Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1997 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Calcutta

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Calcutta, held on Thursday 9th January 1997.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, some good news, they have found the yachtsman, Tom Bullimore, alive in his hull.

PRIME MINISTER:

I heard that just a few moments ago. I think that is an absolutely extraordinary story and quite wonderful news. I am absolutely delighted about it.

QUESTION:

And quite a rescue operation by the Australians?

PRIME MINISTER:

I believe we owe a lot of thanks to the people who did it. I think very few people expected this happy outcome but I am absolutely delighted to hear about it.

QUESTION:

And what are your impressions of India so far?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have had a fascination with India for as long as I can remember. I greatly enjoyed my last visit three or four years ago and I am delighted to be back.

QUESTION:

Do you see any political risk in being here at a time like this when an election is approaching?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well no I don't. I was invited to come by the CII [Confederation of Indian Industry] some time ago and I am here because there is a tremendous growth of trade between the United Kingdom and India. With the former Prime Minister, Narasimha Rao, I set up the British-Indian Association to try and foster extra trade. Since then trade and investment has increased by about 80 percent in the last four years and that is very important to India and it is very important to the United Kingdom. And I have brought with me on this occasion as high a powered group of senior British businessmen as I think have ever left the United Kingdom together, and I think that is going to generate a fair amount of increased trade and investment and that is very much in the interest of the United Kingdom and of India.