Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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1963 Oct 19 Sa
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Finchley Conservatives (Whetstone Ward dinner)

Document type:public statement
Document kind:Speech
Venue:House of Commons
Source:Finchley Press, 25 October 1963
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:Evening.
Importance ranking:Minor
Word count:405
Themes:Conservative Party (organisation), Leadership, General Elections

‘FORGET LORD HOME IS THE 14th EARL’

Mrs. Thatcher

"My Goodness ... he's good". This was invariably the opinion of people on meeting Lord Home for the first time, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, MP for Finchley and Friern Barnet, told members of Whetstone Ward Conservative branch, on Saturday.

Mrs. Thatcher who was speaking to 100 members and guests of the branch at a dinner at the House of Commons, told them to "forget that Alec Home is the 14th Earl."

She asked people judge him as a Prime Minister, judge him as a man, judge him in his performance, and they would find that he would excel. He was a tremendous patriot as had been witnessed during his very successful term as Foreign Secretary.

Built in him was a quite extraordinary ability to see the wood as well as the trees, and to see events in their proper perspective at the time they are happening, she went on.

He had the virtue, unfortunately rare amongst politicians, of saying exactly what he meant clearly and without waste of words. Alec Home was a good mixer and had the gift of the "common touch"—he was an Iron Man in resolve who will command great respect at home and abroad.

Valuable experience

It was quite wrong to say that he had not had much experience of the House of Commons—he represented a Scottish mining seat from 1931–45. When he first went into Lords he gained valuable experience as the Secretary of State for Scotland in the domestic and welfare and industrial problems.

Speaking on the general political scene, Mrs. Thatcher said that one of the principal issues before the electorate would be to choose between the Conservative way of life as we now had it, and plan to have it, or the Socialists who were bent upon creating a land fit for bureaucrats to live in.

In proposing the toast to the Conservative Party, Cr. Frank Gibson, chairman of the branch, said that Lord Home would surprise his critics, and the message to the Conservative Party and its supporters was quite clear ... it was, to close its ranks and get on with the job of keeping Socialism at bay.

As for the General Election, Cr. Gibson said he expected to see a confirmation of the role of the Liberal Party in national politics, that is, as a repository or half-way house between General Elections for the temporary uncertain and discontented of the two major parties.