University Of Tasmania
whole_DireenRex1997_thesis.pdf (7.03 MB)

War precautions or persecution? : the treatment of enemy aliens and others in Tasmania during the Great War

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posted on 2023-05-26, 20:23 authored by Direen, Rex
This paper presents an investigation of the Record of Aliens files of the Intelligence Section, General Staff, 6th Military District (Tasmania) for 1914 - 1919 held by the Australian Archives in Hobart. By positioning the Record of Aliens files within the context of the social and economic forces shaping Tasmanian attitudes during the war I have attempted to enhance our understanding of the information contained within the files and provide as balanced an assessment of their historical significance as possible. The Record of Aliens files were released for public access during 1992 and consist of 759 standardised numbered forms (see appendix 2) of one, or occasionally two sheets, in alphabetical order. The files are a summary, probably completed in late 1919, of information collected from August 1914 until late 1919. The original files appear to have been destroyed. For purposes of the present analysis two copies of the Records were made and one set arranged to provide a chronological record of the activities of the Military Intelligence Section throughout the war and the immediate post-war period, while the other set has been classified into various categories as presented in the first section of chapter four. The main difficulties with the chrono-logical analysis are that 124 files are undated (16.2%) and a number of different dates relating to different events or reports are shown on the one file. In the latter case the date of the earliest significant event recorded was used as the basis of classification. A similar problem arose with the categorical analysis since many individual files recorded different types of events. The most significant event was used for primary allocation and the file was then cross-referenced for the other information. The central question informing this paper is whether the recorded acts of surveillance, questioning, registration and detention of enemy aliens and others within Tasmania during the First World War were reasonable war precautions or harsh acts of reprisal against \the enemy within\"? In seeking an answer I have set out my investigation as follows. Chapter one presents the Commonwealth Government's role in maintaining the external and internal security of Australia during the war. Chapter two explores the nature of Tasmanian society during the decade from 1910- 1920. Chapter three provides a detailed chronological survey of the Record of Aliens files and chapter four presents an analysis of the files and a conclusion."


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Copyright 1996 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1997. Includes bibliographical references

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