Draft of a speech given by Harold Macmillan (1894-1986) to the South African parliament,1960

On 3 February 1960 the British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, made a speech before both houses of the South African Parliament in Cape Town. In the very heartland of white minority rule Macmillan declared that a tide of nationalism was spreading across Africa, and that African majority rule was a political inevitability. The speech had a deep effect on the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the cause of colonial independence. It was the result of numerous draftings and redraftings, and addressed the various concerns of politicians, diplomats and officials. The page from one draft, displayed here, shows that the most famous sentence of the speech – ‘The wind of change is blowing throughout this continent’ – was a late addition.



Typescript, heavily revised – mostly in pencil

Fifteen leaves, 329×203 mm