Inside Labor By Victor Riesel

Category:  Historical Reprints
Source:  Shamokin News-Dispatch, 7 Apr 1953, Tue, Page 4

Inside Labor

Victor Riesel

Somehow those Royal Canadian Mounted Police do get their men — even if it’s by accident.  The redcoats learned about some of the Reds’ most fabulous conspiracies almost inadvertently.

Some years ago a Soviet Embassy code clerk in Canada watched his baby spill some milk and saw his wife simply reach for another bottle.  This she would never do in Russia, even if she had enough rubles and the time to wait on a long queue.  The Soviet spymasters are still crying over that spilt milk.  The code clerk, Igor Gouzenko, then and there decided to raise his children in a free land — and exposed the first atomic spy ring.

A few months ago, a Canadian Communist was simply appalled by Soviet sabotage orders which called for arson and dynamiting.  He quit and told the Mounties.  That ex-Communist operative, Pat Walsh, also told them that the Russians had a special project for infiltrating Alaska and the Yukon so they could quietly pave that invasion route to the United States northwest with fifth column cells.

Now, it may be coincidence, but suddenly a sharp interest has developed in some government circles about that vast area.

Within a month a flying squad of investigating Senators will fly into the sector for special hearings on Pacific and Northwest security.  They’ll be peeled off the Senate Interstate Commerce Committee, which has already sent Washington’s Senator Magnuson ahead to prepare for the probe.  Soon he’ll be followed by Senators Tobey, Capehart, Potter, Cooper, Hunt and Pastore.

They’re interested in anyone who can tie up trans-Pacific shipping.  Before they go they should take some briefing from Wisconsin’s Congressman Kirstein, who knows much about Alaska’s subversives.  The committee will also seek out racketeers and such pro-Soviet characters as Harry Bridges and the Marine, Cooks and Stewards’ Union’s chief, Hugh Bryson.  One of the first stops will be Seattle.

* * *

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Strong Man Harry

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceAlton Evening Telegraph, 2 Apr 1953, Thu, Page 6

Strong Man Harry

Victor Riesel Says

New York, April 2 — Even well informed insiders have been sharply underestimating the power and position of Harry Bridges in the Soviet scheme of things.

There is now available to the intelligence services of all western nations a man willing to charge that, to his personal knowledge 1, the belligerent Bridges is the Soviet’s control man for 10,000 miles of coastline.  This runs from Alaska right through the Cominform center in Guatemala, the Panama Canal Zone and on down to the vital copper-laden docks of Chile.

The man from whom I learn this is Pat Walsh, once Bridges’ undercover waterfront comrade-in-arms.  Today Walsh, carefully guarding his own documents and secrets, is in open rebellion against the Soviet’s global labor network.  Pat Walsh was leader of the Canadian waterfront section of the Communist Party until he broke recently.  It was Walsh now in Quebec City, who was ordered personally and he has the documents to prove it, to sabotage our Marshall Plan arms and food shipments to Europe.

Today, Walsh informed this column that Harry Bridges, although a convicted perjurer and a Communist Party member according to the testimony which led to his deportation order, is still the active Western Hemisphere liaison man for the Soviet’s global labor operation known as the World Federation of Trade Unions.

Just what is this world labor federation for which Bridges is fronting along 10,000 miles of vital defense coastline?

Let me show you what the French counter-intelligence headquarters thinks of it.  Just a few hours before this was written, scores of Paris police and special security officers jammed riot helmed riot helmets on their heads, picked up automatic rifles and descended on the French section of the World Federation of Trade Unions.

With the Parisian police, who obviously expected quite a battle, were French counter-espionage agents.  They broke into the headquarters run by the French General Confederation of Labor, and carted away special files and current records.  This confederation in France is the single most important and powerful affiliate of the Russian’s World Federation of Trade Union.  Obviously the French security police don’t trust it.

A sister union of the raided French Confederation of Labor is the International Seamen’s and Dockers’ Union.  Guess who turns up as president of this sister union?  Harry Bridges!

Furthermore, our own intelligence people have just learned that if the Supreme Court gets off its antipathy for ruling on the five-year-old Bridges case, and upholds the lower courts’ deportation orders, the man will go to Europe and will become official head of all maritime activities of the Soviet’s world labor federation!

Meanwhile, Pat Walsh charges that Bridges is in constant communication with the veteran Communist who now is Moscow’s specialist on maritime operations in the American Hemisphere.  Fellow’s name is Andre Fressinet, a powerful French comrade now operating out of Vienna where the Russians have located the World Federation of Trade Unions in their own zone.  There, the MVD can protect it and keep its sharp eyes on all its operations across the world.

(Copyright 1953)

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1  Referring to intelligence obtained by Riesel from Pat Walsh for the former’s “Labor” column, Riesel claims that he is about to divulge the “personal knowledge” of Patrick Walsh, supposedly a deeply embedded former insider into Soviet penetration of labour.  However, it seems very odd indeed that Walsh would have claimed “personal knowledge” of the Soviet nature of activities undertaken by “Strong Man Harry” Bridges.  In his July 13th, 1953 testimony three-and-a-half months after the date of this news item by Riesel, Walsh denies “personal knowledge” of Harry Bridges’ Communism.  That exchange before the Un-American Activities subcommittee at Albany, New York, went this way (page 2378):

Mr. Kearney.  Do you have any knowledge of your own as to whether Harry Bridges was a member of the Communist Party or not?

Mr. Walsh.  Well, I haven’t got any positive knowledge, but among seamen and dockers it was commonly acknowledged that he was a member of the Communist Party or, if he wasn’t he was certainly doing everything that Communists were doing in the maritime section — and we could see, for example, in publications of the Communist Party, of seamen and dockers’ workers’ unions, that Harry Bridges even had articles.  For example, I have an article here from a French Communist paper of Harry Bridges, which I could submit to the committee, and I’ve seen various articles of Bridges in Italian and Hungarian and German and Dutch and French papers.

Mr. Scherer.  There wasn’t any question in the minds of those individuals like yourself who were acting in the Communist Party that Harry Bridges was a Communist, was there?

Mr. Walsh.  No, because Pat Sullivan, the founder and the president of the Canadian Seamen’s Union, told me that Harry Bridges and himself and other American Communists — that they met in the Morrison Hotel in Chicago, I believe, and that they had decided to coordinate plans in Canada for the eventual taking over of longshoremen’s unions, which were then controlled by the International Longshoremen’s Association.

Mr. Scherer.  Who would take over?  What do you mean?

Mr. Walsh.  Harry Bridges’ outfit — the International Longshoremens’ and Warehousemen’s Union.

How could Pat Walsh be qualified, according to Riesel writing at the beginning of April 1953, with the following credentials:

“There is now available to the intelligence services of all western nations a man willing to charge that, to his personal knowledge 1, the belligerent Bridges is the Soviet’s control man for 10,000 miles of coastline.”

Could it be that Walsh was willing to exaggerate to Riesel for some reason, but he was not willing to risk the prospect of perjury charges before the Un-American Activities subcommittee?  In any event, we cannot “convict” Walsh on Riesel’s words in the column above; but as hearsay, they conflict to a substantial degree with the claims and qualifications made by Walsh when later questioned on Harry Bridges by the U.S. Subcommittee.

On the other hand, perhaps Riesel “dressed up” the nature of Walsh’s words to him, to enhance the “authority” of his own column as a source of intelligence on Communist activities in labor.


Poor Guesses Made By Insiders on Bridges’ Power In Soviet Strategy

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceThe Cincinnati Enquirer, 29 Mar 1953, Sun, Page 53

Poor Guesses

Made By Insiders

On Bridges’ Power In Soviet Strategy

Riesel Points To Evidence Obtained in France,
Other Factors



(The start of this article appears in Riesel’s other syndicated piece, “Strong Man Harry“.)

Walsh believes that Bridges reports weekly to Comrade Fressinet on what is happening on the Alaskan-U.S.-Central American-South American waterfronts as well as Hawaii.

LaborThis long line includes many of our vital operations.  There are our defenses in Alaska.  Only last January Bridges had his fishermen’s division in conference there.  There is the obvious Hawaiian strategic area — where as far back as February 14, 1951, Bridges had his union chiefs officially demand that the United States withdraw troops from Korea.

And there is the Soviet invasion of Guatemala.  While we’re spending scores of millions of dollars on the Florida guided missile range and radar stations which can detect and cut down enemy aircraft approaching the Panama Canal, the Russians have virtually seized Guatemala and control airfields there just a few hundred miles from the Big Ditch.  Only a few days ago, President Eisenhower was informed of this in detail by Ambassador Rudolf Schienfeld, envoy to that Central American government.

And who helped give the Guatemalan Communists their first labor strength?  None other than Bridges’ friend, Comrade Andre Fressinet.  In 1950 he dispatched two Sovieteers, Maurice Carroue and Ilio Bosi, to Guatemala to set up the “popular front” which finally captured labor there.  How much more need be said?

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