HC Deb 17 June 1902 vol 109 cc831-2
MR. VICARY GIBBS (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he will state on what grounds the Local Government Boar have decided that, as a general rule, pauper girls should not be sent out to Canada above I the age of ten years, and in no case, except under very special circumstances, above the age of twelve years, as stated in the Board's memorandum of April 1888; and whether, having regard to the annual inspection described in the Board's circular letter to Clerks to Guardians of the 20th April 1898, the restriction as to the age of pauper girls proposed to be emigrated to Canada may now be removed or modified.

(Answer.) The Rule referred to was made on the ground that where pauper girls are emigrated to Canada they should be sent at an age at which they will be adopted into and become part of the families of those by whom they are received. They thus become accustomed to Canadian life before they go into domestic service, and have the means of obtaining friends in the Dominion who may be expected to take an interest in them and to whom they can, if necessary, resort for advice and assistance. I do not think that the annual official inspection mentioned in the Question would afford a sufficient reason for altering the Rule referred to. I may, however, state that in the case of one emigration society I have tentatively allowed the emigration of girls over twelve. The society undertake to provide special training at an institution for the girl before emigration, and to secure on her arrival in Canada the assistance of some lady who is willing to act as her patroness and special friend.—(Local Government Board.)