I want first of all, to thank you all for this reception and to say how glad I am to be back with you again. For the past twelve days, I have enjoyed the kindest hospitality and good company of the Master and officers of the Mary Holt, of the Guinea Gulf Line. I would like you to join me in thanking them, and also the crew of this fine vessel, for having looked after me so well.
While in London, I met many of the thousands of Ghanaians both students and others temporarily resident in Britain. I bring greetings from them to you all, and especially to their own families, relatives and friends. I can report to you that many of the young men and women over there are in good heart and that their most earnest desire is to complete their studies as quickly as possible so that they can return home to help in the social, economic and industrial reconstruction of Ghana. We have in them a great promise and a sure hope for the future.
I was particularly impressed by the strength of the unity among African I students in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe. These students from various territories in Africa have formed a Committee of African Organisations.
There are about twenty-two such African organisations. It is a flourishing union and it points effectively to the movement for the union of African territories to which we are all dedicated. This Committee of African Organisations is preparing to hold, in the near future, a conference of all African students in Europe. This is an activity which is very much in line with our own aspirations, and I hope that when the time comes, we shall do all we can to assist their efforts.
Her Majesty the Queen honoured me by giving me an audience and I had the pleasure to express to her our good wishes. As you know, the Queen has agreed, at my invitation, to visit Ghana with the Duke of Edinburgh, in November, 1961. The Duke of Edinburgh has happy and vivid memories of his own visit here. I have assured the Queen that a Ghanaian welcome awaits her. It is just about five weeks ago that I left Ghana to attend the meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers. This meeting which has just concluded must, in retrospect, be considered to be a most significant one indeed. No doubt the communiques which were issued on the meeting are now familiar to you all.
During the conference, I took the opportunity to inform my colleagues — the other Prime Ministers who constitute the Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers of our decision to adopt a republican constitution. This proposal was recognised and accepted unanimously, I made it plain to the conference that Ghana, by her own free will, has chosen to remain within the Commonwealth. She has done so because she believes that the Commonwealth is a unique association of free, independent and sovereign states, irrespective of their racial origins, working for world peace and security it in cooperation with all the other peace-loving nations of the world. It is important to stress that no member of the Commonwealth owes allegiance to another; each is responsible for its own policies. It is in this spirit and in this belief that we in Ghana have agreed to remain in the Commonwealth. Throughout the meetings, our discussions were permeated again and again by the urgent need for a serious re-examination of the whole basis of the Commonwealth association in the wider context of Africa’s political and economic aspirations. We made it quite clear that the survival of the Commonwealth as we know it today will depend on the extent to which the Commonwealth is able and prepared to adapt itself more effectively to its multi-racial character.
The present internal affairs of South Africa cast a dark shadow over the proceedings of the Prime Ministers’ Conference. But as a result of our informal and formal discussions, it should be clear to the present government of the Union of South Africa that its policy of apartheid and its continued blatant repression and suppression of the vast majority of Africans in South Africa are contrary to multi-racial character of the Commonwealth, and condemned by all decent and fair-minded people throughout the world. "Fascist" is the only word that can aptly describe a government which is planned on the basis of race and colour and which denies the vast majority of the people, any say in the government of the country or in the manner in which they should be governed. I regard the present South African Government as an alien government temporarily functioning on African soil. I have no doubt whatever that the rule of the majority will in time some to be accepted as the basis of government in South Africa.
But we cannot sit down indefinitely and wait for this change of heart to take place. If the present racial policies in South Africa are continued, Ghana may be forced in concert with other African States and countries and trade unions of Africa, to consider the initiation of a social, diplomatic, political and economic boycott of South Africa. Let us not forget that the population of Africa is two hundred and fifty million.
I have also hinted elsewhere that the handwriting on the wall is written in blood for all to read and that the wind blowing in Africa is not an ordinary wind, but a raging hurricane. Unfortunately, the Government of South Africa turn a blind eye to these warnings. On the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the union of South Africa, the Prime Minister Dr Verwoerd, is reported to have said for his government will continue to pursue apartheid and racial segregation as their dominant policy and that the government of South Africa should forever remain in the hands of the white man. Dr. Verwoerd should be made to understand that no area or territory in Africa is a white man’s country. What I think could be advocated is racial co-existence based upon majority rule, but not apartheid arrogance or fascist domination.
The South Africa Government has shown incompetence and intransigence in its treatment of the African peoples of the mandated territory of South West Africa. It has been determined by a United Nations Committee that the policies applied by South Africa in South West Africa constitute "a flagrant violation of the sacred trust which permeates the mandate and the Charter of the Union Nations."
Despite this, and despite a decision by the International Court, the South African Government has consistently refused to change its policies towards South West Africa, or to submit reports on it to the United Nations. The only solution to this South West African question, as I see it, would be to place South West Africa under United Nations international trusteeship.
Friends, the more I think about the future of Africa in the context of the world situation, the more I am convinced of the dangers of fragmentation of our continent and the need for African Unity. There is no alternative to African unity. Unless we can achieve this objective and come together in a political union, there can, in my view, be no hope of economic or political stability for those African countries now emerging into the light of independent nationhood.
As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, we in Africa have a supreme and vested interest in peace. For it is only in an atmosphere of peace that we can effectively consolidate our independence and push on to the fields of social and economic reconstruction. The failure of the recent summit conference has therefore been a grave disappointment to us all. It is our hope that some serious efforts will be made as soon as possible to resume discussions with a view to reducing the present tension in the world. As I said when I addressed the United Nations Association in Dublin recently, the time is past when the future of mankind should be left to the leaders of four powers. World peace is a world responsibility, and the voice of all nations must be heard in support of this objective. The time has come when the initiative should be taken by the United Nations to set up a Committee chosen from its member nations and empowered to confer with Britain, France, the United States and Russia in a supreme effort to move towards, and to remain in the path of peace. No lasting settlement can be achieved without the inclusion in future deliberations of representatives of the Chinese People’s Republic or of the Afro
Asian countries and Africa which is the continent of today and tomorrow and I see no reason why Africa should not be represented on such a peace conference through its representatives at the United Nations. And now permit me to remind you that in exactly one month from now, we shall be rejoicing over the introduction of our own constitution and the inauguration of the Republic of Ghana. The special significance of the1st of July, 1960, is this:
It will mark the end at long last of the political revolution which the chiefs and people of this country began over twelve years ago. It will, at the same time, mark the real beginning of the social, economic and industrial revolution towards which we have been working. This will require a great national effort. This new phase in our national reconstruction, if it is to succeed, will demand from us all our utmost loyalty and unremitting hard work. Every man, woman and child counts in this great endeavour. I rely upon everyone to increase this productive effort in the service of our country and to accept this new challenge in the exciting task of development and reconstruction.
Whatever your job may be, however important or however insignificant, you may consider it to be, put into it the energy, enthusiasm and pride that goes into the creation of all great and worthwhile things. Upon the results of your efforts and the success that you make of your jobs, hinges the fate of seven million Ghanaians. There should be no place for idlers in Ghana. I am confident that in the months and years to come, you will give in full measure your loyal service to the Republic of Ghana. By selfless service and hard work, we shall succeed in our endeavours and bring honour to ourselves and to Africa. Your Excellencies and friends: I thank you once again for this reception.