Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1994 - Mr Major’s Joint Doorstep Interview with Douglas Hurd

Below is the text of Mr Major’s joint doorstep interview with the Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, held in Naples on Saturday 9th July 1994.


QUESTION:

How serious is it that Mr. Murayama won't be able to take part in the economic discussions today?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don't yet know that that is the case. I have heard rumours to that effect but no doubt I will find out in the next few moments I very much hope he can take part.

QUESTION:

How worried are you about the political instability of the Korean peninsula now?

PRIME MINISTER:

We will have the opportunity of discussing that on Sunday morning and I very much look forward to it. I think the important thing is to make sure that the talks process proceeds with the minimum amount of delay. I think that is what everyone would wish.

QUESTION:

Will you be changing the agenda at all today to get on to that subject?

PRIME MINISTER:

I doubt that we will change the agenda formally. It may well be discussed a little in the margins and I think probably will and perhaps by Foreign Ministers as well but I would suspect we will discuss it substantially tomorrow by which time it all may be a little clearer.

FOREIGN SECRETARY:

I have just talked to the South Korean Foreign Minister; he telephoned me to give me the news but the news is that everything is very calm in Seoul and the first indications are that the talks in Geneva will go ahead but it is too soon to be sure whether there will be any shift of policy but he talked very calmly and there is no particular concern in the Republic of Korea today.

QUESTION:

On the longer-term worries, Prime Minister, many G7s recently have discussed what can be done with crumbling nuclear reactors in the former Soviet Union yet nothing very much seems to happen. Do you think you will be able to achieve something this time round?

PRIME MINISTER:

I hope so. It is certainly one of the main issues for discussion over the next couple of days so I hope we will be able to make some moves forward, yes.

QUESTION:

Do you think what happened to the Japanese Prime Minister should offer any lessons in the way these summits are organised? I know you want changes. Is the pressure too much?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don't think it is a question of the pressure being too much, I don't think that is the point. I think what is the point is that I would like a much more informal flow of discussion at these summits, much less pre-discussion, much less pre-preparation and the opportunity for heads of government to range much more freely over the matters that are immediately on their minds. I think that would be a great bonus if we could move in that direction, I would certainly like to move further towards it. There are some improvements this time but I would like it to go further.

QUESTION:

What progress were you able to make at dinner last night?

PRIME MINISTER:

On what subject?

QUESTION:

On any subject.

PRIME MINISTER:

We certainly made some progress towards informality. We certainly made some progress; we had a preliminary look at the employment and jobs matters and we discussed a range of other things but think we will have more to say about that later.