A PROMINENT Black South African recently came to the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town to speak to members of my political party. In the course of his speech he said: "In Europe and America I have found that the people will not listen to the White man from Africa. They only listen to the Black man. I sometimes have difficulty in persuading people over there that I might be mistaken--even although I am Black." He joined in the laughter that followed, which proves to me that with all their vexing difficulties South Africans have not lost their sense of humor. For those words he spoke are to White South Africans tragically true, and it is not their fault that it is true.
In the cold war now being waged between democracy and Communism, Africa is the great uncommitted continent. The allegiance of the 230,000,000 people who dwell on this vast land mass is one of the greatest prizes for which the giant contestants are striving. At the beginning of the cold war the Communists had an initial advantage in Africa. They could in accordance with the teachings of Lenin exploit the potential anti-colonial sentiments of millions of Africans who for a hundred years had been the subjects of metropolitan powers in Europe.
It had to become the policy of the West to move this weapon from the hands of the Communists. Colonialism, whatever benefits it had conferred upon less advanced people, had to go. The forces of anti-colonialism were greatly stimulated when the mighty United States of America, after Hitler's war, emerged from its traditional isolationism and accepted its full responsibility for the maintenance of peace and the frustration of Communist aggrandizement throughout the world. America's historical dislike of colonialism coincided with the strategic need to abolish it wherever it had persisted. Inevitably, the days of the colonial administrator from Europe, the plantation manager and the transient trader were numbered.
Throughout most of Africa the transition could take place smoothly. Europeans
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