Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1983 May 19 Th
Margaret Thatcher

1983 General Election Address

Document type: speeches
Document kind: Message
Venue: 212 Ballards Lane, Finchley
Source: Thatcher MSS (THCR 5/1/4/49)
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Listed immediately after adoption; date of issue uncertain.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 590
Themes: Conservatism, Defence (general), Employment, General Elections, Trade union law reform


Dear Elector,

Over the past four years, Britain has recovered her confidence and self respect.

We have regained the regard and admiration of other nations.

We are seen today as a people with integrity, resolve and the will to succeed.

This is no small achievement.

At home, we have tackled our problems with determination and perseverence: •Inflation at its lowest for 15 years—good news for the housewife, the pensioner and industry •In spite of the worst recession since the 1930s, retirement pensions have risen more than prices •There are 40,000 more nurses and 6,000 more doctors and dentists in the National Health Service. Waiting lists are down and the number of patients treated by National Health Service hospitals is up. •There are more teachers in proportion to pupils and the money spent on the education of each pupil is at an all time record. •More people than ever before now own their own homes •Personal tax allowances are up and the standard rate of tax is down •We have severely cut Labour's tax on jobs (The National Insurance Surcharge)

The problem of our times, both in Britain and elsewhere, is how to provide enough jobs. We can only do this if our industry produces well designed goods which people want to buy. We must see that ‘British is Best’. If we win more customers we shall win more jobs. Governments can help business by getting inflation and interest rates down, by giving incentives to small firms and grants to new technology, and we have done all these things and more.

Because we are so deeply concerned about our young people, we will also introduce this September the most go-ahead training scheme ever seen in this country. Those leaving school will have the opportunity to go to a year's training and work experience. By pursuing these policies, we are helping to create the genuine jobs of tomorrow, and the skills needed for those jobs.

In the Conservative Party we come from all walks of life and share a common resolve to defend our traditional liberties. While others demonstrate about peace, our defence policies have kept the peace in Europe for 38 years. This is the greatest prize of all, and we must not put it at risk.

Wherever I have travelled on Britain's behalf, I have been inspired and refreshed by the friendship and confidence of the people of Finchley and Friern Barnet.

I hope that you will support me on Polling Day, and that I can continue to serve this constituency for another Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Margaret Thatcher


[end p1]



1. Our Youth Training Scheme should help 350,000 young people by the autumn of this year. From then on no school-leaver need be unemployed in their first year out of school.

2. We shall give Union members the right to hold ballots for the election of governing bodies of Trades Unions.

3. We shall also curb the legal immunity of Unions to call strikes without a fair and secret ballot.

4. We shall give more families the chance to buy their own homes. For public sector tenants the present ‘Right to Buy’ scheme will be improved and extended.

5. Pensions increases will be related to actual and not estimated price increases. The Christmas bonus will continue to be paid every year.

6. We shall legislate to curb excessive and irresponsible rate increases by high-spending councils, and have ready, if necessary, a general scheme for limitation of rate increases.

7. We shall abolish the Greater London Council and the Metropolitan County Councils.