Exclusive English: “Pat” Walsh Quits The Communists

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceL’Action Catholique, front page, headline
46th year — No. 14,089
Friday, 27 February 1953

What is L’Action Catholique?

L’Action Catholique (1915-1962), was for a long time the favorite rural daily newspaper, with its articles touching on all the subjects of everyday life.  Known as L’Action Sociale from 1907 to 1915, it subsequently appears as L’Action (1962-1971), then as L’Action Québec from 1971 to 1973.  The pages of this popular daily newspaper distributed in the greater Quebec City area — was a competitor of Le Soleil [The Sun] of the era — burst with information on the concerns of its contemporaries.”

The source of the foregoing description is the Quebec Library and Archives at its on-line collection “L’Action Catholique (1915-1962) en ligne”.



Pat Walsh quitte les communistes

English Translation by Kathleen Moore

“Pat” Walsh Quits The Communists

By Louis-Philippe Roy

He was a member of ten suspect organizations

Declaration and Interview


In the course of an interview, “Pat” Walsh announced to us yesterday his determination to leave the Communist or pro-Communist organizations of which he has been a member for a number of years.  He has even provided us with a detailed declaration, the complete text of which our readers will find on page four.

“Pat” Walsh is a well-known figure in those milieux penetrated by the Communists and their sympathizers.  His resignation from the Canadian Peace Congress, the League of Democratic Rights, the Canadian Union of Wood Workers, the Federation of World Trade Unions, the Workers’ Peace Committee, the Committee for the Rights of Trade Unionists, the League for Civil liberties, the Canadian Seamen’s Committee, the editorial board of the Communist newspapers “Combat”, “Action” and “Canadian Tribune”, of the Voters’ Association of St-Sauveur, will certainly create an unpleasant surprise at the staff headquarters of Tim Buck whose confidence Walsh had possessed to an astonishing degree.

The Interests of Moscow First

— What is the main reason why you are leaving these various organizations? we asked our speaker.

— The straw that broke the camel’s back, he replied, it’s the way that that our intervention was required on behalf of the Rosenberg couple.  Neither I nor my friends had any objection to calling for leniency for these spies of the “red” regime; but it was insisted that it was necessary at all costs to save them in order to protect Communist espionage.  If these bumblers are executed, according to the spokesman for Moscow, from then on we will have a great deal more difficulty in keeping our spies and in recruiting new ones.&nbsp I thus better understood what had shocked me many times before:  the interests of Moscow take precedence over all else to a point that laymen could not suspect.

“Pat” Walsh explained to us how the Seamen’s Union had already committed grave wrongs in the course of strikes or again by deteriorating materiel recently forwarded to Chiang Kai-Shek.  But he focused above all on the penetration of the Communists and their agents among the lumbermen.

Communist penetration of the lumbermen

— And it is excessively important, our visitor stipulated, that upon his return from a recent stay in Moscow, Bruce Magnuson, one of those responsible for penetrating the forestry workers in Canada, conveyed the following order:  In the event of a war, be ready to blow up the hydroelectric stations, and to sabotage the pulp and paper industry, even by fire.

In our area, the execution of this order rests on the Lumbermen’s Union, whose president is Gérard Fortin.  As we were astonished by the relative ease with which excellent lumbermen allowed themselves to be enlisted in a communist organization, “Pat” Walsh clarified:

— The agents of the Labor Progressive Party are under strict orders to appear to be as Catholic as the best of them, to the point even of taking the sacraments when the missionary passes by in order to draw off any suspicion elicited by denunciations such as those of L’ACTION CATHOLIQUE.

The anticommunism of our newspaper is effective

— Do you believe that our persistent campaign against the agents of Moscow and their national or international initiatives is effective?  we asked.
— Yes, to an extent that you cannot doubt.  Certain specific denunciations by your newspaper sowed disarray in Tim Buck’s party.  You torpedoed the Quebec delegation to the Toronto congress last year; and more recently, when about a hundred Canadians were to go to Vienna, your manner of unmasking our efforts deprived the organizations of more than eighty memberships … Many sympathizers open their eyes or are taken in hot pursuit when L’ACTION CATHOLIQUE makes names public.  Without wishing to flatter you, I can tell you that your newspaper is the most feared, the one the Communists fear the most because you have unmasked their propagandists.
— And what do you think of the Padlock Law?

The Padlock Law hinders propaganda

— In all frankness, I have to admit that this law is a handicap.  It forces the Communists to camouflage themselves constantly under assumed names which they must frequently change to divert the men of the constabulary.  In Quebec, the Communist Labor Progressive Party is not growing in numbers because of these obstacles.

In the course of this conversation which lasted nearly two hours, “Pat” Walsh went on to very valuable considerations.  We are pleased to note that the anticommunism of our newspaper is bearing fruit, and truly hinders Moscow’s propaganda in our region.  It will be understood that we propose to revisit this as well as Walsh’s Declaration and his Interview, of which the present article is merely a faint echo.

                                                            Louis-Philippe ROY


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