent, to the end of the world, and reach up and touch the boundless
sky, arching down to a man’s level on every side. Here a man can fill his lungs and lift his head. At
night the stars are bigger and brighter than elsewhere, presumably because you stand higher and
nearer to them and there are no roof-shapes between.
Rhodes’s avenues are, for me, Salisbury’s especial charm. The men who made the town were
generous with space in a measure I have seen nowhere else, and two span of oxen, not only one,
might turn in some of these verdant places, for the green verges are often wide enough for a double
line of magnificent trees. The houses, too, are set well back and apart, seldom cheek by jowl.
It is, predominantly, a white city, of spacious ways, with the tall green spires of cypresses for
background almost any way you look. It is still small, and you may stroll for a few minutes
between tall buildings and suddenly find you have left it behind. A city, to my mind, is always best
at this stage of its growth. In our time cities get too big too quickly, and that sad day, presumably,
must come for Salisbury too.
For a boulevardier of my taste and experience it is now just what a city should be, and
astonishingly mellow, for its youth. In other modern cities of Africa the contrast between the old
single-Storey wood-and-iron buildings is often violent and displeasing, perhaps because of the lack
of Salisbury’s spaciousness. Here they seem to blend and nestle side by side, and are often
embowered in flowers and gardens. Salisbury, too, by some means has been spared the great
outcrops of shack-and-shanty settlements which disfigure other African cities. It has some, but far
fewer than elsewhere.
I never expected to find a siege so pleasant. The menace was near and very real, but I shall always
remember the months I spent in beleaguered Salisbury as some of the most agreeable of my
wandering life.
*** Chapter Fifteen
Before we leave Rhodesia, enquiring reader, and explore the larger scene of which its
beleaguerment is a part, as is the keystone to the arch, let us look back from the observation car of
our departing train upon this land which has set the world agog; and see how it looks six months
after Independence.
You will leave Salisbury, its tall white towers, green spires and peaceful populace, behind. As it
diminishes you will pass between rich pastures and tribal lands, good farms and African villages of
thatched huts, a fair land strewn everywhere with the fantastic shapes of kopjes, great rock-castles
and boulders left by some convulsive surge of nature in times unimaginable. Everywhere people,
black and white, going placidly about their business.
Sanctions have not weakened the spirit of the people or very much harmed them, as a whole. You
have seen the shops and flats left empty by folk who went away when the Federation was
destroyed. You may see an empty building where the American Information Service was until,
from lofty moral indignation, it was closed when “the course of human events” led to Independence
here. You may see a great oil refinery idle, because the blockade stopped supplies, and a big British
automobile-assembly plant on half-time because the parts were withheld. None of this has had the
ruinous effect desired. Independence has proved itself and the people are firm.
British governments, Conservative and Socialist, refused to allow this independence unless they
were given “evidence” that the black folk were behind their government in desiring it. Now the
evidence is conclusive. They could have had it long ago by going into the tribal lands, seeing the
other “evidence”, that of the terror, and testing the wishes of “the people” on the spot. They would
not and continued the pretence that the men behind the terror were “the leaders of African opinion”.
After six months the pretence has worn threadbare. The evidence they professed to want has shown
itself, incontestably. The land has been independent six months, has faced pressures and strains
never hitherto known, is quiet and orderly. “Chaos and rebellion” occur nearly everywhere else in
northern Africa, but not here.
Now “Talks” have begun in London and if they do not produce an accommodation before this book
appears, that will not be the fault of any in Rhodesia. From the moment of UDI Mr. Ian Smith
repeatedly said he was ready to talk at any time, without preconditions. These offers fell on stony
ground. At one point, a European country was willing to act as mediator, and that method of
conciliation too was rejected. If London ultimately agreed to these talks, the reader has seen why.
And now, what will the harvest be? If this were in truth just a dispute between “colonial rebels” and
a Mr. Wilson, cast by mischievous prank of time for the part of King George in a revival of an
earlier Comedy of Errors, the end of the play would be foreseeable: recognition and confession of
error from London.
It is much more than that. Rhodesia is the present stumbling block in the way of the furtherance of
the great design for World Government. For that reason the name “Rhodesia”, whatever comes
next, long will occupy the headlines, and the machine of public persuasion continue to distort the
news about it in the columns beneath them.
These six months brought me, at least, the greatest experience of a wandering writer’s long trek
through scenes of trouble and tribulation, for when was ever seen so strange a siege as this, from
Troy to Paris? British soldiers on the western border, guarding a radio station beamed against
Rhodesia. British aircraft on the northern border, where terrorists beam their incitement against
Rhodesia. And on the East …
If Lord Nelson did not turn in his grave (and Captain Horatio Hornblower quit his quarto-deck) at
the sight of the British Navy, of glorious tradition, toiling to starve Rhodesia into submission, then
at least there was a coincidental symbolism in the fall of Nelson’s statue in Dublin (as in that of
Rhodes’s boulder), even though Irish Republicans caused this.
About that time, good urban and suburban reader far away, another war breathed down the necks of
us all. The British Navy stopped a Beira-bound oil-tanker on the high seas. What would have
followed if its master had refused to stop? Would the warship have fired? On an oil tanker?
Another tanker slipped through the blockade and reached Beira. At that point Mr. Wilson, who had
said specifically that he would not “alone” call for a naval blockade of Beira, applied to the body in
New York for leave to start a naval blockade of Beira, and that moment of untruth was nearly the
moment of no-return.
Then Dr. Salazar warned against “one more false step” that would kindle a great flame. Combined
paratroop manoeuvres were being carried out in England under the code-name “Exercise Lifeline”.
Here let me tell you, good reader, something which you will not know, or at any rate very few
among you will know. Dr. Salazar, whose information is usually of the best, said he believed these
troops were being made ready to land at Beira. He forthwith ordered reinforcements of troops and
aircraft to Beira and gave his warning. At the same time he asked Mr. Ian Smith, for the sake of
peace, not to offload the oil, and Mr. Smith, unwilling to leave a neighbour in such a dilemma,
reluctantly but amiably agreed. These two men may have averted grave things at that time.
Whether Dr. Salazar was well or ill informed, one cannot know, but the incident shows the great
dangers inherent in the “ridiculous situation” produced by London’s actions against Rhodesia. A
fortnight later the news-managing “spokesman” in Whitehall “scornfully dismissed” the rumours
about contemplated military action at Beira. I doubt (but cannot check this) whether these rumours
reached British readers, listeners or viewers, and if they did not, perhaps he protested too much. In
any case, and sad to say, denials from London by then were a somewhat devalued currency in the
world. Had not Mr. Wilson denied that he would ever blockade Beira?
This was the third time that England came near being embroiled in war through its actions in
Africa. The episode of the “defensive bombs”, proffered for use in Katanga and then withheld, I
have related. The other incident occurred in 1961, when the great Federation began to crack under
British pressure. Sir Roy Welensky then learned of a concentration of British troop-carrying aircraft
at Nairobi, and believed that they could only be intended for use in effecting such political changes
in Northern Rhodesia as London desired. He took steps to put radio beacons out of action, obstruct
runways, and have smallarms fire in readiness if any aerial ingress were attempted.
Dining with Mr. Macmillan in London, later, he mentioned this matter. He says, “The tears rolled
down Macmillan’s cheeks. ‘Roy, do you really believe that I, who have seen the horrors of two
world wars, would have tolerated a situation in which Britishers would have been shooting down
Britishers, their brothers, alongside whom they have fought on many a battlefield?’ ‘Before you go
any further, Harold’ (cut in Sir Roy) ‘you’d better understand that I sent a Canberra up to Nairobi
last month. I know you were gathering troops and aircraft there. Where else in the world were you
going to use them except against us?’ ‘But of course’, he sighed, ‘of course, Roy, we all make
mistakes. Those aircraft and troops weren’t to be used against you. We were collecting them in case
you needed them, and we should have had them there ready for you’.”
Dr. Salazar, as may be seen, was not vapouring when he warned against “one more false step”, or
foolishly panicking when he ordered troops and aircraft to Beira. By mid-1966 not one truly stable
state remained in northern Africa, of the many newly-created in the preceding few years. The
shambles foretold by Lord Salisbury, and for that matter by every competent and unprejudiced
observer, many years before was spreading all the time.
In Uganda, a “fully independent member of the Commonwealth” for nearly three years, the old
tribal wars burst into flame. The President, a Mr. Milton Obote, abrogated the constitution
bestowed by departing Britain, under which Uganda, on paper, became a federal republic of its four
provinces, with the central and chief one, Buganda, retaining an especial status under its Kabaka, or
king. He deposed the Kabaka from the Ugandan presidency, and made himself president. The
Kabaka thereon told Mr. Obote to remove his government from Buganda soil, and Mr. Obote
thereon sent troops to attack the Kabaka’s palace. Fierce fighting followed and the numbers killed
may one day become known, though I doubt this. Sir Edward Frederick Mutesa, Knight of the
British Empire (the Kabaka), a former Grenadier Guards officer affectionately known as “King
Freddie”, escaped and eventually reached England.
In Kenya, next door, the paper constitution and the incomprehensible (to the African mind) idea of
one-man-one-vote seemed to be on the way out, as President Kenyatta’s ruling party pressed hard
for a one-party state with “preventive detention” powers. In Nigeria, whence Mr. Wilson emerged
in January saying that the “Commonwealth leaders” there were agreed that one-man-one-vote was
the very basis of democracy, the rebel régime which took over on his departure announced in May,
through its military head, General Ironsi, that all political parties were abolished and that “the
army” would remain in power three years.
But for the rising toll of blood, the thing would have turned into pure opera bouffe in May when
President Kaunda of Zambia, in a shrieking speech at Lusaka which included several references to
the “idiots” in London, announced that he would propose the expulsion of Britain from the
Commonwealth unless the Rhodesian Government were promptly removed by it: he could not
endure the continuance of rebellion there. At this a Mrs. Judith Hart was sent to Lusaka to placate
him: a new figure on the troubled scene (though well known to members of the “Movement for
Colonial Freedom”, a body which often embarrassed the Socialist Party, in earlier days, by its
activities) she was now, the newspapers said, “Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations”. As
to these relations, one learned at this moment that a Mr. Arnold Smith was “Secretary-General of
the Commonwealth Secretariat” and he, too, continued to be deeply concerned about the issue of
“racialism in Rhodesia”, which, he said in far Ontario, might break up the Commonwealth. The
“great potential value” of this institution, he said, was that “it represented a cross-section of
humanity, races, ideologies and creeds”. He was right: very cross.
Unhappily, the opera bouffe had a bloody background. The terrorists from Zambia were evidently
instructed to change their unsuccessful tactics when they slipped over the border into Rhodesia and
to concentrate on lonely white farmers in isolated homesteads. Two of these were shot through a
window just before Mr. Kaunda spoke, and he made inflammatory references to the murders, for
instance, that “more innocent people” were likely to die as the result of “the explosive situation in
Then, as earlier, no explosive situation existed in Rhodesia: the only explosives were those brought
into it from Zambia by the communist-trained terrorists.
Yet in the House of Commons Mr. Bottomley, questioned about this matter, attributed it to UDI,
until he was shouted down by indignant Members, when he retired into the worn formula that he
was against violence from any quarter. The reader will remember that the terrorists were active
long before UDI, that Mr. Bottomley was repeatedly begged to satisfy himself of their external
origins and masters, and that he continued to the end to allude to them in respectful terms as
representing “African opinion”.
Similarly, in the House of Lords Lord Salisbury asked whether the government would condemn
such incitements to murder as President Kaunda’s reported words on May 12, 1966, that “blood has
got to be spilled” to oust the Rhodesian government. Lord Longford, the government spokesman
there, dragged out again the hideous cliché about the government “opposing violence from
whatever quarter”, and being pressed to say whether this applied to the particular case in point (Mr.
Kaunda’s words) said he would not “pass criticism on the head of a friendly Commonwealth
country” (Mr. Kaunda’s country, lest the reader be in doubt). Lord Salisbury said, “That second
answer will be regarded by many people in this country as condoning violence, and even murder”.
This writer certainly so regards it.
In this darkling scene of manmade confusion and evil, where London and New York seem witch-
bent on making a brew of powerful trouble, things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good
report, virtuous and deserving of praise are few and hard to find. The faithful scribe, however, must
seek them out, and here I show the other, better side, where some promise may be discerned of a
return to peace, stability and order in tormented Africa.
If Rhodesia’s independence is maintained, there are the makings of a strong group of “States” in the
true sense of the word in Southern Africa, three of them strong and self-supporting in themselves,
and three neighbouring weaker ones moving in the orbit of the greater. Together this group would
give Africa a firm basis of order, stability and improvement which in time would project its
influence into the present northern confusion and exert a stabilizing influence there.
The three small British protectorates in or near South Africa and Rhodesia, Swaziland, Basutoland
and Bechuanaland, always feared to he engulfed by South Africa. Today their fears are quite other.
They see, on the one hand, murder and mayhem everywhere in the north, and, like the Africans in
Rhodesia, fear that more than any other thing on earth, for they, with tribal “history” living in them,
know just what it means. On the other hand, they see order and progress in Rhodesia and South
Africa, and in South Africa the policy of separate native homelands (Bantustans) which greatly
appeals to them. These organic processes of development attract them much more than the prospect
of tribal and other war offered by the chaotic north. Also, they already feel the near presence of the
terror from Dar es Salaam and Lusaka, and have within their own communities men who would
like through terror to become such “Messiahs” as Dr. Nkrumah once in Ghana.
Therefore all three of them, through their heads, Mr. Seretse Khama of Bechuanaland, Chief
Jonathan of Basutoland and Prince Makhosini Dhlamini of Swaziland, have announced that when
independent they will pursue “policies of a healthy, good understanding with neighbour states” and
of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Chief Jonathan, an enlightened man,
once remarked that Africa had “become a laughing stock in the world” through events in the north.
Then in Malawi, on the other side of Rhodesia, Dr. Hastings Banda, who played the chief part in
wrecking the Federation and today might regret that, looking at the chaos around has repeatedly
spoken against “force” and for constitutional ways. He seems at the moment to have mellowed
greatly and enjoys increasing prestige among men white and black. He recently spoke to his
parliament at Zomba in words which true men for years have vainly hoped to hear from London
and Washington:
Childish resolutions were proposed at the United Nations and at the Organization for African
Unity. “I have my own ideas. I am not going to vote in a certain way just because I am an African.
When they do the right thing, then I agree. When they do the wrong thing, I do not agree. Other
Prime Ministers follow what their friends do. If I think my best friend is wrong, then I disagree
with him. Those who are calling the tune are not in a position to pay the piper. Too many ignorant
people are in power in Africa today. That is the tragedy of Africa, and that is why Africa is in a
There speaks truth, but the “ignorant people in power” are not only in Africa: there’s the real rub.
Dr. Banda has extended this advice personally to Africans from other countries and, as his repute is
high, this has had effect. In Rhodesia the leader of the 13-man African opposition in the Salisbury
Parliament, Mr. G. Chipunza, also interjected a word of wisdom into the great argument. He
advised leaders of black African States against interference in Rhodesian affairs and particularly
against harbouring exiled terrorists in their countries. This advice, clearly directed first and
foremost to Mr. Kaunda in Zambia, goes to the very root of all evil, the one which British
Ministers, from Messrs. Macmillan and Sandys to Wilson and Bottomley, refused to see or know.
Mr. Chipunza’s words (may they at last be heeded in London and New York) are those of a
statesmanlike politician:
“What this country needs for a solution of its problems is the co-operation of all reasonable
Rhodesians, white and black, towards the eventual creation of a non-racial State. This can and must
be achieved. But the delay or prevention of such achievement is caused as much by the extremism
of African leaders to the north as by extremist white politicians in Rhodesia itself. What our
situation calls for above all else is statesmanship by all parties concerned. The leaders of other
African states are not directly concerned and their interference is both unwarranted and unhelpful.”
With these words of truth, rare in a time when the great machine of public persuasion works at top
speed to make the multitude think differently, let us, friend reader, take a last look at Rhodesia,
stable and peaceful, from our observation car, and fare forth into the outer world, where all the
trouble has been engineered.
*** Chapter Sixteen
When you cross Beit Bridge, good reader, you will leave Rhodesia behind and from your
observation car see another country around you, also a thriving, stable and improving one. Consider
it well for, between you and me, this country, not Rhodesia, is the real object of the exercise which
I have described. Rhodesia is a hindrance between our One Worlders and the place they really thirst
to get at: South Africa. It is the last bastion of white nationhood.
My first memory in life is of being held up to see British troops move off to South Africa. That was
in the time of the great Queen, whose oleograph may even today be seen in an African hut or two in
the bleak mountains of Basutoland. Then in the First War I found myself alongside South Africans,
of Afrikaner and British stock, in the trenches and the flying corps. I remember burying what
remained of one, in a blanket, somewhere near Lens.
In the Second War I met a notable Afrikaner, Colonel Deneys Reitz, who killed his British trooper
in the South African war and fought beside the British in the next one. His book, On Commando,
gives the picture of a Christian soldier, fearless and irreproachable. He came to believe in Empire
and was not beloved by many of his fellow Afrikaners, who deeply distrusted Britain and the
purposes behind our Twentieth Century wars.
That was about all I knew of South Africa, until 1947. Today I find that if I live as long as most of
my progenitors[17] I shall have spent more of my years in Southern Africa than anywhere (for I have
passed only the Second War years in England since I went to the first one at nineteen).
When the Second War ended a happy instinct took me away from the returning inertia of England
and to South Africa. There I met General Smuts, the commando leader of 1900 who became an
outstanding figure of Empire. He played a great part in many great events and his name and fame
were universal (save, as I soon found, in South Africa).
Full of years, honours and acclaim, Rembrandtesque in feature, he looked darkly into the future as
he talked to me. Until then I thought of South Africa as a fortunate isle, spared the direct hand of
world war, free, abundant in natural wealth, a mine of opportunity. At that instant I dimly felt that
this was not quite so. The elder statesman, renowned in every capital of the world, a bestarred and
bemedalled field marshal (the Boers disliked that, who thought of war in terms of their everyday
clothes and broad-brimmed hat, a horse, a gun and a bit of biltong), the intimate of great councils in
London and Washington, here at the Cape of Good Hope was not sanguine but somewhat
I saw him again when he spoke to a crowd in Durban. From long experience I can feel the mood of
a crowd. These people were unresponsive to the world statesman. I thought then that the great
man’s day was nearly done. It was: a little later I watched election results in a cinema and saw that
he was defeated on his home ground. I was in British Natal then and around me was an uneasy stir.
These folk read in the eclipse of the champion of Empire and reconciliation the approach of all they
That was in 1948 and in the following years I watched the Afrikaners, whose chief recreation is the
discussion of politics, prove themselves highly skilled and tireless organizers. They went from
strength to strength until their control of the country was complete. This was not entirely their own
achievement. It was largely due to the British abandonment of Africa. From Kenya, Uganda,
Tanganyika, and after the destruction of the Federation, from Rhodesia, white folk came to South
Africa, as once British armies to Dunkirk. From this Dunkirk, however, there would never be any
thankful relief by small boats. This was a last ditch.
Such people, deserted by their homeland, turned to the Afrikaner government. As the northern
turmoil grew, even the British in Natal began also to turn that way. When Rhodesia took
independence and was at once besieged and threatened with invasion, this gradual movement
became a surge, and in 1966 Dr. Verwoerd and his men gained an electoral victory which showed
that Natal, too, now stood with them.
In twenty years British governments, chiefly Conservative but headed at the decisive moment by a
Mr. Wilson, laid the foundations of two white nations in Africa. Before, there were no
“Rhodesians”, only people living in Rhodesia, most of them deriving their heart’s blood from
England and giving it back in a uniquely staunch loyalty. Today a Rhodesian nation is in the throes
of birth. Similarly, a South African nation of Afrikaners and British-descended South Africans is
coming into being.
These two communities are strong enough together to overcome many a sea of sorrows; at any rate,
another total war would be needed, in my estimation, to reduce them. As to that, we were on the
verge in April and May of 1966 and for the moment a reprieve is probably all that can be counted
The common cause produced by the menace from the chaotic north has, on the long view, a basic
flaw. The instinctive movement of the white folk in Rhodesia towards South Africa and of the
British in South Africa towards the Afrikaners is a negative, not a positive one. It is the mutual
reaction to a common danger, not a conversion of minds. In the matter truly at issue, the survival of
white nationhood in southern Africa, a gulf is still fixed between two ways of thought. If this
continues, even an established independent Rhodesia would only mean a respite, leaving the gap
through which the international mob, crying Havoc, would through Rhodesia one day descend on
South Africa.
The Afrikaners, absolutely devoted to the survival of their nation, have evolved a practical way of
ensuring it among the black folk. The Rhodesians are for the nonce caught up in the delusive theory
of “racial partnership” which binds them, under the usual made-in-London constitution, to a process
leading to the opposite: black domination. By that path they can gain only time, not survival. At its
end, the all-black state would arise on South Africa’s border and the breach be opened for the final
At this point, allow me to explain, truth-seeking reader, that the Afrikaners are the only nation in
Africa, unless the Egyptians may now be so classed again. They have been here for over three
hundred years and in 1806, when the British took over the Cape, were cut off from their imperial
mother-country in Europe. Then they moved away, far inland, to breed a new, separate nation, born
in adversity and now with its own language, tradition and birthright. They are Africans: a white
nation rooted in African soil.
Nothing will induce them to surrender this birthright, but since General Smuts was defeated in 1948
they have devised a practical means of ensuring separate peace and separate freedom for black and
white people, both. They already had within their borders two tribal enclaves, Swaziland and
Basutoland, British dependencies which are now moving towards independence and are committed
to amicable relations with surrounding South Africa. They have created a third out of their own
territory, the Transkei, which has been fully self-governing since 1963, under complete black
supremacy (its leaders will have no truck with “racial partnership” and are not desired to).
This “Bantustan” method will be continued. In South Africa it is practicable because the large tribal
areas are fairly plainly outlined, for instance, “Zulustan”.
I now know a little of Africa and judge that this is the only way of enabling white and black people
to live together in one territory in a relationship of mutual respect and betterment, while ensuring
the survival of white nationhood.
As to white nationhood, a man who watches South African and Rhodesian children on the beaches,
on the farms and in the mountains, may see that it is still the great race, having more to offer the
world than another for long to come. This, to the vituperators of London and New York, is
“racialism” and anathema, but it is the truth and their motive is an ulterior one.
The Rhodesian case is different. For Rhodesia too the survival of white nationhood is an
imperative: for that, in truth, it has faced the world, alone, in 1965 and 1966. Anything less would
be vanity: a palliative and not a cure; a stay of execution ending with submergence in the northern
chaos. The difficulty in Rhodesia is that, although the tribes own more than half the land, this is
scattered in pieces over the map. The Bantustan method therefore is less simple to apply, and
delicate surgery would be needed gradually to achieve the white homeland and the black homeland
under white control. If it were done, Rhodesia would become a stable neighbour of South Africa
and stability in Southern Africa would be re-assured. Unless some such rearrangement be effected,
even Independence, in the long run, would prove illusory.
The Afrikaners perceive that chink in the armour. Despite their prudence in international affairs
(Dr. Verwoerd has shown himself to be one of the very few statesmen remaining in the world) they
are a far cry from the hub of international machinations, and were taken by surprise by the fury of
the assault released against Rhodesia. It jolted them into realization of their own endangered
position in the world. The Afrikaner is not easily perturbed and long shrugged off the outer world’s
ravings and railings as the verbal outpourings of “Liberalism”, which from every instinct he
despises. He suddenly saw the wolfish fangs behind the sheepish mask, and knew then that
menaces which he thought theoretical and distant were perils real and near.
Liberalism! The word is used today as the wolf wore Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s nightcap,
and the motive is the same. I sought it in the dictionary and found that it originally meant
“becoming a gentleman”. This meaning is described as “now rare”, and I would imagine might be
called obsolete. Later, it came to denote a person of generous and open-minded spirit in all things.
Finally, it signifies today one who is “favourable to constitutional changes” and there you have it.
That definition, by the cumulative and overwhelming evidence of our century, covers revolution,
assassination, the one-party state, invasion (does not the cry of Havoc and Force come from our
Liberals?), bully-boys with automatic weapons, the lot.
Liberalism today is a cover-name for every purpose that is destructive of nationhood, familyhood,
(both of these are now “racialism” in the Liberal vocabulary), religion, liberty and peace.
Let us now, good friends and neighbours, consider what Liberalism has in store for South Africa,
and the part played in it by good old Andrew Carnegie, who also might writhe in his tomb if he
could see what is being brewed in his name.
*** Chapter Seventeen
When Scottish-bred men, among others, were pushing the moving frontier westward in America,
and Scotsmen, among others were pushing it northward into Rhodesia, young Andrew Carnegie
from Dunfermline was amassing great wealth in America. As he grew older his fortune increased
until it was almost beyond computation. He was a great man and a good one. His benefactions were
innumerable and many of them were given in directions which, he thought would help to promote
peace in the world. This vision of peace was indeed uppermost in his mind. Among many other
things, he was among the first and most generous in contributing to the erection of a Temple of
Peace at The Hague. (Whether this survives, I know not: if it exists, possibly a little peace may be
found within it; in that case, it is a rare sanctuary in our contemporary world).
The Book tells us that a camel may easier pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man enter
heaven. Even more difficult, perhaps, is it for a rich man to ensure that his money, which he may
not take with him, shall promote purposes dear to him, for instance, Peace.[18] Old Andrew, who by
good intention qualified for unchallenged entry into heaven, did what mortal man can do to make
sure that when he died (in 1919) his dollars should help establish that enduring peace in the world
which he and all true men devoutly desired.
To that end he founded the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the world applauded
this magnificent bequest, which in ensuing years developed so many noughts behind the original
figure that it grew into treasure beyond the understanding of that common man who is the darling
of our age.
Therefore, good people, let us now look with pleasant anticipation at the Carnegie Foundation’s
work for peace, as manifested in 1965.
Where there’s a will there’s a way of reversing its intention. The Carnegie Foundation in 1965
(forty-six years after its founder’s death and a few weeks before the assault on Rhodesia) published,
and distributed to all 114 representatives of the United Nations in New York (whose equanimity it
disturbed not at all) a 170-page book entitled “Apartheid and United Nations Collective Measures”
which contained a blueprint, worked out to the last detail, for an attack on and invasion of South
The introduction contained an expression of thanks to an officer of the “Department of Social
Sciences”[19] at the Military Academy at West Point (the American equivalent of Britain’s
Sandhurst) for his help in planning “U.N. military measures necessary to achieve the goal of
transforming the South African social and political structure”.
The detailed estimate of the forces necessary includes 30,000 assault and 63,000 other troops: 145
warships, transports and supply vessels and 300 aircraft: and 200 transport aircraft requiring “3,000
total flying hours for direct assault”. The cost of a 30-day attack by 93,000 ground troops with air
and naval support is estimated at $95,000,000. The document is a highly professional product,
plainly the result of long experience, research, work, and thought by persons devoted to the aim of
achieving war through the United Nations. The Chicago Tribune, in reporting it, said that
“according to reliable sources, it carried the approval of U Thant, the U.N. Secretary General.[20]
The Carnegie Endowment, being tax-exempt as a body promoting good works, is in fact subsidized
by the American Government. A foreword to the Battle Plan, supplied by the Foundation’s
president, a Dr. Joseph E. Johnson (formerly of the U.S. State Department) stated that the reason
for its issue was our dear old friend, the “explosive situation” in South Africa. (You, good reader,
having destroyed your newspaper, television set and radio, know this to be rubbish).
Two other contributors to the Battle Plan are also former State Department officials, and one of
them is still an “adviser” of it. The Endowment itself is now under the dominant influence, through
its officers and trustees, of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, a body nominally private which
has come to be regarded by many Americans as a shadow State Department and invisible
government of the United States.
This Council appears to work closely with the African Affairs Bureau of the State Department
itself, which has long been in conflict with the responsible heads of the State Department (at this
moment Mr. Dean Rusk and his Under Secretary, Mr. G. Hall) on the issue of using “force” against
South Africa. Its efforts resulted in a group of ten Congressmen and three Senators going to
London in May 1966 to “press for more liberal U.S. policies in Africa”.
One purpose of this “Liberal group” (said the Liberal New York Times) was to strengthen the hand
of those United States officials “who believe that an imaginative, even aggressive policy of support
for black aspirations is necessary”, to which end they were prepared to risk conflict with
“economic, military and diplomatic interests”. “The Liberal outlook” of this group, added the paper,
“has its origin in the African Bureau of the State Department, which often feels itself ignored by
top-level officials”. However, it continued, Mr. Arthur Goldberg, the U.S. Ambassador at the
United Nations, “has proved a staunch ally to the Africanists” (I quoted earlier Mr. Goldberg’s
menaces addressed to Rhodesia).
The “Liberal outlook” of all these gentlemen is presumably indicated by the Carnegie Battle Plan
against South Africa.[21] The Battle Plan appeared just before Rhodesia declared independence.
The South African population was told little about it at the time (the leading newspapers are
foreign-owned and “Liberal”) and for that reason not much heed was taken of it. The attack on
Rhodesia shocked Afrikaners into realizing that it must be taken seriously.
The Battle Plan even set a time for the attack on South Africa, saying that if the International Court
of Justice at The Hague (you remember, dear reader. the place where the Temple of Peace is, or
was) ruled against South Africa on the South West Africa issue, the American Government would
probably support United Nations action “to enforce the ruling”. Proceeding from this, it suggested
that American Negroes could exert pressure on the American Government in this direction, and
“bring interest in the situation in the South to a level seldom achieved by any foreign policy issue”,
by identifying their civil rights campaign in America with the Liberal call for an attack on South
The World Court’s judgment will probably come before this book appears, and therefore may
provide the next moment at which “one more false step” could set the world ablaze. I believe that
mass Negro demonstrations (Liberal ones, of course) are being organized for that day, so that you,
well-informed reader, will be able to see what transpires.
So now we come to South West Africa, on our excursion through the scenes behind the scenes.
Climb again into our observation car, observant reader, take a last look at South Africa, peaceful
and prosperous, and come with me to this harsh, arid and bitter place where the desert reaches
down to the dangerous sea, where the whales wallow, flamingo flock and the fins of sharks slide
through the surf. Here is a lonely, little-inhabited place indeed.
South West Africa! Who ever thought, or even heard of it until our Liberal One-Worlders saw in it
a place where war might be unleashed.
It was a scrap thrown to the Kaiser in 1884 to appease his colonial ambitions and his envy of his
grandmother’s farflung possessions across the sea. The old Governor’s residence still stands in
forlorn Swakopmund, and the statue of the German warrior outside it. You may still take Kaffee
und Kuchen in the little tearoom: still drink German beer in the restaurant: a few flowers have been
wrung from the reluctant sand: and in the bandstand, for all I know, perhaps am Sonntag Abend die
Dorfmusik still plays. For the white folk here are mostly Germans and once, driving across the
desert, I most unexpectedly encountered another traveller, driving a truck to Walvis Bay, who
stopped and hailed me with “Ach, Herr Reed, ich erkenne Sie wieder”. This was a German whom I
briefly met in a Cape Town-bound ship.
One of the strangest experiences of my writer’s life befell me in this desert. I turned aside from the
recognizable road and followed a track, sometimes visible and sometimes vanished, which brought
me over a hillock of sand into, of all things, a green and thriving farm of trees, flowers, fruit and
vegetables, with a homestead set in it. The explanation of this seeming miracle was that the place
lay in a dry river bed which collects enough moisture from the rare rains to keep the soil fertile. A
disadvantage of this idyll is that the still rarer heavy rain may, and once did turn the dry course into
a raging torrent, which sweeps away farm, farmstead and all. When I was there I was given good
Viennese coffee and Apfelstrudel and, beneath the furious sun, thought of the Ringstrasse and the
Cafe Bristol …
This is still Germany, for all that the white folk long ago became British subjects and are now
South African ones. In Swakopmund the German barracks still bears the German regimental
badges, and in the Kneipe opposite I thought to hear the echoes of clinking beermugs and of Trink’,
trink’, Bruederlein, trink’.
What is South West now? A land of 500,000 people, black and white, with good cattle country far
inland, fish for the catching in the sea, and diamonds along the coast. So mighty is the Diamond
Empire that this coastal strip is guarded and patrolled like a king’s treasure chamber, lest any
beachcomber pick up an odd gem or two.
The South Africans took it from the Germans, at the cost of a few skirmishes, in the First War, and
after that war it was entrusted to South Africa under “mandate”, which entailed periodical reports to
the old League of Nations. There were three classes of Mandate, A, B and C, and South West fell
into the C category,[22] which came nearest to virtual transfer. The C Mandates were those which
could “best be administered under the laws of the Mandatory as integral parts of its territory” (my
italics) “subject to safeguards in the interests of the indigenous population”.
The indignant population, according to our Liberals, now thirsts for release from this thrall. The
indignant ones are the Hereros, who form less than a tenth of the 500,000 population. They were
discovered some years ago (I believe the chief discoverer was a Liberal cleric, subsequently
requested to depart from various countries where he sought a Cause) and in the sequel Ethiopia and
Liberia, none other, desired the World Court to rule that South Africa had violated the obligation to
“promote to the utmost the material and moral wellbeing and the social progress of its inhabitants”.
In an earlier act of our opera bouffe the old League of Nations (a less bogus outfit than the present
one in New York) found, through its Slavery Commission, that slavery still survived in Ethiopia
(then Abyssinia) and Liberia. Don’t look now, good reader, but this is still the case.
Thus, in the current act, the world will find “South West Africa” loom large in the headlines, on the
television screen, and in the broadcasts. The readers, viewers and listeners should make the most of
the opportunity for thereafter they are likely to hear as little about South West Africa as they ever
heard before.
In the realm of truth the case is different, again. The South African Government has pursued large
and costly development schemes in South West, for the benefit, among others, of the Hereros. In
the old “native township” at Windhoek, made of flattened oil cans and drums, the Herero leader,
Mr. Clement Kapuuo (he is not the Herero Chief, but Hosea Kutako is 96 years old and dwells
quietly in a Herero reserve) lives in his little store among sacks of meal. He and his followers
refuse to move into the modern township built at the other end of the city. He has a keen politician’s
mind and knows his present abode to provide a scene more attractive to Liberal opinion in the
distant world. As to that, he is confident that “international justice” will prevail and that South
Africa will be “forced” to withdraw.
That brings us back to the Carnegie Battle Plan: the political music goes round and round and the
menace of war always comes out there. Soon the Rhodesian matter may, or may not, be settled or
shelved. Let none relax. Soon will come the International Court’s judgment, and if it be what
Liberal Opinion desires the welkin again will ring with cries of “force”.
Whose force, then? The Carnegie Battle Plan says that lesser military powers might well provide
the “ground force” of 93,000 against South Africa, but that one major power might have to come in
for the final showdown.
What offers, then? America? The Soviet? Britain? Who will volunteer to strike the blow for
Liberalism and Free South West Africa?
Thus, companion of these pages, we come in our observation car to the coast of South West Africa
and must turn our enquiring faces towards George Washington’s great Republic across the sea. For
there are all the answers, at the heart of the riddle inside a mystery within an enigma which
America has become. We will continue, by ship or air, Americaward, where independence began
with the Boston Tea Party. Where is that party now? The guns at Georgetown bear witness to the
Independence which came of it. Where is that independence now? Into what hands has power
passed in those United States?
*** Chapter Eighteen
… on your left, latterday pilgrims, the Statue of Liberty, then the Battery, Wall Street (there’s the
Woolworth Building, madam), have your custom declarations and passports ready, please …
Here it is. Soon these United States will be two hundred years old, and where has all that led: the
landings on the unknown shores of Virginia and Massachusetts, the bitter toil, the wars with the
Redskins, the Westward thrust, the Civil War, the irresistible force, the insuppressible energy, the
stupendous output, the gigantic wealth? Liberty or death: land of the brave and home of the free:
from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripolee: Monroe Doctrine: “no entanglements”: what
is the sum of all that now?
Sometimes I heard choirs or glee clubs of personable young men, from Harvard, Yale or elsewhere,
sing a song in tones of sorrow fitted for such laments of other lands as Over The Sea to Skye or Ich
hatt’ einen Kameraden. The dying strain of melancholy suited the closing words, “Doomed from
here to eternity”.
I wondered what the American story might contain that induced this doleful foreboding in a land,
greater than any other in material things, and in young men, beginning manhood, who came
together to sing. After hearing the mournful number die funereally away several times I abruptly
realized that these were Kipling’s words, set to music. Gentlemen Rankers Out On The Spree was
written in a South African setting a half-century before. Originally it ran:
We’re poor little lambs who’ve lost our way
We’re little black sheep who’ve gone astray
Gentlemen rankers out on the spree,
Doomed from here to eternity,
God ha’ mercy on such as we
The words had some meaning then, though Kipling may have over-dramatized the plight of wastrel
sons of lordly houses who, their heritage squandered, rode off with Somebody’s Horse to the far
Transvaal: they were not inevitably doomed or so pitifully in need of divine mercy, and some did
well enough. Yet these words made such appeal to young America that the glee clubs took them
altered one of them (”rankers” into “songsters”) and sang it so.
“Gentlemen songsters out on the spree”. In that form it made no sense that I could see. Why should
songsters be doomed from here to eternity and hope only for a forgiving beyond?
In America I often sensed this uneasy feeling about the present and future, contrasting violently
with the wealth and power around, that sounded in the recurrent theme: doomed from here to
eternity. Something in the songsters needed to express itself in this dolorous ballad lifted out of
another time, place and context.
In three lengthy sojourns in America I felt this sub-surface apprehension, or fear of the future, more
and more tangibly. I think its cause is becoming clear. It lies, in my diagnosis, in incomprehension
of today’s America. Americans have lost earlier beliefs because these have been taken from them;
they have no clear sense of purpose because none is now to be discerned. American State policy, as
declared, is to maintain America as a citadel of “the free world” against the further inroad of the
destructive revolution, bent on obliterating race, nationhood, familyhood and religion. American
State actions, since 1917, have progressively promoted the spread of that revolution. No adult
American can remain blind to this contradiction between word and deed. Two stricken Presidents,
each re-elected on the promise of peace, brought America at once into world wars, which in the
sequel after victory increased the area and power of the revolution.
The twenty years following the Second War have seen the continuance of this. America makes
local forays “against Communism” which leave no dent in the thing itself and end in semi-fiasco
(witness Korea, Vietnam, Cuba). Betweenwhiles, American State patronage of the revolution in
reality goes on and is plainest to see in Africa, where implacable American pressure for “black
majority rule” has helped bring about the present chaos of racial and tribal warfare in northern
Africa, under cover of which communism, leaping over the Middle East and the Indian Ocean, has
planted its first overseas colony-in-embryo at Dar es Salaam on the East African coast, whence
“news” about the rest of Africa reaches the ears of “the free world” through the B.B.C. and the
Voice of America.
(in parenthesis, here a small but relevant digression. The “Free World” has received the communist-
inspired picture of a “racial” conflict in Africa between two races, one big and black and the other
small and white. The black people, however, are not of one race, but of many races. The war, in
progress as I write, between the self-appointed president of Uganda, a Mr. Obote, and the deposed
president, the Kabaka of Buganda, is a racial one with deep roots in African memories: Mr. Obote’s
followers are Nilotic and the Kabaka’s Bantu. The endemic warfare in the Sudan, again, is a racial
conflict between the northern Semites and the southern Nilots. The conflict in Kenya is also a
racial one between President Kenyatta and his followers, who are Kikuyu, and his antagonist Mr.
Odinga and his Nilotic supporters).
The policy of America, as proved by deeds, is not an American policy. It is that of the force,
masquerading as “Liberalism”, which has infested and infected every government of “the free
world”. By penetration it has gained control of all means of public persuasion and the public
masses are today, in fact, hypnotized by it: glued to their newspapers, radio and television, a wall
has been put between them and truth. The general multitude has been reduced to that state of
bewilderment and confusion which in the Liberal plan of action is the essential precondition for a
final bid to clamp down World Government. In this situation American State actions (as distinct
from proclaimed “policy”) are as a high voltage cable severed and thrashing destructively about in
the world.
The picture of the confused American mind might be found in the words of a Canadian professor
who told his students that “the result of studies among United States high school students showed
that more than half of those interviewed think most Americans are not capable of deciding
themselves what is right or wrong.” Such a beliefless condition would naturally produce a mass
incapable of resisting any strong lead, to whatever purpose. I do not quote what else this statement
contained because the source of such “studies” is obviously suspect and unverifiable and their
effect could only be to implant the sense of helpless bewilderment in Canadian hearers, too.
That particular “result”, however, may be near truth. Americans today are in fact utterly confused
about their country’s purpose and its relationship with the other world.
Americans, gazing into the future with rapt look, often used to me the phrase, “the American
dream”. When I asked just what this was, they seemed unable or unwilling to define it, and were
even somewhat embarrassed. I think it meant, to them, a longing for human improvement towards a
time when man to man, the world o’er, should brothers be, but looking at the land around they felt
that these hopes might be going agley and leaving them nought but grief and pain for promised joy.
Today the American dream, whate’er it be, looks like to become an American nightmare. The high
voltage cable thrashes about. The “Boys” go away, unquestioningly and uncomprehendingly, to
Korea, Vietnam and whither else. Senators, Congressmen, their spokesman at the United Nations,
the Secretary General thereof, the Carnegie Planners, the listen-box and the look-box all accustom
them to the notion that tomorrow they may move off, in the same apathetic confusion, towards
Southern Africa. Is not Liberal the word and Force the action?
Thus America of the Pilgrims and the Pioneers as it stands, facing both ways, in the mid-sixties of
our century. Doomed from here to eternity …? Is this dirge to be tomorrow’s marching song, not
Dolly Gray or We’ll Be Over?
Let us continue, fellow sightseers, on our way. On your left the Central Library, turn right into
42nd Street, on your left Grand Central Station and, at the end of the street, a building somewhat in
the shape of a tombstone …
*** Chapter Nineteen
… and this monstrous edifice, folks, is the haunt or habitat of the Benighted Nations, or B.N. As
you know (or if you don’t after reading this book you never will) the B.N. constitoots a permanent
threat to world peace and is chiefly maintained, at enormous expense, by the United States and
British Governments. It is untiring in its great work for war and in seeking out places where an
explosive situation of peace exists, so that these areas may be brought to heel by the threat or use of
force. It is indefatigable, also, in giving aid, derived mainly from the sources above-mentioned, to
under-developed countries to help them develop their expenditures.
The B.N., friends and neighbours, this great experiment in the story of mankind, has grown vastly
since it began, in 1945, as the corporate organization of the free world. Today it includes nearly
every State in the world, from China to Peru, so that almost the entire earth is now, ipso facto, free
and ain’t that somep’n. Only a few remaining places, such as Southern Africa, now constitoot a
threat to world war and the B.N. will know how to deal with those bums.
Great things from small beginnings flow, ladies and gentlemen, and the B.N. comprised only about
fifty of the world’s States when it was born at San Francisco in 1945. Who bore it? Ah’m glad you
asked me that question, Ma’am. Well, its parent, as you might say, was Mr. Alger Hiss, anyways he
was the first Secretary General, and he was privately devoted to the interest of the great Soviet
Union, thus foreshadowing the spreading influence of that great country in the counsels of the B.N.
as the years went by.
Today, friends, its membership includes nearly 120 countries. This increase is mainly due to the
grand work, accomplished under the pressure of the B.N., of releasing the great black race of Africa
from its white oppressors. As you will see from this new map of Africa, which looks like the pieces
of a jigsaw puzzle chewed over by dogs, this produced nearly forty new recruits to the free world
and to the B.N. These, together with other eminent members of the free world from Asia and the
Middle East, are now able to command a majority for almost any proposal favoured by them, and
this has firmly established the authority of the B.N. and its status as a permanent threat to world
The B.N., ladies and gentlemen, has already done many doughty deeds, yes sirree. One of its most
notable undertakings in the cause of world war was its famous expeditions to the far Congo, where
its brown troops, with a firm foot put down the rebellious acts of black ones against its authority,
yessir, the B.N. surely showed them boys. No rose but has its thorn, my friends, and, regrettably,
some of them new chums is tardy with their dues. But aid to them will no doubt be forthcoming
from the treasuries of the West to enable them to catch up with these and develop their under-
development, so that the membership of the B.N. shall not diminish nor their majority for its
decisions decrease. Under-development by the people of the people for the people, to quote the
Constitootion of the United States or was it the Gettysburg speech, I don’t rightly remember, shall
not perish from the earth.
And now, folks, follow me through these marble halls. Observe this press of busy girl secretaries,
the thronged and well-stocked bar, the quiet (and empty, I see, well that’s how it goes) Non-De-
nominational Place of Prayer, the whole grand mechanism of speeches and motions and
resolutions, of amendments and counter- amendments, of minutes and interpreters and translators
and printers, of delegates confabulating in corners, of telephones ringing, typewriters clacking,
duplicating machines clicking, guides guiding, rubes rubbernecking, hayseeds gawking, them durn
tourists touring, of black men, white men, brown men, yellow men, all brought together, here on
the East River in little ole New York, beneath the roof of the great B.N., to unite and uphold the
cause of permanent world you know what. This, folks, as you now have seen is Democracy in
action, Democracy plus.
And now, as our time grows short, we will proceed by way of the Lincoln Tunnel and U.S.
Highway 55 (unless I have forgotten my America) to Washington, a place where, according to the
poet Southey, shines “a light for after times”. Well, let us see about that …
*** Chapter Twenty
… “Something is rotten in the State Department” said an American acquaintance to me in
Washington in 1949. I was intent on learning what hidden power, invading the American machine
of State, had diverted the use of American armed might in the Second War to produce the result in
1945. That came from the order to General Eisenhower ‘Supreme Commander, to hold back the
Allied advance and thus let the Soviet Empire extend to middle Europe, obliterating Poland,
Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and the Baltic States: and the later order to General
Marshall to support the Chinese communists in driving the free Chinese into the sea and setting up
another Soviet Empire in mainland China.
The war to end dictatorship thus ended in the vast spread of that dictatorship on which Hitler
modelled his. The world was left as a stage behind a dropped curtain, while the scenery was
changed for another total war, intended to complete the destruction of nations and establish the
World Dictatorship.
By 1949 the picture of what had gone on behind the American scenes was becoming clear. Several
leading participants published books of revelation which (particularly Mr. Robert E. Sherwood’s
account of conditions in the White House, where he was one of several resident familiars) in other
times would have produced enough moral indignation to sweep clean any stables.
Nothing happened and as I looked around I found (in 1949 and again in 1951-3 and 1956) only a
strange quiescence. People knew but were not stirred. They were like the man who, being warned
that the card-game was crooked, said he knew that, but it was the only game in town. I remarked
this again, in a different context, during the Kefauver enquiry into the operations of the Crime
Syndicate. Everything was brought to light, as the lid might be taken off a box of vipers, and all
America watched through television. Again nothing happened and the Crime Syndicate (which
today seems to be extending its groping tentacles into England) grew stronger. This Sicilian-born
thing does not discernibly reach into politics, but its effect on the national morale must be lethal.
Then came the public exposures, first that of Mr. Alger Hiss by Mr. Whitaker Chambers. Both were
captured by communism in youth at their universities. Twenty years later Mr. Hiss, risen to high
office, was an exposed Soviet sympathizer, set in a place where he could do the maximum
disservice to his country and the world. Mr. Chambers was by then a disillusioned ex-communist.
Mr. Hiss was President Roosevelt’s right-hand “adviser” at Yalta, where the deeds were done of
which today we inherit the consequences.
Mr. Roosevelt’s pictures at Yalta showed a man obviously dying. Mr. Churchill’s physician, Lord
Moran, in his diaries (now published), wondered “how far Roosevelt’s health impaired his
judgment” and led him to sign the infamous “Morgenthau Plan” for starving postwar Germany. At
Yalta, the President “intervened very little in the discussions, sitting with his mouth open … I doubt,
from what I have seen, whether he is fit for his job here … He has all the symptoms of hardening of
the arteries of the brain in an advanced stage, so that I give him only a few months to live” (in the
event, two months).
But Mr. Hiss was young and fit, and from Yalta went the orders that misshaped the world and the
future. Six years earlier Mr. Chambers, horrified by the Stalin-Hitler pact of 1939, reported Mr.
Hiss’s espionage work to President Roosevelt and was contemptously brushed aside. More postwar
years passed (during which Mr. Hiss was United Nations Secretary General at San Francisco) until
at last the efforts of a few writers and Congressmen revealed the truth. Mr. Hiss, confronted with a
mass of highly secret documents conveyed by him to Moscow, was tried and sentenced for perjury
(he was never charged with treason or espionage).
In 1913 some eleven hours passed between the detection of Colonel Redl, who for years had sold
Austria’s military secrets to Russia, and his suicide with a revolver given him for the purpose. Ten
years passed between the denunciation of Mr. Hiss and his conviction for perjury. Today another
generation has grown up and by these mid-1960’s its members, if caught, merely remark “So what”
or something equivalent.
Disclosures in America, Canada and England followed quickly. The lid was blown off and the truth
was there for the public masses to see, if they wished. The effect on their individual lives should
also have been clear to them: the growing shadow of one more war, which would be twisted to
serve the same destructive purpose. There was little public response, and during the 1950’s and
1960’s the infestation of governments grew apace, and became more widespread than in the earlier
generation of Mr. Hiss and Mr. Chambers. The new generation, all undeterred, built on the
experience of the one before and white-anted away at the fabric of government in America and
England alike.
In America, Mr. Hiss, as the exposures showed, was but one of a group of termites in and around
the State Department. They too were exposed: some died or committed suicide, others went into the
shadows. But others of the new generation took their places and in this must lie the explanation of
American State policy since the Second War, which I have compared with the thrashings of a high-
voltage cable broken loose. No manifest destiny is perceptible in it, only actions which must
promote the advance of the revolution of destruction while purporting to oppose it.
In this process, the apparent inability of many Americans to grasp the nature of problems in the
outer world, or to perceive consequences, may play a supporting part. At Yalta, for instance, Lord
Moran noted “The Americans are leaving with a sense of achievement, they feel they are on top of
the world and that, while other conferences had been concerned with proposals of policy, Yalta has
been the scene of important decisions that may influence the future of the world”.
True enough, but in the directly opposite sense of what they thought. Mr. Harry Hopkins (the chief
White House intimate) also about to die, “lying on his sickbed ‘is firmly convinced that a new
Utopia has dawned … What is more remarkable — for Roosevelt is a sick man — the Americans
around him do not seem to realise how the President has split the democracies … They cannot see
that he is playing Stalin’s game”. (Lord Moran could not guess, when he made his notes, what sort
of man moved among those “Americans around” or that some of them were privily committed to
play “Stalin’s game”.)
“A new Utopia”, thought the dying Mr. Hopkins. Then let us look at the world today, when
America has announced its intention of creating another Utopia, in Africa …
*** Chapter Twenty One
… and therefore, good reader, we will gaze at Africa through the wrong end of the telescope, that is,
from Washington, where we have now arrived, and consider the chances of this new American
dream becoming a reality.
To Americans, when I came to know them, Africa was but a name, and South Africa and Rhodesia
barely that. Any “national interest” of America in embroiling itself in Africa, then peaceful and
improving, could not be imagined. “No entanglements” was still a remembered tenet, despite the
two wars, and if new entanglements were yet to come, Africa was the last of the continents whither
Americans would have expected to be dragged by them.
I first realized in 1949 that America was to become involved in Africa, and as I lived there, and had
seen the effects of Utopia-making in Europe, misgiving filled me. President Truman then
announced a programme for saving the world from communism. It contained a “Fourth Point”
related to “undeveloped areas”. It was to “foster capital investment” in them, “greatly increase the
industrial activity in other nations” and “raise substantially their standards of living”. Later in the
year this project proved to be aimed at Africa.
Britain and other “colonial powers” were invited to co-operate in “a new defence master-plan to
open up Africa south of the Sahara”. Under this “huge project” new roads and railways would be
built between the African possessions of Britain and those of other countries, new air bases
established and scores of ports modernized.” Evidently a blueprint of stupendous developments in
Africa was in preparation, and Congress would need to vote great sums.
Wondering whence came this sudden interest in Africa, I did some research. The only earlier
source of similar ideas that I could find was a communist book publishing during Mr. Roosevelt’s
period by the then American communist leader, a Mr. Earl Browder. Its proposals bore great
resemblance to those evolving under Point Four: “America can underwrite a gigantic program for
the industrialization of Africa … it must initiate a general and steady rise in the standard of life of
the African peoples … Our government can create a series of giant industrial development
corporations, each in partnership with some other government or group of governments, and set
them to work upon large-scale plans of railroad and highway building, agricultural and industrial
development, and all-round modernization in … the undeveloped areas of the world.”
Here were two minds with a single thought, the one in Moscow the other in Washington. Without
being grossly cynical, I reasoned that Mr. Browder’s heart beat for the world revolution, not for the
African peoples. Here, it seemed, was the original blueprint of the Point Four blueprint for Africa,
and someone must have sold it as an original to somebody in Washington, as dealers have
occasionally been known to pass off a bogus painting as a genuine Old Master.
Mr. Browder’s proposals, in any event, were essentially the same as President Truman’s, so that,
once again, the aims of American policy and of communism were not opposites, but the same, and
this time they converged, as the prongs of the pincers, in Africa. Everything that has happened in
Africa since 1949 shows this pincer method at work. When Britain attacked Egypt in 1956 (a
mistake in my opinion: but once begun, ’twere best carried through) America and Russia joined to
stop the operation. After that Suez fiasco came the deluge in Africa, with America ever pressing for
“black majority rule” and communism creeping into the vacuum thus left, arming terrorists and
esconcing itself at Dar es Salaam.
The event of 1949 seemed to me to show that, although Mr. Hiss. was gone, infiltration of the
American governmental machine went on, as the new generation stepped into the preceding one’s
shoes. President Truman, a staunch man, evidently believed that this project would in fact help
produce a new Utopia, armoured against communism, in Africa. He was new to world
machinations, knew Africa not, and was wrong.
The Fourth Point took clearer shape as the years passed. Officials, bureaus and money were needed
for it, and a report from Washington announced that these new-age officials were working to the
principle of “a new type of benevolent imperialism, designed to spread prosperity without
exacerbating political nationalism”. (In time the exacerbation of what came to be called “African
nationalism” proved to be the chief effect). Then, “American nationals will serve on the
governmental as well as the technical level in the politically independent countries concerned” (my
This notion of politically independent countries governed by nationals from elsewhere seemed
novel at the time but passed without comment. Up to this point, gentle reader, I have briefly
summarized what I wrote seventeen years ago, when the name, Africa, had not even impinged on
the mass mind. In the intervening years, when I turned to other things, I forgot much of what I
earlier wrote, and was agreeably surprised when a good friend in Rhodesia, realizing this
forgetfulness, induced me to read an old book of mine. I found that I had accurately diagnosed the
course of events and the present shape of them, seventeen years ago.
From this point, then, I take up the story of the great defence master plan against communism in
Africa, as it has developed since I wrote in 1949.
In following years a whole crop of nominally private bodies sprang up in Washington around the
Africa programme. They proliferated like toadstools after rain, and like the gentle rain from heaven
much monies dropped on them from the Carnegie, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. The only
admittedly official one, nesting within the government, was the African Affairs Bureau of the State
Department, which, as I earlier mentioned, began to carry on a running feud with its titular
superiors of the State Department in the matter of “more Liberal policies” towards Southern Africa.
I cannot find whether this department earlier existed or was itself a growth of Point Four, but it
developed prodigious energy in the matter of applying “pressures” in Africa.
Outside the official building, but so interlocked with it through past members of it that none could
discern just where policy ended and politics began, was, above all, the Council for Foreign
Relations. This, again through interlocking memberships, identified itself with the Carnegie Battle
Plan in 1965. Many other groups mushroomed up and joined in the hue and cry of havoc against
Southern Africa. A prominent one was the African-American Institute of New York, also closely
interlocked with the others, and this produced, on behalf of the whole mass, the “United States-
South African Leader Exchange Program” of 1958, which was in effect the first bid to effect in
practice the appearance of “American nationals” at “governmental levels in politically independent
countries” (see above).
At American universities new faculties, called “Centres of African Studies” then began to appear.
Several of these were conducted by former State Department officials and members of the Council
on Foreign Relations, and two of them contributed to the Carnegie Battle Plan of 1965.
Supporting these central bodies in the wider field of mass agitation were numerous groups of the
most varied pretensions, ranging from the Non-Denominational Crusade for Free Africa to the
Crapshooters for African Democracy (these are not the true names gentle reader, but you will get
the idea). Any who wish to acquaint themselves with the ways in which “pressure” is brought to
bear on governments in our day will find much information in The Puppeteers, by Messrs. Harold
Soref and Ian Greig (1965). This shows the English counterparts of the American rabble-rousers at
work and presents a lively picture of cambric’d clerics, infuriate intellectuals, bellicose Liberals,
pamphleteers, poets, actresses and the rest, all clamouring for action against the white man in
Southern Africa, six thousand miles away.
Most of these folk are the “useful fools” mentioned by the Venezuelan communist leader, German
Lairet, in the following passage: “Through front organizations and useful fools we must demand the
release of communist prisoners, howl for freedom of the press, if a communist newspaper is
suppressed …” Our old friend Georgi Dimitroff of the Reichstag Fire Trial (he appeared in the first
book I ever wrote) when he became Secretary general of the Communist International, also referred
to these useful but non-initiated servitors of communism: “As Soviet power grows there will be a
great aversion to Communist parties everywhere. So we must practise the techniques of
withdrawal. Never appear in the foreground: let our friends do the work. We must always
remember that one sympathizer is generally worth more than a dozen militant communists. A
university professor who, without being a party member, lends himself to the interest of the Soviet
Union, is worth more than a hundred men with party cards”.
The attentive student who reads The Puppeteers or American publications on the same subject will
usually find, low down in the list of members, patrons, sponsors, sympathizers and supporters the
unobtrusive name of the fully-trained communist organizer.
These groups, in America and England, are able at any moment to produce a picket line, a little riot
outside an embassy, a mass-meeting in Trafalgar Square or Madison Garden, speeches by
Congressmen and M.P.’s, slanted paragraphs in the newspapers and broadcasts, Negro
demonstrations, petitions to the United Nations, delegations to Washington and Westminster.
Expenditure was prodigious under President Kennedy’s improvement on Point Four, when he
created the Agency for International Development (A.I.D.). This, yet another new body, rests
(according to its Fact Book) on the theory that “the future of a schoolboy in the United States may
well depend on whether an African lad sits at a desk in a classroom or is forced to live out his life
as an uneducated pawn of the power-hungry”, a massive theorem which Euclid might require to be
demonstrated. Among the principles governing its gifts are that the recipient country must show
“social progress” (chiefly defined as “land reform”), “forego luxuries” and “accept sacrifice and
discipline”. A.I.D. experts and technicians are to help them towards these ends (ultimately, one
supposes, at “governmental levels”).
The gifts are lavish but “about 80 percent of current funds for grants and nearly 100 percent of the
funds for commodities are spent in the United States”. This presumably means that some of
America’s surplus output is sent to these recipients, who make a book entry, while the American
supplier gets governmentally paid. In 1953 about 70 per cent of the expenditure of some six billion
dollars went to finance the Korean war, a different form of A.I.D. Another function of A.I.D. is “to
maintain access for U.S. military bases on other nations’ soil”.
Fear the Greeks when they come bearing gifts? If any doubt remained about American intentions
towards Africa it was removed in the 1960’s when President Kennedy appointed a Mr. Mennen
Williams Assistant Secretary for African Affairs and sent him to Africa. At that point “African
affairs” became an official activity of the American Government. Here was the President’s own
representative, roaming round Africa.
This might be the oddest diplomatic appointment ever made. Mr. Williams expressed open hostility
to the governments in Southern Africa. Once he was smitten on the nose by an enraged white man,
I believe in Rhodesia. He took no apparent umbrage and went his way, unrepentant and vocal.
After some years he was seen on television, talking about “bringing down the South African
Government”. Even Dr. Verwoerd’s renowned patience then gave out and at his remonstrance Mr.
Williams’s resignation was accepted by President Johnson who “deeply regretted that we will not
have your fine and steadying hand in critical assignments, which you have discharged so well and
faithfully”. This was at least a way of putting it. Mr. Williams retired to stand for Senator in
Michigan (where an unorthodox American citizen undertook to raise a fund for a memorial to the
man who smote the Williams nose).
His resignation could not change the now visible fact. America was deeply involved in the African
turmoil, which by the time of his disappearance enveloped all northern Africa, and was
demonstrably intent on spreading its area. The United States Ambassador at the United Nations
continued to mouth menaces at Southern Africa and its Secretary General on television demanded a
blockade of South Africa, a demand which the reader may compare with the Carnegie Battle Plan.
Even in a mad world nothing like this was ever seen. The Secretary General of the body in New
York should be at the most a rapporteur or impartial recorder, authorized to effect actions decided,
not to decide actions. In the nightmare atmosphere of East 42nd Street, this little man from Burma
already felt himself in command of world events.
By 1966 nothing remained of the great master defence plan against communism of 1949, or of the
great undertakings originally pro-projected under Point Four. The railroads, irrigation projects,
modernized ports and the rest had not materialized. All that came out of the seventeen years was a
political agitation aimed against Southern Africa, where the mass of white folk live, and chaos in
northern Africa. Out of that, again, came the blockade of Rhodesia, the threat of blockade against
South Africa, and the menace of actual invasion.
No Utopia, then. Instead, the great American Republic teetered on the brink of ruinous courses,
drawn thither by the invisible power that has propelled it in this direction, since the start of the
century, with increasing momentum. It was tied, like the London government, to a destructive
In the time when national interest governed American affairs of State, a president, by name
Lincoln, said in 1858: “There is a physical difference between the White and Black race which I
believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”
That truth of 1858 is the truth of 1966. The two races can only live, in peace, separately, and then
on terms of social and political equality.
In 1966 another president, Mr. Lyndon Johnson, announced (while talks for a settlement went on in
London) that “legitimate government” must be restored in Rhodesia and only then could steps be
taken to “open the full power and responsibility of nationhood to all the people of Rhodesia, not
just six percent”. He added, “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 of minorities or the discredited notion that men are
unequal before the law”.
President Johnson must have observed by that time how greatly “human rights” have been reduced
in all of northern Africa since America began its pressures there. Bloodshed and tommy-gunned
minority rule are everywhere there. Even as he spoke one more new State, Uganda, fell into the
spreading chaos; the Prime Minister there deposed the President, and the gunman régime took over
on the ruins of one more Westminster-and-Washington-style paper constitution.
Armed minorities had grasped power at gunpoint in one “emergent” State after another in northern
Africa, and more were yet to follow. In these circumstances, plain to all, the American President
and men around him continued (as in the words just quoted) to address public remonstrances to the
only remaining area, Southern Africa, where parliamentary government survived and where men
who believed themselves wronged could appeal to that “law” which was disappearing everywhere
else in Africa.[23]
Against the background of carnage in the rest of Africa (where the numbers of people
indiscriminately slaughtered in the last few years must by now amount to the casualty-list of a
major war) such statements as that just quoted are grotesquely unreal. American presidents are
honourable men and the fault must lie, not in them but in those “advisers” who have played so
ominous a part in American affairs in the last two generations. Presidents today seem to be
surrounded by a stockade of misinformation and misguidance and this has become plain to see in
the literature emerging from the periods of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt, and
particularly in that of infiltration during President Roosevelt’s time.
President Johnson succeeds to an edifice of apparently absolute power which is demonstrably
weakened at all levels below the peak by this infiltration under the cover-name of Liberalism. He
finds himself in that position at what might be the most dangerous moment in all our history, and is
certainly perilous to his own country.
Let us, then, gentle reader, consider The Powers Of The President …
*** Chapter Twenty Two
During the last war Mr. Churchill once told the Commons, “The United States is now at the highest
pinnacle of her power and fame”. President Roosevelt, learning this, said, “What Winston says may
be true at the moment, but I’d hate to say it, because we may be heading before very long for the
pinnacle of our weakness”.
Whatever he may have meant, the ominous words remain. The weakness was already there; its
source lay in the infestation of the circles around him and the way in which others used his,
apparently absolute power. The “Fireside Chats” gave America the Big Daddy image (and today
television is infinitely more potent in projecting this vision into a myriad homes). The forces
around and behind a President are not seen.
None of the presidents in whom increasing power came to be vested in truth wielded it. President
Wilson was the captive of men around him, as those who study Colonel House’s Papers and strange
novel, Philip Dru, may see. Congress applied the checkrein to President Wilson after the First War
and that might be the last time that Congress proved able to curb a president. After that, in
President Roosevelt’s twelve years, the presidential power grew and grew until, during the Second
War Mr. Anthony Eden, concerned about various territorial rearrangements which President
Roosevelt had suggested to the Soviet’s M. Molotoff, enquired in Washington about the President’s
constitutional authority for reshaping the globe. Mr. Berle, then Assistant Secretary of State, was
consulted and replied that the President could do anything he liked “without any Congressional
action in the first instance” and “the handling of the military forces of the United States could be so
managed as to foster any purpose he pursued”.
Managed! That was in war, and who wielded this power and managed the purpose. A strange
family of familiars and intimates inhabited the White House then, and some were spiritual kindred
of the agents of revolution who had crept into the State Department. The chief one, a Mr. Harry
Hopkins, was described to me by Americans as a “smalltime fixer” and “little brother of the rich”.
The appearance of such a man at the peak of American affairs at so dangerous a moment must be
something unique in any history.
His biographer, Mr. Robert E. Sherwood (also an inmate of the White House) says of him that until
the war’s end (which was also his and the dying President’s end) he was in decisive matters “the de
facto President”, yet he had “no legitimate official position nor even any desk of his own except a
card table in his bedroom”.
Mr. Hopkins in fact wielded the world power vested in the President. He was given charge of the
distribution of treasure, munitions and supplies under the Lease Lend bill, and diverted the bulk of
it, unknown to the public masses, to the Soviet Union. If any copies of Major Racey Jordan’s
Diaries have survived the literary terror, readers may in them study this, the most stupendous
transfer of wealth from one country to another ever known; and all done, in his own unfettered right
and discretion, by “Harry the Hop”.
Being irritated by suggestions that the Soviet should provide information about its military
situation, as did the British, before further supplies were sent, Mr. Hopkins decreed:
“The United States is doing things which it would not do for other United Nations without full
information from them… There is no reservation about the policy at the present time but the policy
is constantly being brought up by various groups for rediscussion. I propose that no further
consideration be given to these requests for rediscussion”.
Here is imperial power in action, wielded by a Mr. Hopkins. He resumed, on a much vaster scale,
the policy begun by the men around President Wilson, who in 1917 spoke of “the wonderful and
heartening things that have been happening in the last few weeks in Russia” and the next day
granted the provisional government there credits amounting to $325,000,000. The hammer-and-
anvil process, by means of which the revolution in Asia and high finance in America, while
grimacing at each other as if at daggers drawn, in fact combined to beat the world into a flaccid
mass ready to receive the iron imprint of World Government, was thus continued.
Mr. Sherwood, an adoring habitué of the White House in war, when he looked back later was
deeply concerned by what he saw with a soberer eye. He then developed an “alarmed awareness of
the risks that we run of disastrous fallibility at the very top of our Constitutional structure”. There
was “far too great a gap between the President and Congress”, he decided, and noted that “the
extraordinary and solitary constitutional powers of the President remain and, in times of crisis, they
are going to be asserted for better or for worse”.
Today “the gap” has even widened. The President can do what he will, for better or worse. We live
in a time of permanent, though engineered crisis. An eminent authority who perceived the mortal
danger long before Mr. Sherwood’s illusions faded, Dr. Charles A. Beard (in President Roosevelt
and the Coming of the War, 1941) said:
“At this point in its history, the American Republic has arrived under the theory that the President
of the United States possesses limitless authority publicly to misrepresent and secretly to control
foreign policy, foreign affairs, and the war power.” Dr. Beard saw the period in which we now
move as “the supreme test of American statesmanship” and feared the future because there was now
“no divinity hedging our Republic against Caesar”.
Such are the legacy, the post and the power bequeathed to President Johnson (by the accident of
another’s assassination). Texan politics are a far cry from the realities of world events and one must
wonder if he perceives the true shape of his time. His words, quoted at the end of the previous
chapter, are of ill omen in that respect.
He has on his hands at the moment a war in Vietnam which, like the Korean one, seems to be of
those new-age wars which must not be won. For that reason it is unpopular in America.
Nevertheless, he has been reported as saying that whenever he makes peace moves his popularity
rating goes down. Here is another example of the dangerous influences around a President, who
must be guided by national interest above any other. None can know how or by whom these “public
opinion polls” are operated, but they are evidently made use of by the “advisers” who nowadays
surround American presidents.
About the same time the President proposed to the Kremlin that the Moon be not used for military
purposes and that other planets be peacefully explored. A draft treaty to ensure this happy
consummation, the reports added, was to be laid before the United Nations. (At this point I was
disabled for a while from work on this book, suffering from prostration following an attack of
hysterical laughter.)
The President has matters to think on here in Earth before he glances Moonward. His governmental
machine, by all the signs, is still permeated by agents of the revolution, and a great uproar of
“witch-hunt” goes up at any attempt to winkle them out. Around them, again, is the clamorous mass
of “Liberal” bodies, all crying for “force”. At the United Nations, African politicos with one-man-
one-gun dictatorships behind them, scream (I use the word literally) for an American-British war
against Southern Africa.
On his pinnacle of weakness stands today’s American President, immune from Congressional
guidance and control, hemmed in by “advisers”. A terrible responsibility rests on the one man in the
world who can, alone, unleash another total war. Between it and him, in fact, lies only a four-letter
word: veto. The greatest of the pressures brought to bear on him is to prevent him ever using it.
Our century has seen that the power vested in American presidents has become absolute, but in the
recent past has been wielded by others. Then what do these others want, to what ultimate purpose
do they use any power they can exert?
Here, at last, we come to the very root of the matter, and of evil, good friends. This way please, to a
place as dark, sinister, tortuous and intricate as the Labyrinth of Hawara or the catacombs of Rome:
to the world of WAPWAG …
*** Chapter Twenty Three
In this century we have seen empires and kingdoms, monarchs and princes, presidents and
republics crumble and go. Each step was supposed to lead to something “new” and better, and each
was followed by deterioration. No pattern of improvement, of a rising brotherhood of man,
emerged from it all. The only pattern, if such it can be called, was that of destroying old things
without putting better ones in their place: witness the world today.
However, one discernible thread ran through the disorderly process. It was that of world revolution
leading to despotic world government. For this reason the process could not stop, any more than a
stone rolling downhill. It had to come to fruition or finally fail, and this moment of decision now
bears down on us all.
Students much more erudite than I, who have examined this matter, find that their search takes
them into olden times, indeed, into ancient ones. Let us here take it up at the point where it became
visible in our recent world, and carry the story, briefly, through to this day.
It all began then, for our purpose, with the chance discovery (as accidental as that of Mr. Whitaker
Chamber’s Hiss-incriminating “pumpkin papers”) by the Royal Bavarian Government in 1787 of
the documents of a secret society, the Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt, a university professor.
Obviously this plan for world revolution (the papers can be read by any who care to undertake the
research) cannot have sprung, as by demoniac birth, from the mind of one man: a long history of
organisation and conspiracy clearly preceded it.
However, these documents for the first time proved the existence of the revolutionary conspiracy
which we know today as communism (it has had various other names). It is identifiable from them
as the same thing, for all the aims and methods are there: the cell system of organization (only
when the papers were published did most of the Illuminates know that Weishaupt existed or was
the head): the use of aliases (cover names); the employment of “useful fools” (high clerics and
princes, believing themselves to be of “Liberal” mind, were among its members, and a Duke of
Brunswick, when he saw the real aims, made anguished confession of his duplicity); the
denunciation of parents; the use of ciphers, poisons and explosives; and all the rest. The aims were
the eradication of religion, family, nations and the establishment of world government.
The Illuminati played a large part in the secret societies behind the French Revolution and then
extended their influence to America, so that George Washington expressed himself “fully satisfied
that the doctrines of the Illuminati have spread to the United States”. They were exposed by three
writers, Messrs. Barruel, Robison and Morse and one of George Washington’s last acts was to thank
Mr. Morse for his work, “the dissemination of which would be useful, if spread through the
community” (Mr. Whitaker Chambers, in 1939, received a presidential recommendation to ‘go
jump in the lake” when he offered his revelations). I was surprised to find how far control of the
press in America had gone even in that time: Messrs. Barruel, Robison and Morse were “smeared”
out of literary existence.
The revolutionary conspiracy then went underground for a time and after Napoleon’s fall emerged
behind a Christian cover-name, calling itself The Holy Alliance. It was perceived to be an attempt
at a supernational dictatorship and that name faded out, but the subversive work continued and
appeared in France again towards the mid-century under one Louis Blanc, who worked for “World
Revolution” and the super-State.
Probably few people in Texas, even today, ever heard of Louis Blanc, but thirty years later still a
young Texan, one Edward Mandell House, was absorbing ideas “reminiscent of Louis Blanc and
the revolutionaries of 1948″ (the editor of his Papers).
This “Colonel” House, when the new century broke, became one of the group of men who chose a
little-known university professor, one Woodrow Wilson, to be candidate for the Presidency. Mr.
House boasted (his Papers) that he infused ideas into other men’s minds; the ideas, as has been
seen, were those of Louis Blanc.
At that time Mr. House’s “ideas” about the total shape of the grand conspiracy were limited. The
hero of his novel of 1912 (when Mr. Wilson became president) was an American dictator who
wished to bring about “an international grouping or league of powers founded on Anglo-Saxon
solidarity” (a very different thing from what later developed). Nevertheless, the central idea was
there: some body above nations.[24]
Mr. House was virtually president during Mr. Wilson’s two terms (the Papers) and thus wielded the
presidential power. He discussed the great “idea” with the ailing British Foreign Minister, Sir
Edward Grey, and the shape of it changed again. The two men now talked about some super-
national body that should combine against States which committed inhumane acts in war. The
central idea continued: some authority over nations. Sir Edward fell into the trap and then proposed
“some league of nations backed by force”. Later Sir Edward, with the familiar Liberal dislike of
words revealing intention, backed away from “force” and substituted the genteel-sounding
But not for long. In 1916 Mr. House prompted President Wilson publicly to support the plan for
“some league of nations” before a body then newly-formed: The League To Enforce Peace. Thus
the Plan became clearer: peace was to be enforced by war. Lord Robert Cecil demurred at that
point, reminding Mr. House that the Holy Alliance too began as “a league to enforce peace” but in
fact became “a league to uphold tyranny” (today’s demonstrable concept).
Then Mr. House set up a body called “The Inquiry” to draft the plan of “a new world order”. The
drafters were three little-known persons: a Dr. Sidney Mezes (Mr. House’s brother-in-law), a Dr.
Isaiah Bowman, and a Mr. Walter Lippman, (whom I believe to be still with us). In all this
President Wilson played no part beyond giving his public blessing to The League To Enforce
Peace: Mr. House says that the President “never seriously studied” the matter and was not the
author of the League of Nations, with which the First War ended. Nevertheless, the obedient Mr.
Wilson then insisted on a new “general association of nations”, so that, out of all the earlier
spadework behind the scenes, came the League of Nations of 1919.
That League collapsed in 1939 and throughout the Second War the leading men of the West
continued, as if possessed, to declare that the creation of another super-national body must be a
foremost aim of victory. During that war the grand design was unremittingly pursued and again
persons behind the scenes proved in the event to know more about the outcome than presidents,
prime ministers and the public masses.
For instance, a Mr. Moritz Gomberg was presumably unknown to the multitudes embroiled when in
1942 he popped up with a “Group for a New World Order” and published a map showing the
rearrangement of the globe. He foresaw that at the war’s end the communist empire would extend
from the Pacific to the Rhine (Berlin is not far from the Rhine), that a Hebrew State should be set
up in Palestine (which happened), that the remnant of Western Europe should disappear in a
“United States of Europe” (something which is now being actively pursued), and that the African
continent should become a “Union of Republics” (it is becoming a shambles, the same thing).
Mr. Churchill then seems to have become aware that all was not going as he thought the war’s
purpose to be, and remonstrated: “Let me make this clear, in case there should be any mistake about
it in any quarter. We mean to hold our own. I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to
preside over the liquidation of the British Empire … Here we are and here we stand, a veritable rock
of salvation in this drifting world”. (His then son-in-law, twenty years later, said “We have lost the
will to govern”, according to Sir Roy Welensky).
The war ended. The United Nations was ushered into being by Mr. Alger Hiss and twenty years
have shown what it has done and yet might do. By 1953 the One-Worlders, waiting for the sunrise,
evidently thought that the great day was at hand, and also the instrument, the United Nations.
In that year the full shape of the Grand Design, the Master Plan at length emerged. This, in our
current idiom, was It. In this document the world might see just what awaited it, if all the “ideas”
took shape. Here is no longer any vague talk of some league to enforce something. Here is the
Grand Design worked out in detail, so that any man can see just how it would affect him, his
family, his future and his world. This is the plan which, in my estimation, our One-Worlders aspire
to carry through under cover of another war, if the American president of the day can be prevented
from saying: “Veto”.
It came from a body calling itself The World Association of Parliamentarians for World
Government, or WAPWG. To make this unutterable hieroglyph utterable, I will borrow a vowel
and call it henceforth WAPWAG. It is, or was, but one of the un-numerable “front” bodies working
towards the revolutionary end. However, this one produced, at its second conference in 1952, the
Master Plan. It deserves a chapter to itself.
Come, gentle reader, and consider Wapwag’s Master Plan for the world …
*** Chapter Twenty Four
The Wapwag, conference of 1952, then, found before it a blueprint of “The World Organization”.
This, said the document, “will take over the existing facilities of the United Nations”. That being
done, The World organization would set up a directorate composed of A World Director; eight
Zone Directors; five Commanders; and fifty-one Regional Directors. The World Organization’s
charter would “effect World Security so that the people of the World may live in freedom from fear
of war” (for which purpose substantial land, sea and air forces would be stationed around the
globe). It would control the production and distribution of basic foodstuffs, raw and strategic
materials, and allow Governments “the maximum freedom of action within the understanding of
World achievement”.
So much for the broad outline of this global rearrangement. Next, the details:
All these high world officials would be nominated, subject to the approval of The World Director,
by the governments designated. As to the super-despot, The World Director, that is the only blank
in the plan. By whom he is to be nominated or appointed, is not stated, so presumably He (or She)
will appoint himself or herself. As He, or She, is to rule The World, the method of selection, or
self-election, might be of universal interest, but that point is left open.
Beneath Him, or Her, the eight Zone Directors would administer the globe, each at some place far
distant from his native land. The Swedish Government, for instance would appoint the Director of
the Australian Zone, with headquarters in Sydney. The Chinese Government would nominate the
Director of the African Zone, headquartered at Khartoum. France would send the South American
Zone Director to Rio, England supply the Polar one (based on London), India the European
Director at Paris, the Soviet the Zone Director for North America, who would dwell in Chicago, the
American Government would supply the Zone Director for India, at Delhi, and South Africa would
provide a Zone Director, resident at Shanghai, for China.
This is what an English North Country comedian would call “a proper mook-oop”, but it is
seriously intended, witness the high personages who adorned Wapwag. They were mostly of the
Liberal kind who can be plucked from the trees of credulity and vanity like nuts in the fall. They
were originally supposed all to be “parliamentarians”, but this qualification was widened to include
“former members of parliament”, which in our times would let in all sorts and conditions of men.
The membership of Wapwag contained many persons of the kind mentioned by Georgi Dimitroff
as lending themselves to the interest of the Soviet Union without being party-members and being
“worth more than a hundred men with party cards”. In the lower echelons the figures of a few true
initiates could be perceived.
The fifty-one Regional Directors, subordinated to the five Zone Directors who would be
subordinate to the One World Director, would similarly be distributed around the world on the far-
from-home pattern. A female Soviet citizen, for instance, would administer the Desert Region from
Goa, and a Finnish woman the Congo from Brazzaville; a Brazilian woman would rule the Balkans
from Belgrade and a Danish one Central Europe from Prague. Liberia would supply Scandinavia
with a Regional Director, based on Stockholm, and Holland a Dutch one for Egypt, posted at Cairo;
and so on round the earth.
All this would rest on a rearrangement of the world’s armed forces, which would come forthwith
under The World Director. They would be combined in a World Security System under five
Commanders: the World Security Commander, the Air Security Commander, the Sea Security
Commander, the Untersee Commander, and the Research and Development Commander. A point
that caught my curious eye in this list was that of “Untersee Commander”. The Plan is couched in
English throughout save for this one term: Untersee Commander, used in apparent preference to
“submarine” or “underwater”. Probably some significance lies in this particular choice of a word,
with its memories of the dreaded “U-Boats”, but I cannot divine what it may be.
All ground armies of the world would come under the Land Director, and would be used in the
following proportions and places. The Soviet would supply four garrison and two field divisions to
be stationed at Mobile in the U.S.A., Dar es Salaam, Madras, Shanghai, Australia and Canada. The
United States would supply an equal number to Argentina, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, India, and
Australia. The remaining white members of the British Commonwealth, Britain, Eire, Canada,
Australia, and New Zealand would provide six divisions for China, the United States, Russia and
In this way a total of forty-nine garrison and nine field divisions would be distributed as forlorn
foreign legions throughout the world, the only essential being that they should be fed up and far
from home, and the further the better. Any land forces remaining after this rearrangement would be
disbanded and “absorbed into industry and agriculture”.
As to naval and merchant forces, all vessels, personnel “and equipment whatsoever of national,
union or commonwealth sea forces would be reallocated as required by the Commander Sea
Security”. Any surplus “would be disposed of under orders issuing from the World Organization”.
Sea bases would be handed over to it “if necessary, on lease from the owner nation”.
Similarly in the domain of the Commander Air Security: all aircraft, airfields and personnel would
be incorporated within the World Organization scheme for air security and come under his
command. The Commander Untersee would take over all underwater craft “and paraphernalia
whatsoever”, use what he wanted “and dispose of the remainder”. The Research and Development
Commander would take over “all scientific research establishments”.
Service in this World Security Force would be by “professionals”, that is, conscripts, who would
serve for between fifteen and twenty-two years. All petroleum, metals and commodities usually
designated as strategic materials, and shipping completed and at sea would come under the World
Organization, which “operates in the acknowledgement that a world system is necessary”. All trade
agreements between governments, and their plans for future development of basic needs, would be
coordinated by the World Organization, which would maintain “the World Account” (in “World
So there it is, the last word in World Planning. I hope not to have prompted derision by this
summary, for it is to be taken seriously: how far have we not already been brought in this direction,
behind the smokescreen of two world wars?
I do not know if Wapwag exists today. Whether or not is no matter, because a vast complex of
kindred groups and bodies carries on the work, and they have had much success in furthering it to
this stage. I had the impression when I first drew attention to this Master Plan (in 1953) that it
might have erred in letting a copy or two out of the bag. Anyway, I was much vilified at the time
for the modest public reference I made to it.
Postscript: I said, above, that the Master Plan was the last word, to which nothing could be added to
make intention clearer, and once again I was wrong. As I write, perspiring reader, I learn that our
One-Worlders already have extended their plan to the very Cosmos.
In 1966, after President Johnson proposed a treaty to prevent the Moon being used for military
purposes and for the peaceful exploration of other planets, I foresaw the day when, the Moon
having been colonized and settled by valiant pioneers, our One-Worlders would surge thither in
their footsteps, crying One Moon and Moon Government, so that the whole business would begin
again up there.
Sure enough, a few days later The Committee to Study the Organization of Peace, (COMSOP),
recommended that the United Nations should take over ownership of the high seas and outer space.
Seventy “scholars, writers, editors, union leaders and business executives” signed this report, which
urged that the General Assembly of the United Nations should “declare the title of the international
community” to the high seas and outer space.
WAPWAG first, and now COMSOP. Angels and ministers of grace …
*** Chapter Twenty Five
… and now that we have journeyed together half round the world, and seen how the mechanism of
power-politics is operated, let us return by air to the place where all this began: Rhodesia; and look
at the world again from there.
Even the ancient truisms are being exploded in this, the century of destiny, among them the one
that there is nothing new under the sun. Man’s conquest of space is something new. Even in our
time that was but an eccentric’s fantasy, and now it is happening. Soon no mysteries will remain
save that of life itself, and its meaning.
Man is about to move into space and to other worlds. He has no choice about that, for he is over-
populating his Earth. This century is the period of the great acceleration, in all human things. A
small span of years has carried man from his first power-driven flights to the recoil-propelled
capsule in which he seeks the stars. This same, sudden acceleration, as if a foot were abruptly
pressed hard down on a pedal, is evident in all mortal things, and most of all in the headlong
increase of population, at a rate of multiplication never before known. This is a thing of our time.
We have not reached the result which Malthus foresaw, the point where the numbers of human
beings would far outrun the supply of food, and are not likely to come to that for a long time yet,
because of those methods of increasing food supply which he could not envisage. The population-
explosion is leading to another effect than that of mass starvation: to overcrowding. Even between
two neighbours frictions arise, and the future which now is opening to Man on Earth is that of an
intolerable propinquity. Man is not meant to live either alone or in a hive. Our cities grow too big
and sub-urbanization spreads ever further into the surrounding country until the very cities begin to
meet: this process is to be seen in every land known to me.
Man has to go elsewhere or ultimately perish, and precisely at this point he begins to move into
Space. Thus he is not going of his own volition, but is impelled by forces beyond his ken. Sublime
paradox: Man never looked more like a performing flea, controlled and directed by an
uncomprehended hand, than at the moment of his greatest triumph: The Conquest Of Space!
Nevertheless, the contrast between the culminating achievement of the white race in space and its
inert confusion on earth is startling. Up there in the stratosphere all is valour and striving: down
here in the catastrosphere all is villainy and strife. For the nonce we can but look around and
marvel at the mundane pandemonium and then look up and ask whether, when we people Space,
we shall pollute it too.
For there, too, the doughty “pioneers” whom we watch today will be followed by hardy “settlers”
and “colonists”, and when they have made all secure, the generation of vipers, bearing the yellow
flag of “Liberalism”, will follow too, crying for Space Government and a Space Director. Most
ominously, a Moon Peace Treaty has already been proposed (as I reported earlier), so that the
Moon, now serenely shining, in course of time would also become a permanent threat to Space
Peace, and the clamour for Space War, in the councils of the United Planets, may already be heard
in the distance.
Considering our Earthly affairs as they look at this point in time, it might be better that we do not
colonize Space at all. The wiser course, at all events, would be to tidy up matters on Earth before
we go there. To use the vernacular, I recall the homely phrase of the British soldier from the wars
returning around 1919, when the name “Mesopotamia” was being dinned into his ears: “Never
mind about Mesopotamia: let’s clear up the mess-up at ‘ome ‘ere”.
And that brings us back again to the place where we began: Rhodesia. It is a small place in the
crazy chequerwork of our world, but at this moment plays the vital part in our affairs, as the arm of
the legendary Dutch boy, thrust through the hole in the dam, kept out the waters.
From here, on the sunlit roof of Africa, you get a wide, clear view of the raging, confused,
tumultuous sea, so oft encarnadined, which is the outer world. Here an epic struggle, in the truest
sense of the word, has been fought by a few men who, having taken the time in the affairs of men at
what may be its turn, might yet lead their country and the world to better fortunes. If they fail,
worse days await us all.
Rhodesia, having earned its independence decades since, has in the past seven months (June of
1966, as I conclude this book) established and proved it. Behind that dam, clear water and safe
anchorage spread over all Southern Africa, and given time and the acknowledgment of its just
cause, the chaotic waters in Africa north of the Zambezi will withdraw and settle too.
The American President, in his most recent speech as I write, said that until recent times darkest
Africa was not so dark as America’s ignorance of it, and that, I vouch from my own experience, is a
true word. He added that Africa was now seen to be “a mosaic of peoples”, not one black mass
clamouring unanimously for liberation, and that these peoples should be let or led to form nations
in their own fashion. This is another true word, indeed, it is two-thirds of the way to the whole truth
of Africa. The remaining, and most important part of truth, is that the mosaic is not an all-black, but
a black and white one, in which white nations too must build their nations as they need. If that last
stage in the realization of truth comes to the White House, peace will become secure again in
Africa, and another total war, beginning in Africa, be averted (on more than one recent occasion the
world only just skated by that danger, as a blindfold skater a hole in the ice). After that, we might
with clearer conscience and better hope turn our minds to The Conquest Of Space, and its
The name “Liberal” has been identified with what has happened in Africa in the last ten years, and
for that reason has come to stink in the nostrils of people who live in Africa and have understanding
of, and a true feeling for the black folk among whom they live. It is repugnant to think that so much
carnage has been caused in the names of “Liberal opinion”, “world opinion”, democracy, one-man-
one-vote and other false slogans. I would like to see these good people taken to the scenes of
massacre and mass graves, mutilation and indiscriminate slaughter. Tribal wars have begun again
on all hands, slavery has reappeared, and in time tribes which once were cannibal will resume their
ancient practice.
The worst effect, among these effects, is that of slavery resumed. White people who live in Africa
do not form moral opinions about the ways of black ones, for they know how deeply rooted these
are in beliefs and customs rooted in centuries beyond compute. Some of them hesitate morally to
condemn even human sacrifice in such places (for instance, Basutoland) where it is part of a tribal
religion, shared and accepted by the tribe. It is punished by the white man, while he rules, but
wisdom and experience forbid them to cry “Holier than thou”, or to pass moral judgment as they
execute a legal one.
But in one matter all agree. Slavery is wrong by any standard. To take the responsibility for black
tribes’ reversion to this trade is to assume blood guilt. Remember, good reader, that slavery was not
an iniquitous thing practised solely by Arab captors and traders. It was a method of commerce
practised by the warrior tribes on the weaker ones. The captives were saleable commodities and
were considered as such. This was a two-way traffic of supply and demand, and the black men
supplied the black victims.
When the white man came and stamped it out, slavery was already beginning to depopulate eastern
and central Africa. That is one reason why only 400,000 people remained in what is now Rhodesia,
where now are over four million black folk. In Africa north of the Zambezi, now that the protecting
hand has been withdrawn and “pressure” from America has been used to extend the area of such
“liberation”, the condition is returning of which the great Arab slaver from Zanzibar, old Tippu Tib,
said a hundred years ago, “The man with the gun is the king of Africa”.
Once again: the white man demonstrably gave the black one life, in Africa, and when the white
man goes the black folk begin again to kill, mutilate, burn, publicly hang and enslave each other.
They have not had time to learn otherwise, and do not yet wish to change. Against the further
spread of this evil stand Rhodesia, where law, order and protection in the white man’s
understanding of the words prevail, and its neighbours in Southern Africa.
They stand also against the menace of a third general war, which in my judgment must inevitably
come out of the African shambles if England and America continue their effort to extend the area
of chaos southward from the Zambezi.
Can any book avert a war? A book can make a war. That has been done. Uncle Tom’s Cabin so
incensed the North and embittered the South that in time the smouldering quarrel burst into the red
flame of one of the most destructive wars in history.[25] Obviously no book or books could stop war
as such, for it appears to be something inherent in human nature, as male infants begin to fight as
soon as they can walk.
Just possibly, however, a book might help avert a particular war, another “unnecessary” one like
that of 1939-45. Such was my vain hope in writing Insanity Fair and is my motive in writing The
Battle For Rhodesia. I aim to show you what is truly at stake, gentle reader: to give you a little
information which you will not otherwise receive, and to bring you to my way of thinking. The
world has been brought near the verge of another “unnecessary” war through the situation
artificially created in Africa. Now is the moment to recoil and reverse the process.
Rhodesia’s is a just and good cause, and I was fortunate to be able to conclude a writer’s life by
watching the siege of 1965-6. Had the quiet men in Salisbury cracked, we would all have been a
big step nearer the big war: tribal warfare and general chaos would be starting now in Rhodesia and
the attack would have been turned, through the gap thus made, on South Africa and the Portuguese
territories, with redoubled vigour. The outcome is not yet clear: the future still hangs on the razor’s
edge. If the Rhodesians prevail, they will have done the white man everywhere, and the world, a
decisive service by resisting and turning back the destructive tide of the last fifty years.
*** Chapter Twenty Six
This year of disgrace, 1966, has reached the month of July and the international opera bouffe, with
the bailiffs waiting in the wings, continues on a mounting scale.
A British Prime Minister has publicly congratulated himself on obtaining leave from the
carpetbagging assembly in New York to blockade Beira and so to convert “an act of piracy into a
legal act of peacemaking”. Shades of Pitt and Palmerston, and of the British sea-captains who a
century ago drove the slave-traders from these very waters! England’s proudest boast, the freedom
of the seas, falls into the waves like a struck flag on a scuttled ship.
The British Government, after blockading Rhodesia for seven months, was itself blockaded for
seven weeks by its own seamen. It took “emergency powers” against this menace and its head
accused the Communists (he named names) of instigating this attempt on the life of the nation.
Nothing escapes Mr. Wilson’s eye, as the reader will observe: and yet, in Rhodesia, he would not
allow that any but the Communist-prompted terrorist parties spoke for “the people”.
Would I could live to see, and chuckle over, what our learned friend, The Future Historian, will
make of this time (but I think I know: I have already seen what he made of the years leading to The
Second War and of its results). This present scribe is troubled to know whether to tell today’s tale in
terms of comedy, farce, burlesque, comedy, melodrama or tragedy. If he were not, like of all of us,
involved in it, and in mankind, he would have to use the analogy of the harlequinade, for never
were such double-somersaults of doubletalk, such whackings with the bladder of cant, such chases
by Keystone Kops apeing true guardians of the law, such pratfalls on the banana-skin of reality,
such fantastic contortions of truth, where the face of mockery, bent over backwards, peers from
between the straddled legs of propaganda. However, in this pantomime Capitano Horribilicribifax
carries no cardboard sword, but a tommy-gun: the clown, no string of sausages, but grenades made
to a diagram supplied from far, Asiatic workshops; and the four horsemen wait at the stage-door.
In this comedy of terrors, harlequin (if I may be forgiven the word) leaped on to the African stage,
waving the wand of sophistry, in the person of a young political gentleman, a Mr. Robert Kennedy,
brother of a murdered president and by general assumption aspirant to the next, or next-but-one
term in the White House.
I have shown the unfettered power wielded by, or at any rate used in the name of American
presidents today, to the unhampered last use of which the events of the fifty years have brought
them. I alluded then to the present incumbent, Mr. Lyndon Johnson. After Mr. Kennedy’s leap into
Africa, and the things he said here, the contemporary historian must record that the danger inherent
in that state of affairs in the White House will be even greater in future.
Diplomacy is a dead thing, and the B.N. building in New York is its gravestone (prayers might well
be offered in the churches for the return of “secret diplomacy” in these times when all is open and
nothing is revealed). Now, even ordinary manners seem to have dropped from international usage,
for when before did ever a president-presumptive, or even a responsible politician, cross the ocean
to an unknown, friendly foreign country and behave as this political gentleman behaved?
Mr. Kennedy came six years after Mr. Macmillan’s “wind of change” speech and thus, if he came
“to learn” (as he said) could have learned of the chaos and carnage which have come on all Africa
north of the Zambezi in the sequel to that speech. Instead, he made another “wind of change”
speech, which to people living in Africa meant that, if history repeated itself, the area of chaotic
Balkanization would be spread to the remaining, still orderly area of the continent.
He was led from meeting to meeting of university students, of an age and kind similar to those of
Mr. Alger Hiss and Mr. Whitaker Chambers when they were infected by communism at their
American universities forty years ago. These young, unwary, inexperienced folk can be, and are,
whipped into a frenzy of excitement by anyone from a pop-singer to a politician, if the advance
publicity be loud enough, and in this case they responded to the propagandist persuasion in the way
to be expected.
Apart from that, Mr. Kennedy moved from group to group of “liberal intellectuals”, many of whom
were, by their records, demonstrably associated with the communist plan to bring about outside
intervention in southern Africa. These people have unhindered access to world publicity for their
notions: on the rare occasions when they have come under examination by trained questioners, and
have had to account for what they have said and done, they become so confused by the record that
they collapse like pricked balloons (I have a notorious example in mind).
Moving in these circles, Mr. Kennedy, who knew nothing of Africa, gave no glance to the chaotic
conditions in the north, outside peaceful southern Africa. After his few days here he flew blithely
over Uganda (where the latest massacre was in progress: that of the Buganda tribespeople by the
gunmen of the self-appointed dictator, a Mr. Obote) and landed happily at Dar es Salaam. This, as I
have shown, is the Tanzanian port used for the continuous shuttle-service of outward-bound
trainees and inward-bound trained terrorists, to and from Moscow, Nanking and North Korea. (This
fact is known to every government in the world). Mr. Kennedy, on arrival, said there was “a special
bond of friendship between the United States and Tanzania”, which was due partly “to a common
commitment to work for human justice and equality” (the Zanzibar part of “Tanzania” groans
beneath a Revolutionary Council at this time).
Looking back on orderly South Africa, Mr. Kennedy, as was to be expected, brought out the dear
old phrase about an “explosive situation”. If the situation there did not change, he announced after
some ten days in Africa, it could become “very explosive”, not only for South Africa but also for
the rest of the continent.[26]
The reader might now consider the background of African events over the last two decades, so that
he may understand the true significance of Mr. Kennedy’s observations.
President Truman’s “master defence plan against communism in Africa” of 1949 has during this
period changed into its opposite. None can believe today that American policy towards Africa has
anything to do with its defence against communism: it is aimed against the three southern States
which defend themselves against communism.
Lenin’s original dictum, that the colonial powers must be driven from Africa, has been half-
realized: not because they were driven out, but because they abdicated in all of northern Africa
after Mr. Macmillan’s “wind of change” speech. That leaves the southern part. How is that to be
submerged in the northern chaos, and the disintegration of the entire continent achieved?
When the South African police located and raided the secret communist headquarters at Rivonia,
near Johannesburg, in 1963, several of the leaders were caught and a mass of documents found.
These were put in evidence at the subsequent trial and the plan for the completion of Africa’s
ruination became public.
It goes into the remotest details of organization, but the main heads will suffice here. The first stage
is the training of terrorists in Moscow and elsewhere, and their use, on their return, for acts of
sabotage: full instruction is given them in the manufacture and use of explosives, in arson and other
acts of violence.
The next stage, if terrorism is successful enough, is the organization of “guerilla fighters”, in
companies and squads, for actual warfare: the methods used in China and Cuba are closely studied.
None of this would ever achieve anything in stable, well-governed countries like those of southern
Africa. It only succeeded in the north because the protecting hand of law and order was withdrawn.
An internal “rising” (the darling notion of our bellicose Liberals) cannot happen, because the native
masses, having seen what happened in the north, do not want to be massacred, burned or blown up
by terrorists of their own colour.
Therefore the whole plan rests on the idea of outside intervention, and the hope is that, if this were
estimated to be possible, the terrorists might cause enough internal trouble for the propagandist
machine in London and New York to announce that the “explosive situation” had arrived, which
liberals everywhere foretell. The communist plan, which tallies exactly with the Carnegie Battle
Plan published in New York, envisages a two-phase development. First, a blockade of South
Africa, during which the terrorists in the country would be ordered to do as much damage as they
could: the second, actual invasion on the pretence that the “explosive situation” demanded it. (The
blockade of Rhodesia and the threats of “force” which have been used show how near to reality
this, once unthinkable thing might be.) In the final analysis the communist plan could only succeed
through such an actual armed invasion by a foreign power or powers, masquerading as a “United
Nations” peace expedition on the Congo model.
The reader who has toiled through these pages has seen that over years a political mechanism was
built to produce a war-situation at a given moment, that of the decision in the South West Africa
matter. Here was no “drift to war” but a process engineered as by high precision tooling, and 1966,
I judge, was the appointed year.
A glance at the map of Africa will show how the process was engineered to reach this point. In
1960 Africa was a continent of order. By 1966 Africa north of the Zambezi was an area of chaotic
disorder. To show himself what happened the reader might take a crayon and black out that area.
The southern area is what remains of the once-orderly whole.
In the grand design, I judge, the reduction of all Africa to the condition now prevailing in the
northern part, so that the whole becomes a vacuum waiting to be filled is held to be the essential
next step in the three-phase strategy of which we have seen the first two phases: the League of
Nations of unhappy memory, the United Nations of unhallowed present, and The World
Organization of repellent future menace.
The southern area contains three territories of stable government and order. The plan in 1966 was
evidently to cut out the two areas (the Rhodesian and Portuguese ones) flanking the greatest one,
South Africa, on the east and west, and thus to leave South Africa isolated, vulnerable on both
flanks, and open to the concluding attempt by blockade or invasion (or blockade and invasion)
foreseen by the Carnegie Plan.
The Rhodesian resistance unexpectedly held up the great plan on the eastern flank. It was touch and
go in April: I remind the reader again of Dr. Salazar’s warning: “One more false step …”
Then in July the judgment in the South West Africa case foiled the plan on the western flank.
Again it was touch and go: “one more false vote” would have tipped the scale.
Thus the great plan failed for the nonce and the conspiratorial groups behind it now must recast
their whole strategy for the next attempt. That will take time, and meanwhile the southern African
states grow stronger, not alone in themselves but in the minds of folk in the outer world, who begin
to understand the justice of their cause and to perceive the nefarious plan through the ubiquitous
This is no happy ending, for the One Worlders, in their various guises and disguises, will not desist,
but it does mark a tangible improvement in our prospect and opens a more hopeful future. For this
the world has to thank the quiet determination of Mr. Ian Smith in Rhodesia, of Dr. Salazar in
Portugal, and in particular the exemplary prudence and resolve of Dr. Verwoerd in South Africa.
During this perilous time only calm words and few have ever broken the silence from southern
Africa. The Pharisaic moralizings and menaces have come from Westminster, New York and
Washington, once the homes of measured words and well-weighed actions. There the clay of the
demagogue has come and that of the statesman has faded.
The world may now hope to see this fateful year of 1966 pass without a war wantonly begun in
Africa. It was within “one more false step” of that in April, and if the South West Africa judgment
had been other it would have come again to that brink in the late summer or autumn of 1966, for
then a deafening clamour would have gone up from the Tower of Babel in New York for another
“act of piracy” to be “converted into a legal act of peacemaking”!
Thus the writer of Insanity Fair of 1938 finds himself, for the first time, able in 1966 to conclude
this second volume of Insanity Fair on a more hopeful note, a new and pleasant thing in his
experience. “So far and no further”, said Mr. Ian Smith in his Independence speech, and the world
has been waiting for those words for many, many years. The leaders of Rhodesia and South Africa,
by opposing themselves to the sea of sorrows which loomed, have not ended, but staved them off.
The world is still a mad one, my masters, but it looks a little better now than it did a year ago.
*** Postscript
The ominous year, 1966, draws to its end and once more, as in 1938, I wonder whether, when this
edition appears, it will be an autopsy on things that have happened, instead of the analysis of cause
and impending effect which it is meant to be. I have the same sense, now as in 1938, of events
quickening and thickening, like swarming stormbirds, towards a dark, lightning-rent horizon, for
much has happened since this book was written (March-June 1966) and first appeared (in August
1918-1939, 21 years; 1945-1966, 21 years. If this should be the appointed time for another human
ordeal, the appointment is not with destiny or the fault in our stars. The appointment is man-made,
and made in what we call “The West”, for there the build-up towards war suddenly accelerated, as
by a foot pressed on a pedal, in 1966. If we have not yet had war, it may have been averted only by
the Rhodesian stand and the Hague judgment. The unwary, unseeing multitude has during this year
been like Charlie Chaplin teetering blindfold on the edge of an abyss: from this simile they may see
the precarious plight in which the peoples have been.
The two respites, which seemed so Godsent, have been only respites, as later events have already
shown, and the pressure and prodding towards war continue unabated in London and in New York.
Those who today still think of “Moscow” in this context lag behind events, for the shape of these is
changing. I might try to make this clear by borrowing the language of filmdom. If “Oscars” or
“Academy Awards” were given for conspiratorial performances, Moscow Communism today
would at the utmost qualify for the “best supporting player” trophy. That for the best leading
performer would have to go the conspiratorial force which masquerades as “Liberalism”, has its
particular citadel in the United Nations building in New York, and has gained a monstrous power
within and over the British and American governments.
The immediate and direct threat of war at this time comes from there, not from Moscow, and folk
who look eastward for it look the wrong way. The world revolution has assumed yet another guise,
and “Liberalism” today includes Communism. Africa, in today’s planning, has been chosen by this
conspiratorial power as the starting-point for another war. But Moscow cannot directly attack
Southern Africa, and if it tried to, even “The West” could hardly emulate Hitler’s deed of 1939 and
join hands openly with that Communism which it professes to oppose. Indeed, from very shame
“The West” would have to march against it.
Therefore, if the Communist plan to destroy ordered government everywhere in Africa is to
succeed, “The West” must be given the daggers and make the attack, so that the true origin and
motive be concealed. This is what makes the events of July and September of most significant
portent. The open, spelt-out menace of war has come from America (not at the wish of the
American people, but against it) and the student of events now must look towards New York, not
Moscow, if he seek the true shape of coming events.
I recorded earlier that the World Court judgment of July 18 was a beneficent thing which at that
moment thwarted the war-plan. I did not know then (what all the world should know now) that
three days before that judgment the United States Government delivered a message to the South
African Government stating that it would feel bound to support United Nations action on the
judgment. The only possible inference is that the American Government expected the judgment to
go the other way and was threatening coercion. Compared with this, I submit that even Mr.
Chamberlain’s visit, with his umbrella, to Herr Hitler in 1938, when he ordered a small, harmless,
peace-loving country (Czechoslovakia) to surrender to Hitler, becomes of less significance in the
history of ignobility.
For this, unprecedented and hitherto unimaginable, action can only be understood in the light of,
and cannot be considered separately from the Carnegie Battle Plan against South Africa which I
summarized earlier. The Carnegie “Endowment for International Peace” in New York enjoys tax-
exemption, presumably because of the peaceful mission expressed in its name, and therefore must
be held to be officially subsidized, for the act of remission amounts to that. The funds of which it
disposes were used, among other things, for the production of a detailed plan of the invasion of
South Africa, published last year. This was described as a plan for “United Nations Collective
Measures” against South Africa. In its Note the American Government committed itself to support
United Nations collective measures against South Africa!
The Carnegie invasion plan says that lesser military powers might well provide the “ground force”
of 93,000 troops against South Africa, but that one major power might have to come in for the final
showdown. The American Government cannot have been unaware of this document (it was
distributed to all representatives at the United Nations) and in its Note, by obvious implication, put
itself forward as that “one major power”. I do not see that any other inference can be drawn.
The Carnegie invasion plan set a point in time for the attack on South Africa, saying that if the
Hague Court ruled against South Africa the American Government would probably support United
Nations action “to enforce the ruling”. Three days before the judgment, the American Government
informed Pretoria that it would support United Nations action on the judgment. The only
reasonable deduction from all this is that the “Liberal” forces behind the Carnegie invasion plan
were strong enough to have their way inside the American Government. That is as grave a matter,
and produces as dangerous a situation, as can be imagined, and from this moment the part which
America, under such occult pressures, is to play in all our tomorrows becomes a thing of vital
concern to Americans and to the public masses everywhere.
I might try again to make plain what this is all about by using another simile: that of our space-age
rockets. Theirs is a three-stage operation, as the veriest teenager knows. At the start the rear section
of the rocket, the booster, propels the vehicle upward. At a predetermined point, the booster falls
away, mission accomplished, and the middle section of the rocket takes over. When it has done its
part, it too falls away, leaving the frontal section to continue under its own power and complete the
So it is with World Government, and in our day, unless God otherwise disposes, we are about to
see the third stage of the three- stage operation attempted. The first stage was that of the League of
Nations, which fell away. The second stage is that of the United Nations, which is intended (after
another war) to fall away, leaving the World Organization to encompass our little globe.
None of these stages could have been achieved without war, and the concluding stage cannot be
accomplished without another war. The first war was begun in the name of “destroying Prussian
militarism”: nothing was then heard of any “league of nations”. At that war’s end, the great object
of it proved to have been the establishment of this “League of Nations” (within a few years Prussian
militarism was stronger than ever, and that made the second stage of the operation possible, by
ensuring the necessary war).
This second war was begun with the proclaimed object of “destroying dictatorship” and liberating
“small nations” enserfed by it. Such ideas were soon discarded and when the war ended the area of
dictatorship was far greater than before, merely the name having changed from Fascism to
Communism, and several more small nations had been engulfed by it (under President Roosevelt’s
orders from Yalta). The main purpose of the war proved to have been the establishment of the
United Nations in New York whence, in the last few years, has come all the clamour for another
war. The bogus, rabble-rousing issue (”slavery” in 1860: “apartheid” now) has been found and will
serve until the war begins, if one is in the event achieved: thereafter, it will soon drop from sight.
The reader may now perceive, before any third war begins, what would come of it at the end.
Unless he is extremely shortsighted, he may also foresee the nature of the “World Organization”
which would, in truth, be the purpose of it.
While the conspiratorial groups in and around the United Nations, heartened by the American Note,
continue their outcry for a war to be begun in Africa, their chorus is echoed across the Atlantic at
the conferences of “Commonwealth Prime Ministers”. There the raging tumult against the “illegal
regime in Rhodesia”, and the demand for its destruction, never ceases.
Possibly Gilbert and Sullivan, in collaboration with such as Laurel and Hardy, might do justice to
these gatherings, in the form which they have taken today. In the group-pictures, ranged around the
Monarch, which are a traditional part of these affairs (dating from the time when they were in truth
meetings of Commonwealth Prime Ministers) the student may entertain himself by picking out,
from among the figures surrounding the smiling, bestarred and beordered Queen, those who are
present by dint of assassination, murder, violent usurpation, and rule by tommy-gun and one-man-
no-vote in general. Credentials of legitimacy, in this case, evidently are not required. One
“President” in the group is he who a few weeks earlier ejected his rightful President from palace
and country by bullet and grenade. Another represents a “Prime Minister” who became so by the
murder of his predecessor, who had previously murdered his (both in the current year).
Should the gods laugh or weep at these spectacles in London and New York? The moralistic poses
which are struck in these assemblies invest them with the hue of a cynical hypocrisy: to me they
seem like the attitudinizings of a bogus priest at a mock marriage.
Thus 1966, the year fraught with peril, moves to its end. The World Court judgment vindicated
South Africa: now the United Nations moves to elect new judges, in the obvious hope that on a
future occasion some new judgment will give the mask of mock-regality to some new warlike
undertaking. The judgment vindicated the mandatory Power: promptly, the United Nations declares
that the mandate is at an end and that means must be devised to take over South West Africa.
The dying year brings some cause for better hope. The actions, or antics, of the United Nations
begin to disillusion and repel ever-growing masses of people, all of whom cannot be fooled all the
time. In Africa north of the Zambezi the process of disintegration goes on apace: each week brings
some news of chaos and carnage.
By contrast, the stability of the Southern African countries becomes ever plainer to the mass-mind.
Three of the newly-independent small African states in the South have shown that they see their
future to lie in reliance on the ordered States behind them, the South African, Rhodesian and
Portuguese ones.
But the key to the whole issue remains Rhodesia. The “talks” which began in April and still
continued in October led many people in the outer world to think that “something would be
arranged”, but this was a false lull. The deadlock remains absolute. Rhodesia will not surrender its
independence, now established for a year. Mr. Wilson, in London, still avows that if Rhodesia will
not yield he will let the United Nations take over. What that would mean, all now know: renewed
clamour for war.
On the outcome still depends much more than the independence of Rhodesia. If Rhodesia survives
the strength and stability of Southern Africa will gradually effect an improvement in the now-
disintegrating North, and therewith a return to stability in Africa as a whole. If Rhodesia falls, the
move for war against South Africa will immediately gain momentum in New York, and in the
sequel to that the multitudes of people far away, who have no immediate concern with Africa or
any interest in its ruination, will find themselves drawn as into a vortex.
There has been a false lull, in these mid-year months of 1966, but the decision has yet to come, and
now impends.
*** Appendix One
Ten months after the Declaration of Independence, when this book had already appeared in
Southern Africa and was going to press in the United States, I sought an opportunity to learn Mr.
Ian Smith’s feeling about the dramatic events of these months and about the future prospect. I
expressed my admiration of the stand taken by Rhodesia under his leadership and my own
conviction that it was just and right and historically of major importance for the future of Africa
and of the world: this was the conviction that originally brought me to Rhodesia to tell the tale of
Independence, and I recalled that when I arrived, early in the year 1966, the issue seemed very
much to hang on a razor’s edge. Prudence and firmness, I thought, had vindicated themselves, and
the outlook, though still unclear, was, in my opinion, a good deal better now than then.
“Can you tell me, Prime Minister,” I said, “what shape the events of the last nine months now have
in your mind?” “The most significant factor that comes to my mind,” he said, “is the way in which
we have created a Rhodesian nation; a nation which is strong, courageous and determined to
maintain a civilization in Rhodesia based on Christian teachings and ideals. I have also been
tremendously impressed at the unanimity of resolution amongst all Rhodesians, ranging from our
children at school, at the one end, right through to our aged people at the other.”
“Yes, that is the picture I have gained,” I said, “and how do you now see the future development of
the matter.”
“At the moment we are holding talks with the British Government,” Mr. Smith replied, “and much
depends on the outcome of these. It is difficult to prognosticate on how these talks will end but I
can say that Rhodesia is prepared for any eventuality.”
Then I expressed my personal view, as a political observer and writer, that the real object of the
actions taken by “the Wets” in 1966 was South Africa. The intention as I saw it, I said, was to
“pinch out” the hindrances on South Africa’s eastern and western flanks, namely, Rhodesia and
South West Africa, and thus leave South Africa isolated, open and vulnerable to concerted action
by blockade, in order to force the change in South African domestic policy to which the groups
operating in the name of “the West” were committed. I asked the Prime Minister if he felt able to
express an opinion about this.
He said: “Your reasoning that South Africa is the ultimate target seems to me to be sound and
logical. I believe that the reasons for Rhodesia’s stand are clear for all the world to see — the forces
of Communism — this is what makes the actions of the Western nations seem more incredible.”
Again expressing my own view, I said I thought that this “pincer movement” had been blunted by
(1) the successful Rhodesian resistance, and (2) the judgment in the South West African case. I
recalled that in the early stages of the Rhodesian blockade Dr. Salazar of Portugal had given
warning against “one more false step” that might set the world ablaze, and hazarded my own
opinion that in July “one more false vote” might have brought similar dangers with it. Again, I
asked whether Mr. Ian Smith cared to comment on this, my reading of events.
“Again I cannot but agree with the thoughts that you have expressed,” he answered.
I said that I thought the term “liberalism” had in our century lost its original meaning and was now
a cover-name for all manner of dangerous plans and plots, and that I hoped this was beginning to
dawn on the mind of the public masses. In this respect, I thought the resistance of Rhodesia had
played an invaluable part in awakening large bodies of opinion overseas. Did he care to say
anything about that?
“There is no doubt in my mind,” said Mr. Ian Smith, “that liberalism is being used as a cover by the
Communists to further their own political ideologies. Communism, as you know, is a creed which
has tremendous appeal to the ‘have nots’. The fact that those who have anything in this world have
obtained what they have through their own initiative, enterprise, ability, skill — in other words, on
merit — is quietly pushed out of the way.”
“Do you, Prime Minister,” I asked, “feel able at this stage to say anything about the future prospect
of ‘The Talks’?”
He smiled. “I am always optimistic,” he said. “More than that I do not believe I should say at this
Among many reports, I said, was a recent one to the effect that Mr. Harold Wilson, who could no
longer believe in the efficacy of sanctions, contemplated throwing the matter into the hands of the
United Nations. In my own view, I said, I could hardly credit that he would do this, after the
experience of earlier months leading up to the moment of Dr. Salazar’s one more false step
warning. What could Mr. Smith say, if anything, on this point?
He considered. Then, “I find it difficult,” he answered, “to predict Mr. Wilson’s actions. However, I
do not believe that he would wish to hand this matter over to the United Nations, for two reasons -
firstly, this would be a desperate gesture which would probably aggravate the position for both
Britain and Rhodesia; secondly, by so doing, Mr. Wilson would be going back on much of what he
has said to date. This would be tantamount to conceding defeat on the Rhodesian question. I am
doubtful whether Mr. Wilson would be prepared to do this.”
I ended by expressing again the admiration I felt, as an Englishman, for the stand taken by Mr. Ian
Smith and the Rhodesian Government at a moment when, in my judgment, capitulation would have
had the effect of spreading into the last remaining stable area of Africa the condition of chaos and
carnage now rife in the north. I recalled the phrase in Mr. Ian Smith’s Independence speech which
shook me out of my resolve never again to write about political things, and said how glad I was to
have been a witness of the siege of Salisbury. From the time of Mr. Stanley Baldwin and Mr.
Neville Chamberlain, I said, true men everywhere had been waiting to hear the words, “So far and
no further!” and at last they had come from the place where the Pioneer Column outspanned and
Cecil Rhodes built his home. It would always be a happy memory to me to have come into the act
at this late and, in my opinion, happier stage.
I left Mr. Ian Smith as I first found him, calm, unhurried, imperturbably courteous and quietly
resolved. Looking back on my life’s experience as a writer, and witness of so many years of
abdication and retreat in the West, I wished him and his country, from my heart, and for the good of
all men, success in their memorable stand.
*** Appendix Two
I said earlier that during the years when I wrote nothing I forgot much of what I had written. A
friend reminded me of something I wrote in my book Far and Wide (published in 1951), which I
had forgotten, and I re-read it with feelings of growing interest and surprise.
At that time (1949) I was led, by a visit to the Ford Theatre in Washington, to study the
circumstances of President Lincoln’s murder and, proceeding from that, to make some study of
political assassination in general. I found (with Mr. Truslow Adams) that investigation never
uncovers the deep background of such deeds, and that they are recurrently disposed of with the
explanation “madman”, whereas all signs point to thorough organization based on long experience.
Re-reading that chapter, I was astonished to find how closely it fits the circumstances of Dr.
Verwoerd’s assassination, and, what is more, how remarkably similar the background to the murder
was in both cases. By substituting the word “apartheid” for “slavery” and “Verwoerd” for “Lincoln”
in that chapter[27] an almost identical picture of the backgrounds, underlying motives and hoped-for
consequences may be obtained, in both cases. The background to President Lincoln’s murder, as I
reconstructed it in 1949 from the annals and my own observations, is to my mind identical with the
situation in today’s America, where the same bogus issue (apartheid: slavery) is being used to
inflame passions (against “the South” then: against South Africa now) in the direction of a wanton
war, which could only lead to “a sea of infamy and misery” (Mr. Truslow Adams).
I find the eight pages I then wrote so apposite to today’s state of affairs, particularly as it has been
shaped by the destruction of Dr. Verwoerd that I asked the publisher to reproduce it as an appendix
to this book.
*** Appendix Three
… This mystery has four chief parts: the man, the moment, the murderers and the motive.
The man, like the victims of other comparable crimes, was a unifier and reconciler. He fought the
South to preserve the Union, not to abolish slavery: “My paramount object is not to save or destroy
slavery … If all earthly powers were given me I should not know what to do with the existing
institution” (of slavery). Though he unwillingly issued the slave-freeing Proclamation he never
departed in conviction from the original, declared aim of the war: “It is not for any purpose … of
interfering with the rights or established institutions of the Secession States but to preserve the
Union with all the dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired.” He intended to
defeat only the claimed right to secede;[28] then to restore the Union and leave the legal institution
of slavery to be gradually modified into abolition by judicial courts.
In that policy the Leftist Republicans around him saw the danger of the conservative Democrats
returning to power. They introduced the false issue of slavery into the war to perpetuate the
Republican Party in power by taking the vote from the Southern States and the Southern whites and
giving it to the negroes, of whom not one in a hundred could then read. (Similarly the aims of the
Second World War, when it was half run, were changed from the liberation of countries overrun
and the restoration of parliamentary governments to “the defeat of Fascism”, which meant their re-
surrender to Soviet Communism.)
Lincoln’s Republican Party contained the mass of Leftists, who were near to dominating it. Lincoln
knew that they raised the bogus issue to inflame passions and prolong the war; his own Secretary of
War, Edwin Stanton (who with Thaddeus Stevens headed this group), said so: “The great aim of the
war is to abolish slavery. To end the war before the nation is ready for that would be a failure. The
war must be prolonged and conducted so as to achieve that.” (The Second World War was similarly
prolonged, through wasteful detours, to achieve “the defeat of Fascism”, but not the original aim.)
Lincoln was an obstacle to the forces of destruction in his own party.
Such was the man. The moment of his murder was that at which he was about to fulfil his policy of
reconciliation and accomplish the declared aim of the war. Two days before Lee at last surrendered
and Washington was lit up. At the very moment Lincoln’s emissary, General Sherman, was
negotiating with the Southern leaders a truce following Lincoln’s constant line: no confiscation or
political disablement, recognition of the Southern States governments if they took the oath to the
Constitution, reunion, conciliation. (That was as if President Roosevelt, at Yalta, had upheld the
war aims originally understood by the Western peoples, instead of surrendering half of Europe to a
regime resembling that endured by the South after Lincoln’s death.) At Lincoln’s last cabinet
meeting, on the day he was killed, he said he was glad Congress was adjourned; the extremists in it
would not he able to hinder the work of reviving State governments in orderly fashion. “There must
be no bloody work”, he would have no part in hangings or killings; the task was “to extinguish
At that moment the man was killed. In the choice of time and victim the crime startlingly resembles
four others, which also struck down unifiers and conciliators just when they seemed likely to
impede the process of universal revolutionary destruction. Alexander II of Russia emancipated
twenty million serfs in 1861 and pursued his work of reconciliation until he was murdered in 1881;
of that crime Soviet Communism and Political Zionism were born. In 1913 the Archduke was
killed at Serajevo; he had the reputation of a unifier and conciliator who might have saved the
Austro-Hungarian Empire from war and disintegration, had he lived. In 1934 Alexander of
Yugoslavia was killed at Marseilles; he was a unifier who could not have been turned from his
throne by an ally, as his little-known eighteen-year-old son Peter was in effect in 1945 by Mr.
Churchill, and a Communist dictator set in his place. In 1948 Count Bernadotte was murdered as he
completed a plan of truce and pacification in Palestine.
Each of these events changed the course of history for the worse. Together with the wars and
annexations to which they led and the revolutionary movements which profited by them, they
produced the state of affairs with which the Western world finds itself faced at this mid-century. In
each case the men marked for death were ones who stood for reconciliation, unity, orderly judicial
reforms and “the extinguishing of resentments”, as Lincoln said. In each instance (save that of
Count Bernadotte, where no pretence of justice was done), nondescript individuals were publicly
presented as the culprits. On each occasion a powerful organization obviously stood behind those
puppets and each time all was done to prevent its exposure.
None can doubt today that Lincoln was removed to prevent the reconciliation of North and South
and the consolidation of the Union. Though the wound did seem later to heal, the events of today
show it still to be raw, so that the conspirators’ aim of 1865 cannot yet be said, in 1950, to have
failed. Time has yet to show this result, with all others.
The culprits displayed to the populace were the usual group of obscure individuals, who clearly
could not have carried out the deed unaided. Lincoln’s killer, the actor John Wilkes Booth, escaped
for a while. A benchful of generals promptly executed one Lewis Paine,[29] a youth called David
Herold who accompanied Booth in his flight, a mysterious German, George Atzerodt, and a woman
boarding-housekeeper, Mrs. Suratt. Pending trial, the prisoners were kept in solitary cells, with
empty cells on either side, and made to wear thick padded hoods, with small holes for nose and
mouth, over head and shoulders. The only plausible explanation is that communication with any
other person whatsoever was to be prevented. These four, and four men sent to a remote island, all
knew Booth and his associates. Men who helped him escape, but did not know him before, were not
even charged.
That looks as if the capital offence was to be in possession of information about Booth’s
movements and acquaintances in Washington. For that the State prosecutor seems to have
demanded death and the four men sent to an island only escaped it because the generals shied at
wholesale hangings without evidence of complicity. Studying this aspect of the matter, I recalled
van der Lubbe, the vagrant found in the burning Reichstag. I believe he was kept drugged during
his trial and until his beheading; he alone could have said who put him in the Reichstag. The
demeanour of Rudolf Hess, at the Nuremberg Trial, was similar to that of van der Lubbe; none but
he could publicly explain the wartime mission on which he was sent to England.
The circumstances of Lincoln’s murder speak for themselves. Booth fired the shot into his neck as
he watched the play. The door of the box was unlocked, but on the inner side of it someone had
placed a wooden bar and a mortice, so that Booth could ensure that none entered it after himself!
At the door should have been Lincoln’s armed bodyguard, a Washington policeman, recently
enlisted, called John F. Parker. Only his empty chair was there and no word survives in the records
to say why he was not in it! This collapse of protective vigilance was a feature of the Serajevo,
Marseilles and Jerusalem murders. President Lincoln’s danger was well known. That very afternoon
he asked his Secretary of War if Stanton’s stalwart aide, a Major Eckert, could accompany him to
the theatre for his protection. Stanton refused and Eckert, asked by the President himself, also
declined (on the next day Stanton telegraphed to General Sherman that he too was in danger “and I
beseech you to be more heedful than Mr. Lincoln was of such knowledge”).
The missing bodyguard, Parker, was appointed less than a fortnight before the murder, during
Lincoln’s absence from Washington, so that the usual presidential confirmation of his appointment
was never obtained. In three years service serious complaints of “neglect of duty” were several
times made against him and in April 1864 he was dismissed. In December 1864 he was reinstated
and in April 1865, immediately before the deed, allotted to the President’s personal protection!
After the murder he was again charged with “neglect of duty”; the trial was secret, the complaint
was dismissed and the records of the hearing have vanished from the files. Three years later he was
once again charged with dereliction, dismissed, and at that point vanishes from history!
Thus Booth walked into an unguarded box, shot the President, jumped on to the stage, ran through
unguarded wings to the back door, jumped on a waiting horse and rode away. He caught his
spurred boot on some bunting as he jumped, fell awkwardly and broke a small bone in his leg.
This alone seems to have prevented him from getting clean away. He rode across the Anacostia
bridge and along the well-known route to Virginia which the Southerners, throughout the war, used
for spies and communications with the North. Behind him galloping cavalrymen were sent to scour
the country, north and west, which he obviously would avoid. This one southward route, which a
flying Southerner would clearly take, was left open long enough for him to escape. His
unforeseeable injury prevented that; unable to go on the actor went into hiding.
If his escape was desired, this naturally threw up a new problem. After a few days his whereabouts
became known and the chase was converging on him when the military Provost Marshal, who led
it, was suddenly recalled to Washington and the pursuit entrusted to the head of the secret service,
one Colonel Lafayette C. Baker. He was given “twenty-six cavalrymen” commanded by “a reliable
and discreet commissioned officer”, Lieutenant Doherty. This officer, however, was placed under
the orders of two of Colonel Baker’s detectives, his cousin, ex-Lieutenant Luther B. Baker, and an
ex-Colonel Conger, who “by courtesy was conceded the command”. Whose courtesy is not
recorded, though Lieutenant Doherty’s chagrin is. This force eventually surrounded the barn where
Booth lay hidden, with strict orders to take him alive. Of the twenty-nine men none could clearly
say later who fired the shot which killed him. Baker thought Conger did; Conger denied it.
Clearly Booth would have escaped but for his damaged foot. With his death none remained who
could tell the whole truth; those who knew most were quickly hanged or exiled.
Thus the man, the moment, and the apparent murderers. The motive today seems as clear as the
organization behind it remained, and remains, obscure. It was to remove Lincoln because he was an
obstacle to the destruction of the South. The student from afar, who finds Lincoln honoured equally
with Washington, on deeper study learns how lonely he was when he died. To the collapsing South
he was the destroyer; to the North he was the enemy of further destruction. Today’s traveller may
perceive a great flaw in the array of memorials erected to Lincoln in his country. Suggestively, they
commemorate his [ed: him?] as the slayer of slavery, first and foremost. It is the continuation of a
falsehood; that was not his primary aim, he was against violent demagogic actions, preferred
judicial gradualness, and had at heart only the unity of the Union. Thus his memory is misused
today in the further pursuit of ulterior schemes; the false issue, the falsity of which he saw, is raised
in his name and his words and monuments are presented as its also.
In the South the news was received as a last unaccountable blow of destiny. In the North different
feelings were expressed. Clerics, frequently thirsty for a vengeance claimed by God, avowed that
the deed must be a divine act, albeit mysteriously performed. A Republican Congressman, Mr.
George Julian, later recalled that his party met the day after the murder “to consider a line of policy
less conciliatory than that of Mr. Lincoln”; while everybody was shocked the feeling of the meeting
was overwhelmingly that the accession of a new President “would prove a Godsend to the country”.
Mr. Truslow Adams’s Epic dismisses “the conspiracy of a handful, led by a half-madman, which
destroyed the one man who stood between his country and the powers of evil and plunged us all
into a sea of infamy and misery”. The description of the deed and its effects is accurate, but the
theory of the recurrent madman grows thin. Coincidence did not drop Gavrile Princep at the spot
where he could kill the Archduke, Vlada the Chauffeur into a Marseilles street as King Alexander
went by, and the deadbeat van der Lubbe into the Reichstag (I saw him and his trial and can vouch
for that). Even if coincidence’s arm were so long, it could not always reach to the suppression of
inquiry in these cases.
This is a chapter by itself in our times, and in my opinion the most important. I remember how
governments combined, at the League of Nations in 1935, to shelve the inquiry into the complicity
of other governments in the murder of King Alexander. The same thing happened in the case of
Count Bernadotte; the United Nations dropped the matter of its own emissary’s murder as if it were
a hot coal. The truth is not, as American writers put it, that “history shrinks” from exposing these
things. Politicians recurrently cover them up and conceal the continuing process. The study of
Lincoln’s murder did more than anything hitherto to convince me that it is a continuing process,
with an enduring organization behind it. It shares identical and recognizable features with the later
series of murders, which all led to the spread of the area of destruction. These conspiracies cannot
he improvised; obviously the experience of generations, or centuries, lies in the choice of moment,
method, line of retreat and concealment. The little folk who are trotted out after each such deed
may be “the handful”, but the hand is never seen. Particularly in this matter of covering-up is
Lincoln’s murder of present-day significance in America. The same resolute and efficient methods
are used to defeat public curiosity about Communist infiltration into government departments, the
public services and high places. In America (and for that matter in England and Canada), a cat
sometimes slips out of the bag, a Dr. May, a Dr. Fuchs, a Mr. Alger Hiss. But then the bag is tied
more tightly than before, and the public mind forgets.
Booth was not a madman. He kept a diary and the entries he made while he lay hidden show a sane
man, even though pages were apparently removed before its existence became known, two years
after it was taken from his body! He wrote among other things, “I have almost a mind to return to
Washington and in a measure clear my name, which I feel I can do” (the anonymous bullet
effectively prevented his return to Washington). A Congressman asked, “How clear himself? By
disclosing his accomplices?” A parliamentary commission also set about to find who were the
persons “many of them holding high positions of power and authority … who acted through inferior
persons who were their tools and accomplices”. Nothing much came of that in 1865, or of similar
efforts in 1950.
Among high persons of that time the eye of today’s curiosity falls chiefly on Edwin Stanton. As
Secretary of War in a country at war he was almost supremely powerful. All communications were
under his personal censorship. All acts tending to deflect Booth’s pursuit, or after Booth’s death to
obscure the trail, seem trace-able to him and the Leftists around him. Within a few hours of the
murder he wrote to the American Minister in London of “evidence obtained” to show that the
murder was “deliberately planned and set on foot by rebels, under pretence of avenging the South”.
Just so did Goering claim to have proof that Communists fired the Reichstag, while it still burned.
Stanton may have pictured himself as dictator; he nearly achieved such status in the sequel of
events. He forced through Congress a Reconstruction Bill to dissolve the Southern States and
degrade them to military districts, and a Tenure of Office Bill framed to deprive the new President
of the constitutional power to dismiss himself, Stanton. When President Johnson did dismiss him he
refused to resign and only failed by one Senator’s vote to secure the President’s impeachment.
Andrew Johnson proved a stauncher man than the Leftists expected when he succeeded Lincoln.
Among the most arresting questions of American history is, what would have ensued had Johnson’s
impeachment succeeded by one vote, not failed. Since President Roosevelt revived the political
issues of Reconstruction days the conundrum has gained new and current interest.
Sitting at my restaurant window I pictured Booth riding away from Ford’s Theatre. “There you go,”
I thought, “Wilkes Booth, Gavrile Princep, Marinus van der Lubbe, Vlada the Chauffeur: whatever
your name, your unimportant shape is clear, but the darkness around you hides your masters …”
END – this PDF prepared by
1: In the haste of writing this book, I over-compressed the events outlined earlier, and did less than
justice to one of the two brave men. John Moffat, at Rhodes’s instigation, played a great part in
securing the preliminary treaty, but the galant C. D. Rudd secured the final concession, which bears
his name.
2: The British South Africa police have retained the name and still keep order in Rhodesia today.
This is an élite force with a magnificent tradition, comparable with the Mounties of Canada and the
Texas Rangers.
3: In his classic History of Southern Rhodesia, Chatto & Windus, 1965.
4: I dislike to use this misleading word: white Rhodesians and South Africans, of two, three or
more generations in the land, are as much “Africans” as any black folk. However, in today’s idiom
its use seems unavoidable to describe a man of black pigmentation.
5: The African Chaiman of the “Anti-Colonial Committee” of the United Nations in 1965
complained that the British delegate, after urging him privately to vote one way, himself voted the
other way. Being told, “There should not be the slightest suspicion of any attempt to mislead you”,
he replied that his knowledge of English (which is excellent) was not such that he could understand
all the fine shadings: “British delegates are resourceful in the use of words”.
6: During the second War Mr. Sandys was a son-in-law of Mr. Churchill, whose words, “I have not
become His Majesty’s First Minister to preside over the disintegration of the British Empire” now
echo faintly down the years.
7: Among the Federal delegates was Mr. Lewanika, a son of King Lewanika of the Barotse, whose
territory was guaranteed seventy years before by treaty negotiated with Queen Victoria. Mr.
Lewanika asked Mr. Butler if Barotseland were to be allowed to secede from Northern Rhodesia:
“the Barotse are not prepared to be ruled by Kaunda or any other African nationalist. My father, at
his own request, made treaties with the British Government which you are now going to break”.
Followed a flurry of whispering among Mr. Butler’s officials, but no answer was given. Sir Roy
said, “Why can’t you be honest with my Minister? Why can’t he be told, so that he can tell the
Litunga, that the Barotse have been sold down the river?”
8: Mr. Macmillan and Mr. Butler both retired from political life soon after this, as Mr. Eden after
9: In the five years 1960-1965 “Commonwealth” States in Africa received some £194,000,000 in
grants, loans and technical assistance from Britain. At least three of these, Tanganyika, Zanzibar
and Zambia, harbour the terrorist bands, trained in Moscow, Nanking and North Korea, which
sporadically cross the Rhodesian border with instructions to “kill, burn, slash and maim”, (vide
Radio Zambia).
10: In May 1966 Mr. Goldberg announced that the United States was determined to see that Mr. Ian
Smith did not succeed and that the principle of “majority rule” must prevail in Rhodesia. The reader
has seen that in London and Washington the reign of terror instigated from Moscow and Nanking is
always represented as the expression of “the majority”.
11: They wore full regimentals, plumed helmets and shining cuirasses, thigh-high bespurred boots
and white buckskin breeches, scarlet coats and aiguelettes, golden swordbelts and tassels and the
rest and were kept waiting a fortnight by Lobengula, who when at last he saw them asked only if
the cuirasses would keep out bullets.
12: A few paragraphs back, alluding to Mr. Wilson’s revelation to the House of Commons, which
he made in tones of horror, that the Rhodesian Chiefs were “paid by the Rhodesian Government”, I
said that they received up to £550 in salary and allowances, whereas the British M.P.’s get £1,750. I
took this information from an authentic, but apparently outdated source, and a Member of the
House of Commons corrects me. “British M.P.’s now get £3,250,” he says. I am happy to be able to
give the full truth of this matter, as it stands at the moment (I believe complaints have been heard in
some quarters of the House that this £3,250 is inadequate and ought to be increased.
13: A literary curiosity: Mr Nicholas Monsarrat’s novel The Tribe That Lost It’s Head, published
several years earlier, gives an exact picture, in fictional form, of such an incident, progressively
swollen by newspapers until all resemblance to the original happening is lost; in the imaginary case
presented by him the same pattern is followed, leading through Questions In The House to the
involvement of the government, and to a climax of killing and rapine. Fortunately, the case of Miss
Phombeya’s toe came to a ludicrous end, but the denouement might have been much graver.
14: Mr Ian Smith may have studied, for he certainly practices, old Polonius’s precept: “Give thy
thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thoughts his act … Beware of entrance to a quarrel;
but, being in, bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy
15: I recall that Hitler, about to invade Austria and Czechoslovakia, claimed that he merely wished
to liberate oppressed Germans from “police states”.
16: A very real peril. In Rhodesia certain town-planners, new come from the Northern Hemisphere
I believe, forgot that they were in the Southern one and planned their townships the wrong way
round, that is, in the way to which they were accustomed, with the industrial areas to the north and
the residential suburbs to the south. In these parts the reverse is the natural order of things, as
governed by climate and other factors: residential districts to the north and industry to the south.
17: A longlived and disputatious clan. In America once I found “Reed” on so many stones in a
Connecticut churchyard that I made enquiry and learned that the sire of them all was a Roundhead
colonel, John Reed, who left my own West Country for America rather than submit to King
Charles’s restoration. A hundred years later Reeds were still divided on this issue. A dozen Reed
patriarchs, descended from him and mostly aged around eighty or ninety, met to debate the
rebellion of the Colonists. About half of them decided to join it and the others took boat for
Canada, there to live under the King.
18: For general information on this fascinating subject, in a non-political context, I commend the
chapter The Founder’s Intention, in Mr. Nubar Gulbenkian’s autobiography Pantaraxia. This
describes Mr. Gulbenkian’s nine-year struggle to have the funds of the Gulbenkian Foundation
administered according to what, in his opinion, was his father’s intention.
19: I always wondered what went on at these faculties “of social sciences” introduced in our time at
many universities. Now I feel that I begin to have an inkling.
20: This is made credible by the television interview given by U. Thant in 1966, when he called for
South Africa to be blockaded by sanctions. Questioned about the war in Vietnam, then in progress,
he said the U.N. had no jurisdiction in that quarter. A few weeks later the Kabaka of Uganda called
for U.N. intervention when he was deposed as president of Uganda by the Prime Minister there,
Mr. Milton Obote, who then made himself President. No reply was given, and when the Kabaka’s
palace was attacked, burned and looted by Mr. Obote’s troops, a “spokesman” at the U.N. said that
U. Thant could do nothing as the matter was “an internal affair”.
21: The American public, like the British one, is prevented by various impediments from learning
authentic information about Southern Africa. For instance, a three-man delegation from America
which visited Rhodesia in January 1966 (Congressman Ashbrook, Dr. Max Yergan, a South
African negro, and Mr. Ralph de Toledano, a wellknown author) stated that “important publications
have been told that the Rhodesian Government is not admitting accredited journalists, a totally false
charge”. These enquirers found that the Rhodesian government “commands the virtually unanimous
support of the white population and the respect of a preponderance of Africans”. Similarly, an
American judge who visited Rhodesia in April 1966 said he was told by the State Department
before he left that communism was developing in Rhodesia: From my experience and the
information I have picked up here, that statement was unwarranted. There is no likelihood that
conditions here could lead to a communist takeover and it is impossible for me to believe that this
could happen”.
Similar interferences with information about South Africa and Rhodesia occur in London.
As to the Carnegie Endowment, it might be significant that Mr. Alger Hiss, later convicted of
perjury for denying his activities on behalf of Soviet espionage, was once its president.
22: I believe this is the only one of all the Mandates in which the outer world, as instructed by its
mass-persuasion machine, has ever taken any interest whatever. The Palestine Mandate, a British
one, ended after the Second War when the Zionists from Eastern Europe with American support,
drove out the indigenous Arabs. This action received the unanimous approval of the United Nations
and that was, indeed, one of the first acts of this body.
23: The powers of detention sparingly used in South Africa and Rhodesia against acts commited by
communist-trained terrorists and saboteurs from outside are exceptional ones employed by many, if
not most governments in the world at one time or another against violent outrages, and do not
justify the charge that men in these countries are “unequal before the law”. The point is that in
northern Africa there is now no law, with local exceptions which seem likely soon to disappear.
24: Philip Dru is unreadable as fiction but politically and historically of major interest. Mr. House
shows in it the process of picking a man to be used by others as their instrument when in power. It
also contains a remarkable disclosure: that mechanical eavesdropping (known as “bugging” in our
day: a device whereby such men may gain a “hold” over their chosen victim) was known in 1912,
or earlier! I fancy that Mr. House’s motive in writing this strange book may have been to hint to
others in the group that he “knew something” about them which could be used if they were to “rat”
on him.
25: President Lincoln, when he met Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, greeted her as “the little lady who
started the big war”. Mrs. Beecher Stowe, when she visited the ruined South and (like Lizzie
Borden) saw what she had done, would fain have lured back and cancelled out Uncle Tom’s Cabin,
or at any rate part of it, written in ignorance of reality.
26: In one speech he appeared to imply that he felt himself to be accompanied by the saints and
martyrs of the Church. That, at any rate, seems a reasonable interpretation of his strange remark
that “from birth to death we are surrounded by an invisible company of men who never served a
lesser loyalty than the welfare of mankind”.
27: Of Murder and Motive, Far and Wide, published 1951 by Jonathan Cape, London.
28: The secession dispute itself is one of history’s recurrent jests, summed up by an American
humorist in these words: “If you admit the right of secession, sir, my sympathies are with the
South; if you deny it, God bless his Majesty!”
29: Who simultaneously attacked, but did not kill, the Secretary of State, Frederick Seward, the
only other man in Lincoln’s Cabinet who unfalteringly pursued reunion and reconciliation.

Published on March 3, 2009 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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