1965-66 Racial and Religious Discrimination Bill

1965-66 Racial and Religious Discrimination Bill
  • Title: 1965-66 Racial and Religious Discrimination Bill

  • Date : 1965

  • Catalogue number : Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/2/228

  • Description :
    If the Earl of Arran was the noble peer associated with decriminalising homosexuality in the 1960s then Lord ‘Fenners’ Brockway assumed that mantle for the cause of ending racial discrimination in the same halcyon period. For over a decade, Brockway was a lone voice in Parliament calling for an end to colour prejudice. The 1965 Race Relations Act was far from satisfactory so within a year he tabled a Private Members Bill titled, ‘Racial and Religious Discrimination Bill’ that was universally ignored. But the unsung hero was to find recognition. A newly elected Labour government placed the policy of equal opportunities highly in their mandate and the tenets of his bill would become a key influence. In July 1968, he made the final speech in the 2nd Reading debate where he refused to acknowledge Enoch Powell antics instead referring to the mutual love of cricket that the Englishman shares with his migrant neighbours, let that be a stepping stone.

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