Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1989 Nov 10 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

Statement on GDR decision to lift travel restrictions (hopes prelude to dismantling of Berlin Wall)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: No.10 Downing Street
Source: Documents on British Foreign Policy , Series III, Volume VII (German Unification 1989-90) ed. Patrick Salmon, p100, fn.1 (2009)
Editorial comments: Issued during the morning, presumably prior to MT’s remarks in Downing Street (“a great day for freedom”) at 1130 or so. This item was not traced in time to be included in the Oxford CD-ROM. No copy survives in the Thatcher MSS.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 146

I very much welcome the decision to lift travel restrictions on the people of East Germany, so that they can travel freely to the West. We all hope this is only a prelude to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Events are unfolding very rapidly and we must take them a step at a time. The priority must be to see a genuinely democratic form of government in East Germany. We fully support the demand of the East German people for free elections and a multi-party system.

. . . The response of the West German Government and people in providing refuge and jobs for those leaving East Germany-some 200,000 already this year-commands great admiration in this country. We have agreed to provide any practical help we can in coping with refugees at our military installations in West Berlin and in the Federal Republic.