Memorandum for Mr. McPherson, re. A. Bertone [sic], July 10, 1944, Ottawa, ON
This memorandum was written for G.W. McPherson, Counsel for the Custodian of Enemy Property, regarding Antonio Bertoni. The memo is signed by P.H. Russell. Attached to the memo is a typewritten copy of a letter sent by Bertoni's wife.
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.
This document reviews the situation pertaining to the management of Bertoni's affairs by the CEP, while he was interned. Specifically at issue is the fee of the CEP agents in the case -- Price, Waterhouse & Co. The document identifies a disagreement between the agents and the Custodian's office, as to the payment of fees, which they are both trying to collect from the internee and his family (see LDICEA2012.0027.0009.b). A handwritten note directs: Let stand as closed now. If you write another letter they will likely charge for the answer.
In the attached copy of the letter by Bertoni's wife, originally dated March 27, 1944, she notes she finds the fee excessive given the family had very little assets to begin with. She also notes they are not in a position to pay the charge all at once, and are instead trying to do so in installments.