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1995 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Washington

Below is the transcript of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Washington on Tuesday 4th April 1995, following his meeting with Mr Newt Gingrich.


QUESTION:

How did your meeting with Mr Gingrich go?

PRIME MINISTER:

It was an extremely interesting meeting, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

QUESTION:

Do you think there is a [indistinct] of a contract for Britain and what ideas did you develop for 1997?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have got a whole series of ideas for 1997, Peter, we are looking for a wide range of ideas for 1997 and beyond, not just for the election, than I think anyone has looked at for a long time, but I will unveil those when we finish them.

QUESTION:

[Indistinct] your conversation with the Speaker, can you tell us about them?

PRIME MINISTER:

No.

QUESTION:

Have you heard suggestions that American aid for Northern Ireland might be linked to the question of decommissioning of arms, and would you approve of it if that link were to be established?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think that may be a matter on which I will have the opportunity of listening to the views of the Foreign Relations Committee in a few moments, so I will comment perhaps after that.

QUESTION:

How are you hoping your visit is going to play back home?

PRIME MINISTER:

I come here regularly. We have a whole series of intricate relationships with the United States on a whole range of issues - security issues, intelligence issues, trading issues, foreign policy issues - and right the way round a whole range of areas we have a very close relationship with the United States. Now you don't retain a close relationship, keep it in fresh repair, unless you are able to talk to people face to face. So we come here, the United States Administration comes to see us. It is very important to keep that in good repair. What I am doing here is talking about a whole range of issues. And what strikes me very forcibly is the huge range of areas where there is a dramatically similar, if not identical, point of view on international issues between the United States Administration, the United States opinion generally, and the United Kingdom. So I find that always very refreshing.

QUESTION:

Do you think the American political community understands the position in Northern Ireland now in relation to Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams' reception?


PRIME MINISTER:

Last evening we had a very substantial number of Senators join us for dinner, we had the opportunity of very free and frank discussion on that. Similarly with the Foreign Affairs Committee and the House of Representatives, and in a few moments with the Senate. So I think [indistinct].