HC Deb 30 April 1929 vol 227 cc1392-3W

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he has had his attention called to the case of Mr. Woods, 72, Mary Street, Celfynydd, Glamorganshire, who made complete arrangements with the emigration authorities to settle on a farm in Canada with his family of wife, three boys, 21, 18 and 16, and two girls, aged 13 and 5 years of age, respectively; whether he is aware that the whole family were passed as fit by a Canadian doctor at Pontypridd on 14th March last and the family instructed on 27th March last to prepare to sail from Liverpool on 6th April; that this man and his three boys were in full employ at the Albion Colliery at the time and gave up their work and sold their home by 28th March last; that on 30th March Mr. Woods received a telegram cancelling the passage; in view of these facts will he state what steps he intends to take to indemnify this family for the cost and trouble incurred by them in this connection; and how many similar cases have been brought to his notice within the past 12 months, and what steps he is taking to rectify such administrative blunders?


I understand that this family were examined by the Canadian Government Medical Officer at Pontypridd on 13th March. The family were not accepted as the cases of two of the children had to be referred for decision to the Canadian Government's Chief Medical Officer in London. I further understand that no communication was sent to the family by the Canadian authorities which could have given the impression that they had been accepted, but that on 26th March the Society which was dealing with the case informed Mr. Woods in a letter, of which I have seen a copy, that his application had been submitted to the Canadian authorities with a view to a sailing on 6th April. The letter added that the Society could not, of course, guarantee that the family would be able to sail on that date or that their application would be accepted. It appears that the two children were subsequently found to fall within the classes who cannot be accepted as immigrants and that on 28th March a letter was received from the Director of European Emigration, London, saying that, on medical grounds, it was not found possible to accept this family for the benefit of the reduced rates. Cases of this description are, I am happy to think, extremely rare. I do not think any question of compensation can arise.