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Hansard debate on the Racial Discrimination Bill 1957

In 1957 Labour MP Archibald Fenner Brockway became the first person to table before Parliament a bill on the subject of race relations in the United Kingdom. The Racial Discrimination Bill endeavoured to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of race in housing and employment, while also confronting the issue of colour prejudice in public places. Brockway was influenced in drafting these proposals by the experiences of the new immigrant communities in his Slough constituency who had migrated from South Asia and the Caribbean. The Bill also took into consideration socio-religious discrimination against the long standing Jewish community and Irish diaspora in the country. This Private Members bill did not gain enough support to pass Second Reading, its critics arguing that it would give statutory recognition to races as separate sections of society, thus creating greater social division.