‘We must all earn our money not just get it’
A small audience enthusiastically welcomed Mrs. Margaret Thatcher at her first public meeting since her adoption as Conservative candidate for the Finchley Division in St. Peter-Le-Poer Church Hall, Friern Barnet, on Monday evening. There was no heckling and few questions.
Councillor Mrs. E. Constable was in the chair and set the mood by urging the audience to “do their bit towards getting a cracking success. We believe we can get the Conservatives back in power. Talk Conservatism wherever you go.”
Mrs. Thatcher based her speech on on points which had arisen from her canvassing in Friern Barnet.
“The people in Friern Barnet” , she said, “do not want another election. They are fed up with politics and the surfeit of speeches. Elections lead to slanging matches.”
Shouts of “hear, hear” accompanied Mrs. Thatcher as she said, “Prosperity and success cannot be achieved by a single stroke of legislation or merely a change of government. We have had too much of this vote for me and all will be well and too much of letting the other chap find the solution. We must all earn our money, not just get it at the end of the month.”
On the question of the economy, which she regarded as fundamental to all other points, Mrs. Thatcher quoted figure after figure stressing that had the Conservatives been returned in 1964 the deficit could have been cleared without borrowing from overseas.
She gave a careful precis of the Party manifesto, outlining Conservative policy on direct taxation, which they aim to lessen, the incomes policy, the improvement of industrial relations claiming, “It is now the individual who needs protection against the power of the Unions and the public who need protecting against unofficial strikes.”
On the “noose trial and kangaroo courts” , Mrs. Thatcher said, “I was absolutely shocked. I did not think such a thing could happen. It is high time there is a major public inquiry. It is a challenge to our freedom.”
The problems of rates, social and welfare services and housing were briefly illustrated.
Britain's entry to Europe was also a topic Mrs. Thatcher felt strongly on, saying, “I don't like the idea of a Europe without us there, directing and guiding its powers.”
Question time from the floor provided the opportunity for Mrs. Thatcher to illuminate some issues.
One member of the audience questioned the enthusiasm of the Tory Pary to get back into power and asked whether the attack had not been left too late.
Mrs. Thatcher assured him of the Party and leader's enthusiasm saying, “we are seriously worried at the possibility of four or five years of Labour government. The last fifteen months have already taken some liberty away from the public. We want to get back, despite the problems.”
Mrs. Thatcher concluded by remarking that she was encouraged by her canvassing in Friern Barnet, which had shown people to be more steady than the opinion polls showed.