Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Written Statement to Finchley Times (support for death penalty)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Source: Finchley Times, 13 December 1974
Editorial comments: Item listed by date of publication.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 282
Themes: Law & order, Terrorism

VOTE 3–1 in favour of death penalty

Three of four local Conservative MPs this week supported the return of capital punishment for terrorist murders.

Those who said they would vote for its return when the issue came before the House were Mr John Gorst (Hendon North), Dr Rhodes Boyson (Brent North), and Mrs Margaret Thatcher (Finchley and Friern Barnet).

Hendon South's MP, Mr Peter Thomas, was against. Mr Hugh Dykes (Harrow East) was out of London when we tried to contact him for his views.


Mr Gorst said: “I'm reluctantly in favour of bringing it back—but only because of the very special circumstances.

“I've always had an inate distaste for capital punishment and supported as abolition before. But we are at war—even if it is a one-sided war—and wartime situations demand drastic remedies.”

Dr Boyson 's reply was: “I'll be voting in favour. I've never been an abolitionist, and it must come back. There's no doubt about it. The measure must be taken.”

Mrs Thatcher said: “My intention is to vote in favour of the death penalty for terrorism. I believe that is what the majority of my constituents would wish.”

“Mr Thomas commented: “I certainly won't be voting for its return. I've always been abolitionist. Despite the fact that terrorist murder is a different type of murder—designed to break the will of the people—these measures would not be effective. With the resultant reprisals we may well find that public opinion would change.”