Churchill considered blocking all immigration to Britain because he
feared a growing "coloured population" was posing a threat
to Britain's social stability.
then 79, told Cabinet colleagues that he did not "want a
parti-coloured UK". At a Cabinet meeting on February 3, 1954, the
prime minister told colleagues: "Problems will arise if many coloured
people settle here. Are we to saddle ourselves with colour problems in the
said immigrants were attracted to Britain by the welfare state and he
said: "Public opinion in UK won't tolerate it once it gets beyond
notebooks reveal that the Cabinet considered ending the time-honoured
tradition of allowing British subjects from overseas automatic residence
in the country. A total ban on non-white immigrants, a quota system and
the deportation of anti-social elements from overseas were among options
Maxwell Fyfe, later Viscount Kilmuir, the then home secretary, told
colleagues there was evidence that more than a third of people convicted
of living on immoral earnings were "coloured".
said the "coloured population are resented in Liverpool, Paddington
and other areas by those who come into contact with them". The home
secretary said people who had no social contact with ethnic minorities
were "apt to take a liberal view".
Churchill, a committed imperialist, and his colleagues were aware that
imposing too severe-a-system of controls could be problematic.
Fyfe said: "We should be reversing the age-long tradition that
British subjects have right of entry to mother-country of Empire. We
should offend liberals and also sentimentalists."
notebooks reveal that Churchill thought the way round the issue would be
to let "public opinion develop a little more before taking
Tory leader thought that would be "politically wise".
the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962, all Commonwealth citizens could
enter and stay in the United Kingdom without restriction.