Leaders & Controversies

Transcript: Source3

Evidence of Communist reaction in the USSR and Britain to events in Alabama, May 1963
(Catalogue ref: FO 371/168484)

Source 3a



British Embassy,
May 16, 1963

Dear Parsons

As was to be expected, the Soviet press has devoted considerable space to the racial troubles in Alabama. Many reports haven been accompanied by photographs of clashes between negroes and police.

2. The reports stressed that the police used dogs against demonstrators, but the racialists used bombs and that many negroes had been arrested. The American people were said to be shocked by the disturbances, and the United States Government and President Kennedy were accused of making pious appeals but of taking no effective action against the racists, whom they had not condemned. American leaders were said to be alarmed at the effect the troubles would have on the United States’ reputation abroad. The Soviet press described the affair as a demonstration of the real meaning of "so-called" American freedom.

3. I am sending a copy of this letter to the Chancery at Washington.

Yours ever,
(J. C. Cloake)

Source 3b

To the Prime Minister,
The Rt. Hon, H. Macmillan, M.P.

THIS Joint Meeting of the BALHAM & TOOTING and EARLSFIELD Branches of the Communist Party of Great Britain, calls on the Prime Minister to intercede with Mr. Kennedy, President of the U.S.A., to use the full powers given to him in the Federal Laws of the United States of America, to stop the inhuman brutality now being inflicted on the coloured population of Alabama struggling for their rights as citizens of that State.

Further, in view of the shameful manifestations in this country of racial prejudice and antagonism in areas, such as our own, with large African and West Indian populations, we urge that legislation be passed without delay by our Government to make the public incitement of race hatred and discrimination an offence.

[Sent from the Secretary of the Balham, Tooting and Earlsfield (London) branches of the Communist Party, 22 May 1963]

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