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THE ALIEN ENEMY IN CANADA 159

 

have been frustrated. There are the usual stories told of the cunning with which prisoners have attempted to elude the vigilance of their guards. The prisoner who digs a tunnel with a teaspoon has been in evidence. The absence of a prisoner from roll-call has led to his discovery entombed in a flower-bed or snow-bank as a preliminary to escape, Another prisoner constructed a "dummy" of himself which deceived the guard long enough to allow a vigorous attempt to scale the wire. For misdemeanors of this kind and others, punishments are awarded under an agreement between the British and German Governments, varying from fourteen days' to two months' imprisonment upon reduced rations, while in cases deserving more stringent treatment, recourse is had to the civil power.

For the carrying out of such a duty, it will be easily understood, an organization at once large and flexible is necessary. The general character of that organization may be inferred from the preceding. Internment is, as has been said, a purely military operation (though under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice), the troops under the Director being paid, clothed and equipped by the Militia Department, but quartered and subsisted at the expense of Internment Operations. The number of the military forces has, of course, varied from time to time. At the maximum early in 1916 they numbered 2,060, but by 1918 a total of 750 sufficed. At one time nineteen camps or stations were in use, with troops ranging from ten to two hundred and sixty of all ranks in each, each being under the command of a local commandant on whose judgment and acumen the successful administration of the camp largely depends. Guarding the wire is obviously the paramount duty; a prisoner of war may be fired upon if he attempts to escape. But the actual task of "sentry go" is only a part of the arrangements for rendering the camp secure. For enforcing discipline and preventing the hatching of plans to escape, dependence is chiefly had upon a staff of inside police who go in and


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