Archive (Reagan Library)

Cold War: US State Department brief (Thatcher visit) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: US State Department, Washington D.C.
Source: Reagan Library: European & Soviet Affairs Directorate NSC (Thatcher Visit - Dec 84 [2])
Editorial comments: Declassified 17 May 2000. A brief from the Secretary of State can be found elsewhere on the site. This document is included chiefly for its references to Northern Ireland.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 788 words
Themes: Defence (arms control), Trade, Foreign policy (Asia), Foreign policy (Middle East), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Northern Ireland, Terrorism, Transport

Declassified under Department of State guidelines
By ODB, NARA, Date 10/13/98

(1) Charles Hill (Executive Secretary, State) to Robert C. McFarlane, 18 Dec 1984:


[Attached talking points for the President’s use in his meeting with Prime Minister Thatcher on December 22 at 11:00am.]

(2) State Department brief:

Declassified F97-013#42
By SMF, NARA, Date 5/17/00


Talking Points for Meeting with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (undated):

UK Diplomatic Successes Including Hong Kong
-- I congratulate you on achieving an agreement regarding Hong Kong with the People’s Republic of China. Coupled with the recent agreement on Gibraltar and the resolution of the EC Budget issues, you have demonstrated Britannia can still prevail through diplomacy.
-- How would you describe the Chinese leadership’s attitude toward the great capitalistic city of Hong Kong?

East-West Relationship
-- I would like to hear of your meeting with Gorbachev.
-- We see Geneva as kickoff for negotiations on full range of issues: strategic and intermediate-range nuclear systems and space. We are now completing a thorough review of arms control issues and will be ready with concrete ideas in all areas.
-- We expect a tough Soviet line in the opening meeting, trying to exploit western expectations and wring preemptive concessions from us. It is vital that we maintain allied unity.
-- We are prepared to discuss SDI, but will make clear that it is premature to constrain systems that may contribute to both sides’ security. Our priority goal should be to begin the process of reducing offensive nuclear arms.
-- I am hopeful for more constructive relations with Soviets, but do not expect a breakthrough at Geneva. I am prepared for further meetings and a long process to achieve our objectives.

Civil Aviation Antitrust
-- I am a little disappointed that your government appears unprepared to liberalize the bilateral aviation regime. (A one-time approval of winter fares is not an adequate step.)
-- Procedures now exist to provide British firms ample protection against antitrust suits.
-- I urge you to have your ministers explore these procedures rather than wait for changes in our antitrust legislation which would be most unlikely in the foreseeable future.
-- A liberalization of the current regime would be in the interests of both our countries and would demonstrate the benefits of more competition which we both support. [end p1]

Global Economic Outlook
-- Propelled largely by the US recovery, prospects look good for further expansion of the world economy in 1985.
-- Growth during the current US recovery has averaged close to a 6 ½ percent annual rate. Following the current slowdown, we expect growth to settle at a sustainable rate – perhaps 3 ½ percent – early next year. Recent trends toward lower interest rates and continued low inflation will help sustain the recovery.
-- The Administration’s aim is to cut Federal spending so that the budget deficit can be substantially reduced without raising taxes. Tax simplification and reform are high priority matters.

-- Thank you for the considerable assistance you provided to resolve the recent hijack to Tehran and for excellent co-operation in our anti-terrorist efforts.
-- We are ready to do all we can to provide additional cooperation in helping you to counter the IRA threat.
-- We appreciate your support in working to obtain more awareness and activity by other Western Europeans, especially France and the FRG, in countering the terrorist threat. Revitalizing the Bonn Declaration and finding other means of increasing the cost to governments who support terrorism is most important, as is improving our intelligence on terrorists.

Northern Ireland
-- US policy on Northern Ireland has not changed. We have no intention of commenting on the details of this complex and emotional issue.
-- But, I must tell you frankly that the public perception in America of the outcome of the November summit was not favorable.
-- I am concerned that unless there is the appearance of progress at the next Anglo-Irish summit, a radicalization will occur in Irish-American opinion which would endanger the current bipartisan support that our Northern Ireland policy enjoys.
-- I, therefore, am asking you, in the words used by Douglas Hurd on December 4, to apply “talent and determination … to the central task of reconciliation” and that you give the public – to the greatest extent possible – a basis for belief that some progress is being made.
-- I will ask the same of FitzGerald before your next meeting.