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Free Passages to Canada - 1921

Imperial Ex-Servicemen Who Left Liverpool for Ontario via the CPR Ship "Empress of France."

Imperial Ex-Servicemen Who Left Liverpool for Ontario via the CPR Ship "Empress of France." Canada Today, 1921-22. GGA Image ID # 14a699adc2

His Majesty's Ex-Service men, viz., officers and men of the Royal Navy, the British Army or the Royal Air Force (excluding those who have served solely in the Dominion and Colonial Forces and the Indian Army), who served in the Great War and wish to settle within the Empire overseas, may obtain free third-class passages for themselves and their dependents to the nearest convenient port to their destination, provided that they are approved under one of the agricultural settlement schemes of the Oversea Governments, or are going to assured employment, and provided also that they are in all respects acceptable to the Government of the territory to which they desire to go.

This privilege is also extended to the widows and dependents of ex-Service men as defined above, provided that they are entitled to draw pension from Imperial funds under the terms of the pensions Warrant.

Free Passages on the same conditions are granted to ex-Service women who enrolled for whole-time service for not less than six months in a corps under the direction of a British Government Department.

The following procedure is adopted —

  1. Ex-Service applicants for free passage must make their applications on forms to be obtained by them at their Local Employment Exchange; from the Oversea Settlement Office, 6, St. James's Square, London, S.W. 1; or from any District Offices of the Appointments Department of the Ministry of Labour; in the case of ex-Service women, from their Local Employment Exchange, or from their respective Corps Headquarters.
  2. Application forms must be filled up in duplicate and forwarded to the Oversea Settlement Office through the Employment Exchange or through the District Office of the Appointments Department; or, in the case of ex-Service women, through the Corps Headquarters; or, in the case of widows and orphans, through the Local War Pensions Committee or the District Inspector of the Ministry of Pensions.
  3. If, on receipt at the Oversea Settlement Office, the application forms are found to be completed satisfactorily the Oversea Settlement Committee forward the duplicate to the representative of the country to which the applicant desires to go—in the case of Canada, the Superintendent of Emigration—and that representative decides whether the applicant can be approved under one of the agricultural settlement schemes or is going to assured employment, and is in all respects acceptable to the Government of the Territory concerned.
  4. If, and when, an applicant is approved he is duly informed by the Oversea Settlement Committee, and a warrant book containing a passage voucher, railway warrant, embarkation permit, and a document which serves as passport, is issued.

The scheme applies only to ex-Service men and ex-Service women who served during the Great War and whose service began before January 1, 1920.

Applications may be sent in at any time before December 31, 1921, or within one year from the date of release from service, whichever is the later, provided that in the case of persons enlisted or enrolled or granted a commission for a period exceeding three years, applications must be sent in before December 31, 1921.

Those who apply before December 31, 1921, and are approved, will be allowed to avail themselves of the privilege of free passages at any time before December 31, 1922.

The term "dependent '' is confined in the case of ex-Service men to legal wives, and legitimate sons and step-sons under 16 years of age on April 8, 1919, and legitimate daughters and step-daughters under 18 years of age on the same date; and in the case of ex-Service women and widows of ex-Service men, to legitimate children as defined above.

The grant of free passages includes the grant of a third-class railway warrant, from the place of residence to the port of embarkation, but does not include any assistance in respect of the cost of the journey from the port of disembarkation overseas to the settler's final destination.

Approved applicants may avail themselves of any superior class on payment of the difference to the shipping companies.

No special shipping accommodation is reserved in connection with this scheme, and approved applicants must make their own arrangements for their passages with the shipping companies. No priority can be obtained for applicants.

The question of assured employment is one ſor the authorities of the country to which an applicant desires to go. In case of doubt, full particulars of an applicant, and prospects of employment, should be furnished on the forms.

Robert J. Arnott, M.A., Ed., "Emigration and Settlement: Free Passages to Canada," in Canada Today: "Canada's" Popular Illustrated Annual, Montreal: The Canada Newspaper Company, Limited, Sixth Issue, 1921-22, p. 35.

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The Folks Behind the GG Archives

The GG Archives is the work and passion of two people, Paul Gjenvick, a professional archivist, and Evelyne Gjenvick, a curator. Paul earned a Masters of Archival Studies - a terminal degree from Clayton State University in Georgia, where he studied under renowned archivist Richard Pearce-Moses. Our research into the RMS Laconia and SS Bergensfjord, the ships that brought two members of the Gjønvik family from Norway to the United States in the early 20th century, has helped us design our site for other genealogists. The extent of original materials at the GG Archives can be very beneficial when researching your family's migration from Europe.