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160   DAYS OF PREPARATION

out among the prisoners continually, establishing contact with individuals, and noting every unusual circumstance or movement. The "escort" of working parties is arduous, but effective in preventing escapes in the woods and other convenient places.

For money the Department of Finance is drawn upon as occasion demands. At first the requisitions were periodically made in sums of $150,000; these, however, have dwindled to $50,000, all grants being spent under the supervision of the Auditor-General. Supplies (the main item of expenditure) are bought in large contract lots by tenders which have first been authorized by the War Purchases Commission. Overhead charges, perhaps the next leading item, are kept at a minimum by the concentrations already described. Altogether the service had cost in the neighbourhood of $3,250,000 to the end of the fiscal year 1917-18. It must be remembered that a considerable part of this, namely the expenditures on clothing and subsistence, will be recoverable from the enemy governments at the close of the war.

As already stated, the problem of the internment of the alien enemy has been a large and difficult one. Serious, however, as it has proved already in the matter of organizing a wholly novel task, and successfully though the high-water mark in the handling of personnel has been passed, it is probably the case that not the least of the difficulties are ahead and will not be fully encountered until after the close of the war. It has always to be remembered that the relations of the Government to the interned prisoners are of a peculiar and even subtle character, involving all the responsibilities that emerge when an individual guiltless of criminality is deprived of his personal liberty in order to protect the needs and interests of another—even though that other be the country itself. In the first place, there is the responsibility for the personal belongings of various kinds which under the Hague Rules remain the property of a prisoner of war and must be cared for during his confinement and restored


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