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1997 - Mr Major’s Comments on 10 Downing Street

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on 10 Downing Street, London, made during an interview in the building on Monday 10th March 1997.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about the great atmosphere of 10 Downing Street and its history].

PRIME MINISTER:

Well you are quite right about the atmosphere. Everything that has happened in English history of real relevance has been determined here for the last 250 years or so. So there is undoubtedly a very special atmosphere. There isn’t a corner of this house that doesn’t have a history to it, and in many cases, a very remarkable history. Just 10 yards away from where you are is William Pitt’s desk, for example. He would have sat there right the way through the French Revolution, the wars with France, as Prime Minister pretty nearly for 20 years. And in every corner of the house you will find something like that, so it is a very special place to work.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he ever wondered about his position].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I don’t. I have been here quite a long time now, six and a half years.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if it had worn of as the first few weeks must have been very special].

PRIME MINISTER:

The person who doesn’t feel that when they first come here has no feelings at all. Of course the atmosphere that hits you hits everyone. When you come into this building through that black door, it looks like a suburban semi-detached/detached house. It isn’t, it grows. It’s like the tardis, the more you get in it, the more you realise it is very big. It goes up a long way, it goes down, it goes back a long way, there is a great deal to it.