Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The President. Prime Minister Thatcher, here is a story from our Old West. It's said that
a cowboy went out riding one day and suddenly stumbled into the
we first met on these grounds in 1981, economic crisis beset both our
countries: Inflation and unemployment were reaching dangerously disruptive
levels. The aggressive designs of squalid dictators, large and small, were seen
everywhere. Totalitarian expansion was underway on four continents. Terrorism
was growing. And in the face of the most massive arms buildup in human history,
our own defenses had fallen into disrepair and decline. A new nuclear missile
was aimed at
now it's changed. Now the excitement and vigor and energy in the world is with the cause of freedom. As the
extraordinary change has come upon the world. And that's why at this moment,
Prime Minister Thatcher, we're especially glad to be welcoming you here to our
shores and to have this opportunity to acknowledge the special role that you
and the people of
was my privilege, last June, shortly after my return from
And stand together we have. When first you were here, Prime Minister Thatcher, we referred to a ``decade fraught with danger.'' We can hope today that in meeting those dangers we have transformed this decade into a turning point, a turning point for our age and for all time.
continuing this work, it is profoundly reassuring to me and to all who care
about freedom that you will continue to share with
So, whatever the future may hold, today the American people express to you our thanks, our affection, and our determination to stand with you until freedom has triumphed. Sir Winston put it very well when he said: ``The day may dawn when fairplay, love for one's fellow men, respect for justice and freedom will enable tormented generations to march forth serene and triumphant. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair.''
The Prime Minister. Mr. President,
may I thank you most warmly for those kind words of welcome and for this
marvelous ceremony, which I shall never forget. It is a great honor to be your
last official guest after 8 historic years of your Presidency, one of the
Mr. President, when you welcomed me to the White House on my first official visit to Washington under your Presidency, you forecast two things: first, that the decade would be less dangerous if the West maintained the strength required for peace, and second, that Britain and America would stand side by side in that endeavor. Both promises have been honored, and honored handsomely. We thank you for being such a staunch and loyal ally and friend to our country. Together our nations have faced the challenges of our time and have not flinched. We forged ahead with strengthening the peace, spreading prosperity, and safeguarding liberty. Your conviction, Mr. President, that the only sure peace is one founded on a strong defense has enabled us to take a first historic step in the reduction of nuclear arms.
sir, have presided over a period of economic expansion unparalleled in
peacetime in recent American history. But, above all, Mr. President, you have
restored faith in the American dream, a dream of boundless opportunity built in
enterprise, individual effort, and personal generosity. As a result, respect
thanks to your courage and your leadership, the fire of individual freedom
burns more brightly not just in
Two hundred years ago, Tom Paine told the founders of this great nation: ``We have it in our power to begin the world over again.'' Mr. President, the office which you hold is the greatest in the world. But it is the man who holds that office, you, sir, who has enabled us to begin the world over again. We salute and thank you for it.
Note: The President spoke at at the South Portico of the White House, where the Prime Minister was accorded a formal welcome with full military honors. Following the ceremony, the President and the Prime Minister met in the Oval Office.