The moment South Africa's tiny new Liberal Party announced its first public meeting, it ran into trouble, as it knew it would. The Liberal Party stands for equal rights for all South Africans, white, black and brown. "Police watch our houses," complained one member. "If we have Negro guests, the police follow them home. We believe our telephones are tapped. They call us Communists."

First they advertised that a Roman Catholic priest named Loretto du Manoir would be chairman. Johannesburg's Bishop William Patrick Whelan (son of an Irish father, a Boer mother) summoned...

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