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Lest We Forget

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments


Unilateral Declaration of Independence

11th November 1965

Whereas in the course of human affairs history has shown that it may become necessary for a people to resolve the political affiliations which have connected them with another people and to assume amongst other nations the separate and equal status to which they are entitled:

And whereas in such event a respect for the opinions of mankind requires them to declare to other nations the causes which impel them to assume full responsibility for their own affairs:

Now therefore, we, the Government of Rhodesia, do hereby declare:

That it is an indisputable and accepted historic fact that since 1923 the Government of Rhodesia have exercised the powers of self-government and have been responsible for the progress, development and welfare of their people;

That the people of Rhodesia having demonstrated their loyalty to the Crown and to their kith and kin in the United Kingdom and elsewhere through two world wars, and having been prepared to shed their blood and give of their substance in what they believed to be the mutual interests of freedom-loving people, now see all that they have cherished about to be shattered on the rocks of expediency;

That the people of Rhodesia have witnessed a process which is destructive of those very precepts upon which civilization in a primitive country has been built, they have seen the principles of Western democracy, responsible government and moral standards crumble elsewhere, nevertheless they have remained steadfast;

That the people of Rhodesia fully support the requests of their government for sovereign independence but have witnessed the consistent refusal of the Government of the United Kingdom to accede to their entreaties;

That the government of the United Kingdom have thus demonstrated that they are not prepared to grant sovereign independence to Rhodesia on terms acceptable to the people of Rhodesia, thereby persisting in maintaining an unwarrantable jurisdiction over Rhodesia, obstructing laws and treaties with other states and the conduct of affairs with other nations and refusing assent to laws necessary for the public good, all this to the detriment of the future peace, prosperity and good government of Rhodesia;

That the Government of Rhodesia have for a long period patiently and in good faith negotiated with the Government of the United Kingdom for the removal of the remaining limitations placed upon them and for the grant of sovereign independence;

That in the belief that procrastination and delay strike at and injure the very life of the nation, the Government of Rhodesia consider it essential that Rhodesia should attain, without delay, sovereign independence, the justice of which is beyond question;

Now therefore, we the Government of Rhodesia, in humble submission to Almighty God who controls the destinies of nations, conscious that the people of Rhodesia have always shown unswerving loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty the Queen and earnestly praying that we and the people of Rhodesia will not be hindered in our determination to continue exercising our undoubted right to demonstrate the same loyalty and devotion, and seeking to promote the common good so that the dignity and freedom of all men may be assured, do, by this proclamation, adopt enact and give to the people of Rhodesia the constitution annexed hereto;

God Save The Queen.

Given under Our Hand at Salisbury this eleventh day of November in the Year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixty five.

(Signed by Prime Minister Ian Smith, Deputy Prime Minister Clifford Dupont, and the other Ministers of the Government of Rhodesia)

Rho-udi.jpg (750×1241)

Categories: History Tags: ,
  1. November 10, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Rhodesia had served Britain well in two world wars and still maintained loyalty to the Queen. The country was served very poorly by British and American politicians. Included in the conditions whereby the US loaned arms and supplies to Britain during the war, was the demand that Britain surrender her colonies. US hypocrisy is overwhelming when one considers how the original 13 states, despite their anti-colonial stand, went on to colonise the rest of the country and committed acts of genocide against its indigenous people. Not only that the US stole California and other states from Mexico. Kipling’s poem, the White Man’s Burden, was aimed at the US upon their colonisation of the Philippines.

    Under Rhodesian government, the population of the country grew from 450,000 in 1890 to 9 million in 1980. Whereas the indigenous people flourished and prospered in Africa, in America and Australia they were all but exterminated. Yet who is it who tries to lay claim to the moral high ground?

  2. November 10, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I agree completely.

  3. November 10, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Thanks Zen.

  4. November 10, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I agree also. Rhodesia was scurrilously treated by HM Government of the day, with the result we see today and which was foreseen at the time.

  5. November 10, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks Bravo. I think though, that as I have learned more over the past few decades, much of the blame for the fiasco in colonial Africa can be placed at the feet of the US which was so anti the British Empire/Commonwealth. It was an anathema to America that Britain could hold such influence and power.

  6. November 17, 2010 at 7:32 am

    To be fair Mexico could not have held on to the lands lost to the USA much longer in any event. The Amerindians did not want anything to do with Mexico and were organising to push them out as, especially in California, Mexican settlers were becoming a great nuisance to their lives. Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican Alta California, went on record in favour of California’s annexation by the British Empire and even the Citizen King of France had designs on California. The USA acted first, though it was inevitable that that land would be lost by Mexico. Back to Pio Pico — yes, a Mexican official favoured annexation of his province by Britain. The reason why was that he realised that someone would take over and he favoured Britain as the British had a far better record of honouring treaties and respecting indigenous laws, traditions, and land rights than did the USA.I’ve come to accept that there is nothing more dangerous than the USA approaching world affairs with good intentions and absolutely no clue what would happen or what the consequences would be. The USA received what it wanted — global dominance. Unfortunately, it hasn’t proven to be half the country Britain was even though it has more resources than Britain could ever have dreamt of.

  7. November 17, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Hi Christopher, thanks for that. And very interesting. I should read more about US westerly expansion. The trouble is that there is so much written and from so many different angles and with so many agendas. One may read one point of view and form one opinion and then read a different perspective and change it completely, even though both accounts might technically be accurate.

    I recall that when I was living in Atlanta a few years back, I picked up a book about the war of 1812. I was unaware that some of the New England states had very nearly split from the Union and that one or two were actually supporting the British both financially and militarily. When it came to it, New York decided to stay and the rest felt that they could not do it on their own. Not knowing much about it, I am not in a position to argue just how ‘nearly’ that was. I imagine that not many Americans would be enthusiastic about writing about the potential collapse of the Union so soon after its creation. On the other hand, that particular author, whose name I have forgotten, might have been stirring up trouble. I would be interested to learn more about it.

  8. November 17, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Christopher, “even though it has more resources than Britain could ever have dreamt of”. Yes, I often think that not a great deal is made of the extraordinary good fortune that America had with regards to its natural resources. Americans have been hugely resourceful themselves, but the country was/is blessed with great natural wealth. Britain had to seek much of its wealth abroad.

    If one were to create single country from a portion of Southern Africa starting in the Cape and going north until an area the size of the US had been delineated, I believe that such a country would, had it been colonised in the same was as America was, be every bit as wealthy.

  9. November 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    The movement to separate New England from the rest of the union was, actually, on the verge of being successful. Alexander Hamilton himself was in favour of it. The reasons were, in the end, economic. New England had been a mercantile region for most of its history. When the federal government put an embargo on trade it proved to be hard on its economy. Despite what the national sacred mythology might otherwise indicate there was no strong US identity until after the Civil War. Marylanders were Marylanders, Massachusetts were Massachusetts. Robert E Lee was not a great fan of secession. He was, however, a dutiful and loyal Virginian so when Virginia seceded from the union he went with it. You’re right about the various accounts of US history. All might be correct, though they each have a radically different perspective. History is not a simple, sterile field.

  10. February 1, 2011 at 6:27 am

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