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1951 Feb 2 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Barnehurst Conservatives

Document type:public statement
Document kind:Speech
Venue:Bull Hotel, Dartford, Kent
Source:Erith Observer, 9 February 1951
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:Evening.
Importance ranking:Major
Word count:539
Themes:Autobiographical comments, Conservative Party (organisation), Conservative Party (history)

‘ENGLAND IN SERIOUS STRAITS’

—Miss Margaret Roberts

Conservative Party Will Come To Power Again

England was in very serious straits, but could be guided through them by Mr. Winston Churchill. If a man of 76 could contribute everything he had, what right had they to withhold their services? asked Miss Margaret Roberts, M.A., B.Sc., at Barnehurst, North branch, Dartford Division, Conservative Association, dinner and dance at the Bull Hotel, Dartford, on Friday.

Mr. R. A. Gommer (chairman) welcomed the visitors, who included Mr. A. E. Allsopp (Divisional Conservative agent and secretary). and Councillor Mrs. H. J. Shand, who was accompanied by her daughter, Sheila . Mrs. Gommer presented Miss Roberts (prospective candidate) with a powder compact on behalf of the branch.

Mr Gommer said the inaugural meeting had been held 16 months ago, since when the branch had been gradually expanding, due largely to the efforts of Miss Roberts. That dinner was the first function of its kind to be solely organised by a branch. It was a real victory for the Party to have got Mrs. Shand elected to the Council, he said, and he hoped Miss Roberts would be elected to Parliament. He called on Mrs Gommer to present the compact.

Miss Roberts thanked them for their charming gift, and said that that evening was particularly significant. Exactly a year ago had been the night of her adoption, just before the election, and a year before that she had gone before the selection committee. They had been a happy two years. In the future, if she ever spoke in the House, they would know they had played a part in moulding her and the thoughts she uttered would be their thoughts.

The party had a long tradition to live up to, not live down, as their opponents suggested, and there were many great men and women in it. The greatest of all was Mr. Churchill. He came to the helm at the age of 66 when most men were thinking of retiring, and was still carrying on.

When they thought of staying at home instead of attending meetings they should remember this, and that the country was in very serious straits, out of which it could be guided by Mr. Churchill. If a man of 75 could give everything he had to the effort what right had they to withhold their services?

Miss Roberts congratuated the branch on the good work it had done, and said it was fortunate in its officers.

Mr. Attlee had referred to Mr Churchill as the "prima donna" of the Conservative Party. Prima donnas were important people, said the speaker, and, when the time came, Mr. Churchill would strike up his refrain, which would be, "O my darling Clem, resign!" (laughter). He would look to them to join in the chorus so they must keep in training.

The Conservative Party, concluded Miss Roberts, would inevitably come to power again, and when they did the whole country would sing with good reason. "Land of Hope and Glory."

Toastmaster and M.C. for dancing was Mr. P. St. John Price.