Source 7

Extract from Daily Telegraph, 29 June, 1964, Catalogue ref: HGL 39/32/9 


This newspaper clipping was included in a file concerning discussion of housing issues affecting Commonwealth immigrants, including the ‘colour bar’ as practised by landlords, overcrowding in tenement blocks and the resultant fire hazard and effect on public health. 


[Please note that this source contains offensive language used at the time which is unacceptable today]. 

Colour file [hand written note on clipping] 




An estate agent has agreed with Southall Residents’ Association to sell houses owned by association members to white buyers only. There are 6,000 coloured people in the Middlesex suburb.


Mr Albert Cooney, association chairman, said yesterday: “Generally the service will only be for white people. But it may be open to a few coloured people whom we consider all right”. 


“We have some immigrants in our association. They are handpicked. But they are people who will try to live up to the standards we set ourselves.” Mr. Cooney would not name the agent.



« Return to African nurses


  • What is this news story about? 
  • What does the story reveal about the discrimination experienced by immigrants living in the London Borough of Middlesex? 
  • What do you think Albert Cooney meant by saying some immigrants in his housing association were ‘handpicked’? 
  • Can you explain the term ‘colour bar’? 

Finally, what additional sources do you think could be used to find out more about 

  1. The role of African nurses in Britain after the Second World War 
  2. Their experiences of living and working in Britain