Mrs Thatcher said: “I hope 1972 will prove to be a year of achievement for human endeavour, and of happiness and well-being for all.
“Each year, as Christmas and New Year approaches, I take the opportunity of a few days' rest to visit some friends who are housebound. And each year I draw from them renewed strength to tackle afresh the many problems that await in the months ahead.
“Public news so often consists of bad news. But the character and standing of a people is made up of the myriad acts of human kindness and faith that are known only to those who experience them.
“They may never be headline news, but they are good news. Some of the people who have the biggest personal problems are the most cheerful.”