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1950 Mar 28 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

Speech on re-adoption as Conservative candidate for Dartford

Document type:public statement
Document kind:Speech
Venue:Dartford, Kent
Source:Erith Observer, 31 March 1950
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:Evening.
Importance ranking:Minor
Word count:579
Themes:Conservative Party (organisation), General Elections

CONSERVATIVES HAVE ELECTION PLAN

‘Operation Doorstep’ to Start

Miss Margaret Roberts Again Adopted

Miss Margaret Roberts, B.A., B.Sc., who unsuccessfully contested the seat last month, is again prospective Conservative candidate for Dartford Parliamentary Division. She was adopted at a meeting of the Divisional Conservative Asociation on Tuesday evening, and spoke of "operation doorstep"—a mass-canvass plan to swing the vote.

Miss Roberts was presented with a marcasite brooch in recognition of her work in the last campaign.

Mr. A. Morris Wheeler (president of the association) was in the chair and with him on the platform were Mr. J. L. M. Miller (chairman), Mrs. D. M. Fletcher (chairman of the Divisional Women's Advisory Council), Mr. J. F. L. Gates (chairman of Erith Borough Conservative Group), Miss Mary Hamilton (chairman of Divisional Young Conservatives), Mr. J. W. Panton and Mr. R. W. Mills (agent).

Formal adoption of Miss Roberts as prospective candidate was moved by Mr. Gates, who said they would not have got such a good result last time unless they had had such an excellent candidate. In eulogising Miss Roberts' conduct of the election, he declared that she had treated her opponents and answered their questions in such a way that "even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear to cheer."

The next election was not far away, he added, and if they made a good fight last time, they could make a better one.

Miss Mary Hamilton seconded, and the adoption was unanimously approved.

Inspiring Spirit

Expressing her thanks, Miss Roberts said when she heard the results of the election, there was no doubt in her mind as to what she should do. Many people had told her that they expected her to find a safe, or safer, seat.

"I never had any doubts at all," she went on, "that if you wanted me to stay, I would stay and fight Dartford because I believe it can be won."

Commenting on the tremendous enthusiasm and loyalty shown since she had been in the Division, Miss Roberts declared that the spirit of the association was second to none.

"The association has made tremendous strides" she continued. "We have increased our membership by over 50 per cent. in 12 months, and we will take careful note of the hint about the Erith area and see it is rectified. By their principle of deeds, and not words, the Young Conservatives have set us a wonderful example, and that must be our guiding influence in future."

"Operation Door-step"

Miss Roberts emphasised that the next election, which was to come sooner than anticipated, was just a continuation of the last. Their job now was to convert the "doubtfuls."

"That means we have got to get out to them," she said. "The keynote of the inter-period before the next election must be ‘Operation Door-step,’ and we must get down to it without delay."

Expressing special thanks to their chairman (Mr. John Miller) and Mrs. Miller for all they had done, Miss Roberts said they must all stride forward in their efforts. They must fight on if they were to achieve the necessary 6,000 or 7,000 vote "swing" which they must have next time.