The Canadian office of the Custodian of Enemy Property, similar to such institutions created in various other countries (see Custodian of Enemy Property), was established in 1916 and existed until 1985, dealing with the property of Canada's enemies in both World Wars as well as with the seized property of Japanese Canadians.
The Office of the Custodian of Enemy Property was originally created in 1916, during the First World War. It derived its authority from the War Measures Act of 1914 and the Trading with the Enemy regulations, and its functions included the seizure and liquidation of enemy property.
Between 1919 and 1939 it served the function of administering war claims and reparations.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, the office was once again given responsibility for Trading with the Enemy regulations. In 1942 the role of the Custodian was expanded to include the administration of property seized from Japanese Canadians (see Japanese Canadian Internment).
In the post-WWII period the Custodian had the responsibility for resolving Canadian War Claims, and the resolution of outstanding wartime property issues. This latter process was complicated by the implications of the large scale nationalization of property in Eastern Europe by the Communist regimes established in the post war period under Soviet auspices.
The Office of the Custodian of Enemy Property ceased operations in 1985.
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- Textual and microfilm record of the Office of The Custodian of Enemy Property, in Library and Archives Canada
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