Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1995 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in New York

Below is the transcript of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in New York on Monday 23rd October 1995.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, could I ask you first of all about this question of waste in the UK, how serious do you think this problem is?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think it is a problem that has needed addressing for some time and I propose to say so this morning. I should say at the outset that I am a very strong supporter of the United Nations and because I want the United Nations to succeed I believe it should address some of the problems and issues that everyone knows are there. One of them is duplication of functions, another one is waste, another one is to have a proper method of reform, and of course the fourth is at last the need to deal with the membership of the Security Council. All these matters need dealing with and need dealing with speedily.

QUESTION:

What about your meeting with President Menem this afternoon? He is making it quite clear that he sees that as a step towards the Falklands becoming the property of Argentina.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well we certainly don’t, and I think he knows that we don’t. The question of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands is not going to be discussed, it is a matter that is quite clear as far as we are concerned. It is British sovereignty, nothing in that is going to change. But over the last few years we have begun to develop a much better trading relationship with Argentina. We have agreed an oil agreement that will enable the Falklands to exploit oil around their seas. At some stage in the future we will need to develop a Fisheries Agreement and there is a quite significantly growing commercial relationship. So there is a great deal to discuss with President Menem and I look forward to discussing it.

QUESTION:

How significant would say the meeting is?

PRIME MINISTER:

There have been a number of meetings at Ministerial level over recent years and a great increase in trade flow. But it is the first time that the British Head of Government and the Argentinian Head of Government have met since 1982, so it is significant to that extent. But I would not expect great drama out of this meeting. This is part of a steady series of confidence building measures. But there is no question of any discussion about the sovereignty of the Falklands.