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1949 Oct 28 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

Remarks at UN Association meeting

Document type: speeches
Document kind: Remarks
Venue: Church Hall, Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent
Source: Dartford Chronicle, 4 November 1949
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Evening?
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 784
Themes: -


At U.N.A. Meeting and Service

United Nations Week ended on Sunday with a service at Spital-street Methodist Church, Dartford, attended by the Mayor (Councillor Mrs. F. Welch, J.P.), members of the Council, and representatives of various organisations.

At this service and at a public meeting at the Church Hall, Lowfield-street, on Friday, addressed by Wing Commander Ernest Millington, D.S.O., M.P. for Chelmsford, stress was laid on the important part that must be played by ordinary people in order to achieve world peace.

The Mayor presided at the meeting, and in her opening remarks expressed disappointment that more people were not present. The importance of the work of the United Nations was second to none.

She also referred to the National Savings movement; they had to support the two things for the recovery of the world. They had to put them on a sound financial footing and must also work for a united peace.

Wing Commander Millington said the people were all discussing international affairs. They gave opinions without learning the A.B.C. of these affairs or of the United Nations Organisation, which alone stood between the people of the world and the enormous conflict for which the great Powers were preparing at that very moment. Therefore the first function of U.N.A. branches was self-education.

It was useless saying this or that action of the Russians, or the Chinese, or the Americans, or whoever they did not like, was not in conformity with the United Nations Charter unless they knew what the Charter said.

Positive Effort

Unless they knew what they were talking about, they were doing a greater disservice to peace than if they kept their mouths shut. They must make a positive effort to sacrifice time and energy in seeking to instruct and inform themselves.

The second thing to do was to inform others around them. They must never lose the opportunity to say a good thing, arising out of their knowledge and understanding, about international affairs. Dissemination of good news in the world took them a step nearer peace, and the dissemination of bad news a step nearer war.

To affect the passage of events was the third thing they wanted to do. Mass membership of an informed character meant that they, the people, could influence their M.P., Foreign Secretary and the United Nations itself, providing they had a constructive organisation which could be interpreted as being the informed will of a mass of the people. The tragedy was that no one could say that about any international or peace organisation in this country at the moment.

Throughout the whole world the development of international politics had taken them no nearer to peace, not because the Charter or the Foreign Secretaries were bad, but because they, the people, were not determined and had not accepted the challenge the post-war world had put upon them.

He begged every person who was free to have an independent thought to use it now at whatever the sacrifice. Unless they used it now it would be too late.

Miss Margaret Roberts (prospective Conservative candidate for the Dartford Division) said the ordinary people might think they could do very little, but they could do a great deal, and it was their duty to put into it the maximum effort of which they were capable.

Mr. Norman Dodds, M.P., called for more members for the Dartford branch of U.N.A., and seven people volunteered.

Mr. H. Gregory Pearce and Mr. W. R. Dingle spoke on behalf of the National Savings movement, and Canon Elliott Michell (president of Dartford U.N.A.) expressed thanks to all concerned.

A Glorious Opportunity

The service was conducted by the Rev. L. F. Webb, who preached on the text: “… And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

He spoke of the need to realise the ideals for which so many had died, and said the implementing of the promises in the United Nations Charter depended on ordinary men and women.

There were four ways in which they could help. They could be absolutely convinced that peace on earth was possible and not let it be empty idealism; they also had a glorious opportunity to promote the ideals of peace in the children and young people, and to capture their enthusiasm and imagination for the cause; the third thing was to give the foreigners in this country a good impression to take back to their own countries. Lastly, but most important of all, they could help the cause by prayer.

The choir sang the anthem, “Turn back, O man,” and the service concluded with the National Anthem.