Letter from Mrs. J.H. Coscarella, to Price, Waterhouse & Co., October 2, 1940
This letter is handwritten by Elisa Coscarella, and was sent to Price, Waterhouse & Co., on October 2, 1940. Elisa Coscarella writes to the CEP agents in this case, Price, Waterhouse & Co., for assistance, regarding the assets and debts of her interned husband Giuseppe Coscarella.
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.
Coscarella was interned at Camp Petawawa. During his internment, his family struggled to maintain the family farm. In this letter, his wife writes for help regarding the maintenance charges for the family truck -- which she cannot pay. As a result, the garage seems to have seized the truck and is refusing to release it until payment is made in full. The truck is needed for farm delivery of eggs.