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1995 - Mr Major’s Joint Doorstep Interview with the Canadian Prime Minister

Below is the text of Mr Major’s joint doorstep interview with the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Jean Chretien, held in Halifax on Thursday 15th June 1995.


MR CHRETIEN:

Ladies and Gentlemen, we had a bilateral meeting. In one hour we will have our dinner with all the leaders of the G7 and I was delighted to receive Prime Minister Major, we had a very good discussion, as usual.

QUESTION:

Prime Minister, can you tell us your views on Canada’s participation in the Rapid Development Force, at this point what is holding back a decision?

MR CHRETIEN:

I discussed the problem with Prime Minister Major, we are still reviewing the situation and we have not made a decision. But I was interested to have the views of Prime Minister Major on that and he gave me his view.

QUESTION:

The specific issues that you wanted to have cleared up?

MR CHRETIEN:

We have made our contribution since the beginning there and we are very far away from the situation and the question for us is as we cannot participate with a big number, is it important for us to go with what I call a [indistinct] extremely important share of the operation.

PRIME MINISTER:

Let me just add something to that last question, if I may. I don’t know what decision the government will make in Canada on this issue and I know that they have got that under active consideration. But I think what people ought to bear in mind is the tremendous contribution that Canada have made right from the start of this enterprise. There are very few countries around the world that when the United Nations has needed people in difficult spots, that have provided them as readily, as freely and as courageously as Canada. So I think Canada’s record on that is very good, whatever they made decide on this occasion.

QUESTION:

We are not talking about another peace-keeping operation here, we are talking about a Rapid Reaction Force, you are willing to contribute forces, would you like to see Canada do the same?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have just indicated, Canada has got a very proud record in contributing to the United Nations. But the Rapid Reaction Corps is not there to make war, nobody should be under that impression, that is not the purpose of the Rapid Reaction Corps. It is going to be there to add to the security of the troops who are there, it will be there to help people if they run into difficulties, whether they may be British, Canadian or whomsoever. But I am sure the government will make its own decision in due course.

QUESTION:

[In French].

MR CHRETIEN:

[In French].