Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Finchley Conservatives (Association AGM)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: St Mary’s Hall, Church End, Finchley
Source: (1) Finchley Press, 21 June 1974 (2) Finchley Times, 21 June 1974
Editorial comments: 2000.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 763
Themes: Economy (general discussions), General Elections, Trade, European Union (general), Foreign policy (Americas excluding USA), Labour Party & socialism, Trade unions
(1) Finchley Press, 21 June 1974

Extremists run country—Finchley MP

In a Wide-Ranging Speech, Shadow Environment Minister Mrs. Margaret Thatcher has accused the current Labour Government of playing party politics. And she warned there could be a General Election in the next 12 months.

She stressed that the recent crisis General Election should have produced a Government which was to the centre, but instead there was a minority which was extreme running the nation.

“The voters rejected extremes and wanted a middle of the road government,” she said. “We expect our leadership and economic standards to be high but I fear what is happening is that we have little confidence in the capacity of this Government.”

She stressed that the Government were playing at party politics and accused them of a face-saving operation over current re-negotiations of terms in the Common Market.

“If we get out of the Common Market then I can see that we will never be allowed to sign a treaty again,” she said. “This is what is happening when you let a minority run the nation.”

Mrs. Thatcher, the MP for Finchley, was talking at the annual meeting of the Finchley and Friern Barnet Conservative Party in St. Mary's Hall, Church End Finchley, on Tuesday evening.

She warned that in the next year there would be a General Election and urged the Tories to spend more time on talking politics. “There is a need for a reverse in government and one which will stand on the centre ground,” she said.

“Every time the crunch comes this Government can be seen to give in,” she said. “Not to the nurses or the teachers but to the unions who have the power.

Mrs. Thatcher said that the last Labour Government were defeated by the unions and had to abandon Mrs. Barbara Castle 's industrial relations programme “In Place of Strife.”

She said, too, that British industry suffers when there are calls to break contracts between Britain and countries like Chile. “There is no sense in that, as the whole of industry suffers,” she said. “We are still dealing with Russia, China and Iron Curtain countries.”

Mrs. Thatcher was unable to remain at the meeting because of a Westminster debate on the Health and Safety at Work Bill.

Earlier party chairman Cr. Norman Sapsted had said that the Socialists had not “a cat in hell's chance” of capturing the Finchley constituency in the next General Election.

“We said at the last General Election that we would return our member and we did and we now know the score,” he said.

But Cr. Sapsted warned that unless there was an increase in Young Conservatives then the party could run into trouble in the years ahead.

“There are not sufficient numbers for the Young Conservatives to be successful and I just want to appeal to the young people to join.

“If we do not get the young people interested, then we will die out,” he said.

He added: “We will succeed and continue to succeed. We have to get new members and renew our energies.” [end p1]

(2) Finchley Times, 21 June 1974

MP sounds a warning

Mrs Margaret Thatcher, Shadow Environment Secretary, painted a gloomy picture of the current financial situation when she spoke at the annual meeting of Finchley and Friern Barnet Conservatives.

Mrs. Thatcher, MP for Finchley and Friern Barnet, said that it was not just big business that would suffer—the situation affected everyone.

She told her audience, at St. Mary's Church hall, Church End, Finchley, that the current minority Government were carrying out Left-wing policies.

During the meeting—the association's 51st—a vote of confidence was passed unanimously in the police for the excellent way they handled the situation in the Red Lion Square demonstration.

Mrs Ena Constable, who did not stand for re-election as a councillor in the May elections, was thanked for her long service to the community and charitable organisations.

The officers were re-elected as follows: president, Mr Henry Oppenheim; chairman, Councillor Jimmy Sapsted; deputy chairman, Mr. Ronald Thurlow; vice-chairman, Councillor John Tiplady; treasurer, Mr. Mike Stern; auditor, Mr James Jackson.