Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Remarks introducing George Shultz (James Bryce Lecture)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: London University
Source: Thatcher MSS: speaking text
Editorial comments:
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 597 words
Themes: Foreign policy (USA)


My Lords, ladies and gentlemen.

It is my great pleasure as Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Institute of United States Studies to welcome you to our sixth annual James Bryce Lecture on the American Commonwealth.

James Bryce was one of those remarkable polymaths that England seemed to produce with such regularity during the nineteenth century. He was Regius Professor of Law at Oxford, a Member of Parliament, British Ambassador to Washington, and author of such celebrated works as The Holy Roman Empire, Modern Democracies, and of course, his great study of the United States, The American Commonwealth. Bryce was fascinated and inspired by America and throughout his life he remained one of its truest friends. So it is particularly pleasing that once again we are joined by such a distinguished mix of the Old and the New Worlds.

Lectures such as tonight’s are made possible only with the steadfast support of our sponsors, and I would particularly like to thank:

BP, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, Ferrell International, Goldman Sachs, JT International, Kirkland and Ellis International, Pfizer, Polo Ralph Lauren, Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel, and Zurich Financial Services.

We are always grateful to our friends for their wonderful generosity. Without private benefaction, programmes like this would not exist, and public education in this country would be the poorer.

James Bryce was an intellectual and a public servant of extraordinary ability. So too is our eminent lecturer this evening – George Shultz.

An economist by training, he has taught at Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago, where he served as Dean. But he has also served at the sharp end of business with the Bechtel Corporation, and since 1989 has been a much sort after advisor to many of America’s leading companies.

For light relief, George went to Washington, becoming Secretary of Labor in President Nixon’s Administration, and subsequently Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Secretary of the Treasury, Chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, and finally, under our great friend Ronald Reagan, America’s 60th – and one of its most outstanding - Secretaries of State.

Nancy Reagan liked to describe him as a Big Teddy Bear - his easy manner, his readiness to listen and his boundless courtesy reinforce the impression. But – as his friends could rely on and his opponents testify to – when called upon this Teddy could growl!

His memoirs of his time at the State Department, are perhaps aptly entitled Turmoil and Triumph. They were certainly historic years as a newly- confident America faced up to the Soviet Union and the communist system began its irreversible collapse. They were also years when America and Britain stood shoulder to shoulder in defence of our shared values and shared beliefs. Today, our two countries again stand together. America’s cause is, and always will be, our cause.

George, you know what it is like to take tough decisions – to face crises and keep a steady nerve – so there could not be a more appropriate moment for you to speak to us about “A More Accountable World?”.

I am enormously pleased, and as a great admirer very proud, to introduce to you George Shultz.