Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Remarks on the recapture of South Georgia ("Rejoice")

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Outside No.10 Downing Street
Source: BBC Radio News Report 0000 26 April 1982
Editorial comments: Around 2045. The text of the BBC Radio News bulletin has been checked against a video clip of MT's opening words - excluded from the news broadcast - and a clip of the closing exchange from the point at which John Nott read out the message sent by the Commander of the operation. A draft of the announcement in the Thatcher Archive has also been examined.
Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 317
Themes: Defence (Falklands), Famous statements by MT


[video clip begins].

Ladies and gentlemen. The Secretary of State for Defence has just come over to give me some very good news and I think you'd like to have it at once.

[Text from video clip ends. BBC Radio News Report begins:]


[BBC Radio News Report begins]

The message we have got is that British troops landed on South Georgia this afternoon, shortly after 4 pm London time. They have now successfully taken control of Grytviken; at about 6 pm London time, the white flag was hoisted in Grytviken beside the Argentine flag. Shortly afterwards, the Argentine forces there surrendered to British forces. The Argentine forces offered only limited resistance to the British troops. Our forces were landed by helicopter and were supported by a number of warships, together with a Royal Fleet Auxiliary. During the first phase of this opinion, our own helicopters engaged the Argentine submarine, Santa Fé, off South Georgia. This submarine was detected at first light and was engaged because it posed a threat to our men and to the British warships launching the landing. So far, no British casualties have been reported. At present we have no information on the Argentine casualty position. [video clip begins] The Commander of the operation has sent the following message: “Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign flies alongside the Union Jack in South Georgia. God save the Queen.”


What happens next Mr Nott? What's your reaction …?


Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces and the marines.

[MT answers emphatically then turns towards the door of No.10]


[Begins walking back to the door of No. 10]


Are we going to war with Argentina Mrs Thatcher?


[pausing on the doorstep of No. 10]