From remarks by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain on CBS-TV's "Face the Nation" July 19:

The United States will never become a laughingstock. We know just how much we owe to the United States. We owed it immediately after the last war in the generosity of the Marshall Plan, we owed it during the last war as she came to liberate countries in Europe from the tyranny under which they had been. We know how much we owe to the United States. Sometimes we don't always show it. I try to. We are very much aware of this debt.

Now, I think there is a problem in the sense that once you are trying to discuss every single tiny little thing that happened, one simply has to recognize that you can't carry on the business of government unless some things are confidential. If you damage that, then it does make it more difficult perhaps to talk as freely as one otherwise would. . . .

I answer questions twice a week in the House of Commons, and that's pretty searching, and it's not always the most courteous operation of things -- I'm pretty used to it. But there are times when I am asked about certain things when I simply will get up and say no, that's a confidential communication between governments -- and it is customary that we do not reveal these. And, if we did, there wouldn't be any. Or they will ask me about certain armaments orders, and those, too, are confidential. Everyone understands that.

So I have to withstand this questioning. But it is part of the way in which we do our work that certain things are and must be confidential. And I tell you who does understand that -- the ordinary public understand it, they understand it very well.