It was clear that Ian Smith and others intended to try to push the British government up against the deadline for the renewal of sanctions in November, while rejecting any constitutional change or seeking to settle for purely cosmetic amendments. A counter to this ploy had been worked out. It fell to me to explain to the Rhodesians that not all sanctions depended on the Southern Rhodesia Act, which they knew was unlikely to be renewed in November. A wide range of measures existed under other legislation, and these required positive, not merely negative, action to terminate them. While there might be no majority in Parliament for the renewal of sanctions, there would be no majority for their removal either, unless there was an agreement with Britain in the mean time. This was regarded by Ian Smith as another example of British perfidy. Such pressures, unfortunately, were necessary if his resistance was to be overcome — or rather, isolated.


British Government Conservative Party Constitutional Change Front Leader General Wall 
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© Sir Robin Renwick 1997

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  • Robin Renwick

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