Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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1983 May 20 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

TV Interview for Granada World in Action

Document type:public statement
Document kind:TV Interview
Venue:Campaign Coach, St Mawgan, Cornwall
Source:Granada TV Archive: Granada transcript
Journalist:Walter Cronkite for Granada TV
Editorial comments:1300. MT arrived thirty minutes ahead of schedule at St Mawgan and gave the interview in the back of the coach "(t)o fill in time" (Carol Thatcher Diary of an Election (1983), p30). The interview is extracted from a half hour programme "Walter Cronkite’s Election Trail - First Week".
Importance ranking:Minor
Word count:943
Themes:Economy (general discussions), Employment

Cronkite

Now it's Friday morning and we're on the way by train to Gatwick to join Mrs Thatcher.

Mrs Thatcher

We went by train to Gatwick and then we flew down this morning.

Oh that's wonderful, that's a great luxury, that's very kind, that's just, just been boiled this morning. Now tell me is that one of those dark blue ones from the Scillies …   .

Woman

Mrs Thatcher its not a very Tory looking lobster.

Mrs Thatcher

But if they're Tories before they're boiled but one hopes in politics not to get boiled.

Man

This is the lobster that was, er, presented to Mrs Thatcher this morning.

Cronkite

Oh if it was presented to Mrs Thatcher what are you doing with it.

Man

Well, she, well she can't obviously carry around a carrier bag all afternoon so erm it was given to me to wrap up and I'm just looking after it, I'm trying to find somebody official looking to give it to.

Cronkite

Did you know she was coming today.[fo 1]

Man

I knew Tuesday because erm the police came and checked out the security of the building and everything.

Cronkite

Just today?

Man

Er, Tuesday they came.

Cronkite

On Tuesday?

Man

Yes, and, er, let the cat out of the bag a bit, they said it was a top Conservative cabinet member and er my compatriot said er well it must be very important. So he said yes, we're just checking her route so it could only, only be one person.

Cronkite

What was the election strategy that dictated opening your campaign in North Cornwall?

Mrs Thatcher

We always try after the first day in London to try to get right out to a place which is as far away from London as we can er so that they feel they're not forgotten.

Cronkite

Don't you need to put some kind of a time table on recovery to give some hope to all of these unemployed?[fo 2]

Mrs Thatcher

Recovery doesn't only depend on us, er, world recession didn't start with us, it started as you know when the second enormous oil price increase hit the world before we'd really recovered from the first one. And so it doesn't only depend on us, but we're very well aware that if world recovery is to get under way every country has to put its own house in order. We all have to try to get inflation down, we all have to try to get interest rates down, we all have to try to finance ourselves in a sound way and I think that's what's happening this time because we don't want er a kind of artificial boom then go to bust and get into the whole thing again, so we want steady and sustained recovery.

Cronkite

I think if I were unemployed up in the West Midlands I'd, I'd say well "that's a nice answer but what does it do for me, when am I going to see light again"?

Mrs Thatcher

I don't think any of us can suddenly conjure up genuine jobs, certainly no politicians can that means therefore that you have to go for the root causes of unemployment. If your inflation is high your prices are high and you can't compete with others whose prices are low. If you have a lot of overmanning[fo 3] in restrictive practices again your costs are high and you've got to get rid of that. You had a government like the last Labour government that put a tax on job you've gradually got to get that down, if you're competing in a world with newly industrialised countries and new products we've got to compete with them so you've got to do the latest research and development. If you're competing in a world where new business comes from new small businesses you've got to give them an incentive, it's bound to take time.

Cronkite

Couldn't, couldn't you, couldn't you tell me when it might happen?

Mrs Thatcher

No, no one who is responsible can exactly pinpoint it.

Mrs Thatcher

You've got yourself a beautiful country view anyway.

Man

Pardon?

Mrs Thatcher

You've got yourself a beautiful country view. It really is magnificent country.[fo 4]

Cronkite

How did you pick this farm?

Mrs Thatcher

That I wouldn't know. We had a farm last time.

Cronkite

I suppose they're good Conservatives here.

Mrs Thatcher

I, er, I don't doubt that.

Cronkite

A couple of hundred well wishers at Padstow Docks on the Camel estuary barely a score of them here on the farm, perhaps never has a Prime Minister come so far to meet so few. But of course the point really is local and national television coverage that just might woo a few voters in this traditionally liberal or least marginal district. This first week on the British campaign trail has been exciting for this American correspondent travelling by plane and train and automobile and battle bus. It all started there at the Liberal club breakfast with my having a little trouble—no fault of the staff mind you, getting mustard for my sausage. I found a lot of similarities more than differences in the British and American campaign style, I've noticed that British candidates like American candidates frequently indulge in a little more mustard than sausage. Well the[fo 5] campaign goes on next week, and we go on and on and on. And of course there will be further coverage on, er, World In Action next Monday night as we continue our coverage of Campaign '83.