Mrs. Thatcher, who's been accused of inexperience in Government, said tonight that Mr. Maudling 's wide experience will be of great value—and indeed, he's the heavyweight of her team as far as experience goes—Board of Trade, Colonial Secretary, Chancellor under Macmillan and Home, then Home Secretary—he's done them all.
And his politics put him unmistakeably on the party's liberal wing, so his return will recompense those Tories—and there are many—who much regret the going of Mr. Robert Carr—a popular MP who was generally thought to have been a wise Home Secretary—who retires to the backbenches with a kindly enough letter—signed “yours ever, Margaret” and with his memories—but whose future, like that of Mr. Peter Walker—it would certainly be too early to write off. [end p1]
Our political correspondent, David Rose, spoke to Mrs Thatcher after she'd announced the members of the Shadow Cabinet, and asked her what she had been trying to achieve by her choice: [end p2]
Well, we've been trying to get a team based on ability, and on quite a wide spectrum of political opinion, to go ahead. I felt that although I needed a few days to think about it, and to take advice, it would be better if I decided who we should have in the team fairly quickly.
Perhaps the appointment which has caused the greatest surprise is that of Mr. Reginald Maudling—why did you decide to bring him back?
Well, Reginald Maudlinghe's a very experienced politician, you know. I think of all the people in politics I know, he's held more portfolios. He's had some experience of foreign affairs, because he was at one time Colonial Secretary, he's been at the Treasury, he's been at Fuel and Power, he at one time did negotiations with Europe. You don't lightly cast aside that amount of experience, and I felt that he would be ideal to come back as shadow Foreign Secretary, and I was delighted when he accepted.