In 1918 the
borough of Smethwick, formerly included in the
Handsworth division of the county, became a
separate constituency. (fn. 10) At the election of that year
the Labour candidate won against Christabel Pankhurst, the Coalition candidate, and Labour held the
seat until 1931. (fn. 11) The member from 1926 to 1931
was O. E. Mosley (from 1928 Sir Oswald Mosley,
Bt.), Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1929-30.
In March 1931, after his resignation from the
Labour Party, Sir Oswald formed the New Party,
but he continued to represent Smethwick until the
dissolution of Parliament later the same year. (fn. 12) From
1931 until 1945 Smethwick had a Conservative
member, but Labour recaptured the seat at the
general election of July 1945. (fn. 13) From October 1945
until 1964 the member was P. C. Gordon Walker,
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
1950-1 and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
1964-5. (fn. 14) In 1964 a Conservative, Alderman P. H. S.
Griffiths, was elected. By that time the question
of coloured immigrants had become an issue in
both the parliamentary and the municipal politics
of Smethwick. Since 1966 the seat has been held by
a Labour member. (fn. 15)
||Representation of the People Act, 1918, 7 & 8 Geo. V,
c. 64; V.C.H. Staffs. i. 273.
||'Old Smethwick', 7 Jan. 1950; F. W. S. Craig, British
Parliamentary Election Results, 1918-1949 (Glasgow,
||Sir Oswald Mosley, My Life, 17, 190-2, 230, 237,
247-50, 283; Staffs. Advertiser, 10 Oct. 1931, p. 7.
||Craig, Parl. Election Results, 241.
Dod's Parl. Companion (1946); Whitaker's Almanack
(1946 and later edns. to 1965).
Whitaker's Almanack (1965 and later edns. to 1971);
P. Foot, Immigration and Race in British Politics; The
Guardian, 6 Feb. 1970.