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This programme looks at how the British government's policy towards the imposition of sanctions against Rhodesia was influenced and shaped by extraneous forces.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D233, World politics
Item code: D233; 06
First transmission date: 30-06-1981
Published: 1981
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: Carol Haslam
Contributors: Neil Van Hurden; James Barber; Anthony Lake; Ian Smith; Harry Byrd; Arthur Snelling; Harold Wilson; Martin Bailey; Kenneth Kaunda; David Owen
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Economic sanctions; Politics; Rhodesia
Footage description: Shots of various diplomats stating that Rhodesia is a British problem. Jim Barber describes some of the attempts to negotiate settlement and asks: Why did it take so long? He then presents a proposition to be considered in the programme: Interdependence erodes the autonomy of a government to act independently. Anthony Lake, Director of Policy Planning State Department, describes differing views within the American government about policy toward Rhodesia. Senator Harry Byrd describes his opposition to sanctions and why he moved the Byrd Amendment which allowed the U.S. to buy Rhodesian chrome. Shots of Black demonstrators, protesting about the import of chrome. Tony Lake explains that some of the initial support for the Byrd Amendment was lost as firms had to shut down their own ferro-chrome plants. The Amendment was later reversed. Jim Barber argues that the Americans could not be seen as totally reliable allies from the British point of view. This emphasises the point made in the proposition, that British autonomy was eroded by dependence on other countries. He then looks at Britain's relations with South Africa. Harold Wilson states that South Africa did put some pressure upon Rhodesia to make a settlement, but never overtly. Neil van Hurden, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Africa, explains South Africa's position on sanctions and her wish to maintain stability in Southern Africa. Shots of Rhodesian shops and trade fair. Ian Smith makes a speech about Rhodesia's trading relationships. A Rhodesian businessman complains about the cost of using South African middle-men. Neil Van Hurden argues that sanctions strengthened South Africa's trading relations with Rhodesia. Jim Barber now considers the role of big corporations in the implementation of sanctions. Arthur Snelling argues that to outsiders it appeared that British firms were supporting the Smith regime. This was because independent subsidiary companies operated in Rhodesia. Any attempt to prevent this would have led to a severe split between the government and the City of London. Barber implies that this shows that the government could not control business interests at home or abroad. This was most clear in the breaking of oil sanctions. Martin Bailey explains how the major oil companies supplied oil to Rhodesia. He then describes the lack of Parliamentary interest in how sanctions were operating. President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia states that all British Prime Ministers must have known about the breach in oil sanctions but did nothing about it. David Owen, former Foreign Minister, argues that Britain made a mistake in not mobilising international opinion sufficiently to get full international agreement on sanctions. Jim Barber points out that the government made an earlier mistake by not consulting the oil companies before sanctions were imposed. This is shown as another example of the government's dependency upon other institutions to be able to fulfil its policies.
Master spool number: OU3513
Production number: FOUD144N
Videofinder number: 118
Available to public: no