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154   DAYS OF PREPARATION

under the stimulus of war orders soon diffused the demand throughout almost the entire field of employment. Within six months the numbers of the interned were cut in half, and by the middle of 1916 the original 8,200 had been reduced to little more than a quarter of that number. So material a falling off permitted the abolition of most of the camps and the concentration of the remaining prisoners at the more strategic and important centres. In the third year of the war there remained of the establishments above mentioned only four, namely, the camp at Amherst, which continued to serve the Maritime Provinces and the demands of the Imperial authorities, that at Kapuskasing, which covered the territory stretching from Winnipeg to Quebec, and those at Vernon and Morrissey, B.C., which met the needs of most of Western Canada,—all the rest having been abandoned and the residue of the prisoners transferred to one or other of these points.

The broad characteristics of the work, as above, can be sketched briefly enough. It is, however, in its details —in the peculiarities that distinguish it from other operations that may superficially appear similar, and in the life and conditions that prevail in consequence in the detention camps—that interest chiefly resides. A few notes, necessarily of limited scope, follow on these aspects.

The feature that par excellence marks off the operations from all others of a similar kind lies in the status of the prisoners. They are not prisoners in the civil sense, but are "prisoners of war," and entitled to the privileges of such under the Hague Rules. In other words they are not to be regarded as criminals or convicts, their detention being essentially a measure of security and not of punishment. As a general principle, the subjects of an enemy state who may be travelling or resident in the country on the outbreak of war are not liable to arrest or detention, though a declaration of war between two nations makes every citizen of the one an enemy of every


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