I am pleased to learn of the formation of this new and vigorous group, and thank you for your good wishes to me as Leader of the Conservative Party.
As a nation, we face three problems:
First, we must beat inflation, or it will destroy the basis of our society.
Second, we must secure the future of economic and political liberty by genuinely distributing power and property among our people—a policy which is the reverse of that which the present Government is pursuing.
Third, we must play an active and influential part in world affairs, showing concern both for the western democratic ideal and for those nations whose primary task is to overcome poverty.
It is good to know that the Conservative Party can look to the Tory Reform Group for creative and practical ideas on these matters and for the will to see them through. We face the future with a sense of hope, and confidence in the capacity of our people to cope with whatever lies ahead. [end p1]
Text of a message, dated 20th September, from The Rt. Hon. Peter Walker, M.P., (Worcester), Patron of the Tory Reform Group, to the Rt. Hon. Margaret Thatcher, M.P., Leader of the Opposition:
The members of the Tory Reform Group are holding their inaugural conference in London today and have asked me to convey to you their good wishes and to express to you their determination to do all in their power to see the early return of a Conservative Government and the defeat of the Socialist Government that is doing so much harm to our country.
They have also asked me to tell you that besides your being able to rely upon their fullest support in bringing victory to our Party they hope they will be able to make a creative and constructive contribution to the preparation of our Party's policies for the years that lie ahead.
The group, that results from a merger of PEST, the Macleod Group and STAG, will have branches in many of the universities throughout the country and in a number of our major cities. It will therefore provide a considerably added strength to the Conservative Party and help in its determination to gather the support of the younger generation throughout the country.
We all look forward to you being able to address the members of the Group in the future and you can be assured that the Group will be eager to carry out any task which you would like to place upon them.