1974: Grey lunches with Sir Keith Joseph & invites Mrs Charles Morrison to become Albany Trust Chair

Sir Peter Morrison’s sister-in-law, Sara was married to his elder brother Charles a Conservative MP for Devizes and a confirmed Heathite.

Mass Conservatism: The Conservatives and the Public Since the 1880s  By Stuart Ball, Ian Holliday

On Sir Charles Morrison’s election from ‘Mass Conservatism: The Conservatives and the Public Since the 1880s’ By Stuart Ball, Ian Holliday

Between 1971 – 1975 Sara Morrison held the position of Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party. Heath’s defeat in February 1974 and in October losing to Wilson with a slim majority, exacerbated Sara Morrison and Michael Wolff (Executive Chair of Party) efforts to reinvigorate with major reforms through the Community Affairs Department. Party membership was t an all time low and fund-raising capacity was badly impaired.

On 9 December 1974 she wrote to Antony Grey primarily to decline his offer of the Chairmanship of the Albany Trust.

She was also delighted to hear Grey had lunched with Keith Joseph, “Do let me know if there is anything I can do to help” and invites Grey to lunch on 23 January 1975.

This is particularly interesting in the context of a later appeal Grey will make (c. April 1975? in a few months time) to Sir Keith Joseph’s cousin and co-controlling family of Bovis, the construction company that Joseph’s family had interests in and was in sharp financial decline.

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Grey had however suffered an attack of appendicitis prior to Christmas and in the new year, David Barnard, the Albany Trust Secretary to Grey’s Director role, wrote to Mrs Morrison to cancel the lunch for the 23rd January

“I do know Mr Grey was keen to discuss various matters with you, and that he’ll be in touch with you as soon as he is well enough. Meanwhile if there are any matters on which the Trust can be of assistance, perhaps you will contact me.”

Albany Trust was in the process of moving to 31/33 Clapham Road.

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Andrew Rowe would later become an MP for Mid-Kent in 1983, becoming Heath’s PPS for his first 3 years in Parliament and sitting on the Council for Save the Children

He, too, was the Tory MP who said sadly: “Sometimes I wonder whether the British really like children.”

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2008/nov/26/conservatives-houseofcommons ]

Rowe had been working in the Voluntary Services Unit as Director of Community Affairs. His new role was to act as a conduit for voluntary bodies to feed their specialist knowledge and ideas into the Conservative party.

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