Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1987 Sep 25 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

TV Interview for West German TV (ZDF) (visiting Berlin)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Reichstag, Berlin
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Journalist: Sabine Nawroth, ZDF
Editorial comments:

Between 1500 and 1530. The recording was of low quality.

Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 606
Themes: Foreign policy (Middle East), Defence (arms control), Foreign policy (International organizations), Defence (general), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states)
Transcribed from a poor quality recording.

Sabine Nawroth, ZDF

Prime Minister, what was your reaction on …?

Prime Minister

There is no possibility of UN forces controlling the area. There have been 140 conflicts since the end of the Second World War in the world as a whole. The United Nations have not been able to prevent any of them. The United Nations' forces have not been able to prevent any of them and they could not prevent a continuative war in the Gulf. After all if they could have been effective they could have prevented war between Iran and Iraq. They have not. There is no way in which you can have a marine force answerable to about 150 nations in the United Nations. It is just not on.

Sabine Nawroth, ZDF

… mines in the Gulf?

Prime Minister

It is our task to protect our ships which have to go up to the Gulf to fetch oil. None of us would have any defence unless we had access to oil. In so far as our merchant men have to go up and get it, they are entitled to expect a defence of our respective navies.

Sabine Nawroth, ZDF

After President Reagan &dubellip; that the Soviet Union … elder statesmen of the West to remind the Allies &dubellip;?

Prime Minister

You are frequently using this word “pressure”. I have said two [end p1] things: first, how &dubellip; praise of Mr Gorbachev for the efforts he is making to change the system in the Soviet Union in the sense that he has been the first to say that it is not the duty … standard of living that the Soviet Union has expected and he wants to change it. That I have encouraged and said I agree that any increase in freedom for the peoples of the Soviet Union is not only good for them, it is good for the West. In so far as the Soviet Union has embarked on a different policy of presentation of itself to the world, we have to look at its external policies strictly objectively, not on what they say&em;what they do. We have to remember they do not honour the Helsinki accords in the way we expected. They do not allow freedom of movement of people of ideas, ideas within their boarders or people across them. They are still in Afghanistan. We have to remember their role in the Vietnam-Cambodia war. We have to remember that they are still in many countries in Africa … presence of Cuban troops. We have to remember that whereas we supply a great deal of food for countries like Ethiopia &dubellip; the Soviet Union supplies armaments and saying that we judge the Soviet Union by what they do rather than …

Sabine Nawroth, ZDF

&dubellip; (inaudible)

Prime Minister

I do not expect that it will make any difference to the way in which we deal with that particular country.

Sabine Nawroth, ZDF

…Do you remember what were your personal feelings on 13 August in 1961?…

Prime Minister

My personal feelings in 1961? I remember it was the … and I [end p2] remember it was … but you see I also remember when we had to have the Berlin air raids and I remembered that because I was young and we had thought that after that great war we would have disarmament then. The Soviet Union did not tackle it that way and that I suppose was the first warning we had and then there were various uprisings as you know: in East Germany, Poland, Hungary and then the war and then &dubellip;There have been many warnings. … Afghanistan. And so we must hope that there will be change. But so far we have not seen.