Previous Index Next

 

CANADA AT WAR   33

Austro-Hungarian origin had increased from 18,000 to 129,000, and the German population from 310,000 to 393,000. In all, the Teutonic population in 1911 was over half a million, or more than one-sixteenth of the whole population of Canada.

Measures were taken for registering alien enemies, for interning those who were regarded as dangerous, and for compelling others to report at stated times. Immediately on the outbreak of the war it was proclaimed that persons of German and Austrian nationality pursuing their usual vocations "shall not be arrested, detained or interfered with unless there is reasonable ground to believe that they are engaged in espionage or attempting to engage in acts of a hostile nature or to give information to the enemy," or unless they broke the law.

By the same Order-in-Council (August 7, 1914) German reservists were forbidden to leave Canada by any Atlantic or Pacific port, and were to be arrested if they made the attempt; and it was ordered that precautions should be taken at important points on the boundary line between Canada and the United States to prevent German reservists from crossing into the United States with the object of eventually reaching Germany.

The relations between persons of German birth or descent and the authorities and people of Canada were the cause of some incidents which can only be glanced at in this sketch.

In Waterloo County and other parts of Western Ontario there is a large German population. The greater part of this population is really Canadian—children and grandchildren of those who had arrived in Canada in earlier days. But, as there are some new arrivals who were supposed, and in some cases rightly, to sympathize with the Kaiser, the situation was complicated and gave rise to some difficulties and disturbances. Later on an agitation arose to change the name of Berlin, the capital of Waterloo County. After a long


Previous Index Next