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2020-12-29 20:10:26
THATCHER, Margaret.
Typed letter signed to former Labour MP Arthur Lewis, politely declining a request for a meeting
28 February 1984. Single sheet, 296 x 210 mm, with Downing Street letterhead. Lightly creased, else in excellent condition. Margaret Thatcher writes to former Labour MP Arthur Lewis: "Dear Arthur, Thank you for your letter of 24th February. I am sorry to say that my diary is overful with engagements ranging from unavoidable diplomatic meetings with heads of Government, to a great many Parliamentary colleagues who claim my time for constituency and other cases. I really have to confine my private meetings to my official guests and Parliamentary colleagues. But I would be very happy for you to talk to Michael Alison about any special matter which you wish to bring to my attention, if a meeting with him would be satisfactory to you. Please let me know if you would like this, and Michael will be in touch with you direct to make an appointment. Every good wish. Yours sincerely Margaret". In short, Thatcher does not want to see a former MP from an opposing party with whichever gripe he has, makes the excuse of her very busy schedule, and palms him off on her Parliamentary Private Secretary Michael Alison; all in all an effective demonstration of how most requests from minor politicians to Downing Street were treated. Lewis (1917-1998) was a Labour MP from 1945 to 1983, a tenure of nearly four decades over three constituencies. On the right of the Labour Party, he was deselected by his constituency party members in early 1983, and lost his seat in that year's General Election, failing to win as an Independent Labour candidate.
Bookseller: Peter Harrington [United Kingdom]

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