1967 January 26  Pieter le Roux, South Africa's minister of the interior, says D'Oliveira will not be admitted if chosen for the tour the following year. His comments come in the aftermath of a visit to South Africa by Billy Griffith, the MCC secretary. January 30  The MCC assures the UK government, which has been pressed for a statement by more than 200 MPs, that the touring side will be picked on merit and any restrictions on who to pick would be "wholly unacceptable". February 1  The  Cape Times  gloomily predicts sporting isolation "if our government insists visiting teams contain no men of colour" and warns "the MCC dare not omit D'Oliveira from their team even if he goes a bit off form in the coming English summer". February 10  le Roux denies specifically referring to D'Oliveira in his comments but reiterates the country's apartheid laws. Alec Douglas-Home, the former British prime minister, meets with John Vorster, South Africa's prime minister, but adopts a weak stance. He returns to tell the MCC committee that were D'Oliveira to be chosen, the odds were 5/4 on him being allowed in. March 10  D'Oliveira returns from coaching in South Africa but politely declines to comment on the debate over his position. He admits he has not watched any of the ongoing South Africa-Australia series as he would have had to sit in special enclosures for coloured people. April 11  Vorster implies that racially mixed teams will be allowed to tour the country. He warns, however, that anyone who thinks this means all barriers had been removed was "making a very big mistake". His comments are generally regarded as a sign that D'Oliveira would be allowed to tour with the MCC. 1968 January 5  The MCC sends a cable to the South African Cricket Board (SACA) insisting that the tour could not go ahead without an assurance that South Africa would make "no preconditions about selection". February  Douglas-Home again meets with Vorster and again takes a weak line, advising neither side take action. It later emerges that Douglas-Home's policy towards South Africa was that it was best to maintain cordial relations, hence his reluctance to force the D'Oliveira issue at this stage. March 1  After eight weeks, SACA replies that it would "never presume to interfere with the manner in which you chose your sides". But on advice from Douglas-Home, the MCC does not respond to the letter and treats it as if it had never been sent. It, therefore, avoids having to press the matter further. Gubby Allen, the MCC treasurer, later denies ever having received any correspondence. March 4  Lord Cobham, a former MCC president, has dinner with Arthur Coy, the SACA secretary, during which Cobham says the MCC "would do almost anything to ensure the tour is on" and agrees that it would be "disastrous" for D'Oliveira to tour, and even suggests that the player should be approached "with ideas that would suit us". March 6  Vorster and Coy discuss offering D'Oliveira a bribe to make himself unavailable to tour. The offer was to be made when he was in South Africa after the England tour of the Caribbean, but in the event he returned directly to Worcestershire. Vorster, through secret channels, warns the MCC that if D'Oliveira is selected then the tour will not proceed. By this time, all senior MCC officials - Griffith, Allen, and Arthur Gilligan, the president - are aware of the position, but nothing has been formally documented and so the full committee has not been consulted.
May 26  MCC cancels the Rhodesian leg of their winter tour on government advice. The British Lions rugby tour, however, goes ahead.
May 12  D'Oliveira is named in the MCC side to play the Australians at Lord's despite a poor tour of the Caribbean the previous winter when he had been dropped.
1967 January 26  Pieter le Roux, South Africa's minister of the interior, says D'Oliveira will not be admitted if chosen for the tour the following year. His comments come in the aftermath of a visit to South Africa by Billy Griffith, the MCC secretary. January 30  The MCC assures the UK government, which has been pressed for a statement by more than 200 MPs, that the touring side will be picked on merit and any restrictions on who to pick would be "wholly unacceptable". February 1  The  Cape Times  gloomily predicts sporting isolation "if our government insists visiting teams contain no men of colour" and warns "the MCC dare not omit D'Oliveira from their team even if he goes a bit off form in the coming English summer". February 10  le Roux denies specifically referring to D'Oliveira in his comments but reiterates the country's apartheid laws. Alec Douglas-Home, the former British prime minister, meets with John Vorster, South Africa's prime minister, but adopts a weak stance. He returns to tell the MCC committee that were D'Oliveira to be chosen, the odds were 5/4 on him being allowed in. March 10  D'Oliveira returns from coaching in South Africa but politely declines to comment on the debate over his position. He admits he has not watched any of the ongoing South Africa-Australia series as he would have had to sit in special enclosures for coloured people. April 11  Vorster implies that racially mixed teams will be allowed to tour the country. He warns, however, that anyone who thinks this means all barriers had been removed was "making a very big mistake". His comments are generally regarded as a sign that D'Oliveira would be allowed to tour with the MCC. 1968 January 5  The MCC sends a cable to the South African Cricket Board (SACA) insisting that the tour could not go ahead without an assurance that South Africa would make "no preconditions about selection". February  Douglas-Home again meets with Vorster and again takes a weak line, advising neither side take action. It later emerges that Douglas-Home's policy towards South Africa was that it was best to maintain cordial relations, hence his reluctance to force the D'Oliveira issue at this stage. March 1  After eight weeks, SACA replies that it would "never presume to interfere with the manner in which you chose your sides". But on advice from Douglas-Home, the MCC does not respond to the letter and treats it as if it had never been sent. It, therefore, avoids having to press the matter further. Gubby Allen, the MCC treasurer, later denies ever having received any correspondence. March 4  Lord Cobham, a former MCC president, has dinner with Arthur Coy, the SACA secretary, during which Cobham says the MCC "would do almost anything to ensure the tour is on" and agrees that it would be "disastrous" for D'Oliveira to tour, and even suggests that the player should be approached "with ideas that would suit us". March 6  Vorster and Coy discuss offering D'Oliveira a bribe to make himself unavailable to tour. The offer was to be made when he was in South Africa after the England tour of the Caribbean, but in the event he returned directly to Worcestershire. Vorster, through secret channels, warns the MCC that if D'Oliveira is selected then the tour will not proceed. By this time, all senior MCC officials - Griffith, Allen and Arthur Gilligan, the president - are aware of the position, but nothing has been formally documented and so the full committee has not been consulted.
May 12  D'Oliveira is named in the MCC side to play the Australians at Lord's despite a poor tour of the Caribbean the previous winter when he had been dropped.
May 26 MCC cancels the Rhodesian leg of their winter tour on government advice. The British Lions rugby tour, however, goes ahead.