SV'S & SCU'S General Sir John Stanier, Chief of the General Staff of the British Army speaking
SCU Stanier speaking about the media during the Falklands conflict
SCU Major Christopher Warner listening to Stanier speaking.
LV Warner and Stanier seated at tables
SCU Stanier speaking
SCU Journalists taking notes
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: SYNOPSIS: "... on the 1st August last so that this is my first visit in this capacity to Hong Kong and I am making a number of visits around the world to see the places where the British Army is stationed. I've also visited the colony in 1973, about 10 years ago, when I was the Director of Public Relations for the British Army and of course the changes that have occurred in the colony both since 1956 and 1973 are quite remarkable. During my visit here this week I have toured the colony, been up to Sekong and to the frontier and I have visited the British troops, indeed the British Service man who are working here in the colony, and I must say that I have been very proud and very pleased with all I have seen they are doing and the way in which they are carrying out their duties so far from Britain, here in Hong Kong."
"... I should make it clear to start with that during the Falklands operation I was not in this present appointment, I was in fact Commander-in-Chief of the United kingdom Land Forces and so naturally I was quite closely involved with all that happened. The problems which faced the news media during the Falklands were in my view unique. It is about the only part of the world that the media was unable to get to under its own steam and therefore the world press depended ont he very small number of journalists that accompanied the Task Force and those few journalists that were there had their communications limited to what was made available to them by our own task force. Not unnaturally the press of the world were hungary for much more than they could get out by these limited means and were by and large pretty dissatisfied with what they got and I understand their feelings. Whether, if we were to do the whole thing again, we would do it differently with regard to the media I wouldn't like to say but I do know that if any military operation of that sort were ever to happen again we should have to study extremely carefully, and so would the media, how they would go about getting their material. I think it is really a one-off, the Falkland Islands, because if you take for instance the, er, there was no censorship imposed by the British Forces. There may have been a measure of control of issue of information exercised by the British Government in London but this is not the Forces business and I am speaking as a member of the Forces and certainly it is none of the business of the British Forces to impose censorship on anybody - its not what we're out for.
Question - What do you view as the greatest threat to the security of this colony both in the short term and say 10 or 20 years from now
"... assist the Royal Hong Kong Police with the security of the colony and we are quite clear what is required of us and i like to think we are fully prepared to do what would be required should the Governor feel that he needs our assistance.
Reporter - I'm speaking mostly of external threat
"You're speaking of external threat. Well you're in a far better position to make judgements about external threats than I am I would have thought