Below is the text of the Conservative Party Press Release on Mr Major’s comments on foreign policy. It was issued on Friday 27th March 1992, reference 650/92.
A WORLD BASED ON OUR VALUES
Extract from a speech by the Rt Hon John Major, Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party at Pontypridd, today.
“The world is as dangerous today as it has been for two generations. We have won the Cold War. Reflect on that. Won the Cold War. Socialism in its extremist form has been defeated. There are opportunities for freedom to grow, for partnership between nations, for the rebirth of a new Europe. Five hundred years after Columbus discovered the New World of America, we have it in our power to create a new world for our children. 1992 could be a year as significant in world history as 1492.
We can do that. But we have to take the right decisions, give the right leadership. That means we must have a Conservative government.
Let me illustrate this for you by posing a few questions:
– Who has won back for Britain the respect in which we are held abroad?
– Who came to the defence of freedom in the Falklands and Kuwait?
– Who has always stood firm beside the United States in leading the NATO alliance?
– Who has always safeguarded Britain’s security with our independent nuclear deterrent?
– Who has taken the lead in holding out a hand to the new Russia and to Eastern Europe’s new democracies?
– Who reached an agreement at Maastricht which pointed the way to a wider, stronger Europe, but safeguarded Britain’s basic national interests?
In short, you must ask yourself this question: whom can you trust to defend the nation’s interests and keep Britain safe? Whom can you trust to lead Europe, the Commonwealth, and the United Nations towards this new world?
I believe the answer is this Conservative Party – and only this Party.
Labour have been wrong on all the critical issues of foreign and defence policy in our time. Sometimes they have made not one – but several – mistakes on the same issue. A case of – if at first you make a blunder, then blunder and blunder and blunder again.
I believe that these serious issues need proven judgement, a cool head, and a sure stand. The stakes are too high in this difficult world for Britain to put its trust in Labour’s team.
I say again. In 1992 a new world is being formed. It is a world based on our values, free market values. It is a world which has rejected socialism. People are turning to us in Britain – for a firm lead and the right policies. A socialist Britain would be sidelined and scorned. That would be a disaster for Britain – but it would also be a blow against our hopes for the new world. In 1492 Columbus ignored the flat-earth fainthearts. Five hundred years later, we cannot let the failed, flat-earth theory of Socialism rob our children of the prize of a new world today.”