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1993 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Indore

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview with the press, held in Indore on Wednesday 27th January 1993.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, what are your impressions of what you have seen today?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have now seen both the projects, the one that had no improvement work done on it and the one that has had some improvement work started, and I think there are several impressions. Firstly, you can see the enormous amount that needs to be done; and secondly, you can see as the improvement work proceeds the impact it is actually making on people, even the relatively modest improvements above ground and below ground have made a complete change to the Community. Much more to be done of course, but very valuable work.

QUESTION:

Now there are improvements in life and health?

PRIME MINISTER:

Certainly in life and health. Many of the improvements you physically cannot see, it is the availability of proper sanitation, proper water, it is well below ground but it is there, it was not there elsewhere, the improvement of the medical facilities. And here, here is one of the extremely unimproved homes, but if you look around you now find there are clubs being formed, clubs for young wives, clubs for children, gymnasiums, there is a great deal of health activity, all of which would not have been apparent some time ago, It is desperately needed and very welcome.

QUESTION:

Some of this money comes from Britain although it is a drop in the ocean when put alongside India’s problems. Do you believe these people actually know who you are, that you are a representative of that country, do they know who John Major is?

PRIME MINISTER:

They seem to but whether they do or not the important thing is that the resources are here so that the help can be given, that is the thing that really matters, where the resources come from is entirely a secondary matter, the fact that they are here to help provide a quality of life that otherwise there would not be is desperately necessary. One only has to look around for a few minutes to see how much needs to be done.

QUESTION:

Does this make you think that you should be reaching the UN target for foreign aid more quickly?

PRIME MINISTER:

Everyone would like to reach the UN target as soon as they can. The degree of need, we have seen it here in India, but we know it exists in other countries as well not all that far away, in Bangladesh you find it, you see it in many parts of Africa, there is a huge amount of need. It cannot all be met by aid of course, but aid often is the need towards tremendous domestic improvements. One of the attractive features of what is happening here that has been stressed to me several times going round, as the improvements have become apparent people have begun improving their own homes and their own quality of life as well, so I think the aid can play a very important part.