Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1983 May 31 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

TV Interview for ITN

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: ?Conservative Central Office, Smith Square, Westminster
Source: ITN Archive: OUP transcript
Journalist: Alastair Burnet, ITN
Editorial comments: No interview noted in diary but it probably place immediately after the morning Press Conference.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 626
Themes: Defence (general), Defence (arms control), Economy (general discussions), Employment, General Elections, Public spending & borrowing, Foreign policy (general discussions), Foreign policy (USA), Health policy, Private health care

MT

No, we have floated some ideas, particularly with regard to some of the elderly people who take up hospital beds because there is nowhere else for them to go. Might it not be a better use of the National Health Service, and of private nursing homes, if the National Health Service contracted with the private nursing homes to put some of our old patients—who are there because they have nowhere else to go—into private nursing homes. To some extent it already happens, and this famous leaked document you know, it's a document—I have it here—it's not even marked “secret” , nor “confidential” , nor “restricted” . It's amazing it leaked without any of those things on it. What it is is a discussion document from the Ministry to the chairman of regional health authorities saying: “Look, these are some ideas. Shall we do further work of it? Do you … have you any other ideas yourself?” But all with regard to using the facilities in the National Health Service to better use and to the people who are really sick. That's the purpose.

Alastair Burnet, ITN

At the Williamsburg Summit, we're you not disappointed that the countries could not have taken a further step forward together to reduce 35 million unemployed?

MT

Well, what we have said—and it is an interesting [sic] that it is the considered view of the seven biggest industrialised nations of the West—is that there is a policy to reduce unemployment. It is not a quick fix, or put it another way “a quick cure will be a quack cure” . It is a long-term policy, and the way we are going is the right one. You have to keep inflation down, you have to get interest rates down, you have to keep your deficits under control, you have to control public spending so you release money for investment in the private section which is where so many of the jobs come. But that's enough. You must have an intermediate policy, like training, and helping some of the unemployed already, and as you know we have special schemes, and also you must make it clear that technology will produce more jobs in the longer-term, as it always has done in the past. So it's got the three stages, and the interesting thing is that they think, together, that this is a strategy for genuine jobs, and also it is virtually identical with the policies we are following here. And seven industrialised countries—their leaders, their finance ministers, their advisers—have endorsed that policy.

Alastair Burnet, ITN

And when you saw President Reagan, did you get a clarification of who's in charge of Cruise missiles in this country? [end p1]

MT

No, we had already done that before the Williamsburg Summit. As you know there are arrangements—they are called joint decision arrangements—they have been reaffirmed by every Prime Minister since Mr. Attlee 's time. But we had to look at them afresh because Cruise is something a little different from anything we've had here before and we had to consider how they applied to Cruise, both on base and off base. And we therefore published a statement before Williamsburg, that those joint decision arrangements do apply to Cruise, both on base and off base, and Mr. Reagan had given an interview before I went indicating “well, yes of course joint decision does imply a veto by the British Prime Minister” . I would say it's even deeper than that. A decision never gets made with regard to those unless we both take it.

Alastair Burnet, ITN

So you do have a veto.

MT

That's right.