Timeline 1900 – 2017

Captain F.A. Richardson’s report on Social Conditions in Ports and Docklands Areas

In 1935, the newspaper, the Western Mail, devoted considerable attention to the findings of a survey commissioned on the social conditions of sailors and their families who lived in dockland areas, published as Social Conditions in Ports and Dockland Areas. The report’s author, Captain F.A. Richardson, was scathing in his condemnation of the behaviour and morality of the families of white women and ‘coloured’ men - i.e. black Caribbean, black African, Arab, Indian and Chinese men – who lived in these areas: the men’s ‘standard of civilisation’ was dubious and their moral codes lacking, the women’s characters were ‘loose’ and the children had ‘inherited social flaws’.

There are 100 Chinese, all in Limehouse; 200 Negroes, nearly all in Canning Town. The number of Indians is not known. […] These types probably attract women of a low type, particularly the Indians.
Cardiff has before it a social problem that cannot as yet be solved. Hundreds of Arabs and other coloured seamen have settled in the city […] They come into intimate contact with white women, principally those who unfortunately are of loose moral character, with the result that a half-caste population is brought into the world.

The half-caste girl is characteristically disinclined to discipline and routine work, and efforts made to encourage and train her have mostly met with failure. By nature and environment, and by the handicaps of colour and common prejudice, these girls have very little chance but to sink to an even lower level.