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British Boxing Titles (Colour Bar)

Volume 435: debated on Wednesday 26 March 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when were representations made by his Welfare Department to the British Boxing Board of Control regarding British-born coloured boxers who are barred from contesting the professional boxing championship of the United Kingdom on the grounds of colour; what was the nature of such representations and what was the response to them.

Representatives of my Department discussed this matter with the President and Secretary of the Board in June last, and pressed that British subjects not of pure European descent should no longer be debarred from boxing for British titles if otherwise qualified for them. In reply the point was made that such people can compete for Empire titles and it was implied that this should be sufficient to satisfy their aspirations. Little hope was held out that the Board would be prepared to change its policy of excluding coloured boxers from contests for British titles. I regard this colour bar as quite unjustified and I know that it is strongly resented by Colonial people as well as by a large public in this country who are interested in boxing. I hope that the Board may be persuaded to alter their practice and with that in view further representations will be made to them.