The Role of the Dominions in British POW Policy

Neville Wylie

in Barbed Wire Diplomacy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199547593
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720581 | DOI:
The Role of the Dominions in British POW Policy

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This chapter takes a broad view of British POW policy‐making over the war by highlighting the part played by the Dominion governments. It shows how the Dominions came, over time, to acknowledge their individual responsibility for their nationals in enemy captivity, and how this reflected their growing maturity as independent members of the international community. Waxing concern in the Dominions over the fate of their prisoners led to demand for an increased say in Whitehall policy‐making. Particular emphasis is given to the role of the Canadian government, and the Canadian high commissioner in London, Sir Vincent Massey, in challenging British policy during the shackling crisis, and elevating humanitarianism to the centre of Canadian diplomacy over the middle years of the war.

Keywords: policy‐making; humanitarianism; Dominions; Canada; Vincent Massey; shackling crisis

Chapter.  10230 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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