Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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1950 Jun 2 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Orpington Conservatives

Document type:public statement
Document kind:Speech
Venue:The Village Hall, Orpington, Kent
Source:Dartford Chronicle, 9 June 1950
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:Evening?
Importance ranking:Minor
Word count:880
Themes:Conservative Party (organisation), General Elections

MUTUAL AID IN POLITICS

Orpington Adopts Dartford Miss Margaret Roberts Thanks Her ‘Spiritual Godparents’

Under a mutual aid scheme whereby constituencies with large majorities will help the marginal seats, Orpington Divisional Conservative Association have adopted the Dartford Division, and organised help from Orpington will be given before and during an election, and on polling day.

This was announced at the annual meeting of Orpington Divisional Association at the Village Hall, Orpington, on Friday and present to say "thank you" to their new "spiritual godparents" were Miss Margaret Roberts, (prospective candidate chairman) and Mr. John Miller (divisional chairman) of the Dartford Association.

The scheme was announced by Major P. W. H. Twyman, K.C.C., divisional chairman, who presided in the absence through illness of the president, Mr. J. E. Brittenden. "Orpington has been coupled with Dartford," he said, "and it is there that organised help will go, and a call for volunteers will be made and will be trained for their duties at Dartford. He added, "I ask you most earnestly to respond to this call."

Miss Roberts spoke of the inspiration and encouragement the aid would be to Dartford. "Some people say Dartford is tough and that I have a difficult job," she said. "The Division, with two short exceptions, had a Conservative Members up to 1938, so it is far from an impossible task. There is tremendous enthusiasm, and last time we put up our vote by 50 per cent. on 1945; if between now and the next election we put it up another 50 per cent. we shall be home. ... Your help and encouragement will help us to achieve this and see the return of a Conservative Member to support a Conservative government."

In his report, Major Twyman said membership had increased by 1,000 to almost 9,000 and two senior, two Young Conservative and one women's section branches had been formed. They had good reason to be proud of the present standard of organisation and he expressed thanks to all concerned, particularly the agent (Mr. Charles Knight). He also thanked the assistant agent (Mrs. M. Middleton) and Miss M. Young, of headquarters staff, for their work, the divisional officers and committee members, branch officials and committees.

With the treasurer's statement, submitted by the Hon. W. Speke Philipps, the chairman's report was adopted, and it was decided to send a message of good wishes to the president, Mr. Brittenden, who was unanimously re-elected.

By two votes, after a re-count, Mr. W. H. Rose, hon. secretary of Orpington Knoll and Goddington Ward association, was erected Divisional chairman, and Mr. F. Tanner (Horton Kirby) was elected vice-chairman. In Mr. Rose's absence, Mr. Tannet presided for the rest of the meeting.

Other elections were: Women's and Young Conservative vice-chairmen, Mrs. G. E. [name illegible] (Hodsell Street) and Mr. M. Stevens; hon. treasurer, Mr. Philipps.

A vote of thanks to retiring officials coupled with a welcome to new officials was proposed by Mr. Allan Neal (West Kingsdown) and congratulations to the Division on their progress was expressed by Miss M. Cook, S.E. Area Agent.

"Bit of a Rebel"

After enlarging on the work of Mr. Brittenden and thanking the members for their work at the election, Sir Waldron Smithers commented. "I have always been a bit of a rebel in the Party. I have tried to prevent them making promises which we could not guarantee and fulfill, and I have been recently semi-officially informed that my criticism has now been taken into consideration by the men at the top and has had a great effect on the policy of our Party. We refused to make detailed promises, but said we would deal with the sorry results of Socialist mis-government by Conservative and Christian principles, and we doubled our majority. I am sure that is the way to tackle it," he added.

"If each of us would respond to a kind of John the Baptist call and declare ourselves and come out on the side of Christianity against Communism! Things are happening in the world to-day—the Winnipeg floods, the tornado the other week, air crashes and the like—which show that there is a Power above that of man, and we must ask God's help in these difficult times. We can only solve our problems with His aid."

Saying he was supported from many sides, even though he was supposed to have a "bee in his bonnet," Sir Waldron urged the necessity of putting spiritual things first and then material things would follow. They must restore the basic things—prestige, confidence and credit. ... Then, and then only, can you improve the condition of the people. "‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added to you,’ we are hold. That is the truth and it has got to be done."