217. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission in Geneva1

264569. For Wisner only. Subject: Rhodesia Conf: Five Points. Ref: State 264351.2

Per Wisner-Edmondson telecon, following is text from your file of five points labeled “unofficial version” and dated 21 September. Text has typo you mentioned.
Begin text. “Rhodesia agrees to majority rule within two years.
“Representatives of the Rhodesian authorities will meet immediately at a mutually agreed place with African leaders to organize an interim government to function until majority rule is implemented.

“The interim government should consist of a Council of State, half of whose members should be African and half should be European with a European chairman without a special vote. The European and African sides would nominate their representatives. Its functions should include:

  • —legislation;
  • —general supervisory responsibilities; and
  • —supervision of the process of drafting the constitution.

The interim government should also have a Council of Ministers with a majority of Africans and an African First Minister, decisions of the Council of Ministers to be taken by two-thirds majority. For the period of the interim government the Defense, and Law and Order Ministers would be European. Its functions should include:

  • —delegated legislative authority:
  • —and executive responsibility.


“The United Kingdom will enact enabling legislation for this process to majority rule.

Upon enactment of that legislation, Rhodesia will also enact such legislation as may be necessary to the process.

“Upon the establishment of the interim government, sanctions will be lifted and all acts of war including guerrilla warfare will cease.” End text.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, Box 13, Switzerland—State Department Telegrams, From SecState—Nodis (4). Confidential; Immediate;Nodis. Drafted by Edmondson, cleared by Seelye, and approved by Kissinger.
  2. Telegram 264351 to Geneva, October 27, informed Wisner that Kissinger concurred in Richard’s request to distribute copies of the five points to conference participants. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)