Archive

Archive (Thatcher MSS)
Personal and party papers, Cambridge

​​​​​​​MT: Charles & Carla Powell letter to MT (congratulations) ["All the same, I hope that you will not put yourself through it again"] [released Oct 2017]

Document type: Declassified documents
Source: Thatcher MSS, Churchill Archive Centre: THCR 1/3/23 f28
Editorial comments:

In late September 2017 Lord Powell looked through a copy of this letter and made the following comment for margaretthatcher.org:

"I had actually forgotten writing the letter until Charles Moore cited it in his biography of Margaret Thatcher. It’s an unusual letter for a civil servant to send a Prime Minister even on a very personal basis, reflecting the small size and intimacy of No 10 especially in those days. I had been distressed to observe at close quarters the stress of a third election campaign and the back-biting it involved on Margaret Thatcher’s health and performance and wanted to discourage her in her own interests from any inclination to go “on and on”. / We discussed the letter. Her main reaction was there was as yet no suitable successor to her, though several who thought they were. As far as I remember she did not comment either way on a fourth term. In the light of subsequent events my advice to her looks pretty sound."

Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 3
Themes: Economy (general discussions), Foreign policy (general discussions), Foreign policy (USA), General Elections, Conservatism, Conservative (leadership elections), Labour Party & socialism, Leadership, Charles Powell minutes