‘Keep an eye on things that matter’ says MP
“Let us keep an eye on the things that matter.” This was the theme of Mrs. Margaret Thatcher's talk to the members of the Finchley and Friern Barnet Conservative Association's Women's Advisory Committee, who were her guests for tea on the Terrace of the House of Commons on Thursday afternoon last week.
We should look at problems from the large view, Mrs. Thatcher said, instead of concerning ourselves too minutely with comparatively unimportant matters, such as, parking meters, for instance, Much more important to the future were financial integrity at home, and agreement in the international sphere.
With regard to the cost of living, this had never been so high as in 1951, at the end of Socialism's six years of controlled economy. It was up by 13 per cent in that year, whereas, under the Conservatives, in 1961, it was up only by 4.6 per cent and last year, only 3 per cent.
Internationally, the question was—to cement the peace, or put it in jeopardy? Nikita KhrushchevMr. Kruschev would like nothing better than to see the present Government discredited, and pacifist rule—and who would then be left to defend the free world?
Having just come from question time in the House—these are held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons when the House is sitting—Mrs. Thatcher was able to report first-hand on some of the proceedings. The Harold MacmillanPrime Minister, she said, had been in excellent form.
To a question put by Mr. Harold Wilson, leader of the Opposition as to the possibility of Mr. Macmillan having a substitute to carry out some of his duties, the Prime Minister had replied that “the remedy might be worse than the disease!”
Mrs. Thatcher referred to Mr. R. A. Butler 's speech on Rhodesia and Nyasaland, of how he had brought the “wisdom of years of experience” to the problems of these countries, and of his “terrific capacity for work.”
Mrs. Thatcher conducted her guests to the crypt, and other parts of the House, pointing out historical features, and thanked them for the presentation made to her—a modern style, blue Wedgwood flower bowl—by Mrs. E. P. Mackrill, chairman of the Women's Advisory Committee, as “an appreciation of your work since you became our Member of Parliament for Finchley and Friern Barnet, and as a token of our regard for your friendship.”