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The Rhetoric of Sir Garfield Todd

Christian Imagination and the Dream of an African Democracy

Michael W. Casey

Publication Year: 2007

This work assembles the best of Todd's (available) speeches and provides an analysis of their rhetorical and political significance. Sir Garfield Todd's (1908-2002) lifelong support of African rights earned him initial political success, subsequent imprisonment, and, finally, rightful recognition. Often labeled a liberal in the British political tradition, a closer study of Todd's rhetoric demonstrates that his politics flow directly from his religious heritage, and not from political liberalism.

Published by: Baylor University Press

TItle Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiii

Many people made this book possible. First I would like to thank the late Sir Garfield Todd for answering innumerable questions about his life, career, and his speaking. Sir Garfield also supplied many of the speech texts used in...

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pp. 1-14

“Rise Sir Garfield—‘protect the poor and punish the wicked,’” so stated Queen Elizabeth II. The motto of the Degree of Knight Bachelor, the oldest order of chivalry, is an appropriate description for the life of Reginald Stephen...

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1: Democratic Disciples

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pp. 15-24

In his 1955 tour of North America, Garfield Todd met another head of state, a committed Christian who later introduced the first Canadian Bill of Rights in 1960, John Diefenbaker, a Canadian Baptist. They both shared...

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Chapter 2: The Democratic Misionary

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pp. 25-38

When Garfield Todd came to Africa in 1934 he found a rural and tribal society that rejected both Christianity and education because it did not trust white missionaries. A patriarchal society existed where males lived a carefree life...

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3: Moving toward democracy

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pp. 39-68

Soon after Todd became prime minister in 1953 he took a taxi from the airport to his home. The African driver and friend in the front seat began to talk about the new prime minister who “seemed determined to bring about...

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4: Todd the prophetic

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pp. 69-90

In 1977, “Taffy,” the leader and chief assassin of Ian Smith’s Central Intelligence Organization, noticed that Garfield Todd was on his flight to Lukasa, Zambia. He recalled “although persona-non-grata in the eyes of most white Rhodesians",...

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5: The “Horrible Speech ”

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pp. 91-100

Todd arrived in New York City in March 1962 shortly before one of the most critical speeches of his career, given before a United Nations Committee. He immediately phoned his friend Hugh Foot, the British ambassador to the United...

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6: Todd’s Narrative Rhetoric

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pp. 101-116

On February 13, 2003, a celebration of the life of the Todds took place at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. Reflecting their lives, the memorial service for the Todds was a truly democratic occasion. Oxford Professor and friend of the Todds, Terrance Ranger, reported: “The congregation was...

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pp. 117-124

On February 13, 2003, a celebration of the life of the Todds took place at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. Oxford Professor and President of the Britain-Zimbabwe Society Terrance...

Sermon Texts

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Conference Sermon

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pp. 127-135

This is the oldest extant sermon of Sir Garfield Todd. In 1950 Todd returned to New Zealand on a five-month furlough where he gave 116 speeches to an estimated twenty thousand people, delivered four live speeches on radio...

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The unfinished task of Christian Missionsin Southern Africa

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pp. 136-145

The American Disciples of Christ, British Churches of Christ, and Associated Churches of Christ of New Zealand all had mission efforts in Africa dating back to the nineteenth century. British and New Zealm land missionaries came...

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Christian Unity, Christ’s Prayer

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pp. 145-156

Starting in 1949, the Peter Ainslie Memorial Lecture, delivered annually at one of the English-medium South African universities, existed to promote Christian unity. The American Disciples of Christ, through an administrative council, the Council on Christian Unity, sponsored the lectures to commemorate...

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Our Timeless Missionary Mandate

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pp. 156-165

The World Convention of Churches of Christ, a meeting of all groups around the world historically associated with the entire Disciples movement, is currently held every four years. Garfield Todd had a long and historic association with the World Convention. Todd spoke at the fifth convention held in Toronto, Canada, in 1955, the first of four conventions that Todd addressed...

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The Church Knows No Boundaries

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pp. 165-171

During the 1955 World Convention of Churches of Christ, Todd was elected a first vice president for the sixth convention, which was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1960. “The Church Knows No Boundaries” is his vice presidential...

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My World and its Need

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pp. 171-178

Todd was invited to address the World Convention for a third time in 1970 at Adelaide, Australia. The Australian Churches of Christ have had a long admiration for and interest in Todd’s mission work and political activities...

Political Speeches

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First Campaign Speech

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pp. 181-186

While the exact date of Todd’s speech cannot be determined, this text represents his stump speech given when he campaigned for his seat in parliament. The text is taken from two sources: “U.P. Candidate on Native Affairs,”...

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Maiden Speech June 3 and 4, 1946

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pp. 186-198

“On the question of native affairs, there will always be great differences of opinion. Almost everyone here has a feeling that he or she has some fairly sound ideas on what should be done. Let us respect each other’s opinions on how things should be done...

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Speech on Federation June 23, 1952

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pp. 198-208

In the early 1950s federation—the uniting of three British colonies of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland—was seriomusly promoted. African nationalists opposed federation because they correctly believed that...

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1956 Congress Address by the Prime Minister

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pp. 208-216

This was one of Todd’s most controversial speeches during his tenure as prime minister. The disparate views of partnership were emerging between the Federation, led by Huggins, and Southern Rhodesia, led by Todd. The speech was delivered June 22, 1956, at the United Rhodesia Party Annual Congress....

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Franchise Speech

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pp. 217-226

The franchise was one of the issues that eventually led to Todd’s demise as prime minister. In March 1957 a commission led by Sir Robert Tredgold, the chief justice of the Federation, made several recommendations to enlarge the number of African voters. One proposal was to retain...

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Immorality Debate Speech

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pp. 227-238

In April 1957 two members of Todd’s party moved to amend the Immorality Act that forbade sexual relations between black males and white females outside of marriage proposing: “That the Immorality and Indecency Suppression...

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Reply to the Toast “Southern Rhodesia” By the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia at the St. Andrew’s Night Banquet at Bulawayo Saturday, November 30, 1957

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pp. 238-242

Tradition held that the prime minister would give an important speech at the Caledonian Society’s celebration of St. Andrew’s Night on November 30 because so many white Rhodesians were of Scottish descent. The African...

Prophetic Speeches

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Statement against the “Colour Bar” March 10, 1959

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pp. 245-246

On March 16, 1959, Todd made four successive extemporaneous presm sentations opposing the continued efforts of white Rhodesian society to segregate the races and maintain white privilege. The audience at the speeches represented...

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After Independence, What? Political Imperatives

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pp. 247-260

...The political development of the Federation with planning to achieve full powers for all governments within the Federation at the earliest date consonant with the growing ability of the people of each State to govern themselves and to share in...

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Letter Delivered to Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations July 26, 1960

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pp. 260-262

This is a full text of the controversial letter delivered to Lord Home and then released to the press where Todd called for a suspension of the Southern Rhodesia Colonial Constitution to help move the colony to independence under...

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United Nations Speech 1962

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pp. 262-281

Todd viewed this as one of his most important speeches in his career. The speech is extensively explored in chapter 5, “The ‘Horrible Speech’: Todd’s Effort to End White Supremacy.” The speech was delivered at the UN Headquarters...

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Can Christianity Survive in Africa?

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pp. 282-286

Todd considered this speech one of his “better efforts” 30 and it clearly is one of his best. The speech laid out a Christian view of political action for social change on a national level. Todd saw African nationam alism as a child of Christian...

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Danger! Men Thinking! The First Feetham Lecture

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pp. 286-292

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, where Todd studied in the medical school for one year, established the Richard Feetham Memorial Lecture in 1959 to support the university’s dedication to the ideals...

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1977 UN Speech

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pp. 294-304

In 1977 the Special UN Committee on Decolonization (or Committmtee of 24) was still meeting to try to resolve the situation in Southern Rhodesia. Todd had suffered through two stretches of imprisonment or restriction by the Smith government, mostly to silence his public speaking, which presented...

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International Center of Indianapolis Luncheon on Basic Issues

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pp. 305-312

Unfortunately, very few recordings exist of Todd’s speeches; however, the Disciples of Christ Historical Society found a recording of this speech delivered before the International Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, on June 13, 1977...

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University of Otago Graduation Speech

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pp. 312-317

When Todd studied at Glen Leith Theological College in Dunedin, he also took courses in education and English at Otago University but he never completed a degree. However, over the course of his career many colleges and universities...

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“The Speech that Says it All—in Silence” The Second Feetham Lecture

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pp. 318-324

Many times governments feared Todd’s eloquence and prophetic voice and so on many occasions he was denied opportunities to speak in the 1960s and 1970s. Todd received his second invitation to deliver a Feetham lecture at...

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The Tübingen Festival Address

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pp. 324-335

The Tübingen Festival is an annual arts festival held in Tübingen, Germany, and lectures addressing key social, historical, and politicm cal concerns are given. This speech was delivered May 28, 1983. It is significant for a number of reasons. Todd narrates important inform mation about Masotsha...

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Keynote Speech at the Celebration of Joshua Nkomo’s 72nd Birthday and 40th Wedding Anniversary

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pp. 336-342

This speech was delivered in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on September 30, 1989. Todd was invited to give the after dinner speech at the celebration. The speech is extensively analyzed in chapter 6, “Todd’s Narrrative Rhetoric: The...

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Concluding Sermon Reflections on Fifty-Four Years of Service

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pp. 343-346

In November 1988 Todd spoke for the final time to a World Convention of Churches of Christ. Appropriately he spoke in his native country of New Zealand among his brothers and sisters of his religious heritage. The...


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pp. 347-370


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pp. 371-380


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pp. 381-398

E-ISBN-13: 9781602580930
E-ISBN-10: 1602580936
Print-ISBN-13: 9781932792867
Print-ISBN-10: 1932792864

Page Count: 436
Illustrations: 26
Publication Year: 2007

Edition: 1st

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Subject Headings

  • Speeches, addresses, etc.
  • Zimbabwe -- Politics and government -- 1890-1965.
  • Zimbabwe -- Politics and government -- 1965-1979.
  • Christianity and politics -- Zimbabwe -- History -- 20th century.
  • Todd, Garfield, 1908- -- Language.
  • Todd, Garfield, 1908- -- Oratory.
  • Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- Zimbabwe -- History -- 20th century.
  • Democracy -- Zimbabwe -- History -- 20th century.
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