HC Deb 26 March 1964 vol 692 cc654-5
Q5. Mr. Taverne

asked the Prime Minister what arrangements he has made to co-ordinate the work of the Ministers of Housing and Labour and of the Secretary for State for the Home Department on integrating Commonwealth immigrants into the economic and social life of the country.

The Prime Minister

There is regular consultation between the Ministers concerned with the administration of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act and with the welfare of Commonwealth immigrants.

Mr. Taverne

Am I to understand that, at any rate, the Government accept the principle of integration? I understand that to be the position. It so, does the Prime Minister realise that he can make a very considerable contribution to the question? Will he publicly condemn those local bodies and parties which oppose integration and seek to use racial tension for political purposes? Since he has been challenged on television by the Leader of the Opposition and since the Conservative Party's Parliamentary West Indies Committee made its position plain, will he state clearly, as I am sure he would wish to do, what is his attitude to campaigns like those waged by the Conservatives in Smethwick?

The Prime Minister

I think I should ignore the last part of that supplementary question—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] It is making an accusation which is quite unwarranted. In response to the first part of the question, of course we have never condoned but absolutely condemn any racial discrimination by any public body or private individual.

Mr. H. Wilson

Is the Prime Minister aware that all of us applaud the statement issued by the Conservative leaders of the West Indies Committee, but he must face the fact that certain very damaging and degrading statements remain on record in the columns of The Times? Does he recognise his responsibility to repudiate statements made in the name of his party which will do the greatest disservice to the public life of this country?

The Prime Minister

I speak on behalf of the whole party when I say that there is no question that we condemn racial discrimination in any form.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Will the Prime Minister consider joining my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Liberal Party in issuing a joint statement from all parties deprecating bringing racial problems into the General Election?

The Prime Minister

We all deprecate it, I think separately and all together. We all deprecate this matter, I hope.