Friday, 26 January 1990
The Wall Street Journal today publishes an annoying interview with Margaret Thatcher, in which she abandons her previous reserve and expresses herself bluntly on the German Question, assuming the pose of a protector of Gorbachev. If German unity were to come too quickly, she declares, it would possibly create enormous problems for Gorbachev, who could eventually be overthrown on that account, which would be a catastrophe for all. German unity can only be realised when all other obligations are borne in mind. It could otherwise destabilise everything, which would be unfair in the highest degree to Gorbachev, who first made all this possible. She makes harsh criticism of the Federal Government: Kohl and Genscher should, in her opinion, subordinate their narrow nationalistic goals to the longer-term view of the needs of Europe. One must drum into them this longer-sighted vision. German unity, declares the British Prime Minister finally, would destroy the economic equilibrium of the EC, in which West Germany already predominates today.
The Chancellor is very astonished by this public criticism in an American newspaper and will not let this interview go uncontradicted. I shall tell Ambassador Mallaby that he regards these utterances as unusually unfriendly. Furthermore, he orders that we put the text before him at the next Anglo-German consultations, as he wants to speak about it personally to Thatcher, who has voiced no such criticism to him on the telephone or at the summit meetings of the EC and NATO either.