Page 1, 18th January 1974

18th January 1974
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Page 1, 18th January 1974 — Bishop Muzorewa hopeful over Rhodesia's future
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Locations: Geneva, Vatican City

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Bishop Muzorewa hopeful over Rhodesia's future

Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the leader of the African National Council, said in Salisbury on Saturday that he was optimistic that, with a show of goodwill from Ian Smith, Rhodesian Prime Minister, agreement on Rhodesia's constitutional future could be reached in the near future.

"Everything now depends on Mr. Smith's goodwill," Bishop Muzorewa told a questioner just before the opening of an ANC central executive meeting in Salisbury. All depends now on whether Mr. Smith is prepared to meet halfway as we have done," the Bishop said. "We have come a long way and we are ready to go halfway to meet him."

Mr. Smith 'has been holding talks with the ANC on ways of solving the constitutional deadlock which began with the unilateral break from Britain in 1965. The ANC central committee gave Bishop Muzorewa a full mandate to complete negotiations with the Premier.

A report from Salisbury in the Johannesburg Sunday Times said it was understood that Bishop Muzorewa had so far negotiated 12 major concessions from Mr. Smith.

It said these apparently included acceptance of the ANC, as the official opposition in parliament, further seats in parliament to be made available at the earliest opportunity, the appointment of Africans on a commission to investigate racial discrimination, and more land being made available for Africans.

The Sunday Times said among the Bishop's own concessions were the abandonment of demands for a one-man-onevote franchise, at least for the present.

The ANC publicity secretary Edson Sithole confirmed on Saturday that the Bishop and Mr. Smith had met a number of times since'their initial talks last July.

The central committee decided the ANC's first congress ,would he held on March 2 and 3 in Salisbury.

According to a report from Geneva on Friday the World Council of Churches said that the International Committee for European Migration had been asked to stop helping white workers to emigrate to South Africa.

The request was made by 13 experts from Church and migration agencies who attended consultations last month sponsored by the World Council of Churches to discuss ways of discouraging white migration to Southern Africa,

The experts said such migration was an integral part of planned strategy to maintain racist and colonial regimes. It deprived African workers of the right to better job opportunities, they said. They suggested that the World Council of Churches, in consultation with the International Labour Organisation, should explore the possibility of an international convention against migration of white labour to Southern Africa.

They added that the European Common Market should he asked to establish a policy on the problem. They also asked ICEM to exclude South Africa from its membership.

The ICEM was set up after the second world war to help resettle refugees from Europe. A report from Vatican City on Saturday said that Pope Paul praised efforts by the European Common Market to establish a pattern of economic and' commercial co-operation with Africa, The Church was criticised for supporting moves to reduce ten

sion which helped "conservation" and delayed the corn-. ing of a "liberating revolution," he said.

But he replied that "certain radicalisms" were dangerous not so much because of what they wanted but because of what they wished to prevent.

"In other words, in pushing towards radical upheaval it is

not impossible that one arrives at situations less just and less stable than those which one wished to modify."

The mission of the Church was to be "a prophetic voice, like the cry of conscience of humanity," but at the same time it must understand reality and human failings.

The Church should not confine itself to the enunciation of general principles but if necessary must take concrete action.

"Instead of limiting ourselves to deploring or denouncing in sufficiencies, we believe that our duty in this field is to recall and clarify principles, to en courage men to apply them faithfully and not to refuse our collaboration in the concrete solution of the problems which this application implies," the Pontiff said.

Leader Comment — P.4

Cardinal's engagements

Although Cardinal Heenan is still recovering from a strained heart he is already committing himself to engagements for the coming month.

On . February 2, Candlemas Day, the Cardinal will commission nuns and laymen as "extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion" at a service in Westminster Cathedral.




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