Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1983 Feb 2 We
Margaret Thatcher

Press Conference for American journalists visiting Britain

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: No.10 Downing Street
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Editorial comments: 1100-1145. The journalists were visiting under the auspices of Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 5833
Themes: Civil liberties, Defence (general), Defence (arms control), Defence (Falklands War, 1982), General Elections, Taxation, Trade, European Union (general), Foreign policy (Middle East), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Q

Prime Minister, I have a question about Ireland. My name is McCarthy. I notice that yesterday Mr. Prior met with Mr. Barry the new Foreign Minister for five hours. What could you tell us about their meeting and what progress was made?

PM

Well, you say for five hours. We do from time to time have meetings of issue with the Irish Republic. They are the only neighbours we have with a land border. We are both members of Europe and we have many many cross-border co-operation projects. Not only security but a number of others. And we meet as neighbours and there is nothing more to be said.

Q

No break-throughs on security?

PM

No, no. Security has been very good and has stayed very good. Its in both our interests to keep up the maximum co-operation on security and the Irish Republic has as much trouble in some ways as we do with problems south of the border. Co-operation on security has been excellent. The trains run across the border and then there are various economic project. Don't search for a break-through from that meeting—there isn't any. Its normal bilateral relations.

Q

But I noticed in Belfast yesterday the three parties in Ulster were very exercised yesterday about the terrorism—they feel that not enough is being done.

PM

They have been exercised about terrorism for years. And that's why its absolutely vital to both of us that we keep security across the border. And you can go on for half-an-hour cross-examining me, you won't find a break-through. Anything you can dress up as a break-through, so I wouldn't waste time.

Disarmament

Q

Prime Minister, the Daily Telegraph yesterday had a headline after the release of the Reagan letter, President Reagan letter, by Vice President Bush, and the Daily Telegraph headline said “Reagan wants arms pact” . Almost as if that was the first time the British public had been told that the United States and President Reagan were serious about wanting an arms [end p1] pact. Does the President of the United States face a credibility problem in Europe, convincing the publics in Europe of our seriousness?

PM

Well don't link anything to a headline in a newspaper. I'm sure even in your own newspapers you have to repeat the same message over and over again, and obviously we speak and we are about so much that you have to repeat the same message over and over again. I think there has not really been sufficient realisation about the fundamental nature of the decision that was made in NATO in December 1979. It was a NATO decision and it was the result of a lot of previous work in the NATO Alliance on two things—modernising the intermediate nuclear weapons because the Russians had already modernised theirs, as they have come to the SS20s, modernising them and also at the same time making a fundamental drive towards disarmament which would be in all our interests. But to maintain security it has to be balanced disarmament and if you look at that decision it was quite a fundamental one. Namely that we should go ahead with modernisation and therefore the Cruise and the Pershings would be deployed in Europe. At the same time we should go ahead, press ahead, with the proposals for disarmament. The zero option was not in fact identified and enunciated until after that. But the December 1979 position was we wished to disarm and the basis was perfectly clear. Balanced disarmament on what I call proper counting. In other words, no bogus counting. You have got to have balanced disarmament on the nuclear field or in any other field. You have got to have genuine counting. To be balanced it's got to be taking the right things into account on each side to get a balance. Now that preceded the zero option and is still there. Now obviously the best, particularly for those who wish to have disarmament and hate nuclear weapons as much as I do, and hate war as much as we all do, obviously you have got to have all-sided disarmament and obviously the best thing is a zero option. If you can't get that you still have got the background December 1979 decision which was a NATO Alliance decision in play, which is a balance at a lesser level than the one which obtains with the SS20s. Now I go back because I think a lot of the people have forgotten the early history and the tendency is so much to do the modern, up-to-date thing that they have forgotten how it fits into the background. [end p2] And one other thing I would like to say if I might make use of your question to get across some of my points. The point about nuclear weapons is deterrence. It has worked. The prospect of nuclear war is so horrific that the major powers which have those weapons have kept the peace. Its function is deterrence, to stop war of all kinds breaking out between those powers and it has worked. Never, never under-estimate that. The argument which I frequent use is look, if possession of nuclear weapons on both sides stops war breaking out, do you not think that that is a positive point in favour of peace? …   . and if I just might finish, there have been, as I have said in New York, 140 sets of hostility since the last world war using conventional weapons. There have been none between nuclear powers. Right now, come on …

Q

Has support for the zero option been undercut by a perception in Europe, and perhaps in England, that the Soviets have been more forthcoming at negotiations and …

PM

Certainly not, I am always saying, look you should address your remarks not to me but the Soviet Union. If you really hate nuclear weapons you should be going for the zero option and should be criticising the Soviet Union for not responding.

Q

The perception is that you have moved off the zero option yourself—100 per cent support for …

PM

No, that is not correct. I said yesterday in the House, zero option is the best outcome. It is the best possible result. If we cannot get that, then you must have balanced numbers without bogus counting.

Q

Could one infer from what you have said that your opinion now, Mrs. Thatcher, is that the most likely result of all this will be a low level balanced numbers? [end p3]

PM

We still go for zero option. One's judgement is whether the Soviet Union will come to zero option. If it will, excellent. If not you will go in the direction of zero option towards balanced numbers at the beginning, that means deploying your Cruise and your Pershings. But do not ever give up zero option even if you get on the way there by balanced numbers. Do not give up zero option and you must not and indeed we must make it perfectly clear that it is we who hate nuclear weapons and therefore we want to get rid of a whole class of nuclear weapons, the method is there, its been enunciated by President Reagan. We support him in that and really we are the genuine disarmers.

Q

You mentioned we must make it perfectly clear. There seems to be some impression on the Continent that the American message is not entirely clear. Do you think that this is a misinterpretation of the American position?

PM

I've always found the American message perfectly clear. There were two major disarmament speeches of President Reagan. One was at Eureka, the other at the National Press Club. They were very very comprehensive speeches and we must not allow people to forget them, the focus at the moment is on the IMF negotiations and START that have just started up again.

The conventional ones have been going for years. We should not let people forget the tremendous fundamental initiatives that have been taken by the President for disarmament and the lack of response by the Soviet Union. Now there is one great inequality between the Soviet Union and the Western democracies, they have no genuine public opinion. In the absence of public opinion there, their tactic is they think they can keep all their weapons without us deploying any Cruise or Pershings merely because they think they can work on our public opinion and there is no way of working on theirs. Never forget that fundamental imbalance and that goes right to the route …

Q

What happens when you have a situation such as occurred yesterday. The letter from President Reagan was read by Mr. Bush on Monday night, Mr. Bush said yesterday in his press conference that this was a serious effort not a propaganda effort. The [end p4] President however said that this was an effort to counter Mr. Andropov 's propaganda efforts and did not represent any change in US position. Doesn't that confuse people?

PM

I don't think it necessarily confuses people. The point is the zero option stands and this is the point that we must get over. It is not we who are dragging our feet, it's the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union that wants to keep more nuclear weapons than the West wants to keep. Now if you have got to get that message across we've got to use every means to do it, including you gentlemen. And please would you criticise the Soviet Union for not wanting the zero option, instead of Ronald Reaganthe President for wanting it? You ought to be going flat out for the zero option, and criticising the Soviet Union as being those who want nuclear weapons.

Q

American journalists don't take positions.

The perception that we have had from other European leaders is that the Soviets have made a number of concessions which may to some extent be phoney, but which nonetheless are given some credit …   . talk about warheads instead of simply missiles, their willingness to destroy and indeed dismantle and indeed destroy some of the SS20s …

PM

Well we have taken out a 1,000 nuclear weapons from Europe …   .

Q

But that's since, that's before the beginning of the arms talks in Geneva …

PM

Indeed, but they have still got a great superiority, don't forget. They want to keep that superiority on INF.

Q

So you are not worried about a credibility problem for the United States. [end p5]

PM

No, if there is a credibility problem it is because we have not put the Soviet Union's background, and it went right back, first, to the fact that if you did not modernise, and don't forget it is only a modernisation of existing intermediate nuclear weapons, a modernisation. If we did not modernise and ours were getting greatly out of date in their aircraft form … then you could get the possibility in the Soviet mind that they in fact might be able to come across Europe without any effective deterrent to stop them and the purpose of having those modernisations of the nuclear weapons in Europe is the biggest deterrent against the Soviet Union crossing that border. And my goodness it is. Look at how they are twisting and turning to make certain those weapons are not deployed. Again, it is a protective, it is a deterrent to operate on the Soviet mind that they can never come across that NATO line into Europe and feel certain that nuclear weapons would not be deployed against them. So it is always the deterrent effect, it's part of the deterrence and this is the thing about nuclear weapons. They are being very effective in preserving the peace, just like gas in the last war, you know, the effect is so horrific. They go right back to that, that was really the original idea, and I remember Helmut Schmidt made a very good speech at the …   . Memorial Lecture here in 1977. Go back right to the origins of this, after that there were two groups set up in NATO, the whole of the NATO alliance, the whole …   ., I cannot emphasise that too much, there was opinion in this country behind the NATO alliance is very strong indeed. The whole of the NATO alliance, they've set up two groups; one on how to modernise these weapons, and don't forget as your new ones go in your old ones come out, so it is not an extra number of nuclear weapons. One on the modernisation, the other on, look we really must pursue a policy of being able to safeguard our freedom, our peace with freedom and justice, at a lower level of armaments. Therefore we pursue armaments talks with the other side at all levels and this was the significance of the President's two speeches. He put in very, very powerful recommendations at the strategic level, they were all in on the intermediate level and we have all been in on the conventional armament levels. There are various other talks about chemical weapons and so on. And there were the Test Ban Treaty talks in play although they are not doing very much at the moment. And you must put it in this background, the NATO background, and really all [end p6] the best stories are on our side. If we only deploy them. And you can't blame anyone for … in Vice President Bush 's visit to Europe for taking the extra opportunity to deploy these. But it is NATO and it is all-sided disarmament. If you really hate weapons you have to have disarmament on all sides, not on one side.

Q

You have referred to equal numbers—what numbers? Can you throw out a number, less than 100?

PM

No I can't … that is a matter not for us, that is a matter for negotiation in Geneva.

Q

Would equal numbers of what they have now and want …

PM

Well you must have a balance, it must be equal and there must be a balance and verifiable. Now once you get into what is true counting and what is not, you are in highly technical things and then you also have to look at both your launchers, the number of launchers, and your number of warheads and what is included and what is not. There has been an actual whole plan laid down for the way in which the negotiations should proceed. I have been through it. It is highly technical, it has been worked out very carefully and that is the way to negotiate. We can't really do all the technicalities on this kind of level, but you can set down the principles. Zero is a balance. In the absence of zero you have to have proper balances of weapons. Now, all right, the lower the balance the better.

Q

Are you convinced that the Russians …

PM

Am I convinced, I mean I hope we will bring them to wanting a balance in Geneva. I think that they as well as we are finding the cost of defence enormously expensive and I think therefore there is an underlying reason for us all to wish to safeguard at a lower level of expenditure. That I think they wish to do. But basically what I think they want to do, tactically what they are wanting to do is to keep all their own—they have no public opinion to influence them—and to try to exert an influence on public opinion here, so that our balance is not deployed and therefore there seems to be a gap. [end p7]

Q

If it is …

PM

That is correct.

Q

Prime Minister, you speak of the zero option as impossible.

PM

No, I'm sorry.

Q

…   . in that balance of numbers, where would you count the British strategic forces? …   . but would you reject Mr. Andropov 's suggestion that both the British and the French missiles should be counted?

PM

The British are not in, in any way, we are now talking about intermediate strategic weapons, intermediate nuclear weapons. Our last resort, Polaris, is a strategic weapon, it is not land-based, it is a last resort strategic weapon, it is at its minimum to be a last resort deterrent. Go below that and you would cease to have a last resort deterrent. It is not in the intermediate range at all. It is not land-based. It is not involved in any way in those intermediate nuclear force negotiations. It is totally a last resort, submarine-based.

Q

Mrs. Thatcher, will deployment be automatic if there is no agreement by fall or must there be another NATO decision? There seems to be some controversy about this.

PM

The NATO decision has been taken. We will have to deploy if …; we would not have to deploy if there was an arrangement under which the Soviets would take down theirs according to arrangements which would be reached and negotiated at Geneva. In the absence of that we have to deploy. The deployment would take as you know a number of years, and if in the meantime we reach agreement on a balance then less would have to be deployed. And if the balance were brought down by … over the years one could get it down to less. But you must, I beg of you go right back to the origins of it and to that 1979 decision which predated the zero. The zero is a particular case of that decision.

Q

Can I have a follow-up here. You don't think the Germans for example, as the Social Democrats are now suggesting in Germany, would want to judge for themselves whether there is progress at that negotiation for …

PM

We have to stick, all of us; we all support NATO. That is the shield and guarantee of the freedom of every NATO country, particularly those in Europe. This was a NATO decision. We will honour and abide by it. [end p8]

Q

Prime Minister, what effect do you think the up-coming General Election will have on negotiations in this country?

PM

It was a NATO decision. It was a NATO decision and I hope that each person, again we have to get across to public opinion, what we are talking about is a safeguard to a way of life which is not peace at any price but peace with freedom and justice.

Q

Do you think that there ought to be an Andropov-Reagan Summit this year?

PM

When you have a Summit it has to be fully prepared and willingness on both sides; fully and properly prepared. If you just say right we'll go and meet one another all you guys will turn up, five thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand strong expecting enormous things. When you have a Summit it must have been properly and effectively prepared. And I hope eventually there will be a Summit. One that will have been properly and effectively prepared.

Economic Summit

Q

Prime Minister, I wanted to ask you about a Summit, the one that will occur in Williamsburg in May, I believe. Do you see a risk that that Summit will be a very unpleasant affair in the sense that protectionism between the allies is becoming a big problem? Do you see any hope that the economic situation in Britain will improve during the year to the point where some of the economic strains in the Alliance will ease or are we in for a bad patch?

PM

I don't think it will be nasty but you have to talk about these problems because they do in fact exist. I am a free trader. If you believe in free trade you have got to get other people's barriers down. You simply cannot have half the world believing in free trade and the other saying, all right, we want our barriers. And therefore it's absolutely vital if you believe in free trade to pursue a policy which reduces other people's barriers. And one of the methods of getting their barriers down is to say, all right, if you do that, we'll retaliate. So you have to talk about these things frankly and now Europe is negotiating with Japan. It's difficult in some ways for Europe to negotiate as a unit on some of these [end p9] matters because the interests of the different countries are different because of treaties which pre-dated the European Community. We will try to negotiate within a framework of the Community which then permits us to make bilateral arrangements which take into account our varying circumstances. So, yes it is. I'm a free-trader because I think that this is best for increase in world trade. I'm a fair trader. You must have fair competition and you simply cannot have people keeping up barriers which were designed for circumstances which do not exist now. Of course we know that in some of the newly industrialised countries you have to have a period when you protect the new industries. But some of the arrangements which we had with those countries at the beginning of GATT really are now totally outdated. So yes, it is difficult but it won't be a nasty affair. It's one that is absolutely vital to discuss. The more you believe in free trade the more you have got to pursue policies which get other people's barriers down. And I can tell you I've been in on a number of these, not only the Economic, but Cancun, and the Commonwealth and Europe. You can go to those meetings with a whole list of protective devices, tariff and non-tariff barriers, and everyone's at it. The question is, which direction do you wish to go in? I wish to go towards getting the barriers down. That will be much the best for the world, it will get more trade going in the world. That gets more jobs and more prospects.

Disarmament

Q

Prime Minister, you drew an analogy between nuclear weapons and poison gas in World War 2, and the non-use after use in World War 1. And as you know, a British statesman, the late Philip Noel-Baker, was in good measure responsible for that because he initiated the Geneva protocal of 1925, which forbade the first use of chemical weapons in war and even though the US hadn't ratified it, President Roosevelt said we abide by it, and it wasn't used. I'm wondering if you wouldn't think about the proposal of Lord Carver of yesterday and a group of other former defence chiefs of the US, of Britain, and Germany, urging leaders like yourself to consider a pledge of no first use of nuclear weapons?

PM

You have to look at the whole balance in order to do that. Therefore we have gone further than that, not to include that. [end p10] We looked at the whole balance and there was an announcement at the Bonn NATO conference last June at which the President was present. We will not be the first to use weapons of any kind, we will only use them for purposes of defence. Now you have got to look at the whole balance and cannot take out a particular part. And therefore go back to that Bonn statement. We would only use our weapons in a defensive posture. That applies to all of your weapons. Do not fall into the trap of segregating a particular part, because you have got then to look at the whole balance. And the person you want to have a look at is the person who is prepared to use their weapons, whatever kind, in an offensive posture. NATO is defensive posture.

Q

You say trap, but you were just praising the non-use of gas. The trap they fell into in 1925 was they agreed that even in war they wouldn't use these horrible weapons. Why not follow the same thing here? You say you hate nuclear weapons.

PM

Because you have to have a balance, a balance of the whole of your armaments. You must. If you find that what you are recommending reduces the effectiveness of the shield, because it puts the Soviet Union in a position of colossal superiority by virtue of having a colossal superiority in conventional weapons, then you are not keeping up your shield. What is more, so long as those nuclear weapons exist there is no way in which you could be certain that if war started it could not escalate. There is no way, look at the aggressor you are dealing with, that you could be certain that that point would be honoured if war started.

Q

Well, if you had a Treaty …

PM

If you had a Treaty—there was a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany. A treaty, a treaty …

Q

Yes, but this one worked. But you were praising the gas treaty worked.

PM

No, I'm sorry, the gas treaty was on a balance of terror. The real thing that works is not the treaty but the balance of terror. [end p11]

Q

Prime Minister, we have been talking at a strategic level of deterrence as regards nuclear weapons. I would like to bring it down to the conventional level. (Interruption) What I would like to talk about is your use of the conventional forces which you have done in the last few years, specifically in terms of the fishing problem with Iceland, with Denmark, down in Gibraltar, and of course the Falkland Islands. How do you see the future in relating what I consider the most successful use of military force that you have used in the last few years as opposed to political … and how to do relate that to your strategic doctrine and your intermediate doctrine?

PM

Tell me, what military use of military things can there be which is not political? I don't understand the question. You can't have a military use which isn't decided politically, because it is in defence of your own interests to use your forces at that particular time, and that after all is a fundamental reason in the Western world, that the military serves the purposes of defending your interests.

Q

I wanted to relate, you actually used your military involvement as a pure military weapon.

PM

No, I used it as a political weapon. Because it was it our interests to defend the rights of British people on British sovereign territory to choose their own way of life to recover your sovereign territory and to recover their freedom. That is a fundamental political decision. I still don't get the question.

Q

The uses, where you actually commit your forces in battle versus the presence of forces to gain the political aims that you set out. You have used your forces.

PM

Well, to gain the fundamental aims of defending your way of life.

Q

Yes, as a political way. [end p12]

PM

Yes, I would say … you have to be careful that you don't use political aims in the way of party political. As a fundamental defence of your way of life it's a philosophical aim. You are trying to ask me a question the significance of which I have not got. Your defence forces are to defend your way of life as a deterrent and to defend your interests. So that if your ships are shot at, as they were in the fishing war, right, you have to send up some of your own ships to defend your fishing industry. And I don't understand the difficulty.

Q

If the Germans will not support the missile deployment?

PM

What? I'm not going to answer that, because it has not come about yet. And I do not believe it will come about. I really do not, because we're here at a NATO decision.

BRITISH GENERAL ELECTION

Q

You mentioned politics and I would like to switch the subject a little bit to domestic politics.

PM

I am not going to get involved in the German elections. No wise leader gets involved in other people's elections. That's …   . democracy for them.

Q

We'll get involved in the British Election.

PM

Do you know when it's going to be, because I don't?

Q

We noticed some speculation in The Times this morning that suggested that Thursday 13 October would be an excellent date for an election because it's your birthday.

PM

I am not going to stop the speculation: if they have not got anything better to write about then of course they'll write about it. I haven't made up my mind yet, nor shall I … until it comes along. [end p13]

Q

Some members of your Party think that with your current lead in the polls and with the Opposition in some disarray that you ought to move sooner rather than later …

PM

Did you ever find a Party that was unanimous on that, on these matters? We have a good majority, we have not even been there four years yet. And quite genuinely I have not got a clue when the Election will be. I'm not closing options obviously, no leader does. But we have got a good majority and that's going on. [end p14]

Budget

Q

Apparently you are considering a major income tax cut in Britain.

PM

We don't talk about Budgets until they come about. It would be known as a Budget leak if we did.

President Mubarak 's Visit

Q

You are due to meet this evening with the President of Egypt and I wonder if you have any ideas or suggestions on what might be done to further the peace process in the Middle East.

PM

If I had any very new ideas, I couldn't just come out with them now. I don't think any of us have. There are two plans on the table, President Reagan 's and the Fez Plan, and we have to pursue those, a combination between them. There are two plans on the table but as you know this is a long-standing, very difficult problem. Each time we try to get at the fundamental problem, which is the Arab Israeli dispute, something else comes up like the Lebanon, and then you have to concentrate on trying to sort out that one as a way of sorting out the larger one. I have no sudden fundamental new answers. I think the only way is working at the two plans which are on the table.

Falklands

Q

Prime Minister, there is a peace process …   . which is the one between yourself and the Argentinians over the Falkland Islands, and I wonder if you could tell us whether you see a time and a set of circumstances under which you could negotiate directly with the Argentinians …

PM

I do not. Your constitution, please note, your constitution as well as ours is based on self-determination, and it is not for me to negotiate that away, nor for you.

Q

Diego Garcia …   .

PM

There was an arrangement with them which was negotiated with them under which full compensation was paid. We negotiated through them.

Q

Was there an intelligence failure in the Falklands?

PM

The Franks Committee has pronounced, I will not go any further than that. My conclusion was what I said in the House of Commons. [end p15] That we are accepting the recommendations of Franks in that we are changing the Chairmanship of it. (The JIC) You will see, there is a sub-paragraph in Franks which said they have no reason to doubt at any stage the reliability of the intelligence information. It is not the intelligence information, it is really your assessment of it; and either you have to assess your intelligence. I think that you will also see another paragraph, every single person they asked did they expect there would be an invasion on 2 April, said no they didn't. It was obviously such an absurd and silly thing to do and it turned out to be such an absurd and silly thing to do. You will find it all in Franks … I accept the Franks conclusion. But it was a very, very silly thing to do. As events demonstrated.

Arab League Delegation

Q

You said you are meeting Mr. Mubarak tonight. Are you now going to receive that Arab League Delegation including the PLO representative?

PM

We are still in negotiation with, in touch with, King Hassan of Morocco to try to make arrangements to receive a delegation. I cannot receive a PLO representative and your Ronald ReaganPresident does not receive a PLO representative. Unfortunately it was postponed a number of times and is now proving a little bit difficult. But we are anxious to receive a delegation. And I think we are the only member of the Security Council, you know the permanent members, who has not received one and we are very anxious to receive one. No dates have been worked out and we are talking about it now with King Hassan.

Disarmament

Q

Last year you spoke rather movingly about these two old men, Brezhnev and Reagan, trying to make peace and what was at stake for them and what they went for. Now we have a new leader in the Soviet Union, Mr. Andropov, do you have the same hopes now that the two super-powers can reach an agreement?

PM

We can, we can, if they will. Let me put it that way, we can if they will. I think they understand the psychology of the West very well. They understand that there is a fantastic, not fantastic, a fundamental, deep and profound desire for peace [end p16] in the Western world, perpetual peace. This is the essense of democracy, but it is peace with freedom and justice. They try by their propaganda to undermine our determination to defend that peace. We have to keep up that determination to defend that peace and be shown to keep it up in order to keep it. The great inequality as I have said is we have a public opinion and therefore we have constantly to put the issues before them. They have none. We do not want the peace of the Gulag, the peace of Hitler, the peace of Stalin, we want the peace with freedom and justice, and we have to be prepared to defend that. And after all it is very different having public opinion bringing itself to bear on governments, which is the thing we are defending. But you must never, never, never be taken in by what they are trying to do. They are trying to undermine our determination to defend our way of life in the way that it will deter them from the use of force or threat of the use of force. But it is possible and we have to play our hand in a way that will bring it about, and, as I indicated before, the cost of armaments, after all they spend 13 or 14 per cent of their GNP, it is so enormous, that we would all like to keep the peace with a lower level of expenditure. But eventually the hope always is that you cannot confine people's thoughts even in the Soviet Union. You may be able to confine their actions but the more you teach a people to think, and of course they have been taught to think in the scientific world there, you cannot confine their thoughts to thinking only about scientific things, the thoughts spill over obviously to thinking to fundamental rights. And I always think it very significant that some of those who have taken such a stand in the Soviet Union have been people who have had a scientific training, and cultural. They have looked back and eventually one hopes that things will gradually change. Our way of life is that your human rights do not come from governments and cannot be confined, in our philosophy by Governments. Your human rights come from something much deeper and more essential than that. Look at any dictatorial system and they say you only have rights which come from government.

Q

Do you want to say something about Vice-President Bush 's visit?

PM

Looking forward to seeing Vice-President Bush again. I think in a way we are fortunate that he will be coming here towards the end of his trip so that we will have the advantage of knowing what has [end p17] been said during previous aspects.

Q

It's an important trip from the public relations point of view.

PM

Public relations only exist to defend the way of life which we take for granted and which we don't talk enough about. The communists are always talking about theirs—we have the best tunes and the best stories; we don't tell the best stories well enough or sing the best tunes well enough.