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Research Guides

More People Imperative: Immigration to Australia, 1901–39

7. Juvenile Immigration

In the period between Federation and World War II, children were seen as 'ideal immigrants'. They were malleable, controllable and adaptable to new conditions. Unlike other migrants, especially during periods of economic recession, they did not invoke the opposition of trade unionists since they were not competitors on the labour market. Child migration was regarded by governments as a form of social welfare, and also as a means of overcoming the decline in the birth-rate (a particular preoccupation of the early years of the twentieth century and of the 1930s) through the introduction of British youth. Governments, British and Australian, both state and Federal, private institutions, philanthropic associations, and the Churches all, from time to time, sponsored child migration. Governments subsidised non-government organisations working in this area between 1921 and 1930 and, in special cases such as the Fairbridge Farm Schools and Dr Barnardo's Homes, during the 1930s depression years also. Once in Australia, the children were generally brought up to perform manual labour, the girls as domestic servants (referred to in the later part of this period as household workers) and the boys as farm labourers. Children were brought to Australia under a variety of schemes at various ages, some very young.

The records in the National Archives particularly relate to Commonwealth and state policy regarding juvenile migration schemes and relations between government and non-government voluntary organisations and institutions in both Great Britain and Australia. One of the best known government schemes, begun before World War I , was that of Premier Barwell of South Australia from 1922–24. Non-government organisations involved in child migration included:

  • The Big Brother Movement which sponsored juvenile male migrants, 15–18 years of age;
  • The Child Emigration Society, London, in conjunction with the Children's Farm School Immigration Society of Western Australia, the Trustees of the Lady Northcote Bequest in Victoria and a Committee of Rhodes Scholars in New South Wales which conducted the Fairbridge Farm Schools and brought out children of both sexes;
  • Dr Barnardo's Homes which brought out Protestant youth of both sexes;
  • The Dreadnought Trustees who sponsored British boys;
  • The Roman Catholic Church which included the Catholic Emigration Association, London, the Christian Brothers' schemes, and the Catholic Episcopal Migration and Welfare Association, Perth;
  • The Church of England, including the Church of England Immigration Council and the work of Rev. R C Nichols known as 'Brother Bill' of St Mark's Church Fitzroy, Victoria;
  • The Salvation Army;
  • The Presbyterian and other Churches;
  • The YMCA;
  • The Boy Scouts' Association;
  • The Young Australia League of Western Australia;
  • The British Orphans Adoption Society.

A list, and where possible a brief explanation of the migration work, of these non-government organisations is provided in Appendix 3. Most, but not all, concentrated on boys. Some, like the Fairbridge Farm Schools, were regarded by state authorities principally as child welfare movements and were dealt with by the Child Welfare Department rather than the State Migration Office. As with single female migration, issues of protection and control, and at times exploitation, permeate the records; there is also discussion of the role of juvenile migrants in, and contribution to, Australian society. The class dimension is ever present; many child migrants came from institutions in Great Britain and there is evidence of some opposition in Australia to the immigration of the lower classes, the poor, the orphans and the illegitimate. Fears of 'pauper migration' were common in the nineteenth century and remained throughout this part of the twentieth.

Of relevance here is the New South Wales Juvenile Migrants' Apprentice Act 1924. (South Australia had similar legislation.) It required guardianship for juvenile migrants until they turned 21 and concerned those who were brought to Australia for apprenticeships under sponsoring schemes such as young farm labourers and domestic servants. The Act is mentioned in file A461, G349/1/7, discussed below in relation to Dreadnought boys, and in file A458, A154/14 (see Chapter 6 on Female Immigration).

Examples of Series and Items

Series descriptions throughout the Guide appear in upper case and in bold type. Note that descriptions of items within particular series are a selection only of what is held in the National Archives. All record descriptions are organised by series; items within series are listed in chronological order of the starting date they cover

This series was the main correspondence file system of the agencies shown above. The subject matter includes administrative and personal matters as well as the following functions administered by the agencies from time to time: immigration and emigration, 'aliens' registration, naturalisation, passports (except 1916–18), influx of criminals, indentured coloured labour, people of races for whom special laws were thought necessary, external affairs (1903–16), Pacific islands (1903–16) as well as other matters not relevant to this Guide.
Series: A1
Quantity: 184.92 metres
Recorded by: 1903–16: Department of External Affairs, Melbourne (CA 7); 1916–28: Department of Home and Territories (CA 15); 1928–32: Department of Home and Territories (CA 24); 1932–38: Department of the Interior (CA 27)
Department of External Affairs, 1903–38, '(Child Emigration) Child Migration from the UK' [36 pages, 1912–14]
This file relates to an inquiry in 1912 from T E Sedgwick to the High Commissioner, London, on the eligibility for migration of juveniles from reformatories, Industrial Schools, voluntary homes and orphanages. It also contains a 1912 Royal Colonial Institute Report on Child Emigration to Australia and New Zealand through approved emigration societies of orphan, deserted and adopted children, then under the control of Poor Law Guardians, and a report by Sedgwick on the first year's results of Town Lads on Colonial Farms in New Zealand. Press cuttings on 'Sedgwick' boys, Fairbridge and the farm school system and child migration generally, and information on a scheme to introduce apprentice farmers to South Australia initiated by F W Young, MP, in 1913 are also included. Some clue to the attitudes to this form of immigration from official sources can be ascertained.
A1, 1914/5736
Home and Territories Department/Department of External Affairs: 'Fairbridge Farm School. Immigration of British Orphan Children' [10 pages, 1917–18]
This contains a letter dated November 1917 from the founder of the Fairbridge Farm School, Kingsley Fairbridge, to Prime Minister Hughes requesting passages for parties of about 24 children under supervision on transports and for government assistance, a memorandum on the School and associated internal correspondence. The advice was to apply to the Ministry of Shipping in London as no suitable transports were available and no assistance could be given. A 1919 press cutting on the school and its founder is also included.
A1, 1918/2799
Department of External Affairs/Home and Territories Department: 'Fairbridge Farm School. Immigration of British Orphan Children, 1917–18' [10 pages, 1917–19]
This contains a press report on the Child Emigration Society and correspondence relating to possible assistance between Kingsley Fairbridge and the Prime Minister through the Home and Territories Department which administered immigration at this time.
A1, 1918/2799
Department of External Affairs, 'Publicity, New Australian Big Brother Magazine' [44 pages, 1929]
This contains correspondence relating to the Big Brother Movement publication The New Australian and publicity material by the Salvation Army.
A1, 1932/7662
Department of the Interior, 'Child Migration within the Empire' [8 pages, 1930]
This contains correspondence during 1930 between the Department of Labour and Industry and Dr Barnardo's Homes with statistics on the numbers of boys and girls received, the extent and nature of training and degree of success of particular children. These particulars were for use at the forthcoming Imperial Conference.
A1, 1932/7707
Department of the Interior, File of Papers, 'Child Migration from Malta' [15 pages, 1935–37]
This deals with an enquiry by the Commissioner for Malta to the Department of the Interior regarding assisted immigration of Maltese orphan children on the same basis as Fairbridge children. As financial assistance to immigrants at the time was confined to the United Kingdom, the proposal was not favourably considered.
A1, 1937/10182
Image 25: Cover of <em>The New Australian</em>, the magazine of The Big Brother Movement.

Image 25: Cover of The New Australian, the magazine of The Big Brother Movement.
NAA: A1, 1932/7662
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This series consists of general correspondence files which cover the wide range of subjects that came to the Prime Minister's attention. Many earlier papers from the previous general correspondence of the Department have been top-numbered into this series. The series also contains constitutional material dating back to 1901.
Series: A461
Quantity: 143.82 metres
Recorded by: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. Fairbridge Farm School, Part 1' [283 pages, 1921–28]
This relates to financial arrangements between the Fairbridge Farm School at Pinjarra, Western Australia, and the State and Federal governments.
A461, C349/1/7 part 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Barnardo Boys' [173 pages, 1921–44]
This contains copies of agreements with governments, Hansard extracts, letters on maintenance subsidies by the Commonwealth for Barnardo children and group nominations for boys going to the Training Home at Mowbray Park, Picton, New South Wales. Correspondence involves the Prime Minister's Department, the High Commission, the Commonwealth Immigration Office, the Development and Migration Commission, the Department of Labour and Industry, the Department of Transport and the New South Wales Premier's Department. Material is also included on the withdrawal of assistance during the depression years and the resumption of migration of Barnardo children in October 1936. The standard of physical and mental fitness of children was brought into question with a small number repatriated. New standards of intelligence levels and adaptability were imposed. (The same issue arose in the case of some Fairbridge children. See A436, 1946/5/597 described later in this chapter).
A461, H349/1/7
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. New South Wales. Dreadnought Boys' [3 cm, 1921–45]
The Dreadnought Scheme originated before World War I in a New South Wales bid to raise money towards the gift of a Dreadnought [battleship] to Great Britain and was later devoted to assisting British boys to emigrate. The file contains correspondence, cablegrams and press cuttings from 1921 relating to requisitions by New South Wales, financial arrangements and terms and conditions under which Dreadnought boys were brought to Australia. The Dreadnought Trustees paid £8 towards each fare; the Commonwealth government made a free grant of £12. The Trustees also provided free of charge, 3 months' training at the government training farm at Scheyville or twelve months' at one of several Apprentice Farm Schools under the direction of the New South Wales Department of Agriculture. Each boy had to deposit £2 which he could collect on arrival and, for those engaged in the longer training, a further £5 was made available. On completion of the training boys were guaranteed positions on farms; until then they were trainees. There are some criticisms of the Scheme and the government responses. Other correspondence relates to the inclusion of the Dreadnought Scheme within the New South Wales Immigration and Land Settlement Agreement (signed in June 1923) which led to a new set of conditions. From that time the Overseas Settlement Committee required regular lists and particulars of boys accepted, of which several are included in the file. The Trustees ceased maintenance contributions in June 1924 and the advantages derived by Dreadnought boys from the 1923 Agreement in regard to the acquisition of farms on special terms, ceased to operate in 1926. A further agreement was made between the British Government and the Dreadnought Trustees in 1926 (copy enclosed). By 1927, difficulty was being experienced in obtaining boys. An uneasy relationship between the ANZAC Fellowship of Women, Sydney, and the New Settlers' League, both of which concerned themselves with the reception and welfare of Dreadnought boys, is revealed in a letter from Dr Mary Booth in 1928.
A461, G349/1/7
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement Government Schemes South Australia. Settlement of 6 000 Boys' [2 cm, 1922–24]
This file contains correspondence between the Prime Minister's Department, the Commonwealth Immigration Office, and the Premier's Department, South Australia, relating to the scheme to introduce 6 000 British lads for farm work (2 000 per year) beginning in 1922. Two trial batches of 50 were sent a month apart, then monthly quotas as arranged, with a minimum age of 15. Press statements, cables and letters reveal some early friction between Prime Minister W M Hughes and Premier Henry Barwell in the working out of the details of the scheme. Information is provided on financial arrangements between governments, the terms of agreement, loans and wages for the boys, conditions of their apprenticeship and monthly requisitions. Although early shipments of boys were well received, there were some complaints over the selection process by 1924.
A461, P349/1/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Clontarf Orphanage' [46 pages, 1928–30]
This file is linked to both A445, 133/2/8 and A436, 1949/5/1220 (described later in this chapter) and relates to the immigration of poor and orphaned boys to Catholic Institutions in Western Australia. It contains a request by the Clontarf Orphanage, a Roman Catholic orphanage near Perth, Western Australia, run by the Christian Brothers, for government assistance similar to that given to the Fairbridge Farm School.
A461, I349/1/7
Prime Minister's Department, 'Fairbridge Farm School. Part 2. Extension of Scheme to States' [413 pages, 1928–41]
This file contains requisitions, advice of approvals for the introduction of children and correspondence relating to the payment of government subsidies for the maintenance of children at the Fairbridge Farm Schools. There are also press cuttings, extracts from Hansard, copies of agreements with governments, various other letters, some regarding the loan of equipment from the Military Department, and memoranda relating to the schools.
A461, C349/1/7 PART 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration. Control by States' [21 pages, 1929]
This contains letters from Canon David J Garland of the Church of England Immigration Council, 1929, expressing his concerns to the government about the suspension of assisted migration especially where it concerned juvenile farm learners for Queensland. Replies are included.
A461, C349/1/1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration – Child Migration– General, Part 1' [145 pages, 1932–44]
Information from both before and after World War II is included in this file. There are proposals for the migration of war orphans, including refugee and displaced children, from Europe after World War II . The Commonwealth Government worked in association with the Inter-Governmental Committee, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Association, and the British Orphans Adoption Society. The file also contains correspondence with the Australian Jewish Welfare Society regarding the immigration and adoption of refugee children before the war and a proposal by the Marsden Home for Boys, Kallangur, to bring boys from England to Queensland and various press cuttings and letters revealing both official and unofficial attitudes to child migration. Part 2 of this file (156 pages) deals with similar information from 1944–45.
A461, A349/1/7 part 1
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration – Minors. Big Brothers' [145 pages, 1933–45]
This file contains correspondence and press cuttings relating to continued government contributions to the Big Brother Movement during the 1930s, the resumption of passage assistance for 'little brothers' in 1937 after its cessation in 1930, and subsequent nominations and arrangements for transporting the boys. Information on the history of the Movement can be gleaned from Cabinet memoranda, two annual reports and various letters. Also included is correspondence between the Movement and the Prime Minister regarding the relationship between the government's extended child migration scheme after World War II and the work of approved voluntary organisations.
A461, J349/1/7
Prime Minister's Department, 'Fairbridge's Farm School. Extension to States other than Western Australia' [47 pages,1935–40]
This contains an advertising poster and a resolution in 1935 by the Association of Rhodes Scholars to establish institutions similar to the Fairbridge Farm School of Western Australia in other parts of Australia as a means of solving the juvenile unemployment problem. Correspondence and memoranda involve the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Minister for the Interior and the Federal Taxation Office and mainly relate to subsidies. Extracts from Hansard, a Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Migration Policy on Fairbridge, references to support for Barnardo children, and material on farm schools in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania are included.
A461, K349/1/7
Prime Minister's Department, 'Child migration to Catholic Institutions, Western Australia' [196 pages, 1937–45]
This file contains letters regarding government financial support for Roman Catholic institutions in Western Australia involved with child migrants from England, specifically the Christian Brothers Agricultural School at Tardun. Details on other Christian Brothers institutions and on aid to Fairbridge is included. Other support was requested: extension of maintenance subsidies to girls, boys over 14 and children from Ireland, for accommodation extensions, and exemption from customs duties for equipment.
A461, M349/1/7
This series consists of correspondence files covering a wide range of subjects which were submitted to the Prime Minister.
Series: A457
Quantity: 18.27 metres
Recorded by: 1915-23: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Particular Classes – Burnside Boys' [2 pages, 1922]
This contains a cablegram to the Prime Minister from the High Commissioner's Office relating to a paragraph in The Times about the destruction by rebels in Ireland of an orphanage and asking someone to take the 33 boys it contained. Sir James Burns had offered to take them to the Burnside Homes in Australia provided they passed medical and other requirements. The Prime Minister's reply stressed that none could be sent unless requisitioned under the existing agreement.
A457, Z400/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Particular Classes – Baby Immigration' [54 pages, 1922–23]
This concerns a proposal addressed to Dame Mary Hughes by Mrs Joice Nankivill, of the Lyceum Club, Piccadilly, London, on the question of child emigration from the United Kingdom to Australia dealing particularly with the adoption of 'war babies'. This was forwarded to the States and the replies were in the main unfavourable. Articles in The Sydney Morning Herald in August 1922 and a letter to the Prime Minister by E Marie Irvine also dealt with the subject of the adoption by Australian women of British infants then under the care of the National Children's Adoption Association. The matter was again referred to the States and an attempt was made to gauge the attitude of the public. The Premier of New South Wales, George Fuller, referred the matter to his Minister of Education, under whose control the State Children Relief Board was placed. He raised the following issues: the number of foster parents available, what the Commonwealth would do in the way of assisted passages, and whether the State Children's Department would assume a beneficent wardship over the children. The Premier of South Australia asked about the costs to the state for each child brought out; other Premiers were unwilling to support such a scheme.
A457, X400/5
Prime Minister's Department, 'Immigration Encouragement. Tasmanian Boys' [13 pages, 1922–23]
This refers to requisitions from Queensland for 50 farm lads monthly and from Tasmania for 12 monthly in 1922 and the question of absorbing 200 Boy Scouts in Victoria and Western Australia. A complaint from Charles Bill Elliot and a Hansard extract of August 1923 indicate dissatisfaction with boy migrants sent to Tasmania. Correspondence relates to subsequent investigations; the shipment of further parties of boys was discontinued.
A457, N400/10
Image 26: Extracts from <em>Australia's Offer to the British Boy</em>.

Image 26: Extracts from Australia's Offer to the British Boy.
NAA: A461, G349/1/7
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Image 27: Page 2 of <em>Australia's Offer to the British Boy</em>.

Image 27: Page 2 of Australia's Offer to the British Boy.
NAA: A461, G349/1/7
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Image 28: Page 3 of <em>Australia's Offer to the British Boy</em>.

Image 28: Page 3 of Australia's Offer to the British Boy.
NAA: A461, G349/1/7
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Image 29: Page 4 of <em>Australia's Offer to the British Boy</em>.

Image 29: Page 4 of Australia's Offer to the British Boy.
NAA: A461, G349/1/7
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The description of this series will extend beyond 1939 because of its potential interest to immigration researchers. It contains the general correspondence files of the Department of the Interior [II] until late 1945, and from mid-1945 the miscellaneous and passport files of the then newly-created Department of Immigration. From 1930 to 1945, the series covers a wide range of subjects including assisted migration and naturalisations (until 31 December 1943). Naturalisation applications reached a peak during 1941. With the establishment of the Department of Immigration in July 1945, the series was recorded jointly by Interior and Immigration for the rest of that year. From 1946, the series relates exclusively to Immigration matters as that Department took over several functions previously administered by the Department of the Interior. General subjects included: the internal organisation of the Department; details of organisations such as the International Refugee Organisation, United Nations Organisation and immigration bodies; the administration of the Children's Overseas Reception Board; whereabouts cases, general control of passports and grants of travel facilities to certain areas and miscellaneous subjects.
Series: A659
Quantity: 101.25 metres
Recorded by: 1939: Department of the Interior [I] (CA 27); 1939–45: Department of the Interior [II] (CA 31)
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother Movement. Proposed Financial Arrangements, NSW' [388 pages, 1937–40]
This contains details of government subsidies, expenses, statements of accounts, annual reports, the constitution and press cuttings of the Big Brother Movement.
A659, 1939/1/8431
Department of the Interior [II], Central Office, File of Papers, 'Big Brother Movement NSW Nominations' [40 pages, 1938–42]
This contains lists of 'little brothers' from ships' Boarding Officers' reports of 1939, documents and press cuttings relating to those and other arrivals of 'little brothers' and correspondence between the Big Brother Movement and the Department of Labour and Industry, New South Wales, and the Department of the Interior.
A659, 1942/1/3374
This series consists of Immigration policy files relating to the assimilation, welfare and education of migrants. The file subjects include Acts relating to immigration, migrant organisations, transport, sponsorship schemes, housing and accommodation, conferences, child-youth migration, refugees and restricted immigration policy.
Series: A445
Quantity: 22.50 metres
Recorded by: 1951–55: Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
Department of Immigration, Central Office, 'Dr Barnardo Children's Homes, NSW' [186 pages, 1938–48]
Only a small section of this file covers the pre-World War II period. It relates to notice of termination of passage assistance for Barnardo children although maintenance grants to those up to 14 years old already in Australia continued. Some press cuttings on the Homes, details of maintenance payments for 1938, and a copy of the Supplementary Empire Settlement Act 1937 Agreement are included.
A445, 133/2/115
Department of the Interior/Department of Immigration. 'Catholic Episcopal Migration and Welfare Association, Perth' [75 pages, 1938–50]
Most of this file covers the period 1946–50, but it does contain some material relating to migrant children and their admission to Catholic institutions in Western Australia immediately before World War II.
A445, 133/2/8

This series consists of folders of general correspondence, decisions and policy relating to organisations interested in the migration of British subjects, nominations, training schemes, housing difficulties, statistical aspects of the future population, and individual case files. It represents one of seven classes of correspondence files maintained by the Department of Immigration and its predecessors during the years 1939–50 or for a portion of those years. The seven classes are as follows:

  1. General, passports;
  2. Restricted immigration;
  3. European migrants;
  4. Naturalisation;
  5. British migrants;
  6. Aliens Registration;
  7. General administration.

Series: A436
Quantity: 5.04 metres
Recorded by: 1945–45: Department of the Interior, Central Office (CA 31)
Department of the Interior: 'Fairbridge Farm School. Maintenance of Children. Claim for Commonwealth Portion, 1932–36' [1 page, 1921]
There is only one page in this file consisting of 8 photos on housing at the Pinjarra School and groups of Fairbridge children from the Western Mail, 8 September 1921. Both the title and the date of this file are misleading.
A436, 1946/5/1831
Department of the Interior/Home and Territories Department, 'Fairbridge Farm School Pt 1' [263 pages in first folder, 345 in second, 1921–28]
This file contains press cuttings, photographs, notes, Hansard extracts, and letters to the Prime Minister, the Commonwealth Superintendent of Immigration, the Director of the Commonwealth Immigration Office, the Governor-General, the Development and Migration Commission, and members of parliament, on the history, development and work of the Fairbridge Farm School and the Child Emigration Society, in particular the question of government contributions, together with various replies. Also included are details of subsidy payments, expenditure, ministerial memoranda, resolutions and notes of deputations in support of the Farm Schools, copies of agreements with Federal and state governments, and a 1928 report by T H Garrett on the Child Emigration Society and the Children's Farm School Immigration Society of Western Australia. A 1926 statement from the Child Immigration Society of Western Australia to the Minister for Migration requesting a variation in the agreement includes extracts from letters of employers of Fairbridge youth.
A436, 1946/5/597 part 1
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother Scheme' [475 pages, 1924–28]
This is a very large file on the Big Brother Scheme from its inception in 1924. It contains details of its launching at the Millions Club in April 1925, aims and outline of the scheme, activities of the London committee, press cuttings, a large poster, progress reports on the Movement, application forms, booklets, pamphlets, relations with New Settlers' League (NSL), the Ugly Men's Voluntary Workers' Association, and the Dreadnought Scheme, notes from a New Settlers' League Conference in 1924, an extract from Hansard, 1924, of a speech by the Minister for Lands regarding group settlement and migration generally, draft pamphlets, notes and background information on assisted migration for use by the founder, Richard Linton, and members of Parliament, G F Pearce and E R Farrar in 1925. Minutes and notes of meetings, conferences and deputations, letters of introduction for Linton, and correspondence with Prime Ministers Hughes and Bruce, the Commonwealth Immigration Office and the Development and Migration Commission regarding nominations and requisitions, reception of boys, training farms, aftercare and welfare and accommodation at Australia House are also included. Concern was expressed at the Migration and Settlement Office over possible competition with State schemes sponsoring boys owing to guarantee of parental guidance. The question of financial assistance is also raised.
A436, 1945/5/2217
Department of the Interior [II], Central Office, 'Big Brothers (Association) 1928 General File' [260 pages, 1926–28]
Correspondence relates to the early progress of the Movement in Australia. States participating were New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia; in New South Wales, however, the boys were all Dreadnought boys who had asked to have Big Brothers. Questions of financial aid were raised with the Oversea Settlement Department and the Development and Migration Commission. Correspondence also covers the selection process, possible cancellation of requisitions of 'Little Brothers' to Victoria in 1928 owing to employment difficulties, the liability of the London Committee, office accommodation in Victoria, and the appointment of a country welfare inspector. Annual Reports for 1927 and 1928, a booklet on the Movement, conference notes and press cuttings are also included.
A436, 1945/5/2223
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother (Association) London Organisation, 1927' [19 pages, 1927]
This relates to accommodation for the Committee of the Big Brother Movement at Australia House in London. It includes notes of a meeting of the Committee with the Development and Migration Commission on the work of the Movement.
A436, 1945/5/2219
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brothers (Association), 1927 General File' [113 pages, 1927]
This contains an extract on the Big Brother Movement from the Migration and Settlement Office Monthly Report on Australian migration activities in Britain and Ireland, December 1927, some history of the Movement and its relationship with Dreadnought boys, activities of the Committee in London, notes of meetings with the Development and Migration Commission, the Annual Report for 1927, press cuttings, impressions of Reg C Jordan, a pioneer of the Movement, and correspondence on requisitions and the acquisition of a training farm.
A436, 1945/5/2221
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother Requisitions'. [8 pages, 1927]
This includes correspondence between the Big Brother Movement and the Development and Migration Commission regarding requisitions for 1927 and prospects of securing a training farm.
A436, 1945/5/2220
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother Movement, South Australia, 1927–28' [36 pages, 1927–28]
This relates to the establishment of a division of the Big Brother Movement in South Australia in 1927. Boy migrants were selected through the Big Brother organisation in London in conjunction with the Migration and Settlement Office and a subsidy was payable in 1928. The file includes press extracts, recommendations for the South Australian division and forms prepared in conjunction with the Movement (for example, membership, objects, responsibilities of Big Brothers etc.)
A436, 1945/5/4
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother (Old Melbourne File 1929–33)' [130 pages, 1929–33]
This contains requisitions, requests for an additional photograph for each 'little brother' during 1929 and the notice of a reduction and then the cancellation of the quota of boy migrants in 1930 owing to the depression. It includes some 1925 material, correspondence relating to the financial situation during the early 1930s, minutes of executive committee meetings and annual meetings, reports and balance sheets for 1931 and 1932.
A436, 1946/5/3
Home and Territories Department/Department of Immigration, 'Fairbridge Farm School, Part 2, 1929–35' [283 pages, 1929–35]
This is a large file focussing on 1929–31 containing correspondence with the Premier's Department, the Prime Minister, the Department of Land and Surveys and the Development and Migration Commission regarding Commonwealth and State accounts and subsidies, annual reports (1928, 1929), agreements between the Child Emigration Society and the British Government, minutes of relevant Development and Migration Commission meetings, balance sheets, copies of ministerial memoranda, notes of meetings and discussions, requisitions and nominations, details of accommodation and individual children at the Farm Schools (including questions on the intellectual capacity of some), press cuttings and photographs of arrivals of child migrants.
A436, 1946/5/597
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother Movement'[46 pages, 1932–36]
This contains Annual Reports for 1932 and 1936, notes of a committee meeting in 1933, correspondence on the possible sponsorship of English public and secondary school boys to Australia to undertake an Agricultural Diploma course in Victoria or New South Wales, a summary of activities of the Movement for 1925–35, the question of government subsidies in 1935 and 1936, and various press cuttings.
A436, 1945/5/2225
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother Movement, Victoria. Question of Government Financial Assistance' [333 pages,1934–41]
This file relates to the question of subsidies (from the Commonwealth and British governments and, for a limited period, the Victorian government) to the Big Brother Movement (established in Victoria in 1925) between 1934 until World War II. The migration of boys occurred under its auspices from 1925 to 1930 but thereafter the Movement was concerned solely with aftercare. The file has implications for the whole question of financial assistance to voluntary migration organisations in the depressed 1930s. Some history of the Movement and its activities is included, together with an annual report (1935), press cuttings, and conditions for the reintroduction of assisted migration with the easing of the depression from 1936 and for 'little brothers' in the late 1930s. Minutes of a Council meeting in 1941 record the disbanding of the Victorian Branch of the Movement and the passing of its remaining funds to the Boy Scouts' Association.
A436, 1945/5/88
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother Movement, Vic.' [374 pages, late 1937–39]
This file relates to government funding of the Big Brother Movement, Victoria, in the late 1930s, particularly the continuation of a subsidy of £500 per annum granted to the Movement in 1936 by the Commonwealth and United Kingdom governments for aftercare until migration could be resumed. The file contains correspondence relating to financial matters, a nomination for 60 boys made in October 1937 (but left in abeyance owing to financial uncertainty), the Movement's registration as a company in July 1938, and its amalgamation with the Boy Scouts' Association early in 1939. One group of 'Little Brothers' arrived in August 1939 as a result of a revised nomination but further requisitions were cancelled with the outbreak of World War II. Subsidies were then discontinued.
A436, 1946/5/2
Department of the Interior, 'Big Brother Movement London Organisation Financial Arrangements' [53 pages, 1937–40]
This contains a request from the Big Brother Movement for financial help for the London Office of the organisation, 1937, and other correspondence with the Department of the Interior on landing money and supervision for boys. Until the suspended requisitions for 1937 were renewed and active recruiting recommenced, no consideration was given to the requests. Memoranda, notes of meetings, and letters from 1938 on the question of payment of government subsidies are included. The subsidies ceased in September 1939.
A436, 1946/5/5
Department of Immigration, File of Papers, Part 1, 'Catholic Episcopal Migration and Welfare Association. Request for Maltese Children from Malta' [249 pages, 1938–50]
The information in this file all relates to the post-World War II period (1946–50) except for two items, one giving conditions governing child migration from Malta to Christian Brothers institutions in Western Australia, the other a related letter.
A436, 1949/5/1220
Image 30: Extracts from the <em>Melbourne Herald</em>, 8 August 1939.

Image 30: Extracts from the Melbourne Herald, 8 August 1939.
NAA: A436, 1946/5/2
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This series consists mainly of correspondence files, but contains a variety of records, including notes, memoranda, statistics, maps, charts, printed books, pamphlets, minutes and other types of papers, covering all aspects of the work of the Commission. Many of the records are of specific investigations conducted by the Commission.
Series: CP211/2
Quantity: 23.94 metres
Recorded by: 1926–30: Development and Migration Commission (CA 243)
Development and Migration Commission, General Correspondence, 1926–29, 'Investigations – Voluntary organisations. Report by Mr T H Garrett on activities of voluntary organisations in migration in Australia. Fairbridge Farm, Salvation Army, Returned Soldiers League and Welfare Societies in the various States [One box and files of 5 cm (not all relevant to child migration), 1926–30]
This contains reports of relevance to migration generally, for example, that of Senator Pearce on Migration, 1927, and Progress Reports of the Royal Commission on Rural Settlement, South Australia, 1925. On voluntary organisations, there are two folders. One contains 12 pages on the Returned Sailors and Soldiers' Imperial League of Australia mainly related to employment and the work of the League in aftercare for ex-Imperial servicemen from Great Britain and India. The other, of 215 pages are separated into the following sections:
  1. the Salvation Army whose migration activities were non-sectarian, involved all states except Tasmania and the Northern Territory and included families, domestic servants, farm youth, widows and children, the last two given special attention. Information on the Training farm for boys at Riverview, Queensland and Brightview Lodge in Western Australia, statements of income and expenditure, a copy of the agreement between the British government and the Salvation Army under the Empire Settlement Act1922, correspondence on government assistance, booklets, application forms and other details of the Salvation Army Immigration, Settlement and Shipping Department are included.

  2. The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA).

  3. The 1927 report on voluntary organisations by T H Garrett, which includes information on the New Settlers' League, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, the Church of England Immigration Council, Barnardo Homes (New South Wales), Dreadnought Trustees, Lady Musgrave Lodge (Queensland), the Boy Scouts (Victoria), the Victoria League (Victoria) and the Big Brother Movement. Four booklets produced by the New Settlers' League are also included.
CP211/2, Bundle 98/NN
This series comprises standard correspondence files dealing with the administration of the Health Department. The files cover such topics as diseases, quarantine, drugs, epidemics, laboratories, inspections, hygiene and staff matters.
Series: A1928
Quantity: 82.71 metres
Recorded by: 1925–49 Department of Health, Central Office (CA 17)
Department of Health, 'Immigration and Immigrants. Request by Children's Farm School Immigration Society of WA for accommodation of children at Woodman's Point Quarantine Station' [12 pages, 1928]
Questions of isolation and quarantine for a party of 115 children sailing to Australia on the Balranald in 1928 were raised and subsequently withdrawn by the Children's Farm School Immigration Society of Western Australia owing to an outbreak of measles. The file contains a list of infectious diseases occurring on immigrant ships from England, 1927, and a Department of Health report on phases of epidemic incidence amongst child migrants on arrival in Australia.
A1928, 520/32
More detailed information about records held by the National Archives on child and juvenile immigration is provided in Guide No. 11 – Good British Stock: Child and Youth Migration to Australia, 1901–83.