Soon after making his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Sept 29, Premier Macmillan answered questions for television newsmen in his New York hotel.
SV. Macmillan seated at table (SILENT).
CU. Visnews Cameraman (Tony Green) (SILENT).
SV. Mr. Macmillan speaks (SOUND ON FILM STARTS): Question: "There is the general impression the Communist block and their friends are in some way dominating the General Assembly. Is that true?"
"It is very difficult for the press and television and radio not to report news and Mr. Khrushchev is always news, and he's a character who has always been news. At the same time, if you take what has happened since the meeting, there's been a remarkable concentration of the mass of the Assembly upon the real problems. President Eisenhower's speech made a very considerable effect. I though the Prime Minister of Canada made a very remarkable speech. What rather struck me was the speeches you might call from the cross-bencher, that's really the dominating influence in this Assembly, the people who are not committed one way or another and stand a little outside the great formidable line up of the two Powers, and they're swayed from side to side a little, but I don't think they're too attracted by a too violent or rather a too unfair way of putting things. I think they are attracted by anyone who tries to see both sides; naturally if you take the results of this tremendous movement, they've not been very great because Mr. Hammarskjoeld has received the support of the Assembly and in the various committee and so forth, the Soviets have not succeeded in trying to push everybody aside, in getting their way. So I think it's a difficult problem; we can try to counter-attach, I tried to put several points today, fairly reasonable from my point of view. AT the same time we've got to counter-attack in such a way that doesn't add to the bitterness and increase the extreme position taken by both sides. So it's the same old problem. You've got to be firm to show you are not going to be bullied, but you've got to be reasonable to show that you'll do business with anybody who will do business reasonably with you."
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Background: Soon after making his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Sept 29, Premier Macmillan answered questions for television newsmen in his New York hotel. Before the interview Mr. Macmillan said he recognised that the journalists had a job to do but he considered diplomacy and television incompatible. He cited the case of President Eisenhower who stated there could be no meeting between himself and Premier Khrushchev until the RB 47 pilots were sent back to America.
Mr. Macmillan considered the publicity the statement received made retrenchment impossible. The British Premier thought that agreements between the two could have been reached had the remark been made at a private meeting. He also said that if the General Assembly meeting turns out badly it could well be the fault of the newsmen.
At the interview three British television and newsreel correspondents put questions to the Prime Minister. Among them was a Visnews reporter who asked if the Premier thought the Communist block were dominating the General Assembly.