Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1985 Oct 24 Th
Margaret Thatcher

TV Interview for BBC (visiting UN)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Hyatt Hotel, New York
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Journalist: Martin Bell, BBC
Editorial comments: 1745-1815 MT gave UK radio and television interviews.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 639
Themes: Defence (arms control), Foreign policy (International organizations), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states)

Martin Bell, BBC

Prime Minister, what is the message that you want to go from your Summit Meeting in New York to the Soviet Union?

Prime Minister

That all the Heads of Government fully support President Reagan in his efforts at Geneva and also that we stand absolutely united, and nothing will divide us from the United States.

Martin Bell, BBC

The Americans were saying there was no dissatisfaction at all expressed. Is that plausible?

Prime Minister

Yes, it is plausible. Indeed, it is accurate. We were trying to get into some of the difficulties that might arise, into some of the propositions that might arise and how they should be dealt with. [end p1]

Martin Bell, BBC

Did you expect some concern about recent fairly belligerent statements out of Washington?

Prime Minister

No, I did not. I have frequently said that the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty must be upheld and I am very pleased to see recently that what I would call the conventional interpretation of that treaty has been confirmed.

Martin Bell, BBC

And was Mr. Reagan trying to sell you on his Star Wars programme or are you already sold?

Prime Minister

I do not need to be sold on that programme. I think that throughout history, when there has been a new weapon, nations have tried to find a defence to that weapon. It would be very strange if the nuclear weapon, being the most damaging of all, if nations did not try to find a defence to that weapon. Indeed, you could argue that they would have a duty to do so, so I do not need convincing.

Martin Bell, BBC

Prime Minister, what was your feeling about the regional peace initiative that Mr. Reagan outlined today?

Prime Minister

He put that initiative forward in his speech in the [end p2] United Nations. I think it requires a great deal of thinking about before we dash into comments about it, but I understand what he was saying. He was saying: “Look! There have been a number of conflicts like the occupation of Afghanistan, troops in Angola, problems in Nicaragua and so on and we really cannot go on doing nothing about them!” and he was making a proposal of one way forward. I would like to consider it in more detail.

Martin Bell, BBC

And do you think that the Geneva Summit should be about these issues as well as arms control?

Prime Minister

I think that it is vital that the result of the Summit is a new impetus on arms control so that it unlocks the deadlock at Geneva and also at Vienna, but I do think that it must discuss some of the other regional conflicts. They are of great concern not only to the regions themselves, but also the rest of the world.

Martin Bell, BBC

And after all that you have heard in New York these past two days, what do you think the prospects for Geneva are?

Prime Minister

The President and his whole staff are putting in intensive and dedicated work to consider almost every aspect, and he is [end p3] very anxious to have a success, not only for the free world, but also so that Mr. Gorbachev and the Communist world can feel that we are making progress in ensuring that there will not be another conflict, and if there is not going to be another conflict and we can all be secure, then that is the kind of background on which one can concentrate on rising standards of living and on helping those people who need help. So there is a total dedication, total intense work on this at the moment, and everyone is determined to do everything that is possible to make it a success and you can just feel it when you go into talks with the President.