Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1949 Apr 23 Sa
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Belvedere Conservatives

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Speech
Venue: Kit Kat Ballroom, Belvedere
Source: Erith Observer, 29 April 1949
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Evening
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 776
Themes: Conservatism, Foreign policy (Asia), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Labour Party & socialism, Social security & welfare


Awards to Five Belvedere Clubmen Miss Roberts only Woman at Memorable Function

Miss Margaret Roberts, prospective Conservative candidate for Darford Division, was the only woman present at the dinner of Belvedere North Conservative Club at the Kit Kat Ballroom, Belvedere, on Saturday, and took a leading part in the merry-making which followed.

Five members, Messrs. J. Cufley, A. Denny, W. Traynor, F. Willson and R. Divall, received the A.C.C. distinguished service medal, or bars to the medal in recognition of long service. These were presented by Miss Roberts.

In the absence of the presdent, Colonel the Hon. Angus McDonnell, C.M.G., C.B., owing to the death of his mother (Louisa, Countess of Antrim), the chair was taken by Mr. J. Cash, and with him were Mr. A. Hutchins (secretary) and other officers of the club.

Mr. J. Beaumont praised the work of the chairman, secretary, committee, steward and stewardess, and hoped the club would continue in the prosperity and happiness of the past 20 years.

A little diffident in replying, since he was not a member, Mr. A. R. Ward (auditor) assured members that their club really was in a sound condition. He sounded the warning that with a general election approaching they must redouble their efforts to raise funds for the fight.

Social Services Not Free

Submitting “The Cause,” Miss Roberts said the Socialists were now admitting for the first time what Conservatives had been saying for years—that the people must pay for the social services. No one minded paying for service, but they did object to paying for mistakes, and wanted value for money.

Socialism had been defined as “Weeping, wailing and national teeth.” They certainly did not want to use those teeth for weeping and wailing.

Turning to recent events in China, Miss Roberts said they contained a lesson for all, and emphasised the division of the world into two camps. The “cold war” was as dangerous as any war in the past, and must be stopped unless the world was to go the way of Communism. Socialists in the past had flirted with Communim, therefore it was obvious the one and only effective barrier was Conservatism.

“We have never toyed with that creed and we have never sung the ‘Red Flag.’ Our plain duty is to do everything we can to put the people on the path to our ideals,” said Miss Roberts. Their cause was to make certain men and women were allowed to use their talents and abilities to [sic] they wished, provided they did no harm to others, that all might live decently and freely.

Mr. R. W. Mills (Divisional agent) urged members to remember that the Cause was something more than social functions, and that when it came to an election they were not voting for their champion, although in Miss Roberts they had a worthy one.

“Whenever I visit you I find something being done by or to Fred Willson, who to-night is receiving his sixth bar,” said Mr. D. Cornfoot, responding to the welcome to “The Visitors,” submitted by Mr. J. Cufley.

Mr. F. Bryant said all were proud of their local Press and its absolute impartiality.

Mr. C. Fred House, F.J.I. (Editor, Erith Observer) responded.

Praising “Our Chairman,” Mr. C. Knapp (vice-chairman) said his first memory of Mr. Cash was in the good old days of that band of sportsmen, Picardy Rovers. Mr. Cash was the same good sportsman, to-day, loyal to the club and the Cause.

The chairman briefly acknowledged the tribute, but felt the credit was due to the committee. All tried to play the game and do their best for the members.


Miss Roberts then presented the medals and bars to: Medals (5 years service), J. Cufley, A. Denny. W. Traynor; sixth bar (21 years), F. Willson; second bar (10 years), R. Divall.

In the entertainment which followed the musical side was provided by the club band, under Mr. L. Betteney, Miss Roberts led the impromptu dancing and games.