28 AUGUST 1964, Page 10


One of the first issues in the general election turns out to be whether coloured immigration should be an issue at all. Reports from Midland and London constituencies make unpleasant read- ing, but it is unreal to pretend that there are not constituencies where this must force itself as an issue. No doubt nearly all candidates will behave responsibly. A few will not. But it should not pass without comment that those who now fear this issue are those who first made it one. In my first speech to the House of Commons as Leader, I said that I detested the necessity for the Bill which is now an Act. For this, Mr. Butler and myself were denounced as hypocrites by Hugh Gaitskell to wild acclaim from the Opposition benches. The Bill was opposed so fiercely that a guillotine motion became inevitable. Now 90 per cent of Socialist candidates would 'detest the necessity for this Bill.' A few would not even be prepared to do this, and the remaining few who cling against all the evidence to an open-door policy have fallen silent as the election comes near. Who were the hypocrites?