Them and us

From the beginning of the war, the Australian Government attempted to control the lives of Australians supposedly loyal to other nations, and to punish those opposing official objectives. Wartime legislation allowed for the persecution of non-British 'alien' subjects, restrictions on everyday liberties, and the prosecution of perceived disloyalists. As the conflict wore on and the Allied ranks on the Western Front were depleted, the prospect of conscription to the armed forces divided the nation. The notion of enforced military service became unexpectedly relevant to resident Italian migrants. At the same time, flourishing recruitment propaganda provoked anti-war lobbyists. Occasionally, Australians with dual loyalties were usefully deployed to even more distant battlefields to further the Allied cause.