(See section XXV, p. 477 supra)
TEXT OF A COMMUNICATION
BY SIR ERNEST OPPENHEIMER
TO THE COPPERBELT EMPLOYEES
OF THE ANGLO AMERICAN
DATED 23 DECEMBER 1953
the discussions on the subject of African advancement in the mining industry of Northern Rhodesia, which have taken place in recent months between representatives of the copper-mining companies and of the European Mine Workers' Union, have reached a new stage.
to now those meetings, which I am happy to say have been conducted in
an entirely friendly spirit, have been limited to a statement of
general views on the situation by the representatives of the mining
companies. The representatives of the union have, quite understandably,
not been in a position to express the views of their members, as they
have not yet been able to refer the matter to their branches or to
organize general discussion among their scattered membership.
mining companies decided last week, however, to ask the union to refer
the matter to their branches, and the subject will presumably now
become one for public debate and consideration. It is, therefore,
expected that at the next meeting between the representatives of the
companies and the Mine Workers' Union we should be able to hear their
views and to take the discussions a step forward.
I think it is important that our employees in Northern Rhodesia should know our point of view.
us, first, very briefly put the problem in its historical perspective.
What I am going to say now, I have said before: I make no apology for
repeating it, as there are still many people in various parts of the
world who do not seem to understand the position.
a century ago the population of the present Copperbelt lived in
savagery and in fear—helpless victims of slave-raiding anarchy, and
Their progress in half a century has been phenomenal—a rate of progress probably unsurpassed in the world's history.
progress has been solely due to the order and leadership of the
European. Its continuance is still completely dependent on this
leadership and will be so for the foreseeable future.
progress in Rhodesia must continue. It is the duty of European
leadership to see that it does so; and the copper companies are