Story Of How English Lad Fought To Enter U. S. Arouses Sympathy

HIS STORY WINS SYMPATHY—Ronald McDonald. 16- year-old.British lad (center), who told court authorities this week a heart-stirring story of his fight to come to America. At the left is 5tate Trooper Thomas P. Costello of Norwood who picked up the boy on Route 1, and at the right is Court Clerk James O’Connor, who is caring for Ronald while immigration authorities look into the case (McLean Photo)

In the Dover home of Clerk James L. O’Connor of the Walpole District Court a 16-year-old English lad. who had longed to see this country after listening to G. I’s stationed near his hometown during the war, anxiously awaited today the untangling of red tape by immigration authorities which might nullify his illegal entry into this country as a stowaway aboard the Queen Mary three weeks ago.

The presence of the lad in this country was revealed late Tuesday night when he was picked up by Trooper Thomas P Costello of Norwood, attached to the Wrcntham State Police Barracks, for violation of the automobile laws. His Cockney accent led to adroit questioning by Costello which resulted in his confession to illegal entry into this country and the revelation of his burning desire to stay here

State Police and court attaches listened for nearly an hour Wednesday morning as Ronald McDonald of Bolton, Lancashire England, told of how he was imbued with a desire to sec and live in the United States after its beauties and opportunities were described so often by American troops stationed near Bolton About two years ago. McDonald revealed he stowed away on a steamer which he believed was bound for the United States but which instead wound up at a port in West Africa. A helping hand from an unnamed member of the crew kept him supplied with food and also kept his place of concealment a secret so that he could return to England on the same boat.

Last November he joined the Royal Navy with the thought in mind that the ship he would be assigned to might eventually come to the United States His plans were thwarted by Royal Navy officials when he was placed on coastal duty. About three weeks ago, McDonald, learning that the Queen Mary was due to sail for New York, secreted himself somewhere on the boat. In mid-Atlantic he struck up an acquaintance with two former Gl’s and the wife of one of them, being deported from England to this country, and kept in detention in the crew’s quarters of the Queen Mary. It is believed through this trio that McDonald was able to obtain food and drink during the six-day ocean crossing. When the Queen Mary docked at New York, McDonald, according to his own admission, simply walked past the customs officials.

Realizing that in order to obtain employment in this country he would have to show a Social Security card, he filled out an application at the New York Social Security office, giving his real name and his proper address. The card was issued to him without question, he said.

Got Job On Farm

With his life’s ambition to be a full-fledged automobile mechanic. he started looking for work in that line around New York City, out was unable to obtain employment. Where he slept and ate during this time he did not reveal. He finally decided to leave New York, from where he went to a farming town in Pennsylvania. There he obtained work as a farm hand and was given room and board.

While he was on the farm, he wrote home to his mother, father, and sister in Bolton to tell them that he had arrived in the United States. It is expected that immigration authorities will contact his parents before taking any action in the matter. Ronald’s father is expected to come here in June on a business trip.

When the youngster left the farm several days ago, it was with a full stomach and a ten-dollar bill. Having heard about the resemblance of Boston to certain parts of England with which he was acquainted, he started hitch-hiking for Boston.

His appearance in the Walpole District Court yesterday morning before Judge Herbert D. Robinson was brought about by his natural curiosity for automobiles. In fact, he became so interested in the operation of an American-made car which he came across unattended beside the Boston-Providence turnpike, that he decided to try it out, driving along Route 1 until it ran out of fuel.

Ronald steered the vehicle into a gas station near the Walpole-Foxboro line and continued on his way on foot. The gas station attendant called the Wrentham State Police barracks and a short time later Trooper Costello picked up McDonald walking along Route 1 near the Redwing Diner.

Cared For By Clerk

After hearing the boys story yesterday morning, court officials notified the immigration authorities at Boston and Inspectors Haley and Bartlett came to court and questioned the boy. Pending a hearing before Immigration officials at Boston it was decided the lad would be left in the care and custody of Clerk O’Connor who was to post a cash bond for the appearance of the stowaway when his case conies before the proper officials.

As news of the boy’s plight spread, several offers of a home and employment were received in an effort to spare him deportation. In the meantime, after pleading innocent to the automobile charge the case was continued until April 26th.

Ronald’s story was heard with sympathetic understanding, and authorities indicated every effort would be made to cut legal red tape so that it would be possible for him to remain in this country.