Moving large numbers of children to overseas countries was not part
of the government's evacuation plan although, early in the war,
some overseas countries offered to receive children from Britain.
When France was defeated and occupied by the German armed forces
in June 1940, the British government feared that the bombing of
towns and cities would be followed by a German invasion of the island.
Offers to take children were made by the British Dominions - Australia,
Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. The United States of America
offered to take up to 200,000 children.
Public support for overseas evacuation grew and, at first, the
government accepted the idea. It was believed that children moved
overseas would be safer. Also it was thought that moving children
would reduce the numbers to be fed in Britain, which was now an
"island fortress" under siege. A limited amount of overseas evacuation
The government changed its view as it realised that passenger ships
were needed to move troops, internees and prisoners. And warships
could not be spared for escort duties, as they were required to
defend Britain's seas and shores against invasion. The government
began to discourage support for overseas evacuation.