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Flashcards in Attitudes 1947-67 Deck (21)
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Examples of ties with the Commonwealth:

  • Regular commonwealth conferences attended by PMs or Presidents - took place at least once every 2 years and there was a major Commonwealth Economic Conference in 1952.
  • All meetings except one took place in London. - Excpet one - a spcial one in January 1966 Lagos to coordinate policies towards Rhodesia.
  • Although the Commonwealth was not a military alliance, Br continues to maintain a military global reach - recruited citizens from Commonwealth nations all of whom remained eligible to serve in the British forces.
  • Br even retained a remnant of the Old Indian Army in the brigade of Gurkhas.
  • Queen - a symbol - regular Commonwealth visits - Establishmnet of a Commonwealth Secretary General in 1965.
  • Queen held regular meetings with Heads of Government from Commonwealth countries.
  • Citizens of the Commonwealth remained eligible for Br honours and many listened avidly to the monarch’s Xmas Day message - started in 1932 by George V.

Migration facts:

  • Between 1946 and 1957 approx 1 million people left Br for the Dominions, representing a markd acceleration of pre war levels.
  • A mass observation survet in 1948 showed that around 25% of the population of Britain were in contact with relatives in Dominions.
  • Money was regularly transferred from those in Br to friend and family overseas - this movement: £12 million in 1959.

What happened to migration in 1950s


Improved living standards and full employment within Br helped to curb the flood of people to the Dominions - they increasingly looked to other sources of skilled labour around the world.
- Abolition of the National Service in 1960 closed another outley for travel and decol gathered pace - movement of Br people tended to be back to Br as colonial servants and soldiers were repatriated.


Which immigrants came to Br in 1950s?


Immigrants came especially from the Caribbean in the 1950s, from pakistan and India in the 1960s and from Kenya in 1967 as Kenyatta who wanted Kenya to be a purely african state pressurised the Asian Africans many of whom held Br passports to leave.

  • Br Nationality Act passed in 1948 in recognition of the Empire’s war contribution - Gave full Br citizenship including the right of free entry into br, to every inhabitant of the EMpire and the Commonwealth.
  • 1948 - arrival of the Empire Windrush June carrying immigrants from Jamaica.

Fact about London Transport:


There were succesful recruitment drives to encourage unskilled workers to take up work in public transport and the NHS.
In 1956 London Transport took on nearly 4000 new employees - mostly from Barbados.


Windrush immigrants:


Although not strictly the first post war immigrants, the first to attract media interst were the 492 mostly male Jamaican passengers who arrived on the steamship Empire WIndrush in East London in 1948.

  • The ship arrived without prior notification and the authorities were hastily forced to house the immigrants in a temporary shelter at Clapham.
  • These immigrants were to form the nucleus of the subsequent immigration community in nearby Brixton.

Numbers of Commonwealth immigrants 1958:


115,000 West Indian
55,000 Indians and Pakistanis
25,000 West Africans.
- Nearly half - particularly the West Indians lived in London.
- Many Asians settled in Oldham and Bradford where the declining textile industries were desperate for cheap unskilled labour.


Teddy Boy youths?


1958 saw gangs of Teddy boy youths attacking black people and violent riots broke out in Nottingham and Notting Hill, London.


What was Oswald Mosley’s Union movement


Oswald Mosely’s anti-immigration Union Movement also increased its activities and in a survey in 1962, 90% of the Br population supported legislation to curb immigration and 80% agreed there were too many immigrants in Britain already.

  • Oswald Mosely stood on an anti immigration platform in 1959 election in kensington North and issued pamphelts provocatively featuring black people spears entering br and slogans such as ‘Stop Coloured Immigration’ and ‘Houses for White People’.
  • He called for assisted repatriation and spread care stories regarding the criminality and bad behaviour of immigrants.
  • Although he received only 8.1% of the vote his campaigns c used increased white extremism.

Immigratuon between 1960 and 1962


In these years more migrants arrived in britain than in the whole of the 20th century to that point.
Immigration ran at just over 50,000 per year between 1962 and 1965 and by 1967 Br’s black population was nearly 1 mill.


Notting Hill Carnival


In 1964 a local festival set up by West Indian immigrants provided the first Notting Hill Carnival
- Stalls - typical Carribean food.


1965 survey in N London:


Showed that 1 in 5 objected to working with black people or asian.


Extreme rascists:

  • Alf Garnett - in the hit TV series Till Death do Us Part from 1965 - constant swearing about ‘bloody coons’ won him a cult following.
  • A group of Conservative MPs from the West Midlands encouraged by PGs such as the Birmingham Immigration Control Association formed in 1960 - pushed for political action
  • From Bardford to Luton ‘paki-bashing’ which referred to attacks on anyone with blakc skin became an all too common occurrence.

1962 Commonwealth Immigrations Act


An attempt to control the escalating immigration.

  • Free immigration for former colonial subjects was ended even when they held a Br passport.
  • Instead a work voucher permit scheme put in place.
  • It indirectly discriminated against black and asian immigrants.
  • The Irish were exempt and most white immigrants had skills which enabled them to gain vouchers.
  • The unskilled black applicants found it difficult to obtain permits and in the 12 months follwoing the act only 34,500 arrived in Br.
  • massive publci support - opinion polls - 70%
  • The Act has the effect of encouraging immigrants to put down root in Br - fearful that immigrants would be unable to return if they left Br.

1964 general election


Issue of immigration featured strongly in the 1964 general election campaign and in Smethwicj which had 6000 recent immigrants in its population of 70,000. Conservative MP Patrick Walker won the seat by using the slogan: “If you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labour”.

  • Harold Wilson the New Labour PM called such campaigning a ‘disgrace to British democracy’
  • The new Labour government reduced the quota of vouchers and barred children over 16 from entering Br as family members.
  • However, some attempt was made to reduce tensions - 1965 race relations act - forbade dicrimination in public places.
  • Although discrimination in housing and employment were excluded and incitement to race hatred was not made a criminal offence, other complaints could be made to a race relations board which would conciliate between the two sides.

race relations board:


Set up to consider all aspects of race relations.

  • Comiled statistics and held hearings.
  • Although it handled 982 complaints in year 1, 734 were dismissed through lack of evidence.

Positive racial change:


TV drama like Emergency Ward 10 and Z Cars began to feature black people, whilst the appearance of Asian corner shops and Chinese takeaways always helped to transform Br tastes.


When was Empire Day abolished:


24 May 1962


Examples of legacy of Empire:


The Union jack was retained in the corner of many flags, from Fiji to NZ.

  • The Anglican Church had more members in AFrica than in Br.
  • The Boy Scout Movemnet maintained it ties across the former Empire.
  • Sport- Commonwealth games every 4 years (started 1954, replacing the Br Emp gamed in 1930)
  • Empire words in Br - bungalow, dinghy, pyjamas, zombie. entered englihs language.
  • Honours and the awarding of the Br EMpire medal.
  • Br National Anthem, Performances of Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March/ land of hope and glory/ Thomas Arnie’s Rule Britania/ Hubert Parry’s ‘Jerualem’

Weakening of imperial popular culture


Childrens stories and comics abandoned formrly poular imperial themes and the ground breaking boy’s comic Eagle published between 1950 and 1969 explicitly informed its writers that foreigners were not to be depicted as either enemies or villains and that at leaset one child in any group of children should be from an ethnic minority.
- Fewer films used Empire a a backdrop.


Examples of films that conveyed imperial messages:


North West Frontier - 1959 - concerned a br officer’s attempt to protect a Hindy prince from a Muslim uprising. - Hinted that Empire has been necessary to preserve order.

Lawrenece of Arabia: 1962 - told the adventures of Lawrence, a First World War hero in the Middle East.
Lawrence was depicted as torn between loyalty to King and Empire and to his Arab allies with whom he collaborated with to defeat the turks - critical view of empire.

Guns at Batasi - The message was about the role the Br played in containing internal divisions within the colonies.

Television replaced radio as main medium.