Company crashes ‘not sudden’—Mrs Thatcher
The Current spate of financial crashes were not sudden, but had accumulated over a number of years, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, Secretary of State for Education, told Finchley Conservative Association's annual meeting last Thursday.
Mrs. Thatcher, MP for Finchley, said the incoming period of a new Government always was extremely difficult, especially with the present kind of financial situation. And she warned: “And we shall not be over the worst until we've put the Industrial Relations Bill through and on to the Statute Book.”
Mrs. Thatcher told the meeting, held at the Conservative Hall, Ballards Lane, that to call the Bill “undemocratic” was absurd. The House of Commons had been spending day after day discussing it, but a lot of people who appeared on television to talk about the Bill did not know what it was about.
The right not to join a trade union was fundamental, she said. Unions should be held to contracts freely entered into. And secret ballots and a cooling-off period would ensure that a strike would become a last resort.
“There are always two sides to a question” she said. “There has to be increased productivity as well as increased wages.”
Mrs Thatcher said a number of people had written to her about the postal strike and had asked the Government not to give in to the demands. However, exceptions to the wage claims policy had to be made, she said. Such exceptions for the police and nurses were justified.
Mrs. Thatcher said the Immigration Bill probably also would have a very busy time in Parliament.
On arms for South Africa, she said they were not the sort likely to be used in internal conflict there.
She added: “It is important that this country makes a point of keeping its agreements.”
Mrs Thatcher said the Government had promised to raise pensions every two years, and this was due in November. She warned that the cost of this increase would have to go on the weekly insurance stamp.
She added: “They are a few of the problems we are faced with, but after 18 months I hope we will have got things on to an even keel again.”
Mrs Thatcher answered questions on welfare payments to strikers' families, the Common Market and permissiveness.
She said Britain now was doing more trade with Europe than the Common Market, and because Britain depended on trade, it was better to trade on equal terms with no tariffs.
Mrs Thatcher said that whenever she visited a university or polytechnic there was a protest and many of the young people used appalling language.
But at a recent visit to Lanchester Polytechnic, in Coventry, although some students demonstrated, another group of young people followed her and clapped.
She agreed that the obscenity and pornography laws needed review.