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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child Migration Programmes Investigation Report

John Moss reports, 1951 to 1954

50. John Moss was a retired Kent County welfare officer who offered to report on the receiving institutions while visiting Australia in his own time, which he did from 1951 to 1952.

51. Although overall he made fairly positive observations, his reports were critical of the physical conditions in some of the institutions, the lack of trained staff, the isolation of some of the institutions which made engagement with the local community more difficult, the large size of some of the institutions and the lack of aftercare for children in work. He questioned the propriety of placing girls over the age of 12 in situations where they acted as domestic servants. He made a series of recommendations for improvements to the programmes, including that there be “periodical reports” made to the UK High Commissioner’s office.[1]

52. In 1954, Mr Moss visited Southern Rhodesia. In his report he was critical of the fact that children from the Rhodesia Fairbridge Memorial College (the only institution in Southern Rhodesia to which child migrants were sent) were being sent for weekend and holiday breaks to private households which were not known to the College staff and for which references as to their suitability had not been obtained. He recommended that the households which could not be visited by College staff should be approved on the basis of references provided by the Department of Education or Social Work, or possibly by the Rotary Club.

53. Home Office officials also recognised that this failure to obtain references was “perhaps risky”.[2] 

54. Mr Moss’s reports, and that of the Ross Mission which we consider further below, were effectively about whether the expectations of care were being met: but by definition these reinforce our understanding as to what those expectations were.



  1. Constantine 10 March 2017 93-99; CMT000393.
  2. Constantine 12 July 2017 164-165; EWM000438_022-023, paragraph 5.23; EWM000438_022, footnote 83
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