Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1988 Jun 21 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

Radio Interview for IRN (Toronto G7 Summit)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Radio Interview
Venue: MTCC Centre, Toronto
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Journalist: Peter Spencer, IRN
Editorial comments: 1645 onwards.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 903
Themes: Economy (general discussions), Monetary policy, Trade, Foreign policy (general discussions), Foreign policy (Americas excluding USA), Foreign policy (development, aid, etc), Terrorism

Peter Spencer, IRN

What is your assessment of the Summit overall?

Prime Minister

It is one of the most successful Summits I have ever attended. We have all come to an agreement through several years of being together and we have all come to agreement on the right policies, the right economic policies, we have been practicing them for a little time, they are the ones that have produced the results and we really have the most successful world economy we have seen for a very long time and that is because we got the policies right and we have decided now to tackle the next set of problems to keep the right things going, keeping inflation down, living within our means, trying to get down any imbalances that there are, having the right tax reforms. We will carry on with those policies and then we will tackle the ones that are rearing their ugly head: [end p1] protectionism, problems of producing more food than the world can eat and also problems of African countries which really are up to their necks in debts, we really must help them.

Peter Spencer, IRN

You mention the African countries and you speak of the Summit in glowing terms but is not the final Communique perhaps a little unspecific on that very area?

Prime Minister

It is not unspecific, it says that many of us have already written off the loans that we gave them as part of our aid programme and so they haven't got to repay those, which is a great help. And then there is a lot of trade debts they haven't repaid and so we have said look we are going to help them with those but we will help in very different ways. Some people will say right you needn't repay it all but if we let you off a little, we want the rest more quickly and others will say no we will give you a longer period before you have to repay anything, others will say we will give you a lower rate of interest on this, our outstanding debt, but all of it, subject to those countries changing their ways and agreeing to a real sound economic programme with the IMF. [end p2]

Peter Spencer, IRN

Now the Summit has agreed to take tough action on air piracy but have not previous Summits done the same thing, why should this one be different?

Prime Minister

We ourselves yes. But I remember the last time we were in Canada, which was at Montebello, we also had quite a tough Communique on air piracy. I think the thing is we are only seven countries and we really are urging other countries to take the same stand in particular that if hijacked planes come into land they really should not be allowed to fly off again and we are urging other countries to sign the same kind of international convention as we have adhered to.

Peter Spencer, IRN

This Summit is being hailed by many politicians as a success but what's actually in it for the ordinary people of Britain?

Prime Minister

What's in it is this. They are already enjoying the highest standard of living they have ever known, unemployment is falling, we are getting growth, we have sound financial policies, capital is being spread more and more widely and so is opportunity. Now it is [end p3] partly because we have had Summits like this and partly because we have all of us agreed that these are the best policies and we are acting together because if you are following the same policies it is much easier to cooperate internationally, it gives you a much better basis of confidence in the future and good prospects for the future. And you know I think that's good for our people as well as for others.

Peter Spencer, IRN

It is Ronald Reagan 's last Summit of this kind and you will obviously be sorry personally to see him go but in the interim between now and the time there is a new President do you see yourself adopting the mantle as leader of the Western world?

Prime Minister

I don't see myself as being anything different from what I have been for quite some time. I believe in certain things, I put those things very strongly and I put them strongly in any forum where I go, I argue them and I argue to try to get the kind of Communique which I believe in and we translate them into practice. That has been reasonably successful both for our policies in Britain and internationally. That I shall continue. Ronald Reagan has believed in the same things and practised them and that has been very good and enabled us to get them spread more widely. I shall just carry [end p4] on, we are a very good team here now with Geoffrey Howe as Foreign Secretary and Nigel Lawson, all very experienced and that gives too a kind of stability on the world scene, it helps us all.

Peter Spencer, IRN

Your next stop is Ottawa and obviously you will be working towards clinching the nuclear powered submarine contract, how do you rate your chances?

Prime Minister

I don't think that there is any question of clinching it because I am not very certain that Canada has decided that she wants to have nuclear-powered submarines. When she does, and I hope she will because I think she is right to want them, then the British ones are quite the best, they are quiet, they are very efficient and we are very reliable suppliers so if they are going to have them, yes I hope and believe they will at any rate they should buy British.