HC Deb 18 November 1970 vol 806 cc440-1W
Miss Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria govern his decisions to accede to the requests of local authorities to send back to their country of origin immigrant children and children of immigrants who come into their care.

Mr. Carlisle

Section 17 of the Children Act, 1948, which applies to all children in care irrespective of origin, provides that my right hon. Friend shall not consent to the emigration of a child in the care of a local authority unless he is satisfied that emigration would benefit the child; that suitable arrangements have been or will be made for his reception and welfare in the country to which he is going; that his parents or guardian have been consulted or that it is not practicable to consult them; and that the child himself consents. If the child is unable to consent because he is too young to form or express a proper opinion, he may consent to his emigration only if the other criteria are satisfied and he is to emigrate in company with a parent, guardian or relative or to join a parent, guardian, relative or friend.