‘Beautiful Blond Spy Queen’ fingered former PM as source of ‘top-level’ British information

'Beautiful Blond Spy Queen' fingered former PM as source of 'top-level' British information"

Former Soviet espionage courier Elizabeth Bentley told the FBI she received information from Lester Pearson through an intermediary in Washington.  Three others who figured prominently in the FBI files on Mr. Pearson are Igor Gouzenko, bottom left, a clerk for the Russian Embassy who exposed an espionage ring in 1946; John Grierson, bottom center, head of the National Film Board and a friend of Mr. Pearson, who was also suspected of being a Communist; and Herbert Norman, bottom right, a Canadian ambassador to Egypt, who killed himself after being named as a Soviet agent.

‘Beautiful Blond Spy Queen’




L-R:  Igor Gouzenko, John Grierson, Herbert Norman

L-R:  Igor Gouzenko, John Grierson, Herbert Norman

Secret FBI files
named Pearson
as Soviet agent


Just call him Comrade Lester B. Pearson.

Was the former prime minister a Communist sympathizer who was part of a Canadian wartime espionage ring for the Russians?  That’s what it says in the massive FBI file on him.

American security officials, especially FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, were very suspicious of the Nobel Peace Prize winner during the 1950s and 1960s.  It all had to do with Mr. Pearson’s friendship with a couple of members of that subversive agency, the National Film Board of Canada.

The often-comic, error-filled file contains hundreds of documents.  It was released to the Citizen under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and it reveals the FBI’s suspicions began in 1951, after a former Soviet espionage courier, Elizabeth Bentley, who one writer called the ‘Beautiful Blond Spy Queen,’ told the bureau she received information from Mr. Pearson through a Canadian intermediary in Washington.

FBI became suspicious of Lester Pearson because of his friendships with members of the National Film Board of Canada.

FBI became suspicious of Lester Pearson because of his friendships with members of the National Film Board of Canada.

With the Cold War at its peak, the FBI was interested in any link to the Soviets.  The bureau re-interviewed Mr. Bentley about her Pearson contact, which occurred between 1943 and 1944 when he was the first secretary of the Canadian embassy in Washington.

Ms. Bentley said she obtained information “on top-level British policy and political matters” from a Canadian working for the film board in Washington. She said the information from the Canadian contact came from conversations he had had with his friend Mr. Pearson.

See FBI on page A2.

FBI: ‘Pearson either knew …
or was stupid’

Continued from page A1

Ms. Bentley told the FBI that although she never met him, she “got the impression that Pearson was a left winger” and she also believed that he was sympathetic to the loyalist cause in the Spanish civil war.

The author of a 1953 book called Out of Bondage, Ms. Bentley said she knew that Mr. Pearson was also a friend of the late John Grierson, the head of the film board who was also suspected of being a Communist.

On whether Mr. Pearson knew his information was being fed to Ms. Bentley, the FBI file says:  “She was of the opinion that Pearson either knew that the information made available by him was being given to an unauthorized person or that he was simply stupid.”

In February 1953, when newspapers began reporting that Mr. Pearson, by then Canada’s external affairs minister, was a top candidate to become the secretary-general of the United Nations, memos began flying from the FBI.

The U.S. State Department and Department of Justice were told about Ms. Bentley and Mr. Pearson.

The file shows “certain New York reporters” were asking about Mr. Pearson and Ms. Bentley.  Mr. Hoover sent memos to the attorney general and John Ford, the director of the office of security in the U.S. State Department, briefing them about the allegations “since there could conceivably be adverse publicity concerning Mr. Pearson.”

The story never became public.  But when it came time for the vote on the top UN post, the U.S. withheld its support of Mr. Pearson.  They explained their move was strategic, intended to fool the Russians from believing Mr. Pearson was an American puppet.

Mr. Pearson won the vote but the Russians vetoed his appointment.  Eventually the Swede Dag Hammarskjold was the compromise winner.

Later that fall, the matter came up again when the Canadian government was resisting requests from a U.S. committee to re-interview Igor Gouzenko, the former clerk in the Russian Embassy at Ottawa who had exposed an espionage ring in 1946 that included a Canadian MP.

On Nov. 23, 1953, the Toronto Star reported that Mr. Pearson was on the verge of being named by the U.S. Internal Security Committee as a suspect in a Communist spy ring during the Second World War.

It quoted Mr. Pearson saying the Canadian government was being “blackmailed” to gain access to Mr. Gouzenko.

He also commented on Ms. Bentley’s accusation that he had participated in a spy ring:  “I need only say that in so far as it refers to the Department of External Affairs or myself, it is false to the point of absurdity.

After helping the committee’s request to speak to Mr. Gouzenko, Mr. Pearson was never called before the committee.

Mr. Pearson’s comments clearly irked the FBI.  In a heavily blacked out memo, one agent wrote that “Pearson is confused.”  Mr. Hoover also wrote in a memo that Pearson’s comments were “annoying.”

In his memoirs, Mr. Pearson defends the alleged Canadian intermediary between him and Ms. Bentley.  He says the man became a prominent Quebec citizen “of unimpeachable loyalty and considerable achievement” after Mr. Pearson managed to keep his name out of the newspapers.

“He certainly was not an agent of any kind,” wrote Mr. Pearson.

“I have no doubt that he talked about me, saying he had seen me at the Embassy and that I had said that the Russians were going to break through in the Ukraine, or some such thing.  The committee really thought they had got hold of something.”

The FBI continued keeping an eye on the minister.

A subsequent memo in the file said that in 1945, a person who was the subject of a pending internal security investigation had listed Mr. Pearson as a reference when applying for a relief job with the UN.

The next memo in his file, dated April, 1957, would confirm any suspicions Mr. Pearson ever had that “big brother” was listening.  An FBI agent reports that he had been told a story about a visit the Canadian politician made to NBC studios in New York a few years beforehand.

“He was so violently uncomplimentary about the U.S. that one of the engineers threw the switch and started recording his comments prior to his broadcast,” the memo says.

The agent says that a check was being made to see if the tapes were still in existence because it would put Mr. Pearson “in his proper light.”

Mr. Pearson was again of great interest to the FBI in 1957 when his friend Herbert Norman, the Canadian ambassador to Egypt, was the target of allegations that he was a Soviet agent and a member of the Communist party.

After the matter hit the press, Mr. Norman killed himself.  In his memoirs, Mr. Pearson called the days following Mr. Norman’s death the low point of his public career.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pearson’s FBI file shows Mr. Hoover asking for yet another “complete summary of all we have on Norman and Pearson.”  Part of the response was that there are 700 references to Mr. Norman in their files and 475 to Mr. Pearson at the time.

A Washington Post editorial is mentioned in the file which stated that Mr. Pearson was “too good a statesman to lambaste the U.S. over Norman” and that it was next to impossible to convince anyone in Canada that he was a Communist.

In 1962, when Mr. Pearson visited the U.S. for a world food forum, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requested a full briefing on the Canadian opposition leader.  A five-page memo repeating the Bentley and Norman affairs was sent by the FBI to the department.

In 1963, after Mr. Pearson was first elected prime minister of Canada, the FBI whipped off a letter to Robert Kennedy, then the U.S. attorney general.

The “Dear Bob” letter starts:  “The election of Lester Pearson prompts this letter which I must send to you because of the important security evidence involved.”

Three passages are blacked out, but in one uncensored part it says:  “Pearson was heavily involved in the Herbert Norman case.  Norman was the Canadian ambassador who was identified by excellent witnesses as a Communist.”

The name of the letter’s author is also blacked out.

A 1968 memo at the end of Mr. Pearson’s file refers to information given by Mr. Gouzenko entitled “Memorandum:  Trudeau a potential Canadian Castro.”

It also states 17 years after the fact that the FBI still stood behind Mr. Bentley.

“Personally, I believe that Elizabeth Bentley was telling the truth.  (Mr. Hoover), as a matter of fact, confirmed the validity and authenticity of her testimony.  He said that on no occasion (and she gave several names) had she proven to be telling lies,” the FBI official writes.

The file is a showcase of American arrogance and ignorance towards Canadian affairs.

On several occasions, they refer to their subject as “Michael Pearson.”  His full name was Lester Bowles Pearson but he was nicknamed “Mike.”

‘The nutmeg Mata Hari’



In 1945, Elizabeth Bentley, a KGB agent who also ran a network of spies and served as a sometime courier, went to the FBI to describe Soviet espionage in the United States and her part in it as courier and agent handler.  It was an event that would help propel an anti-communist campaign under the leadership of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the late ’40s and early ’50s.

She gave a 90-page statement, in which she named many names — people in positions of trust who, she told the FBI, were secretly supplying information to the KGB.  Among the allegations she made was that it was through her that senior U.S. officials informed Russia of the date for D-Day.

However, she brought no documentary proof, and no prosecutions resulted directly from her accusations.

Over the years, however, she testified frequently before Congress — occasionally posing for photographs with anti-communist politicians convinced she was an enormous catch — and also published a book about her espionage career, Out of Bondage.

Ms. Bentley was a controversial figure and there were many who discounted her confessions and accusations.

On July 13, 1948, Ms. Bentley made her most famous comment while testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee, also known as the “Hearings on Proposed Legislation to Curb and Control the Communist Party” or simply the McCarthy hearings.

In response to a question from future U.S. president Richard Nixon, Ms. Bentley noted “that the mistake people make, when you look at communism, is that you take it as intellectual process.  It is not; it is almost a religion.”

Ms. Bentley’s testimony had been widely anticipated in the United States, with the New York World Telegram dubbing her “the Beautiful Blond Spy queen,” while famed columnist A.J. Liebling took to calling her “the nutmeg Mata Hari.”

A history of the McCarthy hearings, The Committee, concluded that “she did not quite live up to the expectations aroused” by the newspapers.

“But her story of being a courier during World War II between Washington officials and Soviet intelligence operatives in New York was exciting enough on its own account,” the book noted.

She had fallen in love with Soviet agent Jacob Golos, whom “she invested with the aura that certain types of teenagers save for uncles and professors of English,” historian Walter Goodman observed.  “Her judgment of the quality and importance of the information that passed through her hands was extremely faulty”.

He concludes:  “He concludes:  “The political conspiracy in which (Golos) involved her became far grander than there is any reason to believe it actually was; an official needed only to be spoken of favourably by one of the conspirators for him to become part of the conspiracy.”

To Lester B. Pearson, she was “that deranged woman” whose mentioning of his name in testimony would dog him for several years among American officials suspicious of his ideological leanings.

– 30 –


Tells Visiting Cubans That She Loves Them

Source: Globe and Mail Tuesday April 28 1959, p. 12.

Tells Visiting Cubans
That She Loves Them

Three of Fidel Castro’s Cuban rebels, minus beards and dressed in business suits, made a courtesy call at City Hall yesterday and signed the official guest book.

They were greeted by Acting Mayor Newman in Spanish and English. Her Spanish was limited to Yo te amo mucho: “I love you very much.”

Mrs. Newman agreed it was hardly the phrase to apply to visiting dignitaries, but said the only reason she remembered it was that she had said it to her husband prior to their marriage.

The rebels nodded and smiled.

Mrs. Newman visited Cuba in 1929. She had taken a course in Spanish, but had had no opportunity to practice the language.

The guests, Julian Rodriguez, Miguel Moutero and Rzue Vigoa, all students of the University of Havana, said they had participated in street fighting during the revolution.

They are members of a party of six assigned by the Cuban Government to visit Massey-Ferguson and International Harvester plants in Ontario.

Mrs. Newman gave each of the Cubans a Toronto Municipal Handbook.


Transcribed far research purposes by Kathleen Moore on 27 March 2009 2h34 a.m. from a photocopy of the article provided by Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa in a brown envelope postmarked 2008-03-31.

– 30 –

Castro, Banks Discuss Ships

Source: Montreal, The Gazette, Monday, April 27, 1959, p. 3.

New CNS Deal?

Castro, Banks Discuss Ships

Fidel Castro held a closed-doors session late last night with Hal C. Banks, president of the Seafarers International Union, and there were indications they may have reached some agreement regarding the Cuban-owned former Canadian National Steamships fleet.

It was reported that Banks was accompanied by several other union officials.

The CNS sold eight ships to Cuba during a strike called by the SIU. The ships have since been tied up by further labor complications.
Banks refused to comment on the meeting.

The Cuban prime minister and the union officials reportedly decided that Cuba would make a direct approach to the Federal Government. Purpose of this approach was not immediately clear.

Earlier, at a press conference, Castro said Cuba cannot afford to have the ships idle.

“Either we want the ships operating or we would like our $500,000 back,” he declared.

“For Canada, $500,000 is not a lot of money but it is a lot of money for Cuba.”

Castro met the union officials in his suite at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel between a dinner tendered in his honor and the Chambre de Commerce des Jeunes‘ Toy Campaign dance, which he also attended.

– 30 –

Castro, Banks Discuss Future of CN Fleet

Source: Globe and Mail Tuesday April 28 1959, p. 17.

Castro, Banks Discuss
Future of CN Fleet

Montreal, April 27 (Staff) — Fidel Castro, Cuba’s prime minister, and Hal C. Banks, Canadian chieftain of the Seafarers International Union, have reached an understanding on the Cuban-owned former Canadian National Steamships fleet.

Mr. Banks said today that as a result of his conversations with Premier Castro he expects some action will be taken very soon that would free the eight-ship fleet tied up since it was struck by the SIU in 1957.

The ships were sold to Cuba in a third-party deal, but the fleet has been immobilized by a boycott of maritime unions.

Banks and Premier Castro met here in a downtown hotel during the Cuban leader’s visit to Montreal. Mr. Banks said the ownership of the vessels was clarified in the discussions, but he declined to disclose the decisions reached at the conference.

However, the SIU leader confessed that he had been impressed by the Cuban leader. He had made it clear, Mr. Banks said, that he would not be a party to strikebreaking.

Mr. Banks also disclosed that he is going to Cuba next month to help establish a Caribbean — West Indian — Canadian — U.S. transportation conference aimed at providing mutual assistance for participating unions.

“We are going to discuss the general economic problems facing the unions in Cuba,” he added.

Transcribed far research purposes by Kathleen Moore on 27 March 2009 2h20 a.m. from a photocopy of the article provided by Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa in a brown envelope postmarked 2008-03-31.

Castro Scoffs At Idea Government Communist

by Bill Bantey

Source: Montreal, The Gazette, Monday, April 27, 1959

Photo credit: (Gazette Photo Service)
Caption: Said Castro: “That’s an old question.”

Fidel Castro pointed an ac­cusing finger at the light on a television camera and said:

“Is that camera Communist because it has a red light?”

Each time someone brought up the question of Communist influence in the Cuban revolu­tionary government, Castro be­came impatient.

At the airport, seconds after his arrival, a television news­man stuck a microphone in front of Castro’s face and de­manded:

“Is it true there are many Communists in your government?”

“Aw,” said Castro, waving the man aside, “That’s an old question.”

But at a press conference later, he took the time to answer a similar question.

“Do we have to kill the Com­munists in Cuba, or persecute them, because of their political ideas?”

he asked fervently

“If we don’t kill them or persecute them, does that make us Com­munists? The whole thing — it’s absurd!

“It is no good to confuse fear with truth. We are for human­ism, not Communism or capi­talism.

“We are truly democrats. But there can be no freedom without bread, and no bread without freedom.”

He said his rebel movement has “no agreement” with the Communists.

“Our ideas are far from Communism,” he asserted.

Castro was accompanied at the press conference by mem­bers of his cabinet and Claude Dupras, president of the Chambre de Commerce des Jeunes [Youth Chamber of Commerce], the organization sponsoring his visit here.

He complained that the Bat­ista regime had left only $70,000,000 from national bank reserves of $400,000,000.

Seven hundred thousand people are jobless and Cuba is looking to Canada for its ex­ample of economic develop­ment.

He said Cuba’s problems can­not be solved alone. A Latin-American overall formula will have to be found. Private en­terprise alone is too slow a process to rebuild his country.

His aim, he went on, is to create a domestic market. Cuba is capable of producing many of the foods it now im­ports.

He said his government plans a policy of non-intervention in other Latin American states when he was asked about re­ported plans to overthrow the government in the Dominican Republic.

“Oppressed peoples every­where have our sympathies,” he said, “but we can only call on public opinion to rise against dictatorship. We cannot make the sacrifice of intervention.”

– 30 –

Closing Note:

This was 1959 — doesn’t it sound to you like there’s sympathy up here in Quebec where the Lesage Liberals in 1961 will try to construct a communist PLAN for state-managed economic development….?


Transcribed for research purposes by Kathleen Moore on 27 March 2009 4h10 a.m. from a photocopy of the article provided by Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa in a brown envelope postmarked 2008-03-31.

Fidel Defies Guards To Meet People

Source: The Gazette, Montreal, Monday, April 27, 1959 [p.l]

Fidel Defies Guards To Meet People

Rousing Welcomes
Given Cuba’s

By Bill Bantey

Fidel Castro, defying his own Cuban bodyguards and three other police forces, hugged and shook hands with thousands of people here yesterday and declared:

“1 feel as if I’m in Havana.”

He asked Mayor Fournier to call off his Montreal police guards and with them still trailing, he strode across the width of Dorchester St., straddling the central mall, to “meet my people.”

Still wearing his olive-green army fatigues, and a bronze scapular dangling from his neck, the bearded prime minister of Cuba received rousing welcomes wherever he went.

“He could have been killed three dozen times the way he ignored us,” a high police official said.

As soon as his car, flying the Cuban flag, stopped anywhere, the 32-year-old rebel leader disappeared among the throngs to acknowledge cries of

“Viva, Castro” and “Hurray, Fidel.”

Women and teen-agers by the score fought to be close lo him.
Castro loved every moment of it.

“There’s a Latin atmosphere here,” he said, “that I sort of missed in the United Stales.”

In the first few hours of his visit, he held court numerous times — at Montreal Airport, on the street, in the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, in Ste-Justine Hospital, and everywhere anyone stopped him.

Explains Policy

At a press conference, he explained the policies of his July the 26th movement and denied recurring charges that his government is Communist-influenced.

“Our policy is humanism, not Communism,” he asserted. “Anyone who says we are Communists knows nothing about political “culture.”

He admitted that he was delaying the calling of elections in Cuba, but said this was to permit the formation of “real” political parties.

“Right now,” he said, “94 per cent of the people are with us. The longer we delay in calling an election, the less support we will have. But an election today would be a Hitler or a Mussolini plebiscite because we are the only party.”

With Castro as he flew here from Boston — three hours behind schedule — was a party of some 75 Cuban government officials and newspapermen.

Among those greeting the lawyer who toppled the dictatorship of Fugencio Batista was Andrew R. L. (Andy) McNaughton, a Montrealer who helped secure arms for the rebels during the uprising.

Many of Castro’s July the 26th soldiers were with him. Like Castro, they wore army dress and beards.

Castro continually held a cigar in his hand — even when he was admitted to the nursery in Ste. Justine Hospital.

He left a trail of howling children in his wake. Two, however, were specially thrilled because the man with the beard stopped to talk and hold them in his arms.

At the Queen Elizabeth, when he was ushered into his suite by Vice-President and General Manager Donald M. Mumford, he grabbed a handful of cookies and grapes, stuffed them into his mouth.
He washed them down with a (Continued On Page 2)

(Gazette Photo Service)

CAPTION: Cuba’s Castro at Montreal Airport

[Page 2]

Castro Visit

bottle of ginger ale before taking another puff on his Cuban cigar.
On the street in front of the hotel, as he was mobbed by thousands of people, he stopped to give an interview to this reporter and another newsman.

Police were frantic.

Castro joked about his beard and dress.

He said he couldn’t afford either the cost or the time required for

“Figure it out for yourself,” he said.

His dress, he added, was a symbol and he had no intention of shedding it.

At a press conference later, Castro paid tribute to the Ste. Justine Hospital and said he wants to pattern new Cuban hospitals after it.
The RCMP, he said, would also serve as a model for a new Cuban police force.

The Mounties, they’re wonderful,” he said. “I never saw them before except in pictures. Now when I see them, I’m specially pleased. Their uniforms are the color of our July the 26th movement.”

Police were spotted on rooftops at the airport and at various vantage points along Castro’s parade route. Their assignment: to watch out for hired killers purportedly assigned to wiping out the rebel chief.

(From Page 1)

“We aren’t the only ones with beards,” Castro protested when someone brought up the matter again. “I see beards here, too.”

“They’re not rebels, they’re beatniks,” someone suggested.

“Beatniks? What’s that?” Castro demanded.

Guest of Honor At Dinner

Later in the evening, Castro was guest of honor at a dinner given by Gaston Laurion, honorary president of the Chambre de Commerce des Jeunes, the organization sponsoring the prime minister’s visit here.

Castro spoke for 15 minutes before some 40 Montreal businessmen. He told how his regime is proceeding in an effort to better the situation of Cubans.

“Our plans are ambitious plans,” he declared, “but we are going to fulfill them. The people now know the meaning of self-discipline.

Laurion presented him with a tractor at the close of the dinner.

At 12:10 p.m., Castro left the hotel again, to attend the Chambre’s Toy Dance campaign on behalf of Cuban children. A crowd of close to 200 people awaited him in the lobby.

At the dance at the Craig St. Armory, there were another 4,000 people.

Castro was due to leave here at 9:15 a.m. He is to pay a short visit to Houston, Texas, and then proceed to Buenos Aires where he’ll attend a Latin-American economic conference.


Transcribed for research purposes by Kathleen Moore on 27 March 2009 4hl0 a.m. and on 19 April 2009 at 4h13 a.m. from a photocopy of the article provided by Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa in a brown envelope postmarked 2008-03-31.

Agent of Influence — Film Suggests CIA Out to Destroy Lester Pearson and his Liberal Government

Source: Calgary Herald / CanWest News Service
Date: March 29, 2003
By Jamie Portman

CIA was out to get Pearson, film says:

Plot centres on mysterious death of diplomat

The CTV network is about to unveil a controversial new movie that suggests the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was prepared to go to any lengths — even murder — four decades ago to destroy Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson and bring down his Liberal government.

Pearson’s offence?  He offended Washington by pursuing an independent foreign policy and by being too friendly toward the Soviets when the Cold War was at its peak.

The movie, Agent of Influence, is scheduled to premiere April 13 on CTV (Ch. 3) and threatens to lob another grenade into the already troubled terrain of Canada-U.S. relationships.

Ian Adams, who wrote the original 1999 book on which the film is based and co-authored the script with his son Riley, admits it contains parallels to the present situation, which sees Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in trouble with the Americans for refusing to bring Canada into the war against Iraq.

“They hoped to get Pearson because they were convinced he was a KGB agent himself,”

Adam told CanWest News Service.

“They saw his diplomatic activities in the United Nations and his opposition to the war in Vietnam as the activities of someone who was a Soviet agent or acting in the interests of the Soviet Union.  It’s exactly the same kind of thinking that’s going on today — and it’s somewhat eerie.”

The Alberta-Quebec co-production focuses on a troubling event in Cold War history — the mysterious 1964 death of Canadian diplomat John Watkins in a Montreal hotel room.  Watkins, a close friend of Pearson and former Canadian ambassador to Moscow, was picked up by RCMP special agents in Montreal and taken to a hotel room for interrogation.  A few days later, he was dead.

The official story was that he had died of a heart attack during a farewell dinner with friends in a Montreal restaurant before returning to Europe.

Adams thinks otherwise.  His thesis is that Watkins, who is portrayed in the movie by Christopher Plummer, became an innocent pawn in a plot to discredit Pearson.  Watkins himself was deemed a security risk by the Americans because of his homosexuality 1 and his access to the Kremlin’s inner circles, and the film speculates that the aim of his interrogation was to force a confession that he had been recruited by the KGB to influence Canadian foreign policy.

Adams, who has written several books on covert intelligence activities, was researching an earlier book when he began hearing

“whispers that Watkins had not died according to the official story.  These whispers came from former RCMP intelligence officers and a couple of people at the deputy minister level in the bureaucracy.”

Adams went to Quebec’s provincial archives to examine Watkins’s death certificate and recognized one of the witness signatures as that of an RCMP security officer.

“I recognized right away that he had not died among friends.  John Watkins was not the kind of man to spend his last day in Canada with RCMP officers.”

Adams then checked with the provincial coroner, who told him that the men who signed the certificate had not revealed their police connections.

“When you die in this country in police custody, you immediately get an inquest and an autopsy, and Watkins was denied both,” Adams points out.

After Adams published his initial findings in 1980, the Parti Québécois government swiftly ordered an inquest into Watkins’s 1964 death.  The RCMP refused to hand over the full report, claiming it would damage national security, but finally admitted Watkins had died under police interrogation in the Montreal hotel room and that he had not given in to Soviet blackmailing tactics and was not a traitor.  But Adams wasn’t satisfied, sensing Canadians had only heard part of the truth.  Watkins’s fate continued to haunt him.

“I carried the story around in my head for 20 years, gradually piecing it together.  It’s a fascinating story.  I couldn’t understand why they wanted to get to Watkins, and it was only after more digging and talking to more people that I realized they were really after Pearson and wanted to extract a confession from Watkins that would incriminate Pearson in some way.”

Adams concedes that portions of the story are speculative and stresses that apart from Watkins, all the characters are “fictional composites.”  But he says everything that happens in the movie is consistent with what he knows about the Central Intelligence Agency.

Among the more inflammatory ingredients: a vicious, homophobic CIA agent (Ted Whitthall) — who controls the interrogation and refuses medication to the angina-stricken Watkins; a Paris sequence involving the torture and murder of one of Watkins’s closest male friends.

“I’ve seen enough documentation about the way the CIA works around the world in various situations like that,” Adams says bluntly.

“Look at CIA activities around the world and this is the least of things you would accuse the CIA of doing.”

GRAPHIC: Photo: Courtesy, CTV; Christopher Plummer stars in Agent of Influence as Canadian diplomat John Watkins, who died mysteriously in a Montreal hotel room in 1964.

[Ed. NSIM] It was known by the FBI and indeed by the Un-American Activities Committee of the U.S. Congress, that Lester (aka “Mike”) Pearson was in fact a Soviet agent.  He was denounced in the U.S. McCarran hearings by former GRU (Soviet military intelligence) Elizabeth Bentley, well before the CIA (in this film portrayal) took a dislike to Pearson.

One wonders whether the FBI and the CIA were communicating.  One also wonders if the RCMP and the Crown were com­mu­ni­cat­ing at the time the FBI wrote to Canada’s national police to warn about Pearson, with a copy attached of Bentley’s testimony.

The FBI letter is reproduced in an FOI release of part of the anti-communist investigations into the Silvermaster file:

Lester B. Pearson, Soviet Espionage (File Description: HQ, Pearson L.; Subject: Silvermaster; File No. 65-56402; Vol. No. 151; Serials 3897-3945) Excerpt (1951)

OUTSIDE LINK:  http://www.telefilm.ca/en/catalogues/production/agent-influence

– 30 –

U.S. Press in USSR Tricked Into False Impressions, 1970 Soviet Defector Says

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceThe Deseret News, June 17th, 1986

U.S. Press in USSR Tricked
Into False Impressions,
1970 Soviet Defector Says

By David Moneypenny
Deseret News staff writer

Dressed as an American hippie, Tomas Schuman defected to the West in 1970 after serving the Soviet govern­ment as a dis­in­for­ma­tion specialist for the KGB-controlled Novosti Press Agency.  He brought with him a mes­sage:  Don’t believe everything you read about the Soviet Union in the American press.

Schuman, born under the name Yuri Bezmenov in Moscow in 1939, said in an interview with The Deseret News his job in the Soviet Union was to manipulate the American press and to give it a false impression of his country.

Schuman spoke at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City Saturday.

“The methods we use are very primitive, nothing new.  In the United States we call it public relations.  We give them good rooms, good booze and pretty translators,” Schuman said.

“We try to isolate foreign correspondents from the people for at least two months, then we let them talk to preselected people.”

Schuman said journalists are isolated from Soviet society and all interviews are prearranged.

“The correspondent from the New York Times does not notice the difference between the Soviet system and the American system because he never gets near the Soviet system,” he said.

While many of the reporters who go to the Soviet Union are tricked into sending a false impression back to the United States, Schuman said, Americans are skeptical about the reports.

“The trouble is with the big media, not the American people.  The truck driver and the farmer don’t trust the Soviets as much as the media do.  They know the American system is working better than the Soviet system, because they are a part of it.”

Being skeptical is the best way to deal with any information com­ing from the Soviet Union, Schuman said.

Schuman also said American investors in the Soviet Union are con­tributing to the military buildup in that country.  He said American companies help the Soviets to develop new military technologies.

“America is the only country in the history of mankind that feeds and pays its enemy,” he said.  “Every dollar of profit they (the Soviets) make from American investors is used to kill American soldiers in places such as Lebanon.”

Schuman supports the Reagan administration’s strong stance with the Soviet Union and said the Soviets respect it.

“They respect force — it’s the only language they understand.”

Schuman favors an even more aggressive approach.

“The United States has the moral right to invade Nicaragua, Cuba and Granada.  The Soviet Union does not have the right, not moral or economic.”

– 30 –

* Admin:  Unknown to Mr. Schuman (Yuri Bezmenov), the Reagan administration was working hand-in-glove with the USSR and Red China, signing joint education agreements (this per American whistleblower Charlotte Iserbyt, who has the documents to prove it in her database at AmericanDeception.com).

Also unknown to Mr. Schuman, Reagan was a protege of David Rockefeller, and a “Red Star over Hollywood”. Reagan’s name appeared on the letterhead of the World Federalists for many years (This per Gary Richard Arnold who calls Reagan “Red Ronny”).

Reagan was a Red globalist in disguise who put his Hollywood talent for acting to use in the White House for David Rockefeller.  In 1979, Reagan helped Rockefeller launch the Leninist regional union in North America by calling for a free flow of goods, people and money across the borders of North America.  He then re­spon­ded to an “invitation” from the Reds embedded in Canada to advance the continental merger under the guise of Canada-USA free trade, and on to NAFTA.

– 30 –


Simon Reisman (FTA negotiator) Suspected Communist Subversive: RCMP

Exclusive to
“No Snow in Moscow”

I have obtained an authentic copy of an old draft article by noted journalist Peter Worthington (born February 16, 1927) which contains names of suspected Communists in the federal government of Canada, as revealed in the RCMP’s now-quashed “Featherbed File”.

Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau squelched the Featherbed file with an Order-in-Council before he left office.  Trudeau himself was named in it as a suspected Communist subversive.

Many headlines could be drawn from this article. However, the one that comes to my mind first is that Sol Simon Reisman, who negotiated the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA), was a suspected Communist subversive. RCMP Featherbed investigators objected in vain to the renewal of Reisman’s high-level security clearance with the federal government of Canada.

In 1982, Trudeau ordered a royal commission convened:  the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada, known as the Macdonald Commission, and chaired by Trudeau’s friend and co-Bilderberger, Liberal Minister of Finance, Donald Stovel Macdonald.

The Macdonald Commission reported to Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1985.  It recommended free trade with the USA, and the conversion of Canada to a socialist welfare state.

Sol Simon Reisman, Free Trade negotiator

Sol Simon Reisman, Free Trade negotiator, and RCMP suspected communist subversive

In May of 1986, Canadian and American negotiators began to work out a so-called trade deal, known as the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  The Canadian team was led by former deputy Minister of Finance Simon Reisman and the American side by Peter O. Murphy, former deputy United States trade representative in Geneva.

The FTA was deepened by the coming into force on January 1, 1994 of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement involving Canada, the USA and Mexico, and spanning the continent.

A number of informed and well placed observers have identified the NAFTA and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) which followed it on the pretext of so-called terrorist attacks of September 2001, as the building blocks of a North American Union modeled on the European Union.  Today, The European Union is called both Marxist and “post-democratic” by some members of the press and intellectuals such as Professor John Fonte.

American Charlotte Iserbyt has warned of an impending North American Soviet Union, citing Mikhail Gorbachev who in 2002 called the European Union the “New European Soviet”.

American-Lithuanian Vilius Bražėnas viewed the series of trade deals on this continent in a similar light.  Bražėnas, a survivor of Communism, died on October 3, 2010 at the age of 97.  In his final passionate articles, he warned against the FTA, NAFTA, the FTAA and related trade-zone accords as tantamount to a multiple coup-d’état which in the end would impose a Communist regional union in North America.

Former Soviet dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky, who survived over a decade as a prisoner of Soviet mental hospitals, has warned on video and in print that the European Union is “the old Soviet model in western guise.”

Is anyone listening? I know I am.

U.S. Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald

U.S. Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald, April 1 1935 to September 1, 1983

In particular because U.S. Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald in 1983 publicly warned America that the Marxist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Marxist Trilateral Commission and other related non-governmental entities were pushing for a Communist regional union through a series of apparently harmless trade deals.

In the words of Congressman McDonald himself on Crossfire, speaking of the CFR and related circles of elites:

“[T]heir objective is to try to bring about a gradual transition in our society -– a dissolving of sovereignty -– and a moving steadily to the left on the political spectrum.”

Canada’s FTA under Reisman certainly shifts Canada to the left while initiating the North American merger process.

Speaking specifically of the CFR during an interview with Larry McDonald on the television program Crossfire, McDonald said:
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)[Y]ou are looking at a group (the CFR et als) that has worked to bring about a dissolution of national sovereignties on the road to world government.”

McDonald then quotes Arthur Schlesinger in the May-June 1947 issue of the Partisan Review:

”He [Schlesinger] said that the objective -– the secret policy of which we can’t tell the American public because they’re not sophisticated enough to see the value — is that through a steady result of erosion of NEW DEALS, we bring the American society steadily to the left, and through a signed concept of benign containment, we merge into the vital center of the socialist left.  Those were his words, not mine.”

Congressman McDonald continues further on replying to Crossfire host Pat Buchanan’s question whether the concept of the UN as the basis of a world government is not passé:

”Well, I think there are those who realize that moving straight from a prototype of the United Nations into world government perhaps is tactically impossible.  But phasing out increasingly national sovereignty into REGIONAL GOVERNMENT and phasing out sovereignties into international treaties ….” is the order of the day.

Today, with these warnings in mind, I invite you to read Peter Worthington’s old draft article exposing the chief negotiator of the FTA — which forms the initial basis of a clearly incoming REGIONAL UNION in North America — as someone the RCMP had warned the federal government not to trust because he likely was a Communist subversive.

However, the warnings fell on deaf ears, no doubt because the very Prime Minister’s Office the RCMP attempted to alert was itself already infested with one-world government types and suspected Communist subversives such as Soviet agent Lester B. Pearson, and Soviet mole Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

As a consequence, the very basis of Communist regional union in North America was negotiated by someone Canada’s national police and security apparatus long believed to be a Communist subversive.

Following is an exclusive typed transcript made by me from Worthington’s own typed, draft article, which he hand-edited.

For ease of reading, i am retyping the draft clean, without indicating Mr. Worthington’s deletions and insertions.  Images and captions have been added by me.

by Peter Worthington (circa 1979)

(Scan of actual draft article is embedded below)

Operation Featherbed, a 14-year RCMP investigation into suspected subversives in high places, tried to warn the federal government it was being systematically infiltrated.

Trudeau, Pearson, Diefenbaker ignore RCMP warnings of high-level communist penetration of Canada

Trudeau, Pearson, Diefenbaker ignore RCMP warnings of high-level communist penetration of Canada

But the governments of John Diefenbaker, Lester Pearson, and Pierre Trudeau dismissed the Featherbed warnings as unsubstantiated Communist witch-hunting.

Besides, it would have been too embarrassing to repudiate people their governments had promoted to positions of influence.

Featherbed suspected that Communist infiltration of the federal bureaucracy had been set in train in 1923 with the co-option of O.D. Skelton, renowned as the “father of the civil service”.

The Featherbed analysts concluded that over the years, any promising “agents of influence” were talent-spotted at Communist study clubs in universities and brought into the civil service.

Inside, a shadowy network promoted “birds of a feather,” which gave the operation its code-name.

Robert Bryce (1984)

Robert Bryce (1984)

Among the more prominent (civil servant) subjects of Featherbed investigation were Robert Bryce, who rose from the Finance Ministry to the top post as cabinet secretary; his successor as deputy minister of finance, Sol Simon Reisman; and the husband-and-wife team of Bernard and Sylvia Ostry.1

Bernard Ostry, suspected by RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Bernard Ostry, suspected by RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Bernard Ostry became deputy minister of communications despite RCMP objections.  He was recently appoint(ed) at $65,000 a year as government special adviser on culture and communications based in Paris.

Sylvia Ostry, suspected by the RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Sylvia Ostry, suspected by the RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Sylvia Ostry, former chief of Statistics Canada, the Economic Council of Canada, and deputy minister of consumer and corporate affairs, was appointed last fall to head the economics and statistics branch of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.

Soviet mole Pierre Trudeau and Soviet espionage agent Lester Pearson

Soviet mole Pierre Trudeau and Soviet espionage agent Lester Pearson

Operation Featherbed also plumbed the pasts of prime ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau — Trudeau for his travels to Warsaw, Moscow, Peking and Havana, Pearson for allegedly having supplied information while a diplomat, that was transmitted to Moscow by a U.S. spy ring.

(Trudeau once called for his Featherbed file, “chuckled” as he read the report about his travels, associations and indiscretions, and sent it back to RCMP files).

Featherbed began as a search for suspected Communist subversives in the hierarchy of the civil service, branched out delving into university professors, lawyers, the media and trade unions.

It involved extensive surveillance, wiretapping and bugging under the code-name Operation Mercury (Featherbed was the analytical side).  The winnowed-down conclusions were summarized in a thick, black-edged book that held the names of 245 “professional” people as members of the Communist Party secret underground in Canada.

Not all the subjects of initial investigation found their way into the wrap-up black book.

Featherbed opened files on 87 CBC staffers as suspected subversives but there was no evidence of any operating network and only a handful were named in the final summation.

Tim Buck, head of the Communist Party in Canada

Tim Buck, head of the Communist Party in Canada

And Featherbed never learned the identity of “our agent in Canadian Press” that Communist Party of Canada chief Tim Buck frequently boasted about to his mistress, Bess Nascolo.  A bug in Nascolo’s house on Jones Ave., Toronto, picked up the drunken boasts after a shipment of Russian embassy vodka.

Featherbed believed that Lewis Rasminsky, former governor of the Bank of Canada, was only flirting with Communism when he attended party cell meetings in the Depression, as many disillusioned people did, and that he had rejected the ideology.

After a Featherbed investigation, the RCMP Security Service blocked the intended 1969 appointment of Grace Hartman to the government’s national commission on the status of women.  She became head of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Featherbed also conducted an investigation of Shirley Carr, vice-president of the Canadian Labor Congress.

What prompted Featherbed’s start in 1958 was an accusation by the U.S. Senate Internal Sub-Committee that Robert Bryce had been a member of a Communist closed party cell at Harvard university in 1935-37.

Herbert Norman, a known Communist, killed himself rather than expose 70 or more other Soviet agents

Herbert Norman, a known Communist, killed himself rather than expose 70 or more other Soviet agents

The subcommittee the previous year had cited Herbert Norman, then ambassador to Cairo, as a Communist.

Norman leaped to his death in Cairo a day after he told his doctor that if he were called to testify in a royal commission, he would to identify 60 to 70 Canadians as Communists.

Norman was a good friend of Lester Pearson and Robert Bryce and Pearson’s denunciation of U.S. interference in Canadian affairs caused the jittery RCMP brass to sever relations with the FBI.

When they were resumed, the FBI handed the information about the Silvermaster spy ring to the RCMP.  The ring’s courier, Elizabeth Bentley, told the FBI that Norman was a source of information sent to Moscow.

John Grierson, suspected but not charged with Soviet espionage (his secretary, Freida Linton, was charged)

John Grierson, suspected but not charged with Soviet espionage (his secretary, Freida Linton, was charged)

She also said that she had reported to her Soviet at spy handlers that Pearson also had been a source of information, along with John Grierson, head of the National Film Board, and his secretary, Freda Linton.

Featherbed was launched with the concept that the Silvermaster ring — which led to the indictments of Alger Hiss, assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State, and Harry Dexter White, a senior official in the U.S. Treasury Department — had its counterpart in Ottawa.

The initial investigation turned up 12 suspected equivalents in the Ottawa civil service hierarchy.  The files on the dozen were taken away by W. H. Kelly, director of RCMP Security and Intelligence, and never returned to Featherbed investigators.

After the U.S. subcommittees naming Bryce, he voluntarily went to RCMP headquarters to explain.

He admitted having attended Communist party study cells at Harvard and contended to his RCMP questioners that “you’re making too much of it.  I was only flirting with the Communists.”

Featherbed with the help of the FBI investigated his claim but concluded that Bryce had played a greater role in the study cells than he owned up to.

Harold "Kim" Philby, British Secret Service (MI6), in a 1955 file photo

Harold “Kim” Philby, British Secret Service (MI6), in a 1955 file photo

The delving also turned up a class parade photo taken at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the early 1930s. [Sitting] in the front row were Bryce, Lester Pearson, Herbert Norman and Kim Philby.

Philby went on to penetrate and sell out British Intelligence as a Soviet KGB master agent and now lives in Moscow.  The picture raised questions but answered none.

RCMP of Operation Mercury put Bryce under surveillance for many months but found nothing incriminating.

The Mercury Mounties wiretapped Simon Reisman for a long time and intercepted phone calls from a Russian embassy military attache identified as “A. Lobatchev.”

The RCMP Watching Service glued on to Reisman but never found him meeting with Lobatchev.  However, Featherbed found that Reisman’s wife had attended a Communist party training school in Port Hope, Ont., in 1954.

When Reisman’s top security clearance came up for renewal, the RCMP put in a report that it shouldn’t be renewed.  But the government’s security screening panel disagreed.

Bernard Ostry was the subject of RCMP surveillance under the code-name “Apache.”  That came after British Intelligence reported in 1962 that Ostry had attended a meeting of the Communist Party of Britain.

The Watching Service reported that Ostry had met Russian Intelligence Service agent Rem Krassilnikov at the Green Gables restaurant in Ottawa.

The RCMP took Bernard Ostry’s file to Trudeau but he dismissed their objections to his promotion to deputy minister of communications, the department that includes intercepting Soviet communications and bugging of embassies.

“I don’t want to hear any more about the Ostrys,” Trudeau said. “I would work with the devil if necessary.  Don’t bother me any more about the Ostrys.”

The RCMP had filed objections to Sylvia Ostry’s promotions on the basis of her Communist associations.  Trudeau dismissed that, too.

The RCMP could never reveal, even to Trudeau, the source for their objections to the Ostrys.

With Trudeau’s disinterest, Featherbed ground to a listless effort in 1972 and died completely by 1975.

A stroke of luck had uncovered secret Communist party memberships of several higher-ups in the trade union movement and in the civil service.

An RCMP “garbage patrol” picked up the membership list of secret section number seven of the United Jewish People’s Order in Montreal.  Section seven was the UJPO’s underground party apparatus for professional people.

Tom Kent, Queen's University: suspected by RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Tom Kent, Queen’s University: suspected by RCMP as being a Communist subversive *

The subject of one Featherbed file, Tom Kent, complained to Pearson that it was unfair.  Kent was a policy advisor to the prime minister and assistant deputy minister of immigration.*

Featherbed’s file on Kent outlined his connections with Communist front groups while he was managing editor of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Professor C. B. Macpherson: suspected by the RCMP of being a Communist subversive

Professor C. B. Macpherson: suspected by the RCMP of being a Communist subversive

Of the many university professors in Featherbed’s files, the most important was deemed to be Prof. C. B. MacPherson of University of Toronto.

The RCMP bugged MacPherson’s island cottage near Gananoque for the regular visits by two Russian Intelligence Service officers from the Ottawa embassy.

Kay MacPherson:: suspected by the RCMP of being a Communist subversive

Kay MacPherson:: suspected by the RCMP of being a Communist subversive

MacPherson’s wife, Kay, was leader of the Voice of Women movement that paraded for rejection of nuclear weapons by Canada.

Twenty years after Igor Gouzenko defected, Featherbed analysts got around to poring through the neglected kit-bags full of papers seized in the spy-ring roundup.

In the yellowing notebooks and memo pads, they found names and phone numbers of calls made in wartime.  Tracing the numbers back to wartime government phone books, they traced calls made to civil servants who by then (1965) had risen high in the bureaucracy.

They also found evidence implicating a wartime RCAF wing commander and an army colonel in the Soviet spy rings.  But by then, the trail had gotten too cold.  Ironically, the colonel was by then dealing with Soviet trade missions for the government.

Another trail too late to pick up was a curious coincidence that went unexplained.

That was the belated discovery that Col. Nicolai Zabotin’s spy ring had used an electronics shop in Rideau St., Ottawa, as a “live letter drop.”

A card was put in the shop window to signal that a letter was waiting to be picked up.  The card’s appearance usually coincided with the visit to the manager’s office at the rear by two middle-rank civil servants.

The pair rose high in the bureaucracy and retired with honors and indexed pensions.

Operation Featherbed folded for lack of government interest.

– 30 –

1 Trudeau himself was feared by the RCMP to be a Communist agent.  (Trudeau undoubtedly was one.  At Moscow in 1952, Trudeau led a Communist delegation organized by the Canadian Communist Party.  The Moscow meeting was an “economic summit” organized by Soviet intelligence.  See my exclusive English translations of a 7-part series on the summit, “I’m Back From Moscow,” penned by Trudeau for the leftist daily, Le Devoir.  Lester Pearson absolutely was a Soviet agent, denounced by defecting Soviet military intelligence, Elizabeth Bentley to the FBI.  However, Worthington soft-pedals the grave accusations of Elizabeth Bentley against Pearson in the McCarran hearings.  (In 2012, Worthington, still kicking and alive, soft-pedaled his own accusations against Communist Trudeau of the 1970s and 80s, thus bleaching Pierre’s reputation when Red offspring Justin was running for the “Liberal” leadership.  Police suspected Bernard and Sylvia Ostry, as well.  Now, grasp this, if you can.  According to Don Newman, in his autobiography, xxxxxx, Trudeau routinely held his federal Cabinet meetings at the private palatial home of none other than suspected Communists, Bernard and Sylvia Ostry, straddling the border between Hull, Quebec and Ontario.  Also at those meetings was private citizen and Canadian RIIA member, Paul Desmarais Senior of Power Corporation.  On the downtown Montreal business premises of Power Corporation in the 1960s, 1967 to be precise in this case, a “Secret Committee” of Reds posing as Liberals in the federal cabinet of Soviet Agent Lester Pearson, came up with a plan to create a “separatist” party.  Communist René Lévesque was instructed by them to organize and lead it.

The party;s name?  The Parti Québécois.  Its 1972 manifesto in French only, written to appease the extreme left members who swelled its ranks in 1968, flowing in from the Communist RIN party that had been disbanded, calls for a Communist independent state of Quebec.  (See Free download page for my exclusive English translation of the 1972 manifesto.)

We thus find a major multinational corporation embracing, hosting and harboring obvious Communist infiltrators of the Liberal Party of Canada, setting up plans for a Communist party and a Communist State of Quebec on Power Corporation premises.  Power Corporation is also a major presence at the Canadian branch of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (the RIIA in London, an international banker front for a secret society whose object still is the infiltration of national governments to subvert national sovereignty on the road to world government).

Scan of Worthington’s draft article from which
the above transcript was prepared:


* I have come up with a good piece of evidence that Tom Kent was/is indeed a Communist subversive. In March 2007, the Caledon Institute published in pdf format a booklet authored by Kent entitled Federalism Renewed.  The section of it entitled “City Limits” declares the Provinces of Canada (Provincial Legislatures) as defunct institutions of the previous Century.  Kent recommends replacing our Provincial Legislatures with a new form of “federalism” which bears a strong resemblance to the Communist expanded administrative municipal regions documented in Moscow in 1975 by Maurice (Morris) Zeitlin writing in Communist Workers’ World.  I can tell from the same article that Kent also knows why Stephen Harper declared Quebec “a nation” in 2006:  precisely to disintegrate Canada to use Quebec to “negotiate” Kent’s “new federalism”.

Reds Tried To Sabotage Marshall Plan, House Probe Told At Albany

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceTroy Record, 14 July 1953, Tue.


Reds Tried To Sabotage Marshall Plan, House Probe Told At Albany

Albany (AP) — A Canadian ex-Communist yesterday told House investigators that he helped engineer a 1949 strike as a Communist scheme to scuttle the Marshall plan.  Patrick Walsh, 37-year-old Quebec native, told a House Un-American Activities subcommittee the strike was run by the Canadian Seamen’s Union (CSU).

Pat Walsh Testified

TESTIFIES — Pat Walsh, former Canadian seaman, shown on stand yesterday at Albany as House Un-American Activities group opened upstate probe of Reds.  (United Press Telephoto)

Walsh, who described the CSU as Communist-dominated, was the first witness before the subcommittee, as it opened a four-day inquiry here into subversive activities.

The stocky, ruddy-faced Canadian said he joined the Communist movement when he was 17 or 18, but cut all party connections last February.

Speaking with a noticeable French accent, Walsh detailed what he termed the Communist planning and organization for the shipping strike.

Questioned Closely.

Much of his testimony came from a long prepared statement and from numerous documents he exhibited.  He was questioned closely at intervals by members of the subcommittee and its counsel.

In reply to one query, he told the probers that while still a member of the party, he had cooperated with anti-Communist groups.  Some of these agents, he said, advised him to stay in the party so he could better expose it when he finally made his break.

Walsh’s testimony occupied the entire first day of the hearing.  Beginning today, the investigators are to hear between “15 and 20” persons from the Albany area, including a number of present and former state employees.

Kearney said the first witnesses today would be two “friendly” union business agents, Jack Davis of Albany and Nick Campas of Troy.  Both are affiliated with the AFL Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union.

The congressman said the two had requested permission to appear.

Frank Tavenner, Jr., counsel for the subcommittee made the estimate of the number yet to be called.

Kearney Heads Committee.

Walsh told the probers, headed by Rep. Bernard W. Kearney (R.-N.Y.) that party orders caused him to join the Canadian army, veterans organizations, the CSU and other groups.

The Canadian labor leader testified in answer to a question that during this period his primary loyalty was to the Communist Party and not to the Canadian government.

Walsh told probers that he twice had joined the Canadian army to carry out party orders.

Later party assignments took him into veterans organizations and then the Canadian seamen’s union, Walsh said.

Walsh told probers that Harry

(Continued on Page Eleven)


Reds Tried To Sabotage Aid Plan,
Probe Told

(Continued from Page One)

Binder of Montreal ordered him to join the seamen’s union.

Raymond Colette, business agent of the Canadian Seamen’s Union (CSU), saw that he got on a ship as a seaman, Walsh said.

He conducted classes in Marxism on board, Walsh said.

His job, Walsh said, was to contract Communist dock workers unions in ports where his ship docked and try to persuade them to refuse to unload the cargoes when the ships arrived.

This work, he said, took him to London, Hamburg, Antwerp, Genoz, Naples and Bari.

Negotiations were going on with the ship owners, Walsh said, but the Communists had orders to carry out the strike, whether or not their demands were met.

He said it was “a political strike with no bonafide trade union principles involved whatsoever.”

Agitators At Meeting.

When his ship docked in Genoa, Walsh said, he went to a meeting attended by “top Communist agitators in the Maritime section of the Cominform.”  He said the meeting was held to discuss plans for a world wide shipping strike.

Walsh said he was to have been aboard the Beaver Brae, which he described as the “key ship” in the tieup, but that the party ordered him transferred to another vessel at the last moment and he did not take a central part in the strike.

The walkout, he said, halted shipping in Europe, Canada and some U.S. west coast ports for nearly seven months.

Cargoes and machinery were damaged he said, and “the Marshall plan certainly received a serious blow.”

It finally failed, Walsh said, primarily because of the intervention of the non-Communist Seafarer’s International Union and the return to work of some strikers.

He added:  “If Harry Bridges had been there he would have been welcomed.”

Bridges, president of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union, was convicted in 1950 of swearing falsely at a 1945 denaturalization hearing that he was not a Communist.

However, last June 15, the Supreme Court threw out the perjury-conspiracy conviction and voided the order depriving Bridges of his citizenship.

The supreme court said in its decision that the statute of limitations governing the alleged offense had expired.

Asked if he knew definitely whether Bridges was a Communist, Walsh said he did not.

He added, however, that among seamen and dock workers, Bridges generally was considered to [be] a Communist.

In answer to a question, Walsh said that during this period his primary loyalty was to the Communist Party and not to the Canadian government or the union.

Names Reds At Meeting.

He said that before he worked on the shipping strike he attended a meeting run by men he called the top echelon of the Communist Party in Canada.

Among those attending the meeting, he said, were George Harris, secretary-treasurer of the Canadian branch of the United Electrical Workers; Dewar Gerguson, vice president of the Canadian Seamen’s Union, and Oscar Roy, of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers.

In telling how he joined the party, Walsh said he was first assigned as a party organizer in an unemployment camp and then sent to work in mines and lumber camps in the Rouyn and Noranda section of Quebec and worked there from 1937 to 1940.

In 1940, he continued, he was ordered to enlist in the Canadian Army to carry out “revolutionary defeatism.”

He said he was dishonorably discharged four months later because of what he termed “subversive activities.”

Was Sent Overseas.

His nexgt assignment, Walsh said, was in getting Communists to work at the large Shipshaw power project in northeast Quebec.  He said he was “instrumental in getting about 150 top Communists” to work there.

Walsh said he remained there about two years and until in 1943, he was ordered to attempt to reenlist in the Army.  He said he was successful in this, and was sent overseas where he was in contact with Communist cells in the Canadian army, navy and air force.  Their task at that time, he added, was to agitate for the opening of a second front in Europe against the Germans.

– 30 –