Page 12-Saturday, May 5, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Prime minister's husband: Silent, reserved
From AP and UPI
LONDON - In the heat of the election
campaign, Denis Thatcher, a tall,
graying retired oil executive, wa
always a few steps behind his wife. He
let her do all the talking then and does
not appear eager to change that style
now that she is prime minister.
Thatcher, 63, was sometimes
unrecognized by the hosts at campaign
gatherings but that probably will not
continue, especially since he is the first
man in Europe to be married to a prime
Thatcher's comment in 1975, when
the possibility first arose that Ms.
was the best indication he was the man
for the job: "I am sure women are as
good as men ... sex makes no dif-
ference. It's ability that counts."
IF" HE DISLIKES his backseat role,
he hides it well behind a huge smile,
and declines to answer reporters'
He never says anything controver-
sial. Publicly, at least, he hardly says
anything at all.
When Ms. Thatcher wrested the Con-
servative Party leadership from Ed-
ward Heath in February 1975, Thatcher
made a statement he has lived by ever
"They say I am the most shadowy
husband of all time," he said. "I intend
to stay that way and leave the limelight
to my wife."
Thatcher generally avoids discussing
his feelings about the male-female
roles, but appears proud of and devoted
to the politician who became his second
wife in December 1951.
THE CONSERVATIVE Party, which
has spent large sums on public
relations agents to improve Ms. That-
cher's image, professes not to even
have biographical details of Thatcher,
who would only say he will be 64 this
Thatcher comes from a prosperous
background. He was educated at a
private school, reached the rank of
major and was decorated as a gunnery
officer in World War II. After the war
he took over the paint firm, Atlas
Preservative Co., founded by his gran-
The firm was bought out by Burmah
Oil in 1965, and Thatcher was a director
of the conglomerate until his
retirement in 1975.
He and the prime minister have 25-
year-old twins; Carol, a newspaper
reporter in Australia who came home to
help with the campaign, and Mark, a
THATCHER MET Margaret Hilda
Roberts when she was running for
Parliament in 1950 in Thatcher's home
electoral district of Erith and Dartford,
"I didn't ask him to vote for me. I
assumed he would," Ms. Thatcher is
quoted as saying. She lost that election.
Thatcher defeats incumbent Callaghan;
Conservatives gain control of Britain
(Continued from Page 1)
foregone conclusion this morning,
Callaghan went to Buckingham Palace
to tender his government's resignation
during a 25-minute audience with the
Queen. The 67-year-old Labor leader
then retreated to his farm in Sussex in
The Conservative victory came as no
surprise. Following a winter of in-
dustrial unrest, the Labor Party had
appeared destined to go down to defeat.
With a heavy turnout of voters - as
high as 90 per cent in some areas - the
swing to the Conservatives averaged
more than four per cent.
THE RESOUNDING Conservative
victory ended the reign of the Labor
Party, which had ruled Britain for 12 of
the last 15 years, but whose last year in
power was marked by a wave of labor
unrest that paralyzed many of the
nation's most vital services.
Vowing to stem the "tide of creeping
socialism," Thatcher had pledged
during her campaign to curb labor
unions, cut income taxes and
strengthen Britain's armed forces.
But the tough-minded, 53-year-old
blonde lawyer and chemist, dubbed the
"Iron Lady" by the Soviets for her
staunch anti-communist stand, could
find herself at odds with the United
States on her plans to take a harder line
with Moscow on strategic arms
Her historic audience with the queen
came 40 minutes after Callaghan han-
ded in his resignation at the palace.
In Des Moines, Iowa, President Car-
ter said yesterday he had spoken with
Thatcher and "we just made plans on
how to consult very rapidly and how she
and I will communicate."
He said he would be seeing her "no
later than next month," apparently
referring to the economic summit in
Japan in June.
SHE SAID she would be working
through the night to form her Cabinet -
but without her longtime right-hand
man and close friend Airey Neave, the
Tory spokesman on Northern Ireland
who was assassinated outside
Parliament March 30 by Irish
Britan's new leader quoted St. Fran-
cis of Assisi to the assembled reporters,
"Where there is discord, may we bring
harmony . . . where there is despair,
may we bring hope."
THE OTHER big election losers were
the separatist-minded Scottish
Nationalists, who lost all but two of the
11 seats they had held, and the middle-
road Liberal Party, which had hoped to
pick up as many as 50 seats but instead
ended up losing three of its previous 14.
Thatcher has pledged to rebuild
Britain's defenses, which were cut back
under Labor, and strengthen this coun-
try's commitment to the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization - moves that will
be welcomed in Washington and
But she is expected to approach the
delicate question of East-West
relations, particularly President Car-
ter's bid to secure a new strategic arms
limitation treaty with Moscow, with a
tougher line than Callaghan.
That could cause some strain in Lon-
don's relations with Washington. The
Conservatives - echoing the position of
some West European governments --
have expressed concern at the growing
threat of long-range Soviet SS-20
missiles and believe this can be coun-
tered only by building up a nuclear
... keeps his profile low
DETROIT (AP) - The Cadillac
division of General Motors Corp.
recalled 372,000 cars yesterday to fix
accelerator pedals that allegedly
caused accidents in which three per-
sons were killed and 46 injured.
Pedals on the affected models have a
rubber extension at the bottom that
could be "inadvertently repositioned by
the floor mat and wedged under the
pedal. This could affect the pedal
position and increase the engine idle
speed," GM said.
If that should happen and the car be
shifted from park or neutral, into
reverse or one of the forward gears, the
ca ould lurch - or, as Cadillac put it,
"the increased engine speed could
produce more vehicle movement than
anticipated by the operator."
MODELS RECALLED were the
Coupe de Ville, Sedan de Ville,
Broughams, and limousines of the 1977
and early 1978 model years. Models
with fuel injection were not affected.
Spokeswoman Pat Montgomery said
Cadillac had received reports of 124 ac-
cidents that killed three persons and in-
jured 46 "in which it is alleged that the
cause was unwanted acceleration.
"While some of the accidents may
have been caused by the rubber pedal
extension" Cadillac said it believed
many were the result of "the driver
mistakenly pressing the accelerator
pedal rather than the brake pedal."
Shp did not say,how many, pedal.aca
cidents Cadillac believed had oecUrred.
Is your family 'typically American?'
(Continued from Page6)
a blue-collar or service worker.
Earnings often are linked to
education. Half of the families headed
by someone over 25 with less than eight
years education had incomes of under
19,606. The median income for families
headed by someone who had graduated
from high school, but had not gone to
college, was $17,110. And the median for
families headed by a college graduate
had a median income of $24,852.
Where does the money come from?
For most people, salaries are the prime
source of income. But more than three
families out of four now have some in-
come other than earnings - from
stocks, bonds, annuities, interest on
savings accounts, Social Security, pen-
sions, or welfare.
MORE THAN one family in 10 has no
wage earner at all. Only about five per
cent of families in the top fifth - the
ones with incomes over $26,000 - were
headed by people who didn't work;
almost 65 per cent of the families in the
bottom fifth were headed by non-
Over half of the families headed by
someone 65 or older had no work ear-
nings -Fourteen per cent of #elderly
fainilies had incomes bel6w the poverty
level in 1977, compared to 25 per cent in
1969 and 35 per cent in 1959.
"Today's high median-income level
wouldn't be where it is ,were it not for
the earning contribution of wives,"
says Citibank. As of January of this
year, almost one out of two married
women held a job outside the home.
More than 60 per cent of women bet-
ween the ages of 18 and 49 were in the
FAMILIES ARE having fewer
children. As of 1977, 43 per cent of all
married women age 20to24 had not had
a child. In 1960, only 24 per cent of the
women in the same category were
Fewer children means our median
age is going up. In 1977, the median age
of Americans was about 291z years; in
1970, it was just below 28.
Sixty-five per cent of all U.S.
households - almost two out of three -
live in owner-occupied homes. Most of
the rest of the households are renters,
although two per cent live, without
paying rent, in a home owned by
The median income of people who
bought new homes between July 1977
and June 1978 was $24,730. The median
price of the houses was $51,523 during
that period , it's almost $4,000 more
today - and the median age of the head
of household was 33.
After adjustments for inflation, con-
sumer spending has grown fastest for
new cars and other motor vehicles - up
39 per cent from 1974 to 1977; for radio
and television - up 30 per cent; and for
dental services and spectator sports -
up 29 per cent each.