Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Margaret Thatcher

Remarks visiting the North West (defending economic policy)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Lancashire
Source: Financial Times, 1 September 1979
Journalist: Rhys David, Financial Times, reporting
Editorial comments: MT spent a long day visiting factories and civic dignataries in the North West: Skelmersdale (Development Corporation and Ward and Goldstone Ltd 0830-0950); Atherton (Carrington Viyella 1005-1100); Pendlebury (Rigby Electronics 1115-55); Rawtenstall (Mayor, walkabout, press 1215-1330 - see Radio Interview for BBC Radio Blackburn); Manchester (NW Branches of Departments of Environment and Trade 1400-1555); Manchester (Greater Manchester Council 1555-1620); Salford (low energy housing 1635-1705); Manchester (Town Hall to meet city leaders 1715-45); Old Trafford Cricket Ground (party reception 1810-1925). The Manchester Evening News (31 August 1979) has some slight material from her visit to Ward and Goldstone. "Mrs Thatcher paid tribute to the firm and its product. "You have the three things necessary for success. ... A good idea, investment in new machinery, and people willing to work to the best of their ability on the new machinery and to k
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 354
Themes: Industry

‘Work for wealth’ urges Thatcher

By Rhys David, Northern Correspondent

BRITAIN WOULD be able to afford German levels of wages and public expenditure when it matched German levels of work, the Prime Minister said yesterday.

Mrs. Thatcher on a one-day visit to industrial plants and towns in the North-west, said people in Britain had to understand that improved public services could only be paid for out of higher levels of productivity.

During her tour, Mrs. Thatcher was met by enthusiastic crowds, though she came up against right-to-work demonstrators in Skelmersdale and small groups elsewhere protesting against Government cuts, particularly in education.

She began with a visit to a Skelmersdale plant being developed by Ward and Goldstone, where 150 people are to be employed making cables for car electrical systems.

She later visited a new £6m Carrington Viyella factory at Atherton in Greater Manchester—the first new spinning plant opened in the area for 50 years. Then she went on to an electronics factory, Rigby Electronics, at Pendlebury, in Lancashire.

Mrs. Thatcher mingled with crowds in the centre of Rawtenstall before going on for talks with Government officials in Manchester and visiting a new low-energy housing project in Salford.

While in Skelmersdale, Mrs. Thatcher had talks with development corporation officials on the effects of the reduction in the population growth targets of the new towns. She said she had been impressed by the town's success in attracting small companies to offset the loss of several larger concerns.

She ruled out any changes in present economic policy, warning that high interest rates were necessary because borrowing was continuing at a high level. The Government was determined not to print money to bring levels down as this would only lead to renewed inflation.

The Prime Minister also defended the Government's changes in regional policy, one effect of which will be to reduce the levels of grant aid available to large parts of the North-west. Assistance was now being concentrated in areas where it was needed, such as Skelmersdale. The changes were being phased over three years, giving industry time to adjust.