Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1991 - Mr Major’s Joint Presentation with President Bush

Below is the text of Mr Major's joint presentation with President Bush at Kennebunkport on Friday 30th August 1991.


PRESIDENT BUSH:

Might I just say what a pleasure it has been to have the Prime Minister here, I hope the Major family has got a little rest, I am afraid that we have done an awful lot of business here talking about the future. The Prime Minister now gets home for just a very short period of time and is embarking on a trip to Moscow and then on to China and Hong Kong, so he has been busy at work. But for us it has been a great pleasure, John, to have you all here and I wish you Godspeed on your trip, we will stay in close touch.

I think the consultations we have had on the Soviet Union and indeed on other troublespots around the world has been fruitful from the United States' standpoint, and so thank you for coming here and have a very pleasant trip back.

PRIME MINISTER:

George, thank you very much indeed and perhaps I may say thank you again to you and Barbara for your hospitality, I enjoyed it enormously, so did Norma, so did James, so did Elizabeth. We have had a great couple of days and it has been a very memorable occasion indeed.

If I can just say in addition to that, not only has it been a memorable couple of days here, but the relationship and the matters we have shared over the last year or so have been I believe quite remarkable, it has been a tumultuous period and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the leadership that you have given over that last year, not just to the United States but I think to the whole of the free world as well. It is the sort of year you see very rarely indeed with the remarkable events we have seen, but I think with the leadership that you have given in the West we have been in very safe hands indeed and I know that is a very strong feeling in the United Kingdom and elsewhere and I would like to thank you for that.

I have also a couple of small gifts. One of them I am passing on to you with the request that it is passed to you for onward transmission to the Library at Congress. It is a very remarkable book indeed produced by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund to commemorate the battles in 1940, the Battle of the Few one of the most remarkable battles I think in the history of warfare, and I think as an ex-pilot it is something that you will like. It was commissioned last year to mark the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and to raise funds for charity, for the Benevolent Fund, and they have asked me to present this, I think you will find it a rather beautiful book for you to have, to look at and then I hope to pass on to the Library of Congress. I hope you will enjoy that, it is certainly absolutely magnificent and I am happy to give it to you with the compliments and admiration of many people in the United Kingdom.

PRESIDENT BUSH:

Thank you, sir, very much for that most beautiful book and I will see that it gets to the Library of Congress so that it can be shared with the American people.

PRIME MINISTER:

And we have another more personal present. We are very pleased with the relationship we have with the United States and have had for many years, but there is one small defect in it that I think we are going to correct. We in the United Kingdom have two national games of soccer and cricket. The United States is of course a member of the International Cricket Conference, we started playing cricket in England round about 1300 and indeed I think the first English cricket team ever to leave our shores and go and play abroad was in the 1850s when they came to the United States. But I think one occasion you beat us so we have not been back too often since then, but I would like you to accept this in the hope that we can encourage you to add to the golf, the swimming, the fishing, the tennis, in any spare time you have with a little cricket. And it is in fact signed by the England cricket team that won the test match at Lords just a few days ago, they did it with very great pleasure and they said that at some stage not only do they hope to see you watching a test match somewhere in the United Kingdom, but if you seem to be as good at that as you are at some other sports we would just like to review our selection procedures to see if you might play for us.

PRESIDENT BUSH:

Thank you, thank you, that is very nice John. Now wait a minute, you cannot escape without a retaliatory gift here. They may not realise this, but the Prime Minister's dad spent his youth in the United States and it emerges that he was a baseball player of sorts so we asked the Louiville slugger people to send this up to commemorate your visit so give it a whirl and may your eyes be safe from that curve ball and mine free of googlies.

PRIME MINISTER:

There should just be room on the Chequers lawn, many thanks indeed, thank you all very much.