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Clearance '68 (clip 1)

Emigration from Scotland to Canada

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Documentary from the late 1960s discussing modern emigration from Scotland. This clip looks at the hopes and ambitions of the émigrés as well as the potential benefits to the economies of Scotland, Australia and Canada. The clip includes footage of Scots leaving to the sound of bagpipes playing and shots of life in Australia. It also shows a Scottish family visiting the Canadian consulate to discuss the process of emigrating.

Please note: Some racist attitudes are conveyed in this clip.

Questions & Activities


  • Where are these people going to and why?
  • Why do you think the piper was included in the film?
  • How do you think the emigrating children feel about the Canadian immigration officer's comments?
  • What do you think the family expect from their new life?
  • What point do you think the film is trying to make?
  • Do you think it should be easy to move to new countries or not?
  • What countries do Scots emigrate to?
  • What do you think are the main reasons Scots people decided to leave to live abroad?
  • What is the '€˜Commonwealth'?


Choose another country and design a poster to "sell"€ that country as a potential new place for Scottish people to live and work.

Imagine you are hoping to live in another country. Write an application to emigrate, describing what you could offer the new country.

Stage a mock interview at a migration bureau, with different pupils taking on different roles.

Research the UK immigration process. How hard is it to live and work in the UK as an immigrant? What restrictions are placed upon immigrants to the UK?

Research what has changed in Canada since the late 1960s.

Write a diary entry as a child of a family about to leave Scotland to live abroad. What would you miss? What would you be looking forward to?

The voiceover in the introduction says that Scotland might be better without some people. Discuss.

Write a story about emigrating to another country, a diary entry, or a letter back home to your relatives about your experiences. This could be set in 1968 or the present day. What would be the differences about the emigrant's experience today?

Discuss the push and pull factors that drive emigration and immigration. The emotions of leaving and being left behind.

Talk about how emigration is presented in this documentary and how immigration is presented in the media today. Compare the attitudes presented in the film to the attitudes conveyed in present-day media. Compare the family's expectations in the past with a modern immigrant's expectations. Are they justified?

Discuss the overt racism in the clip about Australia and whether this reflects the racism of the production team or the White Australia policy that operated at the time.

Write a play about a family discussing whether to leave or not based on what they learned from the Canadian immigration officer.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-561-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T1128
Date 1968
Genre TV Documentary
School Subject History, English, Social Studies, Art and Design, Expressive Arts, Modern Studies, Media Studies, Drama
Subject Matter Citizenship, Immigration, Emigration, Tourism, Travel, Equalities, Commonwealth
Who Scottish Television (production company), Ted Williamson (director)
Where Glasgow (Emigration Centre), Prestwick Airport
Event Emigration, Migration
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 7:14
Film Length 23:25
© Archive film content and stills licensed by National Library of Scotland and other rights holders. Other Website Content Copyright Creative Scotland.
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