Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1991 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Harare

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Harare, on Tuesday 15th October 1991.


QUESTION:

Can you tell us what you hope to get out of today's talks?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think we have a lot to discuss today though the Conference doesn't really start until tomorrow of course, but I am looking forward to a very good conference. I think it will be very constructive; I believe it may be a different sort of conference from those we have seen in the past; that the Commonwealth wants to look forward and see how it is going to develop in the future; that will be theme, I think, of the week.

QUESTION:

What sort of specific ideas on the future of the Commonwealth have you got?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think there are several really. Good, democratic government, I think, is the main theme that will come out of it. I believe the Commonwealth will express great concern about human rights, I think that will be a second theme that will come out of it; and I hope too, to persuade Commonwealth Heads of the importance of the Environment Conference in Rio next year. I think they are all very important matters but of course other matters will come up as well.

QUESTION:

Prime Minister, Mr. Mugabe has said it is not possible to buy values with money. Do you think that the British aid policy could be divisive at this meeting?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don't think the British aid policy can be divisive at all; it is a very substantial amount of aid. About 80 per cent of the complete amount of British aid actually goes to Commonwealth countries and I think that is something that is appreciated around the Commonwealth. Of course, you can't buy values with money; I entirely agree with President Mugabe about that but I think the aid policy is a quite separate matter.