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CHAPTER VIII

THE ALIEN ENEMY IN CANADA; INTERNMENT
OPERATIONS

N O FACT was more outstanding in Canadian development during the early years of the present century than the heavy immigration. For some time prior to 1900, Canada had had a normal annual inflow of from 20,000 to 45,000 people; with the new century, however, the movement went rapidly beyond these figures, climbing to 189,000 by 1905-6, to 311,000 by 1910-11, and to 402,000 by 1912-13. Altogether, nearly three million arrivals were added to the five and a quarter millions of population in the decade and a half which preceded the war. Not all of course remained; a considerable proportion represented mere transient labour, engaged upon the large constructive enterprises then in progress. But the statement will show the condition of flux into which the Canadian population had been thrown just prior to the war, and which constituted not the least disturbing element in the situation which the Government had so suddenly and unexpectedly to face on the outbreak of that great conflagration.

In proceeding to a brief description of the methods by which the alien enemy within Canada were brought under proper surveillance and restraint during the war, it will be of interest to envisage the problem as it presented itself from the more or less general information in hand when the war began. The immigration returns, as already hinted, offer only a crude index; the Census or stock-sheet of the population must be requisitioned for the complete point of view—though the Census figures were already three years old in 1914. First of all it may be remarked that of the total Canadian population of 7,206,643 recorded in 1911, some 752,732, or well over ten per cent., were known to be "foreign-born," i.e., born

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