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

1975 Feb 18 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

Letter to Robert Carr MP (Shadow Cabinet)

Document type: speeches
Document kind: Letter
Venue: Unknown
Source: The Times, 19 February 1975
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Robert Carr’s reply - and a statement he issued that evening - can be found following MT’s letter.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 341
Themes: -

‘Unselfish’ Mr Carr thanked for service

Mrs Thatcher wrote to Mr Carr, the former shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, as follows:

Dear Robert CarrRobert—You have a long and very distinguished record of service to the country and to our party both in government and in opposition. Please understand how clearly I recognize the valuable contribution you have made as a member of our Front Bench almost continuously for the last twenty years. But I know you recognize as much as I do that, if we are to be a vigorous and effective opposition and later a government of experience as well as talent, it is essential that opportunities should be provided for the coming generation of leaders and this can only be done by those who have given long service making way for them. I am grateful for the characteristically unselfish way in which you have accepted the situation and so made it easy for me to bring forward new members of my Shadow Cabinet.

Your experience, judgment and forward-thinking will continue to be of immense value to the party, and I know how much I shall rely on your help both in and outside Parliament.

Yours ever Margaret.

Mr Carr replied to Mrs Thatcher as follows:

Dear Margaret—Thank you for your letter.

I fully understand your desire to make a change in the Shadow Cabinet and your wish to give frontbench experience to younger members of the parliamentary party.

I have been honoured to hold the positions I have, both in government and opposition, and I shall certainly hope to find ways in the future in which I can continue to serve the party under your leadership.

Yours, Robert.

Mr Carr issued the following statement last night after comments had been made in a radio programme:

I want to make it clear that any suggestion that I was not prepared to serve in the Shadow Cabinet under Mrs Thatcher's leadership is utterly untrue.

The exchange of letters between us makes that fact abundantly clear. She knows that as leader of the Conservative Party she has my support and loyalty.