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THE ALIEN ENEMY IN CANADA 147

 

both Austrian- and German-born of any Canadian city—a total of 5,Q91 males of twenty-one years and over.

Such were the more important foundational facts upon which the policy of the Government took shape. It was a part of the general unpreparedness and of the essentially non-military character of Canada that public opinion could not instantly be brought into antagonism with the people who had been invited into the country with no thought in view but its peaceful development. Nevertheless the action of the Government was prompt, the first step in the matter being taken almost immediately upon the declaration of war, whilst numerous Orders-in-Council in amplification followed upon one another during the ensuing few months. Two stages in public policy are revealed in these documents.

In the first instance, a proclamation issued August 7th, 1914, vouchsafed protection to all immigrants of German nationality, who, while quietly pursuing their usual avocations, refrained from espionage, from the giving of information to the enemy, and from other acts of a hostile nature. German officers or reservists attempting to leave Canada were declared liable to arrest or detention, and precautions were taken at leading centres to prevent their return to Germany, either directly or through the United States. An identical proclamation regarding Austro-Hungarians followed a few days later (similar steps with regard to Turks and Bulgarians were also taken in due sequence), whilst on August 15th, 1914, a third proclamation, addressed to both German and Austro-Hungarian alien enemies, enlarged the prohibition so as to include any whose departure might on reasonable grounds be held to be for the assistance of the enemy. The power already vested in the Militia to make arrests and detentions in this connection was now extended to the Dominion Police and to the Royal North-West Mounted Police. Simultaneously, however, pro-vision was made for the release of any alien enemy who should sign a prescribed undertaking to refrain from


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