Nationalisation: we want the facts
— says Dame Patricia
“We are entitled to have a clear cut statement about the Labour Party's policy on nationalisation” the Rt. Hon. Dame Patricia Hornsby Smith, MP for Chislehurst, told the members of Finchley and Friern Barnet Conservative Party Women's Advisory committee at their annual luncheon on Thursday, last week, at the Hendon Hall Hotel. There was a record number at this year's function.
During her speech as guest speaker at the luncheon, Dame Patricia spoke of the achievements of the Conservative Party during its 11 years in office and the intentions of the Labour Party, as voiced by Harold Wilson, the opposition leader, if the party should come to power at the next election.
“We have had a rough year with disgruntled Tories voicing their opinions, as well as critics outside. But they are inclined to forget what this government has achieved.”
Dame Patricia continued that in spite of set backs last year, a great deal had been done for the cause of democracy. The need for opposition towards Communist world government is very great and the defence policy of the government and many other Western powers, had stopped small localised wars turning into full scale flareups. The threat of nuclear power held by both sides was a big deterrent.
Dame Patricia referred to Kennedy 's dealing with Kruschev over Cuba. People in Western Europe knew very little about Latin America.
“We could have had communism in a vast continent of 20 nations with various dictatorships, if Kennedy had not taken a firm stand. Communism could easily have been established, taking over the whole of the Latin American continent.
“I do not think we should be jealous because a young man took prompt and resolute action in the 60's. At heart we hate the fact that we are not the strongest power in the world. New nations have arisen whose power is greater than this small island can ever hope to be again. We have got to live with this.”
Democracy had to be preserved and she pointed out what happened when a country tried to stay neutral as India had done. “India suddenly found she was the next victim on Communist China's list. The attack on India tore the blinkers from the countries who tried to remain neutral. The Afro-Asian countries for instance have woke up to the threat of communism.”
This had been illustrated by the overwhelming vote of confidence by the United Nations, on Kennedy 's action.
Dame Patricia then turned on the Labour Party and their new leader Harold Wilson. She said Hugh Gaitskell had earned admiration during his life, even if they did not see eye to eye with him, but Mr. Wilson was putting across his own personal beliefs.—which were very much to the left.
Indicating the booklet “Entitled to Know” , recently published by the conservative party, she said this was not guess work on the part of the Tories but had been taken from Labour speeches on the subject of nationalisation. The only answer they had received from the labour party was, “Poppy cock” and “Childish” .
While Mr. Gaitskell was trying to modernise the party Mr. Wilson has resurrected nationalisation, which is as dead as Dodo, commented Dame Patricia.
“Achievements at home included 10 new schools being opened every week and one in five of the population was now living in new homes.”
“This country is more vulnerable than any other in the world because we exist on exports and imports.”
Pie in Sky
“The idea that we can turn the Commonwealth into a Common Market is all pie in the sky, because we have got to realise that our great empire is not what it used to be. These countries have become industrialised and are protecting their own interests” .
Responding to this toast, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, member of Parliament for the division was equally forceful in stressing Conservative achievements. With this progress there was also social justice, exposing once again the fallacy of socialist doctrine. “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong” stressed Mrs. Thatcher.
To the toast of the Chairman of the Committee, given by Mrs. J. Erskine, Mrs. W. D. M. Mackrill said she was not going to refer to last year's elections, but look forward to the future and she urged every member to fight hard to win back the seats they had lost.
Dame Patricia was welcomed by Mrs. M. Tiplady who also referred to the Mayor and Mayoress of Finchley, Cr. and Mrs. N. J. Sapsted, the Chairman of Friern Barnet and wife, Cr. and Mrs. G. H. Flesher and other distinguished guests. Cr. Sapsted replied on behalf of the guests.
Mrs. I. A. Hebson the social secretary, was toast mistress.