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UprootedThe Shipment of Poor Children to Canada, 1867-1917$
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Roy Parker

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420145

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420145.001.0001

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Checks and Balances

Checks and Balances

(p.39) three Checks and Balances

Roy Parker

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on the regulation of the emigration of children. The Local Government Board (LGB) (the successor to the Poor Law Board [PLB] in 1871) was responsible for the oversight and regulation of the activities of local boards of guardians, and this included the emigration of children in their charge. In particular the central authority was required to approve the departure of each child individually. As a result important questions arose, especially about the proper interpretation and application of the law, as well as about how policy should be framed. In sharp contrast, the activities of the private bodies and individuals, having taken children into their care, were not subject to any comparable regulation or scrutiny, except when they fell foul of certain general laws, such as that of habeus corpus. Nevertheless, many of the questions that surfaced in connection with the emigration of Poor Law children were equally pertinent in the case of the trans-shipment of those who were the responsibility of private agencies. For this reason the way in which the issues confronting the LGB were dealt with has a wider relevance than would be suggested by the fact that, eventually, the majority of children sent to Canada were drawn from private organisations.

Keywords:   Local Government Board, child emigration, poor children, Poor Law, private organisations

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