Southern Rhodesia Liberal Party

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Southern Rhodesia Liberal Party
Founded 1939
Dissolved 1950s
Headquarters Salisbury
Ideology Conservatism
White interests
Political position Right-wing
Elections

The Southern Rhodesian Liberal Party was a political party in Southern Rhodesia, founded in 1939 by Jacob Smit (1881–1959), the former United Party (UP) minister of finance. It is thought that Smit split from the UP largely because Prime Minister Sir Godfrey Martin Huggins had failed to include him in the exclusive Second World War Defence Committee.

In his A History of Rhodesia, Robert Blake writes that Smit's party, "in accordance with the Rhodesian tradition of adopting the most misleading political nomenclature possible, called themselves 'Liberals.'" The party was, in fact, pronouncedly illiberal, and attempted to unite conservative, non-trade union opposition to the UP while opposing government economic regulation and the advancement of black political interests. The Liberal Party did well in the 1946 election, winning 12 out of 30 seats in the Southern Rhodesia Legislative Assembly, but in 1948 it won only five seats and its support declined subsequently. It was to become one of the political precursors to the later Rhodesian Front (RF) party.[1]

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