March 6, 2010

a look back: home children and child slavery

above: article from 1924. "Three Hundred More Child Slaves"

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave an apology to the victims in this scheme recently.

The CBC reported that: " Canada has not apologized for its role in the program... Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the Conservative government had no plans to apologize."

click an image to zoom in to read

below is the verbatim article from the above images:

A news despatch [sic] states that in the British House of Commons it was said that three British Boy Settlers had committed suicide during the last year in Australia. Apparently in spite of all the excuses for the acts of the five boys who have taken their own lives here in Canada, it seems to be a general rule that boy immigrants do so because of the conditions of slavery under which they work. In our last issue we showed how these boys were delivered bound over to Canadian farmers as cheap labour. In Australia also this is done. Another reason why the Labour movement should fight like the devil to abolish this infamous practice.

another article:


A recent press despatch states that three hundred more children from Great Britain have arrived in Ontario under the parental wing of the Salvation Army. Quite a long report is given of the details of their arrival, and a really beautiful description of the distributing homes in the Niagara Peninsula is written into the account. The press despatch goes on to state that steps have been taken to prevent the boys passing through the city of Toronto while passing to the homes because there is "a possibility of encountering temptation while doing so." Another enlightening paragraph states that the farmers are demanding boys, boys, and more boys in order that their crops may be safely garnered this fall.

In fact, "quite an interesting scene is depicted when the newcomers arrive, and the farmers flock to the hostel to secure their boy farmhands."

As far as the temptation bunk is concerned, we have an idea that the Sanctimonious Army is not so much worried over the evils that the boys may encounter, but that they do so in an effort to live up to every clause of their contract in delivering the child farmhands over to the farmers who are so eager to receive this bountiful cheap labor. And the scene of the farmers grabbing at the cheap labor reminds me of the old slave markets of the Southern States before the Civil War. Once again we protest against this slave trade and denounce those who are responsible for delivering these children of British workers into believing that they are escaping any misery by migrating to this country.

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