Chapter 3
DEVISING THE FEDERATION

a) Early Proposals

Drawn between the militant white racism of the Union of South Africa and the emergent black nationalism of Tanganyika, central Africa is subject at its extremities to the centrifugal pull of the extremes.

In the north, Nyasaland looks ambitiously to Dar es Salaam for its future just as many Europeans in Southern Rhodesia look anxiously to Capetown for their protection.

The political and cultural obstacles to a union between such diverse elements are comparable to those of federating South Africa with Ghana. The constitutional instrument that would draw the three central African territories together must not only contend with great ethnological, cultural and social diversity. It must also bend inwards the extroverted political proclivities of Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia.

To this must be added the reservation that neither South Africa nor Tanganyika has ever actively encouraged an irredentist or expansionist attitude towards the central African territories. The British government appears at one time to have contemplated the incorporation not only of Southern but also of Northern Rhodesia into the Union of South Africa,1 but the initiative for this was never forthcoming from Prime Minister Smuts who regarded Southern Rhodesia as a poor country and Northern Rhodesia as too full of undisciplined natives. He felt, no doubt correctly, that South Africa had enough troubles without adding another lot of British colonials and African nationalists.

Similarly, Tanganyika's nationalist leaders, while feeling an undeniable ethnic sympathy for their less fortunate brethren in Nyasaland, regard the latter as a poor country which, if attached to Tanganyika, would constitute a drag on its economic progress. They also see Lake Nyasa

-34-

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