Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith poured cold water today on any hope that the Anglo-American search for a peaceful settlement in Rhodesia is about to produce results.
A spokesman for Smith's office said last week's talks between government officials and British and U.S. envoys had not gone well. He said there could be no hope of a political settlement unless London had a complete change of mind on basic issues, such as the need to retain the confidence of white Rhodesians.
This was understoid here to be a reference to the Anglo-American target of black majority rule by 1978 - something Smith already has rejected as impractical.
The spokesman termed "absolute rubbish" plans for Britain to control Rhodesia during a three-to-six month transitional period before majority rule.
Sources close to last week's negotiations said Smith had accepted the idea of a British-run interim government that would conduct free, fair elections for a new government.
Smith's spokesman said today, however, that this proposal had "no bearing on the realities of life" and that it was "completely wrong and misleading" to say that the talks had made progress.
The Rhodesian government, he said, believed the British were pandering to the demands of the black nationalist Patriotic Front.
At a news conference in Lusaka, Zambia, Patriotic Front leader Joshua Nhomo demanded today that Britain, as the colony from Rhodesia's 270,000 whites and transfer it "to the people of Zimbabne through their liberation movement, the Patriotic Front."
On the warfront, black nationalist guerrillas opened fire at a recreation club barbecue, killing two black men and wounding three white children, two other black men and a black nursemaid late yesterday, club members said at Shangani, 180 miles southwest of Salisbury.
They said the guerrillas, who escaped, opened fire around dusk with automatic rifles, apparently aiming at the people gathered around the barbecue pit on the club's front lawn.
Other attackers struck at two gasoline stations, holding up the pump attendants, and looted a store attached to one of the garages in the town.