Janice Gothard
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‘The healthy, wholesome British domestic girl’
Single female migration and the Empire Settlement Act, 1922–1930
in Emigrants and empire
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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. The assisted migration of single women to the dominions under the Empire Settlement Act was an exercise in state-controlled labour migration which also sought to meet certain social and population ends. The scheme can be seen as being only partly successful, given the changing and often contradictory motives of the British and dominion governments. War opportunities for Canadian women had been much more limited than in the United Kingdom, and Canadian women who had entered nontraditional employment had since returned to their former occupations. The ideological content of migration publicity drew some criticism. Canada had practically acknowledged the value of pre-migration training through the Khaki University of Canada, an early training initiative established in the United Kingdom.

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Emigrants and empire

British settlement in the dominions between the wars


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