Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1988 Aug 5 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

TV Interview for TV-AM (Brisbane EXPO 88)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: TV Interview
Venue: Media House EXPO 88, Brisbane, Queensland
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Journalist: Adrian Browne, TV-AM
Editorial comments: Between 1500 and 1615 MT gave a press conference and interviews.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 1267
Themes: Autobiographical comments, Monetary policy, Foreign policy (Australia & NZ), Housing, Northern Ireland, Terrorism

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

Prime Minister, you have just undertaken a particularly arduous tour of Australia in just five days. Do you think you may have done too much in too little time?

Prime Minister

No. I think we wanted to pack in as much as we could in the time available and that meant moving on very fast, but we had a fantastic tour and have seen so much. I have loved every moment of it and this really vibrant, confident nation. We simply must establish a closer relationship between Britain and Australia.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

Do you think that is going to be achieved as a result of this visit? [end p1]

Prime Minister

Yes, I do. I was very pleased when Mr. Hawke immediately accepted my invitation to come to Britain next year and bring a team of Ministers with him so that we can have bilateral talks between his Minister of Defence and ours, his Chancellor of the Exchequer and ours, and so on. That is the way we have come to do things in Europe. It will not be as often and as regular as that, but I think it will be very good for both nations and the people of both nations if we were to be seen to do that and perhaps have a great Trade Week as well at the same time.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

I am sure a lot of your friends, supporters and family are worried about the effect such a tour can have on your health. I mean, it must take its toll eventually.

Prime Minister

Oh, no, no, not at all. “Eventually” is a very long time ahead. I am very fit. The adrenalin is flowing fast.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

You have not felt tired? [end p2]

Prime Minister

We could do another week if you like.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

You could do another week?

Prime Minister

I am not in the least bit tired. Stimulated rather than tired.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

In Melbourne we saw, not for the first time, how you can become very vulnerable in a situation where you face a hostile crowd. Do you think it is perhaps time to scale down the number of public walkabouts you do when you know there is going to be a hostile crowd?

Prime Minister

No, I don't. I think, obviously, we have to watch fairly carefully where we do them and when we do them and the best thing is if one just gets out when one sees a crowd of people and just goes among them, which sometimes I do, but there have been a fantastic number of people. Look at Queensland today, crowds and crowds and crowds and yet, if a handful of IRA had got in here they could in fact have made it very difficult for ordinary folk. They don't make [end p3] it difficult for me—they make it difficult for ordinary people—and of course they do because the IRA are shooters, bombers and maimers because they don't like the result of the ballot, but we cannot stop doing it. They are not going to win! We are going to go on doing it!

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

But the best guarantee for your own personal security would be to perhaps limit the number of those public walkabouts.

Prime Minister

Look! Politicians must go out and about. They must always go out and about amongst people. We need the contact. We get a lot from it and we shall continue to do so. We are not going to be stopped by them.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

So your walkabout policy remains unchanged?

Prime Minister

The same, yes. [end p4]

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

As your walkabout was happening, more reports were coming in from Britain of IRA bombs going off and more people being killed.

Prime Minister

Just outside my constituency, yes.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

That is right.

Prime Minister

Another tragedy. It should be one thing which should put absolutely all civilised people totally against them and determined to do everything to make it more and more difficult for them. People should give information. It is no good saying: “We are against them! They are against democracy! It is a scandal! It is a disgrace. It is a tragedy!” If they have evidence, they should find a way of giving it, so that we can catch them and everyone should do that, north or south of the border and everywhere in the United Kingdom and abroad, because they operate abroad, they operate in Holland as, as you know, in Spain and in other countries and I must say we are getting excellent cooperation from other countries.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

You must be particularly concerned by the news that the IRA is talking about beginning a new mainland bombing campaign? [end p5]

Prime Minister

The IRA has not stopped. We have had one or two occasions when we have found out in time. As you know, a short time ago—a couple or so years ago—they were planning to have an attack on eleven seaside towns—but they were caught and stopped, and the more information we get from people the more we are able to forestall that kind of activity, where they are prepared to do things like putting a bomb in the main street on the day of our remembrance service, by putting a bomb in the war memorial in Canberra on Anzac Day and prepared to put a bomb under a school bus; they are prepared to put a bomb in a car in a car park where the marathon ends. These are the people you are dealing with. They are people who slaughter innocent men, women and children for their own personal ends. They should be wiped off the civilised world.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

As you know, interest rates have just gone up again. Many people are struggling to meet their mortgage payments at the moment, people who were actively encouraged to buy their homes by your Government.

What is your message to them now?

Prime Minister

No one likes putting up interest rates but if you are going to stop inflation from mounting, you have to do it and by far the more damaging course of action for everyone would be if you let [end p6] inflation rise without doing anything. So it is a choice between two alternatives and it is far better to act now to put interest rates up. It does mean mortgage rates going up so long as the interest rates are up, but you know, they were quite high for quite a time in 1986 and then we were able to get inflation down and so the interest rates came down when inflation came down sufficiently. So it is something that I am afraid we have to go through, but for most people, purchasing their house has been a very very good bargain indeed and therefore I think they realise that and will find a way of paying their mortgages.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

So they should not overstretch themselves?

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

I think that is very good advice whatever your expenditure, but variations in mortgage rates are a fact of life and they know that. When you purchase a house, it does not necessarily make it any easier, but on the whole, people who have bought their own homes have been very pleased and have got a very very good asset, even though temporarily it costs them more than they might have bargained for. [end p7]

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

Temporarily?

Prime Minister

Well indeed! Mortgage rates go up and they go down.

Adrian Browne, TV-AM

You are confident they will come down again soon?

Prime Minister

I don't know when they'll come down. They will come down when the action taken has been sufficient to get inflation coming on a downward path.