HC Deb 02 July 1942 vol 381 cc518-9W
Mr. Wilson

asked the Minister of Pensions what number of children orphaned as a result of the war are in the care of relatives; what number have been cared for and taken charge of permanently by the neighbours of the deceased parents; what number are in reception areas under the State evacuation scheme; what number have been admitted into institutions; and in what way can persons, who are in all respects suitable and willing to adopt a child, be enabled to find a child?

Sir W. Womersley

My Department is paying pension in respect of about 1,700 children who are bereft of both parents. About 1,500 of them are in the care of relatives, either living with them or evacuated with their consent, generally under the Government scheme. Only a very small number are in the care of neighbours or friends. Under 100 are in endowed schools, naval orphanages, or special schools for the mentally or physically defective, etc. Of the remainder, the majority are happily placed in billets in reception areas of which their parents had approved. With regard to the last part of the Question, I have already received nearly 2,000 letters from kindly people offering to open their homes to orphan children. So far I have only been able to accept a small number of these offers because only a few children have actually been in need of a home. I am, of course, always happy to receive further offers, which are carefully noted, so that they can be considered should the need to take advantage of them arise.