Letter from Joseph Jean, M.P., to Pierre Casgrain, July 3, 1941
This typewritten letter in French is a copy. The original was written by Joseph Jean MP, to Pierre Casgrain, Secretary of State, July 3, 1941. Jean, a Liberal member of the House of Commons and later the Solicitor General of Canada, writes with respect to the internment of Luigi Corbelli.
Corbelli's assets (in particular the Dodge 1940) had been seized by the Custodian of Enemy Property (CEP), a branch of the Canadian government that 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.
Jean notes that Mrs. Corbelli has been told by the CEP agents, Price, Waterhouse & Co., that the automobile must be sold. Mrs. Corbelli does not want the car sold as she believes her husband may soon be released. In fact, he returned home a month later. Jean notes that he believes Corbelli to be innocent.