Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1966 Mar 10 Th
Margaret Thatcher

1966 General Election Address

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Message
Venue: -
Source: Thatcher Archive
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Item listed at date of adoption; MT usually issued her election address shortly after her adoption meeting.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 898
Themes: Commonwealth (Rhodesia-Zimbabwe), Conservatism, Conservative Party (organization), Defence (general), Secondary education, General Elections, Monetary policy, Taxation, Foreign policy (Africa), Foreign policy (USA), Labour Party & socialism, Law & order, Social security & welfare, Trade union law reform

A programme for action

Politics are about power—power to achieve the aims and ends of the party which seeks it.

I am against another period of Labour government because I believe it would increase the power of the State at the expense of the subject by taking more of our incomes in taxation and by giving government departments more officials and more powers.

I believe also that the Labour party is trying to GET THE ELECTION OVER BEFORE AN UNPLEASANT BUDGET and a Government that runs away from the consequences of its own actions is no Government for Britain.

I stand for a Conservative Government because I believe that the State was made for Man and not Man for the State. That ability and hard work should be encouraged by taxation incentives. That freedom of choice in schools, goods and services should continue and increase. That we should take the initiative in foreign affairs and not merely follow our American friends. That in Edward Heath we have a man of ACTION, INTEGRITY and PURPOSE—a fitting leader for a great nation.

In the next column are a few points from the PROGRAMME for ACTION for the next 5 years. I will explain the full policy in detail at my meetings.

DEFENCE * Maintain sufficient arms to enable us to defend ourselves and honour our treaty obligations. Build a new aircraft carrier.


* Break the deadlock by instituting talks with Mr. Smith and his colleagues to obtain a constitutional settlement without any prior conditions on either side.


* Ensure that the police have the organisation, manpower, and equipment to do the job.

* Make offenders pay restitution for the injuries and damage they have done.


* Judge proposals for re-organisation on their educational merits.

* Strongly oppose hasty or makeshift plans for turning good grammar and secondary modern schools into comprehensive schools.


* Ensure that agreements between unions and employers are kept by making them legally enforceable; everyone is tired of pointless strikes and outdated management.

* Establish a Registrar of Trade Unions and employers associations. See that their rules are fair and meet the interests of the public.


* Ensure that everyone can preserve their pension rights when they change jobs.

* Provide a modified pension for those too old to be covered by National Insurance.



“We have the bitter experience of … 7%; Bank Rate, higher mortgage payments, hire purchase restrictions.”

Harold Wilson, October 1964. BUT—after 6 weeks, Labour raised the Bank Rate from 5%; to 7%;, where it stayed for the longest period for 40 years. —mortgage rates are at their highest ever. —hire purchase restrictions were increased in July and again in February 1966. PRICES

“The continued rise in the cost of living can, must and will be halted.”

George Brown, September 1964. BUT—during Labour's first year prices rose by nearly 5%;, the greatest October to October rise for 10 years. An average family with an income of £20 a week spent nearly £1 more on the equivalent goods and services in 1965 than in 1964.


“Labour will not be a spendthrift government, it will not need to increase the general level of taxation to pay for its programme.”

Douglas Houghton, October 1964. BUT—Income Tax Up, Petrol Tax Up, Cigarettes Up, Beer and Whisky Up.

Mrs. THATCHER at Westminster

1. Speaking on the Finance Bill—

“Conservative governments put up personal reliefs three times during their period of office. But no one ever suggested that to pay for those increased personal reliefs the tax relief on National Insurance contributions should be withdrawn.”

Hansard, 20 May, 1965. 2. Speaking on the National Insurance Bill—

“We (Conservatives) managed to make five pensions increases and at the same time to reduce the standard rate of Income Tax. I would point out to the Minister that it augurs very ill for retirement pensioners if she is saying that every time she increases pensions, 6d. must be put on the standard rate of tax and another 6d. on petrol.”

Hansard, 25 November, 1964. 3. Speaking on the new rate rebate scheme—

“Undoubtedly the defect … of the scheme is that in order to give relief to some it will impose penalties on others. This I am afraid will come particularly harshly on those who just escape relief.”

Hansard, 6 December, 1965. 4. Raising a constituency case in the House—

“The essence of the case I want to raise is that at present the District Valuers are valuing the house for estate duty purposes, not on its existing use basis, but as if it were to be developed at some unknown date in the future. This involves the widow in a very much higher payment of death duty …”

Hansard, 19 May, 1965. 5. Speaking on the Land Commission Bill—

“A number of clauses are designed to override all individual rights … No Bill should contain these sweeping powers.”

Hansard, 31 January, 1966.