• Legislation

Empire Settlement Act 1922, Parliament of the United Kingdom


The Empire Settlement Act 1922 was an Imperial Act, passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and applicable in Australia and other Commonwealth nations such as New Zealand and Canada. It was a landmark in the history of Australian immigration, especially for its encouragement of child and youth migration.

According to the Lost Innocents report (p. 18), the passage of this Act enabled British government funds to be available to subsidise the fares and maintenance of children sent overseas under child migration schemes. It guaranteed that the British Government would financially contribute to the maintenance of child migrants sent to Australia.

In 1946, the Empire Settlement Act was reactivated, enabling the British government, “in partnership with the Australian Government”, to enter into agreements with organisations to arrange children to migrate from Britain to Australia.

In 1956, the Fact-Finding Mission on Child Migration, led by John Ross, toured many institutions housing child migrants, as part of considerations about whether the British Government subsdies under the Empire Settlement Act should be renewed.

The Empire Settlement Act 1922 was repealed by the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1976 (UK legislation).

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