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Thatcher Discloses One Secret of Relationship With Reagan

June 6, 1988 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on Monday disclosed one of the secrets of her friendly relationship with President Reagan - he makes her laugh.

Mrs. Thatcher made the comment during an hourlong interview by four reporters, ages 9 to 14, from the children’s newspaper Early Times.

Jessica Patterson, 9, from Belfast, said that when Mrs. Thatcher was asked what made her laugh, ″she said Ronald Reagan. She said he told her lots of ‘lovely, delightful’ stories. She said he had a really good sense of humor.″

Asked how she felt when people were rude about her, Jessica said Mrs. Thatcher replied that ″sometimes she feels very upset, but she knows it’s not true, and that makes her feel better.″

Luke Salkeld, 12, from Plymouth, said: ″She was very pleasant. She spoke to us nicely and she wasn’t really patronizing.″

But Luke said he didn’t like her answer to his question on how to tackle unemployment.

″Her words of comfort were that there were jobs there to go out and get,″ he said. ″That wasn’t what I really wanted to hear. And she gave a lot of statistics which I didn’t really want.″

Nicola Harrison, 13, from Norwich said she asked Mrs. Thatcher what was being done to free the three British hostages in Beirut.

″She said there was an ambassador in the Lebanon telling them it was wrong to capture people. But that’s about all,″ she said.

Stephen Fairclough, 14, from Surrey said the prime minister gave straight answers ″to most of the questions.″

But he added: ″Some of the time she did go on a lot, and she was quite forceful and tried to interrupt.″