Conor Cruise O'Brien on African attitudes to the Republic of South Africa's apartheid race separation policies.

Conor Cruise O’Brien spent time with the United Nations in the Congo in 1961 and in 1962 became Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana.

John O’Donoghue asks Dr O’Brien why at the Addis Ababa meeting of African States, it was agreed that all means of action should be used to aid oppressed people in just two areas, South Africa and the Portuguese colonies.

Conor Cruise O'Brien clarifies the type of logic which prompts Ghana, Nigeria and other independent African countries to choose this course of action. To do this creates a hypothetical situation in which the South African government rules that Irish people were racially inferior and therefore subject to the apartheid code.

I think then that people in Ireland would be very indignant indeed about the practises of the South African government and would feel these practises to be a more urgent matter, demanding more attention than the treatment say of the South Tyrol people by the Italian government.

He goes on to say the practises of the South African government are a matter of concern to all people regardless of their nationality or race.

Whereas other questions like the treatment of Kurds by the Iraqis, treatment of Tamils in Ceylon and so on, these are local problem which of their nature don’t arouse the same kind of urgent attention.

He believes the African states have,

Chosen to concentrate on what they regard and what the majority of the human race regard as the most urgent case of a system of injustice.

‘Broadsheet’ was a magazine programme which went out on weekday evenings during the 1960s.

This episode of ‘Broadsheet’ was broadcast on 6 September 1963. The reporter is John O'Donoghue.