A personal message from Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, M.P.
First I should like to thank the Friern Barnet Young Conservatives for the tremendous amount of work they did in the General Election and for the cheerful way they did it. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing their experiences first hand after an evening canvassing.
This session in the House of Commons promises to be one of the liveliest for a long time. It also looks as if members will have to work many late-night shifts!
The House always has a way of producing the unexpected. The Harold WilsonLabour Prime Minister has had such a build up in the press, and during the election gave such polished television performances, that we were all expecting an impressive first speech from him in the debate on the Address. He was not good. He never once began to measure up to what one would expect of a Prime Minister of Great Britain. Sir Alec Douglas-Home on the other hand made one of the outstanding Parliamentary speeches of his career. He was self assured, witty, sound, and looked every inch a leader; he held the House from the moment he rose to the time when he sat down.
We are all delighted to see Enoch Powell back on the Conservative front benches again. Here is a man of the utmost integrity and of great ability. He will play a great part in shaping the future of the Party and of Britain. Iain Macleod too is back and will prove a bonny fighter, both in the country and in the House of Commons. All personal differences have now been buried and the Parliamentary party is absolutely united.
I am often asked “What is the '22 Committee that we hear so much about?” It is a very large committee indeed, for it consists of all Conservative Members of Parliament, with the exception, when we are in Opposition of the Leader of the Opposition. When we are in power, those who hold an office in the Government are not eligible to attend except by special invitation. At present there [illegible words] us and [illegible words] week at 6 o'clock on Thursday evening [illegible words] present in the public gallery on Thursday evenings may have noticed how sparse is the attendance on the Conservative benches at that time. The reason is that we are most of us meeting “upstairs” in the largest committee room in the house. The name “22” committee signifies that it started in the year 1922. The proceedings are always private but occasionally a statement is issued afterwards.
I shall look forward to reporting orally to the Friern Barnet Young Conservatives from time to time on the activities at Westminster.