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1951 Apr 24 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Dartford Conservatives (Association AGM)

Document type:public statement
Document kind:Speech
Venue:Bull Hotel, Dartford, Kent
Source:Erith Observer, 27 April 1951
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:Evening?
Importance ranking:Major
Word count:439
Themes:Public spending and borrowing, General Elections, Health policy, Labour Party and Socialism

‘PREPARE FOR MAY ELECTION’

Miss Roberts' Advice To Tories

Miss Margaret Roberts told Dartford Division Conservative Association at their annual meeting at the Bull Hotel, Dartford, on Tuesday, that they must be prepared, if need be, for an election at the end of May or the first week in June.

They were dealing with uncertainties they had not dreamed would happen last week, when they did not think there would be two Cabinet resignations, she continued. The Cabinet was crumbling away; four prominent members had been lost to the Government in Sir Stafford Cripps, Mr. Bevin, Mr. Bevan and Mr. Wilson.

If they were to analyse the situation to see what was likely to happen they must try and put themselves in the shoes of those who were in power. The question they had to decide was this: Was it better for them to go now, with an obvious split in the Labour Party just starting? If they hung on, would that rift be closed or would it widen? If it widened the better would be the victory for the Tories in the end.

The Tories should regard this period more than ever before as a prelude to victory, and they had to prepare themselves for the responsibility of power. She was certain that when they were returned there would be no spirit of "We are the masters now," and it was in that attitude, both nationally and locally, that they must regard the situation.

The split had undoubtedly been simmering for a long time, and perhaps one of the most obvious things about it was that it was a split of personal jealousies, as well as political differences. When that occurred, then, indeed, the party in power was divided in perhaps the strongest way possible, and when personal jealousies came into politics, then the Government was no longer the Government to run the country.

Officers elected were: President, Mr. Morris Wheeler; vice-president, Mr. J. Panton; chairman, Mr. J. L. M. Miller; vice-chairmen, Mr. Hugh Goff, Mr. J. Gates, Mr. Gordon Waterman and Mrs. D. M. Fletcher; hon. treasurer, Mr. Hugh Goff; hon. auditor, Mr. Hedley Dunk.

A portrait of the late Mr. Frank Clarke, former Conservative M.P. for Dartford, was presented to the association by his family.