ON THIS DAY    20 April      Graphics version >>   BBC News >>
Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
1968: Powell slates immigration policy

The Conservative right-winger Enoch Powell has made a hard-hitting speech attacking the government's immigration policy.

Addressing a Conservative association meeting in Birmingham, Mr Powell said Britain had to be mad to allow in 50,000 dependents of immigrants each year.

He compared it to watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.

The MP for Wolverhampton South West called for an immediate reduction in immigration and the implementation of a Conservative policy of "urgent" encouragement of those already in the UK to return home.

"It can be no part of any policy that existing families should be kept divided. But there are two directions on which families can be reunited," he said.


"Like the Roman, I seem to see the river Tiber foaming with much blood"

Enoch Powell

Mr Powell compared enacting legislation such as the Race Relations Bill to "throwing a match on to gunpowder".

He said that as he looked to the future he was filled with a sense of foreboding.

"Like the Roman, I seem to see the river Tiber foaming with much blood," he said.

He estimated that by the year 2000 up to seven million people - or one in ten of the population - would be of immigrant descent.

Mr Powell, the shadow defence spokesman, was applauded during and after his 45-mintue speech.

However, it is likely his comments will be less warmly received by the Conservative party leader, Edward Heath.


Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
^^ Back to top |