Volume 8 1945~1948

Doc No.

No. 393 NAI DT S11582B

Summary of Department of External Affairs memorandum for Government on restricting female emigration to Britain

Dublin, 30 August 1947

  1. Newspaper advertisements for employment in Great Britain are directed mainly to female domestics.
  2. There are no restrictions on the emigration of females and many are emigrating for causes other than economic necessity.
  3. The high volume of female emigration is serious on demographic as well as moral and social grounds.
  4. Nothing effective can be done to protect the moral and social interests of girls going to domestic service once they have left the country.
  5. The following remedial measures are suggested for consideration by the Government:-
    •  Prohibit emigration of females under 22 years of age, or
    •  Introduce a quota system based on pre-war normal averages increased or decreased as current conditions would indicate, and
    •  Issue to each female applicant for a Travel Permit Card proposing to take up employment in Great Britain a leaflet warning them of the difficulties and dangers likely to be encountered by them in Great Britain.
  1. Of these suggestions, (a) and (b) could be administered only as long as the present restrictions on travel between Great Britain and Ireland continue to operate. The most that could be expected of the suggestion at (c) is that it might help to discourage some girls from emigrating.
  2. The Minister for Justice agrees generally with the memorandum. He doubts, however, whether it would be advisable for the State to prevent the emigration of young girls who have their parents' consent, and, while admitting the moral dangers for young girls in Great Britain, he feels that, on the small amount of concrete evidence available, it would be difficult to justify State interference.