The Lieutenant Governor is presently gauging the success or otherwise of the Austro-Hungarian internees brought to the island as wartime agricultural labourers. This follows a mixed number of views coming back from those employing the men, and from those responsible for the overall scheme. Above all, however, General Wilson would like to see the Austro-Hungarians remain in the island and so release local men for overseas military service.
The internee labourers are employed on farms across the island. With the growing and planting season ending, several of the farmers have announced that this assistance is no longer needed. Rather than continue paying the Austro-Hungarians’ wages, which is the work scheme arrangement, they have written to the authorities stating their intention to dismiss the men.
Along with these requests, niggling complaints about the internees’ behaviour continue, and, very importantly, concerns about their agricultural skills. This reason is one given by many farmers when applying for their local employees’ exemption from military service.
Determined to gain a clear view on the matter, the Lieutenant Governor has written to all twelve parish constables asking for a statement on the suitability or otherwise of the enemy alien workers.
D/Z/H2/8 contains extensive correspondence on the matter of Austro-Hungarian internee labourers, including complaints over their work and behaviour and plans to dismiss them from local service.