Post-war Immigration

The arrival of  larger numbers of Black and Asian people into Britain after World War Two slowly increased especially as people started to bring in their families. Bussing Out was a response to the larger numbers of children arriving in Britain, especially places like Bradford. I thought it would be useful to remind ourselves why we had an increase in  immigration after World War Two.

Post-war Immigration to Great Britain

In 1945 at the end of World War Two there was a shortage of workers in this country. In 1949 the Royal Commission on Population stated that immigrants of ‘good stock’ would be welcomed ‘without reserve’ to live and work in Britain.

The invitation for migrant workers was at first meant for White Europeans this was because so many of them had already come to Britain during the war and then afterwards as well. People from Ireland have always been the largest group to migrate to Britain for work. There were also smaller groups of German prisoners of war, some refugees from Eastern Europe, escaping Communism as well as Italians alongside a diverse range of other refugees from camps across Europe.

Commonwealth Immigration

The British Nationality Act of 1948 created an “open door” policy so that anyone in the Commonwealth could come to Britain to live and work without restriction. The Commonwealth are a group of countries that were once ruled over by the British Empire; then became independent but kept strong links with Britain. The first Commonwealth citizens to respond were Jamaicans: five hundred Jamaicans came to Britain on The Empire Windrush in 1948 believing they were coming to the Mother Country. Indians and Pakistani migrants started coming after the Partition of India and Pakistan and then more so during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The people from India and Pakistan are often just referred to as Asians but they included Hindus from the Gujarat region of western India, Sikhs from the eastern Punjab region, and Muslims both from the west part of Pakistan and from East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh in 1972.

Photograph by Royal Navy official photographer is photograph FL 9448 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public. Domain,