Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1988 Jun 21 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

TV Interview for ITN (Toronto G7 Summit)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: TV Interview
Venue: MTCC Centre, Toronto
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Journalist: Jon Snow, ITN
Editorial comments: 1645 onwards (local time).
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 693
Themes: Economy (general discussions), Monetary policy, Trade, Foreign policy (general discussions), Foreign policy (Americas excluding USA), Foreign policy (USA)

Jon Snow, ITN

If this Summit had been held perhaps just 6 months ago we'd have been recovering from a very unpleasant stock market crash on Wall Street and in London and the dollar would have been in an unstable condition, things have changed, you have been saved a bit by the time-tabling haven't you?

Prime Minister

No, not at all. When we got that Stock Exchange [word missing?] or shall we call it adjustment in prices, all of you commentators were forecasting gloom and doom, you wrote about it day after day, you covered column after column, hour after hour on television. You were wrong. We were right, namely that the policies were so fundamentally sound that we could ride that adjustment in prices, some had been predicting for a long time, they had been going up too fast, they had. We got the adjustment but growth still continued. We are still fighting inflation successfully and we are still on course for a higher standard of living and better growth and falling unemployment. So the policies were sound.

Jon Snow, ITN

Some people came here fearing inflation in the future and some leaders I am sure have talked of that and yet the Communique is very very up-beat and doesn't seem really to see any dangers in the wings?

Prime Minister

Yes it does, there is a sentence there which we were insistent should be in because you have got to keep all your policies sound, and I know some commentators are worried about a resurgence of inflation, so we all said we have to be very vigilant against a resurgence of inflation and we shall be because we are aware that if that were to happen it would be the very worst thing for industry, the worst thing for people's savings, the worst thing for people's confidence, so we are very much aware of that problem.

Jon Snow, ITN

There will be a new man in the White House by the time the next Summit comes round in France. Will this change the role that you have in these meetings?

Prime Minister

Well, I don't think so. I was here when President Reagan joined us because I was here in 1979 and we had the Tokyo Summit, the Venice Summit, and then we came to Montebello in Canada where President Reagan, that was the first one he came to and my role hasn't changed, and won't. I shall just go on preaching and practicing the things that I believe in.

Jon Snow, ITN

What do you see your role as? How do you feel you relate to the other leaders in terms of what you have to say? [end p1]

Prime Minister

I think the interesting thing has been that there has been an enormous difference between this second cycle of seven years and the first. The first were dealing with short-term expedient measures. They got it all wrong. Inflation rose, employment rose, productivity did not. It was a very very bad time during those first seven years. We started to turn round in about 1981, sound policies, we must get inflation down, we must contain public spending, we must bring down deficits, we must give incentives to people to work harder and in fact it's that kind of policy, a policy of a return of enterprise and personal liberty and responsibility, that has got us with a very much higher standard of living, low inflation, falling unemployment, increasing number of jobs and a confident future. Now this is a fantastic achievement. In this Summit no matter what our background, we all agree now that this is the right policy. This has to continue and we have to go on from there tackling the problems where we see dangers arising if we don't take action.

Jon Snow, ITN

Now there will be a slight change of tempo today because you are going on to Ottawa. Are you on a sales mission, are you very preoccupied with trying to sell submarines?

Prime Minister

Look as far as I am aware no decision has been made as to whether they will have the submarines in their defence armoury. If they do decide to have them then obviously I hope we get the contract but I am going to speak to the Canadian Parliament tomorrow and with several other things in Ottawa tomorrow as well.