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Oath and/or declaration of Libero Sauro, in support of Leonard Franceschini, January 1941
Oath and/or declaration of Libero Sauro, in support of Leonard Franceschini, January 1941.
Rev. Libero Sauro was arrested on September 7, 1940 and held at Don Jail before being transferred to Petawawa Internment Camp.
After his release, Sauro continued to help other Italian Canadian internees and their families. In this sworn declaration, he is testifying to an event in which he participated with Leonard Franceschini. In this occurrence while they were both detained at the Lansdowne Barracks and involving other German internees, Franceschini defended the King and denounced fascism.
Under the DOCR (Defence of Canada Regulations), after 30 days, internees could formally object to their detention to an advisory committee appointed by the Minister of Justice. The Minister of Justice then appointed a judge to review the internee’s case. This meant an examination of the RCMP’s evidence against the internee, meetings with the internee, and interviews with witnesses who could attest to the internee’s character. After this, the judge either recommended an internee’s release or continued internment to the Minister of Justice.
This document forms part of a collection of documents and other materials donated by the Sauro family.
Recto: [t-b, l-r]: [typed] IN THE MATTER of The War Measure Act, R.S.C. / Chapter 206, and / IN THE MATTER of the Application of Leonard Franceschini, / of the Town of Mimico, in the County of York, Contractor. / [line] / I, Libero Sauro, of the City of Toronto, in the County of York, / Clergyman, make oath and say as follows:- / 1. I am a Minister of the United Church of Canada. / 2. I am a naturalized British subject since 1913. / 3. I am a released Internee. / 4. While in detention at Lansdowne Barracks in Toronto before my recent / internment, I was in company of Leonard Franceschini and other prisoners. / Franceschini and I entered the Barracks and left it on the same day. / 5. On Thanksgiving Sunday, October 13th 1940, the protestant group / among the prisoners was invited to attend the Thanksgiving Service in the / Park outside the Barracks. Among the group attending was Mr. Franceschini / and myself. At the termination of the Service, conducted by Captain Rev. / Allan Ferris, the National Anthem was sung. Mr. Franceschini and I and some / of the other prisoners joined in the singing of the National Anthem. / Returning to the Compound, one of the prisoners, a German, scornfully said: / “Look at you singing God Save the King; look where the King has put you”/ 6. Mr Franceschini and I had quite an argument with the German prisoner. / We mantained [sic] that our imprisonment had nothing to do with His Majesty the / King. Mr. Franceschini was very firm in his stand of loyalty to the end, / in spite of his present predicament. / 7. In my conversation with Leonard Franceschini, during the fortyfive [sic] / days we stayed in Lansdown Barracks, he said nothing which would point / to any disloyalty to Canada or Great Britain; on the contrary, he was always / praising this Country and its Institutions because it afforded opportunities / to all alike. And in our discussions with the pro-fascist and pro-nazist / prisoners he protested vigorously to the autocratic methods and lack of / liberty and opportunity under the totalitarian regimes. / 8. I feel convinced from my association as above that Leonard Franceschini / is not a Fascist but that he is loyal to Canada and the British Institutions. / SWORN before me at the City of Toronto, / in the County of York this / day of January, 1941/ A Commissioner etc.
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