“PEAK OF POPULARITY”
Tory Chairman On Finchley's Attitude
Making his report on the past year, Mr. C. H. Blatch, Divisional Chairman of the Finchley and Friern Barnet Conservative Association, told a crowded audience at Monday's annual general meeting, at Conservative Hall, Ballards Lane, that Conservatism was at “the peak of its popularity” in Finchley. Everything he had demanded at last year's meeting had been achieved by members: work pace had stepped up, political activity had flourished, propaganda intensified and funds boosted.
The turning point had come after last May, with its Tory Council seat reversals, but these had spurred local Tories to greater efforts.
In an election year, he felt optimistic that the party's local popularity would see them through. He complimented branch workers and all officers for their great efforts. Of Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, parliamentary candidate he said she had filled-130 engagements to speak—this did not include canvassing tours.
The programme for the months ahead envisaged a forceful drive through the Division.
It was decided at the meeting to suspend rules for the year ahead so that some of the present officers might continue during a critical election year.
The president (Mr. A. C. D. Miller), the hon. secretary (Miss J. L. Scott), the hon. treasurer (Cr. E. Fergusson Taylor) and Mr. E. M. Morgan (asst. treasurer) were all re-elected.
Mr. Blatch will continue in office for another year.
At her first annual meeting, in an election year, Mrs. Thatcher spoke on wide issues confronting the government and the party as a whole. These included the Prime Minister's present activities; major moves in a bid for world peace. But there was no single solution. It could be achieved by surrender, but that did not appeal to Tories.
On the problems in Africa, Mrs. Thatcher attacked Dr. Banda who a few months ago was practicing in North London.
On home affairs she noted that the cost of living index had risen only two points since November, 1957. She valued the present £ at 16/- compared with 14/- under a Socialist government.
The recent Tory win at East Harrow was shared by Finchley, because Finchley helpers had gone there.
Mrs. Thatcher spoke warmly of the friendship she had made in the Division—to her far more valuable than party political work, she said.