Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Margaret Thatcher

New Year Message

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Source: Dartford Chronicle, 29 December 1950
Editorial comments: Item listed by date of publication.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 332
Themes: Defence (general), Foreign policy (Asia), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states)

MISS MARGARET ROBERTS, Prospective Conservative Candidate for Dartford

We regard the approach of each New Year as a time when we are given a fresh chance, both in our national and personal lives, consequently we make many high-sounding resolutions.

We entered 1950 on a wave of mingled hope and fear, and the first wish in all our hearts, was that as the year progressed we should see peace maintained and strengthened. Instead we have seen a series of grave events which has led to a clash of arms. It is this thought which is uppermost in our minds as we stand on the threshold of 1951.

We have reached a crisis in world history, a crisis which demands swift and certain action. It would be fatal if we as a nation, stood by full of pompous phrases and paper plans, hoping for the best but being unprepared for the worst. We are apt to think that time is on our side, but time is on the side of the nation which uses it to best advantage.

We believe in the freedom of the democratic way of life. If we serve that idea faithfully with tenacity of purpose, we have nothing to fear from Russian Communism. Indeed it seems more reasonable to assume that it is the Russians who fear the domination of the democratic idea by the way they strive to prevent their people from coming into close contact with it. Communism seizes power by force, not by free choice of the people. The democratic nations must therefore have forces with which to fight it so that choice of government may be free. In the light of these convictions our task is clear. We must firstly believe in the Western way of life and serve it steadfastly. Secondly we must build up our fighting strength to be prepared to defend our ideals, for aggressive nations understand only the threat of force.

The situation is already grave, but much is possible for a nation with clear intentions and the ability to carry them into action. This must be our first resolve in the New Year. At the end of it we hope we shall be able to look back on a year of progress towards a more peaceful world.