Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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1959 Sep 28 Mo
Margaret Thatcher

Speech in Finchley

Document type:public statement
Document kind:Speech
Venue:Summerside School, North Finchley
Source:Finchley Press, 2 October 1959
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:Evening?
Importance ranking:Major
Word count:530
Themes:Taxation, Education, General Elections, Health policy, Liberal and Social Demoratic Parties, Social security and welfare

Mrs. Thatcher Says:——

‘Tory or Socialist—That's The Only Choice!

‘Judge The Party By It's Record’

Speaking at a campaign meeting at Summerside School, North Finchley, this week, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Friern Barnet, emphasised that the outcome of next week's General Election was certain in one respect: it would result either in a Conservative or a Socialist government—and no other. Not even her most ardent Liberal friends insisted that their party might find itself in power.

(Nominations closed on Monday. The line-up in the country will be: Conservatives and associates 625, Labour and Co-op 621; Liberals 217; other parties 73.)

Mrs. Thatcher added: "When it comes to a General Election, as well as choosing a local Member—which is really of minor importance—you have to choose the government of the day, either Conservative or Socialist."

Outlining Conservative policy, Mrs. Thatcher asked her audience to study all the parties' election promises, and say to themselves ‘What did the party do about it when it was in power?’.

In the next five years did they wish to live the free and progressive life they had enjoyed during the past eight years, she asked?

Mrs. Thatcher went on: "When the Conservatives entered in 1951 they immediately began to put into practice their idea that people should keep a larger proportion of money they earned. Taxation was still fairly high—but not as high as it was in 1951.

Pensions

On the subject of pensions, and Labour's present promises, Mrs. Thatcher reminded that the Conservatives had at once raised pensions, and had continued to do so. They had kept their promises. During Socialist rule the pensioners had been ignored—until only a few weeks before the 1951 General Election; when they had been presented with a paltry 4/- extra. She said that the Conservative pension plan was for a flat rate pension plus a graduated contribution scheme. Contributions would depend upon circumstances.

Tory education policy was to build even more schools—about 3,700 had been built since the Conservatives came into power. One a day since they had been in office.

Plans would go ahead for more teachers, more teachers' training colleges, more technical colleges, and eventually smaller classes. Replacement of existing school buildings was another priority.

The hospitals and the health service would come in for attention. Hospitals take a long time to build, but since the Conservatives had come into power the number of extensions built onto existing hospitals had been enormous. This could be seen locally. There were many hospitals being built at the moment.

After her speech, Mrs. Thatcher answered questions about allotments, old people, disarmament, teachers, and the right to vote.

At the end of the meeting, Capt. C. Kitchin, (Chairman) thanked Mrs. Thatcher for her address.

Earlier in the meeting the chairman of the Glebe Ward Conservatives, Mr. E. Simmonds, said he was sure that Mrs. Thatcher's ability would influence many people to support her. He thanked her for coming to speak.