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304   Margaret Thatcher  $200 $847 $932 8 You must login to place a bid.
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#304 - Margaret Thatcher

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Description  

Two TLSs by Margaret Thatcher, each one page, 7.5 x 9.5, House of Commons letterhead, dated 1965. Both letters respond to Mr. Attwell with regard to his concerns about the War Damage Bill. Letter of February 19, in part: “My first reactions were the same as yours when I heard that this Bill was to come up. I am bound to say however, that I was somewhat shaken when I heard that without the Bill the amount of money which would have to be raised from the taxpayer by way of compensation, could be of the order of £160 million…I personally would like to have seen an agreed settlement of a very much smaller amount before the case went through the courts.” The second letter of March 2, in part: “You may have read in the papers that yesterday the Conservative benches voted against a Third Reading of the Burmah Oil Compensation Bill. We were not successful in stopping it from going through the Commons, but at least we have clarified our attitude to the essential point of law, and in the end came down upon your side and determined to uphold the principles regardless of the price.” At the end, Thatcher pens a brief note in blue ballpoint to correct the date, “P. S. I dictated this letter on Wed. but was not able to despatch it until today,” also signing her initials at the conclusion. In overall fine condition. Accompanied by two retained carbon copies of the letters that prompted Thatcher’s replies. The War Damage Act of 1965 was an act of the British Parliament exempting the Crown from liability in respect of damage to property resulting from acts lawfully done by the Crown during wartime. This came in the aftermath of the controversial legal case Burmah Oil Co. v Lord Advocate, which concerned the destruction of oil fields in Burma by British forces during WWII to prevent them from falling into the hands of the advancing Japanese army. The House of Lords determined that the British government was responsible for compensation from public funds; the War Damages Act retroactively exempted the UK government from financial liability for such actions, effectively rendering the court decision moot. Interesting content and somewhat lengthier letters than usually seen. RR Auction COA.


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