British Government Says Sorry to Child Migrants

25 02 2010

The British government has apologized to the children who were sent to live in the Dominions before 1967. The lion’s share of these children were sent to Canada, where they were known as “Home Children.” Some of these children were adopted into loving homes, while others suffered terrible abuse.

Canada’s government has announced that it will not be giving an apology to the Home Children. I agree with this decision. In many ways, the Home Children were the beneficiaries of the racism of the erstwhile Dominion of Canada. In the Dominion’s racial pecking order, Britons were at the top and were given privileged access. Would-be Chinese migrants, on the other hand, were discouraged. Canada recently apologized to the Chinese for the head tax and the subsequent policy of total exclusion. Surely it would be inconsistent to apologies to the whites who were the beneficiaries of the racist policies.

The Ottawa Citizen recently carried a story of uncharacteristically good quality on the Home Children. Even though the CanWest newspaper chain is bankrupt, this story was lengthy and based on extensive research.

The BBC’s Today Programme, the morning drive-time show on Radio 4, carried this story about the child migrants.