Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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1964 Sep 24 Th
Margaret Thatcher

Speech at adoption meeting

Document type:public statement
Document kind:Speech
Venue:Conservative Hall, 267 Ballards Lane, Finchley
Source:Finchley Press, 2 October 1964
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:Exact time uncertain. Elsewhere in the Finchley Press MT was credited with the remark "a platitude is a truth that has passed the test of time" Swiss Television filmed the meeting for a programme on the British General Election.
Importance ranking:Major
Word count:686
Themes:Conservative Party (organisation), Economy (general discussions), Industry, Monetary policy, Trade, General Elections, Trade unions

Ssh!-quiet!-There's an election on

Tories ‘Calm and Confident’

A Swiss Television camera team were in action as the M.P. for Finchley, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, was adopted as Conservative candidate, at a meeting held in the Conservative Hall on Thursday, last week. They were filming the highlights of the meeting for a programme on the British general election, which was to appear on Swiss television screens this week.

Mrs. Thatcher who was accompanied by her husband, Mr. Denis Thatcher, was introduced by the President of the Finchley and Friern Barnet Conservative and Unionist Association, Mr. C. H. Blatch, Mr. Blatch said that Mrs. Thatcher had "proved most abundantly the confidence we placed in her five years ago."

In her address to a packed hall, Mrs. Thatcher told her audience that general elections were not a judgment on the past but a choice for the future. The question to be answered was whether for the next five years Britain should have a Conservative or a Socialist Government. It was no use hoping the Conservatives would be returned and then voting differently. "Those who are not for us are against us", Mrs. Thatcher said. She went on "In this constituency we are working for a bigger and better Conservative majority".

Mrs. Thatcher defended former Conservative Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan's famous "You've never had it so good" speech. She went on to explain that, in the remainder of his speech, Mr. Macmillan pointed out that the problem was to maintain this prosperity and to control inflation. The people who suffered most if prices rose were those living on fixed incomes. She spoke of the tremendous improvements which had taken place under Conservative rule. To those who criticised the Government on this score, she said "part of the politician's task is to try to raise the living standards of the people. What sort of advertisement would it be for Britain or the democratic way of life if we had a low standard of living or shortages of consumer goods".

Competitive Prices

Mrs. Thatcher said "This country depends for her prosperity on her trade to a greater extent than any other country in the Western World." And she added: "That is where Socialist planning falls down. "You can't tell overseas customers what they should buy, or from whom they should buy it. The key to foreign trade lies in the competitiveness of our industries at home". This in turn depended on private enterprise and the initiative of individual men and women. And she spoke against restrictive practices. "Above all," she said, "We need trade unions which are freed from restrictive practices. One can't expect manufacturers to buy most modern equipment when their efforts are negatived because they have to keep as many people to watch the new machines as worked on the old." This locked up labour urgently needed elsewhere. She also spoke about future plans for housing and pensions, and the problem of rating.

After her address, Councillor V. H. Usher proposed that the meeting adopt Mrs. Thatcher as its candidate. "We need someone who we can look up to, who is modern, who we can respect. Mrs. Thatcher has proven herself during the past five years to be a worthy representative for the people of Finchley and Friern Barnet."

When Councillor Usher asked for a seconder, the whole meeting rose to its feet and seconded the motion unanimously.

Confidence

In reply, Mrs. Thatcher said: "The first condition of success is confidence in ourselves, our cause, our ideals and our achievements. We have that confidence, we shall win that success."

Mrs. Thatcher then went among the audience and spoke to two old age pensioners, one of 93 and the other of 88 years old, who had come to the meeting specially to hear her.

Mr. R. Langstone, the Agent, outlined the campaign and appealed for a maximum effort. The meeting concluded in an atmosphere of enthusiasm and determination.