HC Deb 17 June 1907 vol 176 cc162-3
MR. C. DUNCAN (Barrow-in-Furness)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been directed to the action of the Paddington board of guardians, on 5th June, 1907, in recommending that a child, named Daisy Hett, who is now eight years of age, is to be emigrated to Canada, the guardians using the plea that the child's consent has been obtained; and whether the Board intend to sanction such proposals in the future.


My attention has been drawn to this case. The child has been deserted by her parents, and has not any known relations. She has been certified as being in good health, and a suitable subject for emigration to Canada. The emigration is proposed to be effected through the Waifs and Strays Society, in one of whose Homes the child has been maintained for upwards of four years. The consent referred to in the Question is required by the statutory provision under which the guardians are empowered to expend money in the emigration of orphan and deserted children. I am not aware of any reason far withholding sanction to proposals of this kind.

MR. J. WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)

Does the right hon. Gentleman think eight years a suitable age to recommend the emigration of the children?


It depends on the home to which the child is taken. If it is a good one, and it is proposed to. adopt the child, as frequently happens in Canada and elsewhere, and as the managers of the Homes for Waifs and Strays satisfy themselves on that point, I do think it is for the permanent benefit of the child, who has as a rule been deserted by both parents.


Is it a case of adoption in this instance, or is it a case of hiring out?


When I was in Canada, eighteen months ago, I looked into the question of the reception of the poor children from this country, and I was more than pleased at the excellent homes provided in the overwhelming majority of cases.


What is the matter with the home in which the child now is?


It is not to be expected that children will be detained in poor law schools and workhouses for the whole of their lives, and, in the absence of homes for them in England, I do not object to their going to Canada.