Why the POWs must work

I found an article in the National Archives of Australia that I would like to share. I clipped some parts of it. If you want to read it in full, go to the Archives search page, set the Series number field to A373, set Item control symbol to 6221, and click on Search. When the item page comes up, click on view digital copy, go to page 160, and select Enlarge.

That the peace terms with Italy had not been settled seems a poor excuse for keeping thousands of Italian men in Australia almost one and a half years after signing an armistice. It was a convenient sense of morality that allowed the Australians to keep the Italian to do forced labour.

After this article was written, it took another year before the Italian POWs began being repatriated and almost two years before repatriation was completed.

Can you imagine the outcry if the roles had been reversed and British subjects had been kept to work the land in Italy for enough money to buy soap and some cigarettes?

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