Friday 30 September 1887
The Southern Australian Advertiser
Mr W. F. Higgins, chairman of the Bedfordshire Reformatory, writes to the Times on a subject that is just now exercising the minds of the managers of certain reformatory schools who have been habit of sending youths from such schools to Canada. Apparently under apprehension that the emigration of these youths is likely to give a taint to the population of the Dominion, notice has been issued but boys on licence, and even discharge, from such schools must not be sent to Canada.
For some years past, Mr Higgins says that the school which he represents has sent to Canada from 8 to 12 boys in here, and that he knows of only two of them who have proved failures, while the reports of and from the others give most gratifying proof of the great advantage of the system of emigration for these children. Testimony generally agrees that reformatory children who have been selected the emigration to Canada have turned out well and have been an acquisition to the land to which they have gone. Emigration has been held out as a privilege and has proved an incentive to good conduct; and if the reports as to the course of those who have been sent in the past represent the facts in anything approaching a true light the advantage of the system has been mutual.
Mr Higgins mourns that anything should be done by Canada in the matter which may have the effect of compelling the managers of the schools to send the youths to the United States instead of Canada, a course which he thinks we deprive Canada of colonists of great value, and also expose the youths to greater risks and temptations than those to which they are exposed in Canada.