During the Second World War, the bulk of Gibraltar's civilian population was evacuated for security reasons. An initial evacuation to French Morocco had to be terminated after a few months due to the deterioration of relations between Britain and the Vichy Government of France. The civilians were then re-evacuated to Britain, Jamaica and Madeira. Some went to Tangier and Spain under their own steam. Repatriation began in 1944, but due to accommodation difficulties in Gibraltar the last repatriates did not return until 1951.
The experience gained by some evacuees in the fight for better conditions for themselves and for their compatriots gave a substantial impetus to the demand for greater self-government in the Colony. The Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights was formed at the end of 1942 and in 1945 the City Council was reconstituted, for the first time with an elected majority.
The Governor's monopoly of legislative authority ended 5 years later with the formation of a Legislative Council, and subsequent amendments allowed for a majority of elected Members in this assembly.
The post-war years were also marked by considerable expansion and progress in the social and economic spheres. In the social sphere, Medical, Educational, Housing and Social Security Services were developed