Canadian Background of Current Polish Communist Spy Ring in U.K.

Source:  Arcand Papers at Concordia University
Date:  Ottawa, January 16, 1961
Author:  Pat Walsh, (“Former RCMP Special Branch Agent”)
Archive:  1096-1103 Pat Walsh (Ottawa) date 16-01-1961, Text on spy ring, Adrien Arcand Collection, Special Collections, Concordia University, Adrien Arcand Collection.

Canadian Background of Current Polish
Communist Spy Ring in U.K.

By Pat Walsh


[Handwriting: “Not for translation P.W.]

Canadian Anti-Communist Secretariat
P.O. Box 551 – Station B – Ottawa – Ont.

Pat Walsh,
General Secretary, CAS.
Ottawa, Jan. 16, 1961.

– Canadian Background of Current Polish
Communist Spy Ring in U.K. –

At various times in 1947-48 a group of Polish-Canadians from Toronto, Welland, Hamilton, Regina, Winnipeg & Vancouver set out for Poland.  All of these persons were known Communists, most of them had been active in Commie controlled trade-unions like the United Electrical Workers Union (US), the Mine-Mill & Smelter Workers Union, the Canadian Seamens’ Union (CSU) and in various other unions under Red domination.  This group of 16 repatriates told the press at the time of their departure that they were going back to Poland “to spend their old age there and to help the new Polish government build up a Communist Poland”.  Not much attention was paid to this departure at the time and the “case of the 16 Polish repatriates” was soon forgotten.  Another Communist who had been born in Lublin, Poland of Jewish-Russian parentage, Fred Rosenberg, and who was now known as “Fred Rose”, was not forgotten, however.  This Fred Rose turned out to be the famous “Dabouz” of the Gouzenko “papers” and after his trial in 1947 was convicted as a Soviet espionage agent and condemned to the penitentiary.

Fred Rose, Soviet spy (code named Dabouz)

Fred Rose, Soviet spy (code named Dabouz)

“repatriate” by the name of Leopold Infold, a former Professor at the University of Toronto, and a trusted “researcher” at the National Research Centre in Ottawa during the 1943-45 war-time years, suddenly “disappeared” in 1947 and then turned up in Communist Poland.  This Leopold Infold was on the editorial board of a Communist magazine called TO-DAY and had as a co-editor a certain Jean-Louis Gagnon, another old-time Communist and intimate friend of Fred Rose.


– 2 –

– Polish Espionage Ring Unmasked in France –

IN NOVEMBER 1960, an extensive Communist Polish spy organization working for Warsaw & Moscow was unmasked in France.  The final clue to the discovery was provided in connection with French police investigations that had been concerned with the murder of a Pole.  It was found that this man had been killed by his accomplices upon instructions from the directing center of the espionage activities because he did no longer want to comply with its orders.

This Polish Communist spy-ring also included as one of its members the so far highly respected mayor of a larger French town who is of Polish descent, too.

Ties also were being maintained with Red Spanish elements engaged in pro-Soviet espionage activities against the country by which they had been granted political asylum.  The ramifications of this Polish spy ring [were] so far-flung that all counter-espionage authorities in the Free World were alerted.  This ring extended from Communist China to Havana, Cuba and comprised about sixty well-trained international Communists from all countries, most of whom had seen action in the INTERNATIONAL BRIGADE in the Spanish Civil war of 1936-39.  Strangely enough INTERPOL (international police) had some of these names in their files as suspects in a new efficient narcotics ring extending from Red China to Havana, Cuba.  Stranger still, most of those persons seemed to be in possession of Canadian passports.


“Smith of Special Branch” is the dreaded name given by Communists to Detective-Superintendent George Gordon Smith of the Scotland Yard Special Branch.  The real head of Special Branch is now believed to be in Canada, working closely with the RCMP Special Branch into the Canadian aspects of this Polish Communist spy-ring.  For some time, newspapers in Great Britain have known that this high official “was abroad” on something “big”.  However,


– 3 –

it was “Smith of Special Branch” that astounded the British public during the week-end of January 8th, 1961, by arresting two women and three men, including two British Admiralty civil servants, on charges under the Official Secrets Act.  The five people include a Canadian couple, PETER JOHN KROGER, 50, a bookseller, and his wife HELEN JOYCE KROGER, another person who had once lived in Vancouver in 1955, GORDON ARNOLD LONSDALE, 37, who gave his profession as “company director”.  The two others were MISS STEEL ELIZABETH GEE, 46, a civil servant, and HENRY FREDERICK HOUGHTON, 55, also a civil servant.  Both these civil servants were employed at the top-secret British Admiralty’s underwater warfare establishment in Portland, Dorset, where HMS Osprey is situated.


SOVIET AND POLISH NAVAL INTELLIGENCE have been trying for some time to get information on a Canadian device known as the VARIABLE DEPTH ASDJC, said to increase by many times the possibility of detecting submerged submarines.  Some reports said that in conditions favorable for underwater “listening” it worked at a range of 50 miles.  In June, 1959, the British Navy, in “streamlining” its activities, decided to concentrate underwater research and development at HMS Osprey and merged a number of establishments at Portland.

Among them were the Torpedo Experimental Establishment at Greenock; the RN Torpedo Dept. at Weymouth; the Underwater Counter Measures & Weapons Establishment at Havant; and the Underwater Launching Establishment at Bournsmouth.  There are 3,000 civilians, including scientific workers, at Portland.  The Soviets also “streamlined” their naval espionage ring accordingly.  They “concentrated” their Polish spy ring at the merged establishments.


– 4 –


Our Intelligence contacts in the U.K. report this week that Peter Kroger was in close contact with the “Davis bookstore in Montreal”.  This bookstore in Montreal is owned by one Raymond Arthur Davis, alias Roy Davis, whose real name is Shogan.  This is the same Davis who was arrested by the RCMP a few years ago on a passport fraud charge, was convicted & sentenced to jail.  He is an old-time “apparatchik” of the Soviets.  In 1934-35 he was active in the YOUNG COMMUNIST LEAGUE across Canada.  In August, 1936, he was one of the delegates of the Communist-dominated CANADIAN YOUTH CONGRESS to the First World Youth Congress held in Geneva, Switzerland.  The chairman of this delegation was none other than PAUL MARTIN, M.P., later to become a Federal cabinet minister.  Others in this delegation were WILLIAM KASHTON (now the Communist Trade-Union Commission Director), KENNETH WOODSWORTH, an old-time Commie fellow-traveller who infiltrated Canadian Intelligence during World War II, T.C. DOUGLAS, M.P., the present CCF Premier of Saskatchewam, NORMAN LEVY, Chairman of the CANADIAN YOUTH CONGRESS and other assorted “united front” socialists of the CCF who collaborated with the Commies in the Thirties.

Roy Davis became known as Raymond Arthur Davis during World War II when he was a full-time employee of the CBC and a frequent visitor to the Soviet Union.  These frequent trips to the USSR roused RCMP suspicions and after close surveillance Davis was caught red-handed in fraudulent passport practices.  After his release from prison he “disappeared” for a while, then surfaced in Montreal as owner or the DAVIS BOOK STORE.  This bookstore is, of course, only a “front” for Soviet espionage activities.  The “defection” on January 14, 1961 of Dr. Rysard Zialinski, former commercial consul at the Polish consulate-general in Sydney, Australia, has given rise to speculation whether Zielinski might be able to give information to help track down the Warsaw-based Soviet spy ring uncovered in the U.K.


– 5 –


SEVERAL CANADIAN NEWSPAPERS have raised the question recently about the top-secret “transfer” of the famed “Polish treasures” which were moved secretly from the Provincial museum to a Polish ship across the Canadian-USA border.  It is significant that only “LA PRESSE” of Montreal was able to have a newspaperman present during the whole secret “transfer”.  Here again we come across the sinister JEAN-LOUIS GAGNON, the personal friend of Fred Rose and Leopold Infold.  This Jean-Louis Gagnon is now the “boss” of “LA PRESSE” in the capacity of managing editor.  His wife, Helena (nee Jobidon) is also an old-time fellow traveller of the Communist Party.  She makes frequent trips to Iron Curtain countries, speaks at international Communist conferences in Bucharest, Prague, Warsaw and Peking.  She spent four months recently in Red China as the guest of the Chinese Communists.

It was Helena Gagnon who arranged the Canadian tour of the so-called PEKING OPERA COMPANY.  The fact that Jean-Louis Gagnon and Raymond Arthur Davis were both CBC employees together, were both involved in Soviet espionage (Jean-Louis Gagnon’s name came out in early references to the “papers” in 1946 but this was hushed up subsequently and Gagnon had to leave Canada for a few years until the adverse publicity was over) and the fact that both Gagnon & Infold were on the editorial board of TO-DAY in 1946 adds up to too many facts to be just co-incidences.

Another friend of Davis, one PAUL ALTERSON, 58, of 2330 Oxford Avenue in Montreal has also been involved in the illegal shipment of strategic materials to Communist countries.  The material was borax, a vital ingredient of missile fuel, which was confiscated from a ship bound for Gdynia, POLAND!  This deal was made in a round-about way, being shipped from Argentina.  Once again we see the Latin-American network of the Communists linked to Red Poland.


– 6 –


Approximately 100,000 Chinese live in Latin-America, 30,000 of them in Cuba.  This is one of the reasons the Red Chinese regime has been wooing them.  Peking has been sending “technicians” to Cuba, purchasing Cuban goods and providing “aid”.  What is not so well known, however, except to INTERPOL, is the fact that Red China has been trying to enrich itself and poison its Latin-American markets by the production and export of narcotic drugs.  Already last week one Cuban smuggler was arrested in the USA in possession of drugs which he had brought from Mexico in a cleverly-hidden secret place in his car.


The Chinese Red government is seeking recognition and the status of a civilized country, as a member of the United Nations, yet at the same time the Red Chinese have established a well-knit smuggling organization all over Latin-America that has three purposes: –

  • (1) to obtain foreign exchange (especially USA & Canadian dollars);

  • (2) to finance subversive activities in various Latin-American countries;

  • (3) to sabotage opponents and prospective victims by creating drug addicts among their population.

These are not just off-hand statements.  They were made by Mr. Harry J. Anslinger, the USA Federal Narcotics Commissioner.  For many years now the Red Chinese “Operation Poison” has been spreading its foul tentacles wider and wider over Latin-America after having poisoned the Pacific area.  The sum total of misery and human destruction caused by this operation is enormous.


– 7 –


Now that the Polish ship BATORY (of Gerhardt Sisler fame) has inaugurated a run that will link Montreal & Quebec ports to Leningrad, we see a concentration of Soviet-Red Chinese espionage activities being centered on the vital port of Vancouver.  Here are some disturbing facts: –


Effective January 1961, the pro-Soviet Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR) has moved from New York to Vancouver.  This is the same IPR that supplied personnel to the US State Department that practically gave China to the Communists via such officials as Owen Lattimore and Alger Hiss.


The NORTH PACIFIC SHIPPING COMPANY, agents for SINOFRACHT, Red China’s chartering and shipbroking corporation in Peking, announced last month that three Danish vessels, under charter to SINOFRACHT, arrived at Vancouver for “trading purposes”.  A spokesman for the ALUMINUM COMPANY OF CANADA said, “our Company wants Chinese business, and we will be willing to sell any quantity of aluminum at market price”.


The Communists have a stranglehold on all B.C. trade-unions and the CLC unions are infiltrated from top to bottom by old-time Communist hard-core elements.  Harry Bridges’ union controls the Vancouver & Victoria waterfronts, the shipyards, smelters, forestry & fishing industries are hog-tied with Communist-controlled unions.  These Reds can paralyze Vancouver in the event of war with the Soviet Union.


– 8 –


If all this information should give cause for alarm, there are positive counter-measures which are being taken by the RCMP which will certainly spike Soviet-Red Chinese-Castro Cuban espionage attempts in Canada.  The announcememt by CUBANA AIRLINES of two “special” plane flights between Montreal-Havana and Havana-Prague caused growing concern, especially since the arrival in Cuba of Comrade SERGEI KOUDRIAVTZEV, who once masterminded a Soviet spy ring in Canada and who was exposed by Gouzenko in 1946.

The RCMP moved in fast at Dorval Montreal airport recently and took charge of the Department of Transport police detachment.  The RCMP will assume full police duties at all Canadian airports as soon as possible.  This move will prevent the Cubans from utilizing CUBANA AIRLINES as a “courier” transmission belt from its agents in Montreal to the Soviet “bosses” in Prague, Warsaw and Moscow.  This will also put a stop to the possible circulation of counterfeit money now believed to be printed by experts of the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa & Havana.  Both KOUDRIAVTZEV and VICTOR MININ worked together in East Germany & Moscow in 1955-56 in a counterfeit ring of USA ten and twenty-dollar bills which flooded West Germany for a while.

This RCMP move will also close a serious gap through which Red China could easily have smuggled in narcotics.

In conclusion, I would strongly recommend the reading of the TESTIMONY OF CAPTAIN NIKOLAI PEDOROVICH ARTANONOV (a former Soviet Naval officer) before the COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES on Sept. 14, 1960.  This confirms articles written by the undersigned in THE VOICE OF FREEDOM in July & August 1955 on Soviet espionage activities off the Newfoundland Grand Banks.  Perhaps, for the know-it-alls, it might serve a purpose of taking these articles more seriously in the future.

– 30 –

Pat Walsh. [Typed under Signature]

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