(New York Times Service)
Source: The Montreal Gazette, July 14th, 1953.
Albany, N.Y., July 13 — (/P) — A Canadian ex-Communist today told House of Representatives investigators that he helped engineer a 1949 shipping strike as a Communist scheme to scuttle the Marshall Plan.
Patrick Walsh of Quebec, who said he had been active in Communist causes in Canada and abroad for the past 18 years, described two meetings he had attended at which strategy for the strike by members of the Canadian Seamen’s Union was drawn up.
The 37-year-old ex-Communist, who spoke with an accent that he called French but also seemed to have a touch of brogue, listed a number of Canadian and European trade union leaders who he said were Communists. He said he had “no positive proof” of party membership by any Americans.
The stocky witness told how he had quit the Communist Party and allied causes last February, influenced by party orders to blow up Canadian power plants in case of war with Russia and by the Communists’ support of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the atomic spies.
“I could not have anything to do with something that smacked of treason,” Walsh told Rep. Bernard W. Kearney, Republican of upstate New York, the subcommittee chairman.
The Republican congressmen exhibited considerable interest when Walsh brought into his testimony the name of Alger Hiss, former State Department Official now serving a federal prison sentence for perjury.
The witness quoted from an article in a French magazine written, he said, by Sir Walter Citrine of England, first president of the Communist dominated World Federation of Trade Unions.
As translated by Walsh, the article said that in 1946 when he was Secretary General of the United Nations conference in San Francisco, Hiss had written to the WFTU president, inviting his group to submit memoranda that could be presented to all the UN conference delegates.
The Canadian testified that he had attended a meeting of “top Communists” from several countries in Genoa, Italy, in 1948 at which the seamen’s strike was planned. He said the work stoppage, which tied up shipping in London and several Italian and North African ports, was “a political strike with no bona fide trade-union principles whatsoever.”
Questioned by the subcommittee members, Walsh said that although the 1949 Canadian strike had been settled by the intervention of a non-Communist union, “the menace still exists.” He concluded that “the same pattern” of Communist operations “is followed everywhere, including the United States.”
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