Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1974 Sep 23 Mo
Margaret Thatcher

October 1974 General Election Address

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Message
Venue: Conservative Offices, 212 Ballards Lane, Finchley
Source: Thatcher Archive
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Exact date of publication not known but shortly after adoption.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 720
Themes: Conservatism, Industry, General Elections, Monetary policy, Privatized & state industries, Pay, Public spending & borrowing, Housing, Local government, Local government finance, Social security & welfare


212 Ballards Lane, Finchley, N.3.

Dear Elector,

For fifteen years I have had the honour to represent Finchley and Friern Barnet in Parliament. As Conservative Candidate for this Election I should like to tell you how I see the problems that face us and what we, as a Government would do about them.


What are we going to do about inflation which if it continues at the present rate will destroy all our hopes and plans for the future?

* As a nation we must stop living on borrowed money. We must gradually reduce the debt over a period of three or four years.

* We must keep public spending within the capacity and willingness of our citizens to foot the bills.

* I do not believe that there are two sides to industry. When a company prospers the employees, shareholders and customers all prosper. When a company goes bankrupt employees, shareholders and customers all suffer. Prosperity is indivisible. Our incomes, prices and profits policies must be based on increased understanding of the part each plays in creating a flourishing trade and industry for the nation as a whole.

Any method of dealing with inflation will be painful. To do nothing would be even worse for jobs, savings and pensions.

Our Priorities

What are our priorities? We shall act in the two areas which in one way or another affect the basic livelihood of every family in the country—pensions and housing.

* Pensions.

We shall review them every six months to protect their value. We shall bring in the Conservatives' second pension scheme which has been stopped by our opponents.

* Housing. We shall reduce the mortgage rate to a maximum of 9½%; for building society and local authority mortgages. We shall help first-time buyers of private homes to save for the deposit.

We shall let all council tenants of three years standing buy their homes at one third less than market value. This is fair to them and to the ratepayer.

* Rates. We shall ease the rates burden next year by transferring more expenditure to central Government. Over the next five years we shall gradually abolish domestic rates and replace them by other taxes more broadly based and related to capacity to pay.

A free Society

In a democracy how much power should governments take over the lives of our citizens?

* We believe that people should rightly be suspicious of any party that wants to concentrate more power into the hands of government. We therefore reject further nationalisation.

* We believe in self-reliance, independence and thrift. We believe that Governments should order their affairs in such a way that its people can exercise their talents and initiative.

* We believe that people should have the right to acquire property of their own whether in the form of home or share ownership or other kinds of savings. This is a true distribution of property which enables people to have real control.

* We believe that a fit, healthy and independent society can then concentrate its social policies on supporting those who through sickness age or handicap must have help. No Government can solve the nation's problems alone. It can only create conditions in which individual men and women can together build a better life for our people as a whole.

Yours sincerely,

Margaret H. Thatcher. [end p1]

Why you should vote Conservative

1. A Conservative Government will put the needs of Britain first.

2. A Conservative Government will make its top priority the fight against inflation.

3. A Conservative Government will help the old by increasing pensions every six months.

4. A Conservative Government will help more people to own their homes and will cut the mortgage rate to 9½%;.

5 A Conservative Government will work to raise standards in schools and will give parents more say in the education of their children.

6. A Conservative Government will encourage industry to invest and expand.

7. A Conservative Government will help people in need and encourage hard work, enterprise, and initiative.

Finally, you should vote Conservative because

We are the only party pledged to work with all people of goodwill for national unity and because our main aim is to safeguard the existence of our free society.