Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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

1991 Jul 16 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Centre for Policy Studies (AGM)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Speech
Venue: Royal Society of Arts, John Adam Street, London WC2
Source: Thatcher Archive: speaking notes
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: 1846-1856.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 348
Themes: Conservatism, Defence (general), Privatized & state industries, Public spending & borrowing, Trade, Economic, monetary & political union, Foreign policy (general discussions), Foreign policy (Central & Eastern Europe)

1. Centre for Policy Studies was where our Conservative revolution began. Its original purposes are as valid as ever. It has to abide by them. With Brian Griffiths as Chairman it undoubtedly will. [end p1]

2. Financial orthodoxy and free enterprise are also as vital as ever. It is when the pressure mounts that you have to stick by these objectives. So aim must be:

— control government spending and borrowing

— cut taxes, regulations and bureaucracy [end p2]

— more privatisation: the “Citizens' Charter” is a way to demonstrate the benefit of privatisation, not a substitute for it. [end p3]

3. Great opportunities now to build a free, prosperous and peaceful world—again by sticking to fundamental principles. So:

—strong defence, including nuclear defence, by the West in NATO

—fight for free trade: save the GATT, resist protection, establish free trade areas eg across the Atlantic [end p4]

—respect nationhood: artificial states cannot work unless by coercion, and then not permanently eg Yugoslavia, the USSR and (possibly) Iraq. Learn the lesson: by not seeking a European super-state. We need internationalism, as through the GATT, OECD, IMF or NATO—not supranationalism as some in Brussels want. [end p5]

—help transition from command economies to free enterprise, a rule of law and democracy. Lesson of Eastern Europe is that those who reform fastest do best—eg Poland now exporting food. In USSR—not massive credits for the centre but technical help, increasingly channelled to individual republics. [end p6]

4. Great temptation in politics is to lose sight of the eternal truths and choose the popular, quick fix. So let's remember:

— our free enterprise democracies are superior because they alone a guarantee man's liberty and dignity

— democracies do not wage war on one and other: democracy is a guarantee of peace [end p7]

— the close association of English speaking peoples (their values, beliefs and traditions) has been and will remain the greatest force for freedom.