From an interview by the London Press Office with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher July 31:
Q:Now there has recently been much speculation that talks between British and Irish officials about the future structure of government in Northern Ireland have made some progress and could perhaps lead to an autumn summit between yourself and Dr. Fitzgerald. How much hope do you have of progress in this area? . . .
A:Yes, we are making progress. We have not yet reached a conclusion. . . .
Q:Did the continuing process have any bearing on the home secretary's request to the BBC not to show a documentary film (this week) in which provisional Sinn Fein elected councillor Martin McGuinness was interviewed? A request which, of course, the BBC has acceded to in agreeing not to transmit that program, at least in its present form?
A:No, I do not believe those talks had any bearing on that request. . . . I do not believe that any great body like the BBC should do anything which might be construed as furthering the objectives of the terrorists and I feel extremely strongly about it.
We had nearly 2,500 people killed by those terrorists, in the armed forces, in the police, the prison service, ordinary civilians. We have had them here. . . .
We have had all of those terrible things perpetrated by these people, and every single person in Northern Ireland has the ballot. They do not need, and should reject, the bullets and the bomb, and anything which is shown which seems to help the terrorists seems to me totally and utterly wrong. We had not seen the film, but the IRA is proscribed here and in the Republic of Ireland, and the Republic and we are at one in condemning those people, because they are not only against Northern Ireland -- they are against democracy itself.