Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1969 Feb 22 Sa
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to National Federation of Business and Professional Women

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Connaught Rooms, central London
Source: (1) Thatcher Archive: CCOPR 118/69 (2) Sunday Mirror, 23 February 1969
Editorial comments: 1400. This appears to be the first occasion on which Central Office issued a press release of an MT speech. The short extract is headed "Communication in Technology". The editor has summarised material from the Sunday Mirror, but all of MT’s words quoted by the paper have been included.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 340
Themes: Industry, Women
(1) Thatcher Archive: CCOPR 118/69

Communication in Technology.

In almost every subject a whole new jargon is growing up, so much so that specialists in one subject become isolated from those in another. It becomes difficult if not impossible to translate their findings into terms that others can understand.

The confusion of tongues can be as great as the tower of Babel.

This new jargon can sometimes be used to cloak knowledge instead of to reveal it. If you cannot explain what you are doing in comparatively simple terms, the chances are that you don't quite understand the problem of how it fits into the scheme of things. [end p1]

There is now a whole new vocabulary and phraseology connected with the science (or art) of management. We talk of management by objectives, of management spans, of organagrams, of discounted cash flow, of cost effectiveness and of cost benefit analysis. But all that these and many other complex phrases are designed for is to persuade those in position of responsibility to ask themselves the following seven questions before starting on anything new— 1. What are we trying to do? 2. How do we propose to do it? 3. Why do we think it can be done that way? 4. Is there a better method of doing it? 5. How can we check to see that it is working? 6. What people will be involved? 7. When and how do we tell them?

The greatest benefit of computers is not the speed at which they work, or even the work they do, but that those in charge must have thought out the pattern thoroughly before the computer can start. Thinking out exactly what you have to do is the first stage in good communications. [end p2]

(2) Sunday Mirror, 23 February 1969

Editor's summary of Sunday Mirror article: MT speaking on equal pay said of Barbara Castle yesterday “She and I have been working on shiftwork with men for many years, but at the end of it we don't know anymore about them than we did in the beginning.”