• Short Summary

    SMETHWICK, A PART OF BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, NOT U.S.A. BUT WITH ITS RACE ISSUE TOO. IT?

  • Description

    SMETHWICK, A PART OF BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, NOT U.S.A. BUT WITH ITS RACE ISSUE TOO. IT STEMS FROM THE HEAVY IMMIGRATION BY WEST INDIANS, PAKISTANIS AND SIKHS FROM INDIA AND WHOLE NEIGHBOURHOODS HAVE BECOME SLUMS.

    BRITAIN'S LABOUR PARTY ORIGINALLY OPPOSED THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED CURBS ON COMMONWEALTH IMMIGRATION, THOUGH IT HA SINCE CHANGED ITS STAND. THIS AND BECAUSE THE LABOUR PARTY BLAMES THE SLUM CONDITIONS ON LANDLORDS RATHER THEN ON THE IMMIGRANTS, A LOCAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN SLOGAN AROSE: "IF YOU WANT A NIGGER NEIGHBOUR, VOTE LABOUR".

    THAT WAS ENOUGH TO UNSEAT PATRICK GORDON WALKER, WHO HAD HELD THE SEAT FOR 19 YEARS AND WAS LABOUR'S SHADOW FOREIGN SECRETARY. THOUGH THE CONSERVATIVE WON HIS SEAT, MR. WILSON, THE NEW PRIME MINISTER IMMEDIATELY ENTRUSTED HIS UNSEATED COLLEAGUE WITH THE FOREIGN SECRETARYSHIP OF THE NATION.

    HAVING A MINISTER OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT IS CONSTITUTIONALLY POSSIBLE FOR A SHORT PERIOD, AND MR. GORDON WALKER WILL BE CAMPAIGNING AGAIN THIS TIME IN A BY-ELECTION ??? IN A LABOUR STRONGHOLD AND WILL THEREBY RETURN TO THE COMMONS.

    HE THEN ASKED A CONSERVATIVE PARTY OFFICIAL AT SMETHWICK WHETHER THE CONSERVATIVE VICTOR, MR. PETER GRIFFITHS, HAD MADE CAPITAL OUT OF THE COLOURED PROBLEM IN HIS ELECTION CAMPAIGN. SOF
    AS WELL AS DEFEAT AT SMETHWICK, LABOUR SAW ITS LONG-STANDING CHAMPION OF COLOURED PEOPLE'S RIGHTS UNSEATED AT ETON AND SLOUGH. HE'S MR. FENNER BROCKWAY, A VETERAN POLITICIAN, WHO ENTERED PARLIAMENT 35 YEARS AGO AND REPRESENTED THIS AREA SINCE 1950. ETON AND SLOUGH HAS BEEN HELD BY LABOUR FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS. THIS TIME, 11 VOTES DEFEAT.

    THIS AREA IS ONE OF CONTRAST - OLD WORLD ETON WITH A COLLEGE THAT HAS PRODUCED 18 PRIME MINISTERS. AND ABOUT A THIRD OF THE OUTGOING CONSERVATIVE CABINET WERE OLD ETONIANS. ONLY 5,000 PEOPLE LIVE THERE.

    AS NEW FOREIGN SECRETARY HE WILL BE MAKING HIS FIRST TRIP ABROAD ON SUNDAY WHEN HE FLIES TO WASHINGTON. THERE, HE WILL HAVE TALKS FOR TWO DAYS WITH MR. DEAN RUSK, THE AMERICAN SECRETARY OF STATE, AND WITH PRESIDENT JOHNSON.

    FILM OPENS WITH MR. GORDON WALKER'S DEFEAT ANNOUNCED AT SMETHWICK ON OCTOBER 15TH, POLLING DAY IN THE GENERAL ELECTION.

    LABOUR'S DEFEAT AT SMETHWICK GAVE RISE TO A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS AND HERE'S MR. GORDON WALKER A MOMENT AFTER HIS DEFT, ANSWERING SOME. SOF
    TO THE NATION AT LARGE - WATCHING THE SMETHWICK RUMPUS ON TELEVISION, LORD BOOTHBY, FORMER M.P., BROADCASTER AND AUTHOR, LAUNCHED AN IMMEDIATE BROADSIDE CONDEMNING THE SMETHWICK CONSERVATIVE FOR THE WAY THEY HAD RUN THEIR CAMPAIGN. SOF:
    I THINK IT IS THE MOST DISGUSTING THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN BRITISH POLITICS, CERTAINLY IN OUR TIME, AND PROBABLY FOR THE LAST 200 YEARS. IT'S REVOLTING FOR SMETHWICK. IT'S A DISGUSTING THING AND WE SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF IT. IT WAS A RACIAL FIGHT IN THE WORST AMERICAN TRADITION.

    OUR REPORTER IN SMETHWICK PROBED THE VIEWS OF THE MAN IN THE STREET THERE. SOF:
    SLOUGH IS THE DOMINANT PART WITH ITS FACTORIES AND A PROSPEROUS HIGH STREET. LAND PRICES THERE HAVE SOARED TO GBP1 MILLION AN ACRE. ITS 600 FACTORIES DRAW THEIR LABOUR PARTIALLY FROM THE NEW COLOURED POPULATION. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF WORK, IN FACT 1100 JOBS ARE VACANT.

    THAT, THE HOUSING SHORTAGE AND THE COLOURED PEOPLE'S CONDITIONS WERE THE MAIN TALKING POINT IN THE ELECTION. ONLY 900 OF THE 5,000 WHO CAME INTO THE TOWN SINCE THE 1959 ELECTION WERE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE AND MANY OF THEM LIVE IN OVERCROWDED HOUSES IN THE OLDEST PART OF THE TOWN.

    THE CONSERVATIVE VICTOR SIR ANTHONY MEYER, BARONET, IN HIS CAMPAIGN STRONGLY DEFENDED THE IMMIGRATION ACT AND HE ATTACKED LABOUR'S ATTITUDE. AND HE SAID HE DID NOT WANT THE RACIAL ISSUE TO COME INTO THE ELECTION ISSUES.

    IN PARLIAMENT, LABOUR'S MR. BROCKWAY TRIED HARD SEVERAL TIMES TO GET A BAN PUT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION. WITH LABOUR NOW IN POWER, THE QUESTION IS OPEN WHETHER CONTROVERSIAL MEASURES CAN BE CARRIED THROUGH BY A GOVERNMENT WITH THE NARROWEST MAJORITY A BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS HAD THIS CENTURY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA3OAILTLQAJO4P6Y41WNGJXWJU
    Media URN:
    VLVA3OAILTLQAJO4P6Y41WNGJXWJU
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    21/10/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:06:04:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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