Warning on comprehensive plan
M.P. asks council to think again
A plea to Barnet Council to think again before introducing comprehensive education into the borough, was made by Finchley's M.P., Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, last week.
“Frequently local councillors will say to me, ‘We are adopting the Leicestershire scheme of comprehensive education,’ she said. “But the outstanding characteristic of the Leicestershire scheme was that they refused to introduce it until they had the buildings and equipment available for it—and that took 13 years.
“I do urge our own councillors to think again.”
Mrs. Thatcher was speaking at the annual luncheon of the Finchley and Friern Barnet Conservative Association Women's Advisory Committee, in Firs Hall, Winchmore Hill, Earlier the main speaker, Mr. Kenneth Baker, M.P. for Acton, had congratulated Mrs. Thatcher on a success which she enjoyed earlier in the week.
As Shadow Minister of Education Mrs. Thatcher led the Conservative opposition in defeating a major clause in the Government's Bill on comprehensive education. Referring to this, Mrs. Thatcher said: “We managed to defeat the Government in a way that the Government has never been defeated in any major Bill before at any time.”
She went on to criticise the “arrogance” of the Government for insisting on “abolishing schools of excellence for something that is a little unknown as to its effects on individual children and the education of the country.”
Finally, Mrs. Thatcher added a message of good luck to “those three men who are fighting for their lives,” the astronauts in Apollo 13.
Mrs. Thatcher predicted that their guest, Mr. Kenneth Baker, would one day be a Cabinet Minister. Addressing the 200 people present, Mr. Baker said it was unlikely that there would be a summer election, but the Conservatives must not “drop their guard” as the Prime Minister need give only three weeks notice of a General Election.
He spoke of the Conservative policy on trade unions, taxes and unemployment; saying, “We must say in a simple, clear way, using the language of the Mirror rather than the Times, exactly what we stand for. The core of Conservatism is our belief in the importance of the individual.”
Others who spoke at the luncheon were the chairman. Mrs. Margaret Tiplady; secretary, Mrs. Renee Vokes and Mrs. M. Thorpe, who organised the luncheon.
Other guests were the Deputy Mayor, Cr. Mrs. Norah Cullinane; G.L.C. councillor, Miss Jean Scott; Cr. and Mrs. Norman Sapsted and Mr. Roy Langstone, Conservative Agent.