Source 1

Excerpt from a radio address given by Dr.R.C.Wallace (chairman of the National Committee for Children from Overseas) on November 3rd, 1940 (DO 131/45)


When it first became clear that Britain would suffer severe bombing there was a widespread feeling in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand that it would be an act of ordinary decency to provide homes for the children who parents would desire that they should be placed in safety.  There were many such parents, and the children numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  The British Government set up a board, known as the Children’s Overseas Reception Board, or for short, Corb.  This board received applications, examined the individual cases, classified the children, and arranged for transportation and for supervision on the voyage.  The cost of the passage was defrayed by the Government.  Then, [if] Canada was their destination, they were received at the Canadian port by representatives of the Department of Immigration, who arranged for their transportation under adequate supervision to the provincial clearing centres.  Here the provincial authorities took charge, and through the Children’s Aid or other Child Welfare organizations, placed the children in carefully selected homes where the foster parents had generously offered to take them into the family circle.  If the need arise, the same provincial agencies will see to their transferring to other homes of such children as have not found themselves properly adjusted to their original surroundings.

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1. Read Source 1. This is an extract from a radio address given by Dr R.C. Wallace, Chairman of the National Committee for Children from Overseas.

  • Why is it useful for historians studying evacuation overseas in 1940 to know that this source is a radio broadcast?
  • Why was there a feeling that children of Britain ‘should be placed in safety’?
  • What was C.O.R.B.?

Place these events below in the correct order:

  • Provincial authorities took charge
  • Transported to provincial clearing centres
  • Children classified, transport arranged
  • Applications received
  • Received by Department of Immigration
  • CORB set up
  • Children placed in carefully selected homes
  • Same agencies could sort out any problem