Re-examining the 1964-70 labour government’s race relations strategy

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Historians of nineteenth and twentieth century black1 immigration to the British Isles have devoted attention not only to various policies aimed at curbing the entry of new settlers but also towards the social and cultural adjustment programmes of successive governments. Successive British governments have periodically made notable overtures towards the adoption of fully-fledged integration policies. the 1960s as a whole have emerged by common agreement as the most important era in the development of such a strategy, and the middle part of that decade has come to be known as something of a golden age in British postwar race relations. the decade witnessed a flurry of activity, both at the level of creating tighter formal controls over immigration (including the passage of three restrictive Acts),2 and in the development of a new policy-making infrastructure to (a) aid immigrant settlement, (b) sooth immigrant-host community tensions and (c) tackle aspects of racial discrimination. Specifically, commentators have been at pains to highlight the exceptional period between the first (1965) and second (1968) Race Relations Acts when the contribution of Labour's second Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, had a major influence upon Labour's race strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-281
Number of pages29
JournalContemporary Record
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


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