Fletcher Report, 1930 (The)

The Report on an Investigation into the Colour Problem in Liverpool and Other Ports or simply, The Fletcher Report of 1930 was a report sponsored by the Liverpool [England] Association for the Welfare of Half-Caste Children in December, 1927.  The report, released on 1930-06-16, was written by Muriel E. Fletcher a 1920 graduate of the University of Liverpool’s School of Social Science.  She was at that time employed as a probation worker and given the task to investigate the socioeconomic plight of ‘half-castes’.  The social research played particular attention to the family structure of the [so-called] “half-caste” population in Liverpool1.

The Fletcher Report was written in response to the social tension created by the increased population of black (African) seamen who, via colonization—were deemed British citizens—and their “half-caste” (‘mixed-race’) children of their unions with white (English) women.  This tension culminated with the Liverpool anti-Black riots of 1919.   The report was based on a mere fraction the authors’ purported sample size and had little, if any, concern for the actual well-being of  ‘mixed-race’ children and their families. The report was imbued with the racist “hybrid degeneracy” pseudoscience of the day.  Besides the fact that the Fletcher Report stigmatized ‘mixed race’ individuals for decades, the report owns another ignominious spot in race relations in that it embedded the pejorative term “half-caste” into the British lexicon.

The report is available at the Library of the University of Liverpool (Reference Number: D7/5/5/5).  See: http://sca.lib.liv.ac.uk/ead/html/gb141unirelated-p4.shtml#uni.

1Mark Christian, “The Fletcher Report 1930: A Historical Case Study of Contested Black Mixed Heritage Britishness,” Journal of Historical Sociology, Volume 21 Issue 2-3, (2008):  213 – 241.

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