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"The healthy, wholesome British domestic girl": Single female migration and the Empire Settlement Act, 1922-1930

Gothard, J. (1990) "The healthy, wholesome British domestic girl": Single female migration and the Empire Settlement Act, 1922-1930. In: Constantine, S., (ed.) Emigrants and Empire: British Settlement in the Dominions Between the War. Manchester University Press, Manchester, England, pp. 72-95.

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Female migration was an immediate priority of the Oversea Settlement Committee (OSC), the British government body dealing with Empire migration from its establishment in 1919. Before the war, the migration of single women to th edominions had been extensively assisted both by private women's migration societies and the dominion governments themselves. With the findings of the Dominions Royal Commission in 1917 underlining the importance of continued female migration, the OSC adopted an aggressive stand on the question. Under the Empire Settlement Act of 1922, Canada, Australia and New Zealand all offered passage assistance to single British domestic servants, an occupational group much in demand in both the United Kingdom and the dominions. As part of persistent efforts to stimulate the supply of female migrants, training institutions were established in the United Kingdom from the mid-1920s at the instigation of the OSC to prepare inexperienced women for domestic service overseas. These institutions functioned to direct the women the United Kingdom most wished to see migrate towards employment in the dominions, to meet the dominion demand for domestics without threatening the United Kingdom's own supply, and as part of the process of selecting the 'right type' of migrant...

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Copyright: 1990 Manchester University Press
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