The British Government's new proposals for tightening up immigration laws were published in London today (Wednesday February 24).
GV London (2 shots)
CU Home Secretary Maudling.
MV Mark Bonham Carter of Race Relations Board.
MV Zoom to close up Bonham Carter.
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER (SEQ. 2): "In the drafting of the Bill, why was the key notion of 'partiality' chosen?"
MAUDLING: "I think it is a sensible idea. You define who belongs to a country, who has a right to live here and come and go freely -- those of us born here, obviously -- and we also have included people whose parents and grandparents were born here. I think any country's entitled to give special recognition to those who have an ancestoral connection.
REPORTER: "These are more likely to be white people than coloured people, so is the idea of partiality a camouflaged colour bar?"
MAUDLING: "Certainly not. Of course they're more likely to be white because on the whole we're more white than coloured in this country. But there's no colour bar of any kind involved."
REPORTER: "What about the Kenyan Asians though? They're British passport holders, but how few of them could claim a British parent or grandparent?"
MAUDLING: "Well, they are not affected by the Bill. Their position remains the same. This is a very difficult problem as you know very well. I had hoped to be able to make some suggestions about ???, but is has been made more difficult by the change of Government in Uganda, for example. But it isn't affected by the Bill."
REPORTER: "How are immigrants already in this country going to be affected?"
MAUDLING: "They won't be affected ... the idea is not to affect at all people who are already accepted for settlement here... their lives have changed, they can live and work as they can now, they can bring in their dependants as they can now, they won't have to carry papers, they won't have to register with the police..... people who are already accepted for residence here will not be affected."
BONHAM CARTER (SEQ. 5): "Well, my main objections to the Bill are two. First I think it is unnecessary -- immigration has been sharply cut down and is under firm control already. I think I'm right in saying that fewer Commonwealth heads of families came into this country last year than workers from Spain. And therefore I don't regard this Bill as necessary at all. Secondly, the mere introduction of legislation of this sort..... well, I think adds greatly to the feeling of insecurity among minorities.... coloured minorities particularly in this country. And until we can get rid of this insecurity and given them a sense of confidence then the task of improving community relations in this country, for which I have a responsibility, is made much more difficult."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The British Government's new proposals for tightening up immigration laws were published in London today (Wednesday February 24). The provisions of the Bill, which still has to be adopted by Parliament, have led to a major row in which the Government have been accused of introducing a camouflaged colour-bar to immigration laws. The factor which has led to the row is this - in the Bill, free entry will be allowed to people whose parents or grandparents were born in Britain. Others would be required to undergo a trial period of residence while registered with the police and other authorities who would control the immigrants' movements. Critics of the Bill say most white Commonwealth citizens -- i.e. in Australia and Canada -- would be able to find the required British parentage, while others -- i.e. coloured Commonwealth citizens -- would not.
In this production, we have recorded a British Broadcasting Corporation interview with leading proponents of both sides of the issue - Home Secretary Mr. Reginald Maudling, a senior Government Minister, and Mr. Mark Bonham Carter, Chairman of the Race Relations Board. We feel the two interviews, conducted by a BBC reporter, put the issue in clear perspective.