Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1976 Mar 31 We
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to the Primrose League

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Central Hall, Westminster
Source: (1) The Times , 1 April 1976 (2) BBC Radio News Report 2200 31 March 1976
Editorial comments: 1500.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 335
Themes: Civil liberties, Conservatism, Defence (general), Education, Taxation, Labour Party & socialism
(1) The Times 1 April 1976.

Thatcher warning on erosion of freedom

Britain's spiritual, political and economic freedom would be steadily legislated and regulated away unless people became more aware, Mrs Thatcher told the Primrose League in London, yesterday.

The Labour left wing had shown it wanted capital and power to be concentrated in the state. “But do the vast number of people in the country really know what is afoot?” she asked.

Labour was opposed to tenants buying their council houses, and in education did not want parents to have freedom to influence what was going on at school.

“Schools are about education, not social engineering. Parents have rights over their children and we must see they have the freedom to exercise them.”

Workers should have the freedom to keep a fair proportion of the fruit of their labour: a man with a wife and two children had to pay 40p in the pound in taxation on earnings over £30 a week. “The scales are badly overbalanced and need tipping back in favour of the citizen.”

Mrs Thatcher said earlier that the Conservatives should oppose the defence cuts. “We must be a steel hand in a velvet glove, not a velvet hand in a steel glove. It really is time to show our allies that we have the will and the confidence to take a leading role in Nato and the world”. [end p1]

(2) Extract from BBC Radio News Report 2200 31 March 1976.


If eventually you ever got a state which controlled everything which nationalised so much, which controlled so much that it controlled peoples jobs, you'd very soon find the old maxim ‘control over a man's means of support will eventually mean control over his will.’

And so there has to be a balance between the portion taken by the state and the portion taken by the individual and now the scales are badly overbalanced in the favour of the state and they need tipping back in favour of the citizen.