May 22, 2022

Declassified Documents/FOIA: BBC Obtains Transcripts of Calls/Meetings Between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair

From the BBC:

Tony Blair and Bill Clinton told each other that their role was to act like “shrinks” offering therapy to global politicians, as they tried to reconcile various bitter international disputes during their time in office.

But sometimes the frustration clearly got to them.

In 1999, during a fractious EU-US trade dispute over Caribbean bananas, President Clinton told Prime Minister Blair in one of their phone calls: “The Central Americans and the Caribbeans sound like a boys school argument. They ought to be thinking about making common cause and not pissing down each others’ leg to see who has the biggest bananas.”

This features in transcripts of calls and meetings between the two men that have been released following a BBC freedom of information request to the Clinton Presidential Library, which stores the records of his presidency.

The transcripts cover the period between 1997 and 2000, when the two leaders were both in power. They contain substantial redactions, especially of Mr Blair’s remarks, but they shed light on their relationship and co-operation.

Direct to Transcripts (587 pages; PDF; via Clinton Presidential Library) ||| Bibliographic Record for Document

Direct to Complete BBC Article With Additional Highlights/Analysis

See Also: Additional Declassified Documents Available From Clinton Presidential Library

See Also: “Blair and Clinton Transcripts Reveal Global Concerns of Two Buddies” (Via The Guardian)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.