Problems that could not be ignored
Whatever their ideals no Government could have continued to ignore the tremendous pressures on housing and the social services caused by unlimited immigration, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, Conservative M.P. for Finchley, said in Birmingham yesterday.
Whatever problems the country was facing now, they would have been worse if the Conservative Party had not introduced its bitterly opposed Commonwealth Immigrants Act.
“We had to defend the standard of living which we and the existing immigrants had, and which we are always trying to improve,” she said.
Mrs. Thatcher was speaking at the annual meeting of the Women's Central Council of the Birmingham Conservative and Unionist Association.
Turning to the question of the leadership of the Conservative Party, she said: “In Sir Alec Douglas-Home we have a man of ability and of very considerable standing in the world. If our leader's followers are as good as our leader we should have an excellent organisation with which to fight a General Election.”
Mrs. Thatcher, who is the Front Bench Opposition spokesman on pensions and national insurance, said that the Government did not like being criticised.
“It must be made to realise that it is answerable to questions about what it is not doing”
Dame Edith Pitt, M.P. for Edgbaston, presided at the meeting. Mrs. F. May Smallwood, who has been chairman of the council, resigned after the completion of her three years in office, and Coun. Mrs. Winifred Easey was elected in her place.