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MPs urged Thatcher to 'keep calm' ahead of Falklands invasion

Ken Clarke, along with Sir Timothy Raison, MP for Aylesbury, are attributed in private papers from 1982 with the view: "Hopes nobody thinks we are going to fight the Argentinians. We should blow up a few ships but nothing more."

Lady Thatcher had marked the comment with two blue biro lines.

Sir John Page was said to be "desperately depressed" by the situation and Ian Gilmour, later Baron Gilmour of Craigmillar, said: "We are making a big mistake. It will make Suez look like common sense."

Five MPS urged Lady Thatcher to "keep calm" adding "we can get away without a fight" while others were "all taking a hard line".A similar note the following day described Stephen Dorrell as "very wobbly".

It adds: "Will only support the fleet as a negotiating ploy. If they will not negotiate we should withdraw."Meanwhile referring to Keith Stainton, the note reads: "Intends to attack the Government. His wife has large interests in the Falklands."


Backroom dealing before Falklands revealed

Until now the backroom deliberations within the Conservative party over the Falklands have remained largely private but the notes are among those released by the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust as it opens its files from a year which came to define Lady Thatcher's career.

They range from Ken Clarke, then a junior minister, arguing to "blow up a few ships but nothing more" to West Devon MP Peter Mills who warned "my constituents want blood".

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pictured in 1982
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pictured in 1982 Credit: PA/PA Wire

On April 6, four days after the incursion, the Chief Whip, Michael Jopling, prepared a note for the Prime Minister saying: "You may like to have general re-action to events in the Falkland Islands."

PM: 'White smoke over Falklands was pretty clear'

David Cameron viewed the Falklands Wall at the UK's Centre of Remembrance in May last year. Credit: David Jones/PA

Prime Minister David Cameron has said Pope Francis was wrong when he said last year Britain had "usurped" the Falkland Islands from Argentina.

Mr Cameron said the recent pro-British result of the referendum on the Islands' future had sent "a message to everyone in the world", including the former archbishop of Buenos Aires.

"I disagree with him, respectfully," he said in reference to the new pope, joking: "The white smoke over the Falklands was pretty clear."

Pope: Argentine Falkland veterans 'reclaiming what is theirs'

Pope Francis once told Argentine veterans that those who were killed in the Falkland Islands conflict were "reclaiming what is theirs" and branded Britain as "usurpers", according to the Daily Telegraph.

Jorge Bergoglio was elected as the new Pope. Credit: Reuters

Jorge Bergoglio, the then Buenos Aires Cardinal, told a Mass on April 2 last year: "We come to pray for those who have fallen, sons of the homeland who set out to defend his mother, the homeland, to claim the country that is theirs and they were usurped.

He added: "Many young people were there and could not return.

"Others returned but none could forget. Many scars, many families destroyed by permanent absence or a return cut short. The country needs to remember them all."

Read: Pope Francis profile.


Falkland Islanders have spoken but deadlock persists

The result of a referendum on whether Falkland Islanders wish to remain British was no surprise, and neither was Argentina's decision to ignore it.

Almost everyone who was able to vote did so, and overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the Falkland Islands part of the British territories.

ITV News International Editor Bill Neely reports from Port Stanley:

Cameron 'delighted' at message from Falklands' vote

David Cameron's Office tweeted a picture of the Prime Minister congratulating the Chair of Falklands Legislative Assembly, Gavin Short by phone. Mr Cameron said he was "delighted" that the message from the Falklands was clear, that they are "British through and through".

David Cameron speaking by phone to Gavin Short
David Cameron speaking by phone to Gavin Short Credit: Downing Street/Twitter

Governor: Falkland Islanders 'optimistic' for the future

Nigel Haywood, Governor of the Falkland Islands told ITV News that, "this is a very bright, very lively place with a lot of optimism about he future for the economy of the Islands and the future of the Islands."

Speaking about the Government's response to the poll Mr Haywood said;

"I think the Islanders have never been in any doubt about the strength of support in Britain for the Falkland Islands.

"The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have made that very clear. But it's been very reassuring to have such an immediate response today to the results and that will help the confidence and the optimism of the Islanders for the future."

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