Letter from Price, Waterhouse & Co., to T. W. Laidlaw, August 21, 1940
This typewritten letter from Price, Waterhouse & Co., is addressed to T.W. Laidlaw, Counsel for the Custodian, Ottawa, ON. Written on August 21, 1940, the letter pertains to the internment of Phillip Perri.
The Custodian of Enemy Property (CEP), a branch of the Canadian government, oversaw the administration of assets belonging to internees and other enemy aliens. This government office served a dual function. Acting as a trustee for the internee/enemy alien, the office and its agents also protected the interests of the creditors. The CEP would pay off an internee’s debts by selling his or her property or businesses. It also collected money owed to internees by others. Families of internees often did not have access to the husband's assets and bank accounts. As a result, families often had to negotiate with the CEP for stipends for daily subsistence or use of assets like an automobile. In some cases, where assets were lacking, the CEP divested itself of any interest and left the families to fend for themselves.
Here, the CEP agents in this case, Price, Waterhouse & Co., note that Perri was turned over to the RCMP by Toronto police who had him on a vagrancy charge. It's unclear how someone who is homeless, a beggar or vagrant would constitute a legitimate threat against the security of the Canadian state, but he seems to have been interned for at least 18 months.