President Reagan briefed members of the media on United States policies concerning defense cuts, Middle East negotiations, and other matters of international concern at a press conference on January 6.
1. GV EXT White House at night. 0.04
2. SCU, SV President Reagan speaking at press conference, with seated members of press looking on. (3 shots) 0.42
3. SV/GV Reuters' News Service reporter Ralph Harris stand to ask question about non-aggression pact from Warsaw Pact. (2 shots) 0.57
4. SV President Reagan answering question. 1.45
TRANSCRIPT: REAGAN: (SEQS 2, 3 & 4) "I don't question the fact that the people are concerned, because they have been receiving through much of the media, a constant drum-beat that somehow there is a needless extravagance and that we're overboard on this particular subject. On the chart, you will find that in cost in dollars, the defense budget is just about the same as it's been all the way back to 1962. If it can be cut, it will be but, but the priority must be, not if it means reducing our ability below the level at which we can declare ourselves safe."
HARRIS: "Today, the Warsaw Pact proposed a non-aggressive pact with NATO. And two weeks ago, as you know, Mr. Andropov raised the idea of a summit with you. What's your decision to these new developments?"
REAGAN: "Oh! this is something I think to be certainly considered if that's what he is proposing is a non-aggressive pact. But with regard to a summit, I am in principle in favour of that. I proposed meeting Mr. Breshnev in New York at the time of the United Nations Disarmament Conference, believing that he would be there, and then we know now for sure why he could not make that trip, so we didn't, but I think that a summit is something that requires some planning, I don't think you just say let's get together, sit around the table and then say well what do we talk about. I think you have to plan and you have to know and believe that you can accomplish something." 1.45
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: WASHINGTON, USA
President Reagan briefed members of the media on United States policies concerning defense cuts, Middle East negotiations, and other matters of international concern at a press conference on January 6. Speaking in Washington, he said the U.S. defense budget had not increased since 1962, and promised it would be reduced if this did not jeopardize national and international safety. In answer to a question from Reuters' News Service correspondent Ralph Harris on the latest non-aggression proposal presented by the Warsaw Pact countries, President Reagan said eventual talks on the matter required careful consideration.
Source: VIA NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY INCORPORATED (EBU New York)