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Old 13-09-17, 17:49
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Tony Smith Tony Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by Lang View Post
The most important difference is our Constitution has specifically written into it that the Government may take property if in the national interest (in war time or to build major roads etc) but the owners must receive "fair and reasonable" compensation.

As mentioned above, Australians were paid very fairly for any vehicles or property taken during WW2.

It would be interesting to know if a blind eye was turned to property belonging to enemy nationals - I suspect it was and they got little or nothing - but they all returned to their farms etc after the war so were not robbed of their possessions permanently.

Very different story for those Japanese interned in Aust. See

Australian born and/or naturalised people of Japanese descent were arrested and interned and lost their property and assets, businesses and jobs and often their families were split up never to be reunited, and then deported at war's end. Many Korean and Formosan (aka Taiwanese) prisoners, who were regarded as "Japanese" nationality when interned, were also deported at war's end although notionally they had been granted newly independant nationalities that were our allies.

This wasn't due however to a blanket policy regarding all POWs and Internees, it was related to another policy in force at the time, the White Australia Policy. This has popped up in another thread, . See the story BELOW the highlighted article in this link:

The White Australia Policy effectively excluded "undesirable types" from entering the country by legitimately setting impossible hurdles to gain entry to the country. One such method was setting an entry questionnaire "in a European language". If you were a "desirable type", your questionnaire might be in English. If you looked a little bit swarthy, or brown, or yellow, or otherwise foreign, your questionnaire might be written in Greek, or Estonian, or Basque. All fair and legal. Of course, you were asked first if you were proficient in any other languages. "Why, yes, I am a professor of languages at Calcutta University, and fluent in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Aramaic, Pashtun, Urdu and Hindi. I also know a little Mandarin and Japanese!" "Well, you're outta luck, Sport! Ya shoulda studied Gaelic Dialects of the 17th Century!" Entry denied.

Persons born in Australia to Japanese parents, or long term residents who had naturalised to British (Australian) citizenship, wwere stripped of their naturalisation, and on release from interment were declared Illegal Aliens under the WAP and deported to countries they had never known or knew the language. People who had in some cases lived in Australia for 40, 45 or 50 years before the war (remember, Japan was our ally in WW1), grown large families and sucessful businesses were sent overseas and never able to return, and their families never saw them again.

Perhaps most oddly to us today, the Japanese internees, either POWs, locals or civilians transferred here from the Dutch or French colonies of the South West Pacific generally thought they had been treated well and humanely by Australian Authorities.

It was a whole different mindset back then!
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