|Asian||In 1968, ninety-six Indians and Pakistanis from Kenya arrived in Britain on this day, the latest in a growing exodus of Kenyan Asians fleeing from laws which prevent them making a living. The party included nine children under two, and all flew in on cut-price one-way tickets costing about £60 - less than half the normal single fare. An airline official in Nairobi estimated that the charter flights had taken between 1,200 and 1,500 Kenyan Asians in to Britain.|
|The refugees are certain to face expulsion under the terms of the controversial 1968 Commonwealth Immigration Act. |
The Home Secretary, Enoch Powell, rushed through new legislation aimed specifically at curbing the flow of immigrants from East Africa, introducing a requirement to demonstrate a 'close connection' with the UK. Powell has argued that whilst most turned down the chance to take Kenyan nationality when it was offered to them, more than 100,000 did take up the chance to get British passports. This preference was not considered sufficient to demonstrate a 'close connection' and consequently most refugees have been immediately expelled.
There were deep cabinet splits over the legislation: cabinet papers have since quoted the then Commonwealth Secretary, George Thomson, saying that 'to pass such legislation would be wrong in principle, clearly discrimination on the grounds of colour, and contrary to everything we stand for.' Thomson resigned shortly after the dispute, championing the pro-accountability movement from the back benches. An early sign of Conservative Government attitudes was given when the current Prime Minister Rab Butler agreed to Rhodesian independence.
Black African Nations had been enraged by the decision taken at the dissolution of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation, in which Great Britain abrogated the principle of No Independence Before Majority African Rule. Then Deputy Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Douglas Smith met with Rab Butler, the Foreign Secretary, at Victoria Falls in December 1963. Butler grandly declared that Britain was 'very happy to agree' to independence for Southern Rhodesia, at least at the same time as Zambia and Malawi.
Already, the tens of thousands of Asians, who have until now dominated commerce, industry and most key jobs in the country, are finding their lives made impossible. Immigration laws in Kenya are becoming increasingly draconian. Foreigners can only hold a job until a Kenyan national can be found to replace them: and more and more cities, including Nairobi, are demanding that the government bans non-Kenyans from owning a shop or trading in municipal markets.
Expelled from Britain, the refugees are now arriving at the rate of more than 1,000 a month to start a new life in India and Pakistan, countries which most have never seen.
|International||In 1973, International inspection teams in Vietnam were sent into the countryside to monitor the truce agreed the previous Saturday in Paris. The International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS) was created at the Paris Peace Accords - signed by the US, the Vietcong, North Vietnam and South Vietnam - on 27 January and includes delegates from Hungary, Poland, Canada and Indonesia. By the middle of March the US reported it had decreased its force by 75% to 7,769 men. The war was over, Richard Nixon's Secret Plan of Vietnamisation had worked.|