(From an editorial)
Lord Home, British Minister for Commonwealth Affairs, has admitted that South Africa's practice of apartheid was creating a strain in the relations between member-nations of the Commonwealth. The final communiqué at the end of the Commonwealth Premiers' Conference has referred to apartheid: and that itself may be considered an advance. The communiqué has reaffirmed “the traditional practice that Commonwealth Conferences do not discuss the internal affairs of member countries.” But it specially mentions that informal discussions “about the racial situation in South Africa” were held with Mr. Louw and that he gave some information and answered questions. It was perhaps too much to expect that there would be an outright condemnation of apartheid in the final London communiqué but neither South Africa nor the rest of the world has been left in doubt about the strong feelings roused by the racialism practised in South Africa. The British Press has been outspoken in criticism and the U.S. has refused to countenance it. It was in view of these world-wide reactions that Mr. Louw agreed to hold discussions – not that they have been particularly helpful so far. The European leaders in South Africa may be determined to persist in their evil policies. Whether they like it or not, however, the question of apartheid will inevitably come up again when the question of a Republic of South Africa continuing in the Commonwealth is discussed at the Premier's Conference. The London communiqué has “emphasised that the Commonwealth itself is a multi-racial association and has expressed the need to ensure good relations between all member States and peoples of the Commonwealth.” It is clear that the existence of a particularly cruel kind of racial discrimination in one country cannot be conducive to the maintenance of good relations with the others in the Commonwealth group. Instead of aspiring to be the spokesman of whites in the African continent, who cannot reconcile themselves to the wind of change, it would be wise of South Africa to come to terms with African and non-white nationalist forces.