HC Deb 11 November 1941 vol 374 cc2013-4
5. Sir Percy Hurd

asked the Undersecretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he will make a statement on his recent visit to Canada and the United States of America, and especially on the provisions made for the welfare of British children now in North America?

The Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (Mr. Shakespeare)

During the Parliamentary Recess I paid a visit to Canada to see the 1,530 children officially sent out last year by the Children's Overseas Reception Board. I visited the nine Provinces in which they are living, and found them everywhere in good health and spirits. I also had most satisfactory discussions with the welfare authorities in each province on problems connected with the children. It was generally agreed in Canada that the evacuation scheme has proved a most successful form of temporary overseas settlement.

I also visited the United States, where I discussed with Mr. Marshall Field problems arising in respect of the 859 children from the United Kingdom for whom his Committee has assumed responsibility. Here too I was deeply impressed by all the arrangements made for the children's welfare.

It has been agreed that in the case of privately evacuated children, where circumstances warrant it, the United States Committee will assume responsibility for them. Similarly, in Canada the Children's Overseas Reception Board, in agreement with the Dominion Government, will assume responsibility for privately evacuated children in cases of proved difficulty or need. Throughout my tour I conveyed to the Canadian and United States authorities and to the foster parents the deep gratitude not only of the United Kingdom Government but of the parents of Britain.

Mr. Thorne

When the children arrive at working age, who is responsible for getting them employment?

Mr. Shakespeare

In Canada, there are about 14 children, boys and girls, who have reached school-leaving age, and good jobs have been found for them.