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National Press Club Luncheon Speakers

Margaret Thatcher, September 19, 1975

Image: Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher, September 1975. Photo by Stan Jennings. National Press Club Archives

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013), who in 1979 would become Great Britain's first female Prime Minister, traveled to the United States and Canada in September 1975, seven months after becoming the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, then out of power. In her autobiography, Thatcher called the foreign tour “probably the most significant during my time as Leader of the Opposition.” In New York, her publicized remarks promoting what the Times of London called “the new conservatism”—and attacking what she termed Britain’s postwar “progressive consensus” that had sought to redistribute wealth, nationalize industry, and promote social equality—caused concern among some senior British diplomats, who cited the long-standing tradition that opposition leaders should not speak ill of their government while traveling abroad. The next day, to diffuse charges that her critical attitude was harming Britain’s international relations, she delivered a more upbeat speech at the National Press Club than those she had given in New York. She later wrote in her autobiography, “Aware of the attempt to try to cast me in this light, I used my speech to the National Press Club in Washington to point out that if the present socialist policies were abandoned, Britain had underlying strengths which would ensure its swift recovery.” ... More [PDF; 147 KB]

Timings (hh:mm:ss)

Introductions: 00:00-07:31
Speech: 07:39-28:33
Q & A: 28:34-48:08 (Recording ends abruptly during Q&A)

Topics of the Talk

  • Analysis of Britain’s Serious Problems: 09:12-09:49
  • Government Attempts to Solve Individuals’ Problems: 09:50-10:26
  • Signs of Great Britain’s Recovery: 10:47-13:07; 14:09-15:09
  • Britain’s International Perspective: 15:29-16:23
  • The Cold War: 16:24-17:32
  • Constitutional Government and Its Place in the World: 17:32-18:51
  • Two Political Philosophies: Marxism and Constitutional Government: 19:45-22:43
  • Task of Politicians in a Western Society: 25:43-26:46
  • Government’s Role in Economic Planning: 31:00-32:22
  • Government Control of Wages, Prices, and Incomes: 32:25-36:11
  • Taxation on British Workers: 36:15-37:33
  • Self-Sufficiency and Limitations of Natural Energy Resources, Specifically Oil: 43:13-44:48
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  October 17, 2016
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