• Short Summary

    THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH SECRETARY, MR. GEORGE THOMSON, RETURNED TO LONDON TODAY (14 JANUARY) FROM HIS?

  • Description


    MR. THOMSON LEAVES AIRCRAFT AND WALKS WITH PARTY TO CONFERENCE ROOM; MR. THOMSON INTERVIEWED (SOF).



    THOMSON: "WELL, THERE WAS NATURALLY DISAPPOINTMENT THAT WE FELT COMPELLED TO RAISE THESE ISSUES WITH THEM, AND THE REACTION VARIED A BIT FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY - DIFFERENT COUNTRIES HAVE DIFFERENT PROBLEMS."



    INTERVIEWER: "THE PRIME MINISTER OF SINGAPORE WAS HERE YESTERDAY - HE CERTAINLY DOESN'T FIND OUR PROPOSALS ACCEPTABLE. COULD IT BE SAID YOU HAD YOUR MOST DIFFICULT TIME IN SINGAPORE?"



    THOMSON: "WELL, HE EXPRESSED HIMSELF PARTICULARLY FORCIBLY. HE DID, I'M AFRAID, EXPRESS HIMSELF PUBLICLY ON THE ABC BEFORE I HAD EVEN ARRIVED IN SINGAPORE IN ORDER TO EXPLAIN THE PROPOSALS TO HIM. THOUGHT THAT WAS UNFORTUNATE, AND I TOLD HIM SO. BUT OF COURSE I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO TALKING TO MR. LEE KUAN YEW TONIGHT IN LONDON, AND THINK I'M PREPARED TO LEAVE IT THERE FOR THE MOMENT.



    INTERVIEWER: "HE HOPES TO CHANGE OUR GOVERNMENT'S MIND. ARE YOU LIKELY TO DISSUADE HIM FROM THAT COURSE OF ACTION?"



    THOMSON: WELL, I HAVE A DOUBLE ROLE IN THE BRITISH CABINET IN MANY WAYS. FIRST OF ALL, I HAVE TO EXPLAIN OUR POLICIES TO THE COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES - THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING, BUT EQUALLY, CONSTITUTIONALLY, I HAVE A CERTAIN OBLIGATION TO EXPLAIN THE POINT OF VIEW OF COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES TO THE BRITISH CABINET. AND THIS I WILL DO TODAY AND TOMORROW WITH MY COLLEAGUES, AND I WAS ABLE TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO THEM THAT ALTHOUGH WE FELT THE NEED TO TAKE URGENT ACTION, THAT THE FINAL DECISION IN ALL THIS WOULD NOT BE TAKEN UNTIL I'D HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO PUT BEFORE MY COLLEAGUES THE REACTION OF ALL THE COMMONWEALTH PRIME MINISTERS AND GOVERNMENTS THAT I'VE MET."




    Initials IF/V/AS/PC



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH SECRETARY, MR. GEORGE THOMSON, RETURNED TO LONDON TODAY (14 JANUARY) FROM HIS MISSION TO SOUTH EAST ASIA, AUSTRALIA, AND NEW ZEALAND, WHERE HE HAS BEEN EXPLAINING BRITAIN'S PLANS TO QUICKEN HER DEFENCE WITHDRAWAL IN THE FAR EAST. HE REITERATED AT LONDON AIRPORT THAT THE CABINET WOULD NOT TAKE A FINAL DECISION ON DEFENCE CUTS UNTIL HE HAD REPORTED THE VIEWS OF THE COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENTS CONCERNED.

    ONE OF THE PRIME MINISTERS INVOLVED, MR. LEE KUAN YEW OF SINGAPORE, HAS FLOWN TO LONDON AND WILL LATER TODAY URGE THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, MR. HAROLD WILSON, TO SLOW DOWN THE WITHDRAWAL.

    MR. THOMSON DESCRIBED THE RECEPTION OF HIS ARGUMENTS IN THE VARIOUS COUNTRIES HE VISITED ON THE EIGHT-DAY TOUR:

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA148T28HANJ1AGMXN0QX0BSROW
    Media URN:
    VLVA148T28HANJ1AGMXN0QX0BSROW
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/01/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:05:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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