I have uncovered a story of unemployed men and their families being returned back to Blantyre, from Canada.
Under a headline, “Dumped in Scotland from Canada”, local newspapers of 2nd March 1933, reported that strong objection had been made by the Public Assistance Officer for Lanarkshire due to the methods adopted the Canadian Government in returning unemployed people to Britain.
That month, 21 families, numbering 94 persons, were “dumped” back into Blantyre and Cambuslang from Nova Scotia. Since their arrival back to Blantyre, those people were dependent on the ratepayers of the county. A report on the subject was submitted to Lanark County Council in Glasgow on 1st March 1933, and was decided that representations should be made to the Department of Health for Scotland to take whatever action they might think necessary.
The scene pictured would have been very familiar to those Blantyre men. It is the mine at Glace Bay, in a colourised photo from the 1930’s.
It was pointed out that it was costing almost £2,000 year to maintain the deportees from Canada, who were homeless and destitute. The unemployed men of the party were all miners who had been employed at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, for six years until last September. They alleged that before they could obtain relief kind for their wives and families they had sign document that they were willing to return back to Scotland.
This ties in well with a previous story I have told on this website, where several families from Glace Bay ended up living at Dixon’s Rows, but I suspect those were the lucky ones who managed to find employment upon their return here.
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