Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1965 Sep 16 Th
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Coventry Conservative Women

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Speech
Venue: Coventry, West Midlands
Source: Coventry Evening Telegraph, 17 September 1965
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Exact time and place uncertain. The article has been summarised, but all of MT’s quoted words are reproduced.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 304
Themes: Society, Social security & welfare, Voluntary sector & charity

People's first duty is to ‘look after themselves’—M.P.

Editor's summary of article; MT's quoted words included in full MT speaking to Conservative women in Coventry yesterday about social services said that people must remember their first duty was to look after themselves: it was not the State's duty to look after them.

“Many of the existing pensioners did not have the opportunities for saving in the past,” said MT. “Many of them came through a period of bad times. But the people who will be retiring in the future have had far more opportunity to help themselves, and put a little by, than people who are at present retired.”

Some 12 million people now had private pension schemes. She hoped that the amount of private provisions would continue to grow and that people retiring in future would not be expected to depend upon the State retirement pension.

“I think we must remember that our first duty is to look after ourselves,” . “It is not the State's duty to look after us. Thus, if we are able and fit, we should not make large calls upon the State, which really means making large calls upon our next-door neighbour.

“It is only when one has had some accident or misfortune that one is entitled to call on the state or on one's neighbour.”

In future there would have to be a three-tier system: a State pension insulated against inflation; an increasing amount of private provision; and some kind of scheme to help the misfortunates of society.

“The State's job is not to do people's jobs for them.” MT ended by saying, “but to help people to look after themselves and help them to discharge their duties.”