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THATCHER, Margaret.

Typed letter signed.

Availability: In stock

Published: 1974

Stock Code: 134360

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


A typed letter from Margaret Thatcher, signed in her customary blue ink, to one of her former constituents, dated 2 May 1974. Thatcher writes in response to a letter from the recipient in the aftermath of the Conservative Party's loss in the February 1974 election: "I feel the same way about many things. We tried to put some of the points across to the public during the General Election campaign, but it seems that they were not ready to listen. However, I do not believe that the British public want more State control, and I hope that they will soon turn away from the present Government and that we shall be able to bring an end to the policies which you and I dislike. It was good of you to write, and I enjoyed reading your letter".
The letter hints at her disillusionment with the current state of British politics, expressing her belief that at heart the public are in agreement with her principles, but "not ready to listen". Yet it is notable that she does not propose a move towards the left to appease a currently left-leaning public; instead, she is adamant that they will come round to their views, though she leaves it open whether this would occur due to the necessity of events, or through the campaign of an invigorated Conservative Party. The letter shows that at this stage she was not firmly putting the blame of the loss on the Conservative Party itself, instead blaming the public. At the same time, she is clearly not very enthusiastic about the Party's efforts to try and put their points across. As 1974 progressed, Thatcher became increasingly disillusioned with the Conservative leadership under Edward Heath, whom she served as shadow secretary of state for the environment. Several months after this letter, after Heath lost the next general election in October, Thatcher mounted a challenge against the leadership and took control herself, feeling, perhaps, that the public were now ready.
The recipient, Mrs. I. Woodrow, lived in Oakleigh Road North in Whetstone, which was formerly part of Thatcher's Finchley constituency, but was moved to Chipping Barnet in the boundary changes of February 1974; surviving letters show that Thatcher continued to have correspondence with Mrs. Woodrow for at least a couple more years, even if she was no longer her MP.

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1 page octavo, House of Commons letterhead in green, verso blank.


Central crease as folded, light offset from signature. In very good condition.


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