Only Pawns in their Game

Category: Historical Reprints.
Source: Straight Talk! The Official Bulletin Of The Edmund Burke Society.
Editor: F. Paul Fromm
Associate Editor: Jeff Goodall
Writers: E.B.S. members and friends
Directors: The Council of the E.B.S.
Volume III, Number 1, September 1970

The Edmund Burke Society is a conservative organization unaffiliated with any political party. We are dedicated to the principles of individual freedom and responsibility, free enterprise, and firm ACTION against all tyrannies, especially Communism and all its manifestations in Canada and abroad.

The E.B.S. is financed mainly through small donations from generous Canadians. Straight Talk! is produced by voluntary labour.

Only Pawns in their Game

By F. Paul Fromm, B.A.

One of the cardinal principles adopted by the EDMUND BURKE SOCIETY from its very foundation was that we would co-operate with other conservative and anti-communist groups. We might feel that other groups might be too wishy-washy, too outspoken, poorly informed, or participating in dead-end causes or activities. We vowed that we would seek to co-operate with such groups in areas of common interest. We would not spend our time in fratricidal bickering and hair-splitting. The fight against our strong and common enemy is far more important than petty differences as to method or personality. It is, therefore, with deep regret that I am writing this article.

On August 20, the EDMUND BURKE SOCIETY was officially invited to participate and to provide a speaker at a rally outside the legislative buildings in Queen’s Park. The rally was organized by a small group of “Czech democrats” and the occasion was the sorrowful commemoration of the second anniversary of the Soviet re-invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Several hundred people representing a half-dozen nationalities were present. As we waited for the proceedings to begin, we noted with shock that two people, who had no ideological right to be there, were very thick and friendly with the organizers. Standing puffing serenely on his pipe was provincial N.D.P. leader, Donald MacDonald — the centre of attraction. Also hovering in the wings was Toronto’s far-left alderman, Karl Jaffary. On spotting our thirty members with their bright green, black, and white banners, one N.D.P. official muttered that that local Gestapo was here. Hurried consultations between MacDonald and the obviously flattered organizers resulted in an ultimatum — either the N.D.P. or us. The brave advocates of participatory democracy refused to share the same platform as us. The smooth-talking, slickly attired master-of-ceremonies turned out to be a law partner of Karl Jaffary; so, it came as no surprise that E.B.S. was told thanks but no thanks regarding a speaker.

Ironically, the speech that was to be made by our E.B.S. spokesman dealt with traps and pitfalls which we wished to warn the various ethnic leaders to avoid. We wanted to warn them against being taken in by selfish politicians, who will smile and sympathize with them to harvest the ethnic vote, and who will fulfill none of their promises. The N.D.P. had completely taken over the rally. The Czech leaders seemed positively mesmerized at the casual attention being paid to them by the N.D.P. politicos. In their speeches, the N.D.P. twosome allowed as how they opposed communism. They warned that freedom suffered at the hands of both the left and the right. (Dig! Dig!) Alderman Jaffary lost no time in criticizing the conservative government of Greece. (I thought we were there to talk about Czechoslovakia.) Jaffary had been involved with a far-left group and its efforts to beam radio broadcasts at Greece from an off-shore yacht.

When all the false tears were shed, the N.D.P. leaders urged that little could be done about Czechoslovakia. They bemoaned the fact that men could not live in peace — almost implying that the Czechs were somehow guilty for the Soviet invasion of their country. The purpose of their remarks was obvious — to steer young ethnics away from an active involvement in anti-communism by portraying the liberation of their homelands as a hopeless cause, and to placate the ethnic old-folks with sympathetic words about their country’s fate.

Alderman Jaffary claimed that when he heard the news that the U.S.S.R. had invaded Czechoslovakia, he went down to the Canada-U.S.S.R. Association and painted black SWASTIKAS ( ? ) on their property. Jaffary doesn’t seem to realize that the leader of the Canadian Nazi Party drew a six-month sentence for a similar escapade against a synagogue. However, if you are waiting to see what sort of punishment the courts will mete out to Jaffary for his self-confessed act of vandalism, you haven’t yet learned that there is one law for . . . and another law for . . . .

Unsuccessful mayoralty candidate, Margaret Campbell, gave a mercifully short speech which consisted of a list of the various ethnic groups that she sympathized with. She ended with a yawn after six [minutes] and showed her deep concern for the importance of the commemoration by leaving the park immediately.

The N.D.P. is the party that opposes just about every anti-communist government in the world. It opposes our NATO role. It opposes the Allied war against communism in South-East Asia. It has been a constant supporter of the U.S. draft-dodgers and as recently as May 9, showed their continuing support for the Red rabble in the streets by contributing $2,000.00 to the bail fund of the leftists arrested. The money ended up in the hands of the violent May 4 Movement and much of it was used to pay off previous printing expenses. The question remains, why were the N.D.P. invited in the first place?  They can no more call themselves anti-communists than the Black Panthers can pretend that they are soft, furry kitty-cats.

The leadership of this small faction of “Czech democrats” has fallen under the influence of the N.D.P., which is seeking ways to co-opt the ethnic vote in the big urban areas. The E.B.S. en masse, before the T.V. cameras, turned its collective back on the N.D.P. speakers.

One of our associates, speaking on the invitation of the organizers for the Latvian community, repudiated the sell-out politics of the liberals and the N.D.P.  In the months to come, we will be carrying to our various ethnic friends the message — beware of the politicians. Watch their record before you listen to their words. Only in this way can the ethnic anti-communists use their numerical strength to wring meaningful action from the politicians. The approach of the Czech democrats will only make anti-communists pawns in the game of their avowed enemies.

– 30 –

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)

– 30 –

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.


Canadian Admits Ship Strike Role; Reds Aimed at Aid Plan, Probe Told

Category:  Historical Reprints
Source:  Democrat and Chronicle, 14 Jul 1953, Tue, Page 3

Canadian Admits Ship Strike Role; Reds Aimed at Aid Plan, Probe Told

14 July 1953

Albany — AP — A Canadian ex-Communist yesterday told House investigators that he helped engineer a 1949 shipping 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.

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

The stocky, ruddy-face 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.

In reply to one query, he told reporters 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 29” persons from the Albany area, including a number of present or former state employees.

Walsh told the probers, headed by Rep. Bernard W. Kearney (R-NY) 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 said he joined the CSU on orders from Harry Binder of Montreal and he testified that Raymond Collette, the union’s business agent, got him on a ship as a seaman.

Pat Walsh helped organize strike

… helped organize strike

Walsh explained that he was instructed to contact Communist dock workers unions in ports where his ship docked.  Then, he said, [he] was to try to persuade them to refuse to unload ships.

In Genoa, Walsh related, he attended a meeting of "top Communist agitators in the maritime section of the Cominform," at which plans for a worldwide shipping strike were discovered.

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 an dhe 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 [the strike] 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.

Among other reasons he cited for the end of the shipping tieup was the inability of Harry Bridges, West Coast labor leader, to obtain passports to take part in the Genoa conference and another he said was held later in Marseille in a move to bolster the flagging walkout.

Another reason Walsh gave for the failure [of the strike] was refusal of the National Maritime Union, and the International Longshoremen's Association which controlled seamen in U.S. East Coast ports, to take part in the strike.

After the strike, Walsh added, he was sent to Toronto, where he became a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Peace Congress, which he described as a Communist-run organization.

He said that he finally decided to quit the party when the Communists ordered that, at all costs, atom spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg must be saved from execution.

Walsh testified that as late as last September, party members within the Canadian Union of Woodworkers had been alerted to sabotage forests and hydro-electric plants in the event of war with Russia.

Earlier, Walsh had set off a round of close questioning with a reference to Alger Hiss.

The Communist-dominated World Federation of Trade Unions was seeking recognition as the representative of world labor at the San Francisco conference at which the United Nations was organized in 1945, he said.

The federation was refused.  But Walsh produced a copy of a French periodical dated April, 1946, in which Sir Walter Citrine, then president of the WFTU, wrote that Hiss had notified the WFTU that any correspondence it addressed to the conference would be distributed to delegates "immediately and officially" as a memorandum.

– 30 –


Under the Soviet Rainbow by Louis Fischer (1944)

The Bolsheviks Come into Power

The Bolsheviks Come into Power — a sketch of Lenin and Stalin with the Red Guards in the Smolny Institute, Party headquarters, 1917

Foreword:  This article was published in the February 1944 “American-Russian Frontiers” issue of Survey Graphic, Vol. XXXIII, No. 2, p. 95.  The photo above is from a different article in the same issue, “Our Ally — Soviet Russia” by Walter Duranty, p. 118.

“Under The Soviet Rainbow” by Louis Fischer holds the keys to the 1982 Charter imposed on homogeneous Canada by Pierre Elliott Trudeau, to the anti-white racist epithet “white supremacist” and to mass immigration of foreigners into the west.  We are being Sovietized!

Under the Soviet Rainbow

Not pots of gold — but vessels of human clay in which millions of non-Russians are bound together by a “common experience of constant growth and flowering.”

By Louis Fischer

“The United States has been called a “melting pot”; in it, white immigrants from all the world merge to form an American pattern.  But Maxim Litvinov called the Soviet Union a “league of nations.”  There each race — Ukrainians, Tartars, Chuvashi, Mordvins, Russians, Chechentsi, Armenians, Georgians, Buryat-Mongols and 180 others — received at the hands of the Bolshevik Revolution the right, indeed the injunction, to retain its separate individuality (language, customs, costumes).  Since Leninism abhorred national superiority; or national inferiority, all nationalities were considered equal.

The 1917 Revolution could preach internationalism abroad and freedom for subject colonies because it immediately created its own International inside Old Russia and freed its subject races.  The domination of the Slavs and the cult of Pan-Slavism yielded to the supremacy of workers and the dictatorship of the Communist Party.  The Russian worker regarded the Russian capitalist as his enemy and the Uzbek worker or the French worker as his friend and ally.  This was not mere dogma; Soviet citizens felt it.  Blood ties ceased to count in the new Soviet league of nations.  Since nationalities were equal in the Soviet Union, militant nationalism began to fade away.

Soviet scientists have counted 189 races in the USSR. But there is no guarantee that others will not be discovered.  Of 195,000,000 Soviet inhabitants in peacetime, only 80,000,000 were Russians.

The Soviets catalogued men not according to blood and birth but by class, occupations, and ideas.  That is why the theory of Bolshevism is the extreme opposite of fascism.

Under the autocratic Tsars, the Russians ruled and all the other races were “aliens” whom St. Petersburg tried to “russify.”  Where this attempt to foist the Russian language and Russian traditions on non-Russian or anti-Russian peoples failed, the Cossacks stepped in with their guns and knouts, or one race was set against the other.  Ukrainians pogromed Jews; Armenians and Tartars engaged in mutual slaughter in the Caucasus; and other minorities fought interminably.  The authorities looked on when they did not feed these feuds.  Division helped the “Tsar of all the Russias” to rule.  “Russia” meant nothing to the Tadjiks of Central Asia or the Ossetians of the North Caucasus except Tsarist oppression.

This “prison of subject races” was converted into a peaceful “league of nations” by the simple expedient of abolishing the supremacy of the Russian and Slav.  The hatred of the national minorities for the Tsar thereupon began to melt into eager cooperation with Soviet Moscow.

The numerous races inhabiting the long periphery of what had been Russia now felt that they “belonged.”

A Red Emancipation Day

On November 15, 1917, eight days after the Bolsheviks came to power, a Soviet decree signed by Lenin, the Russian, and Stalin, the Georgian, proclaimed “the right to free development of all national minorities” and “their self-determination including separation.”  Lenin conformed to the principle of self-determination when he facilitated or refrained from obstructing the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland which had been annexed by Tsarism.  These non-Russian lands were never regarded as Soviet irredenta, and Stalin did not except them he declared in 1936:  “We want no foot of foreign territory.”

He did not say:  We want no foot of foreign territory except the border republics once conquered by the Tsar.  He said, “We want no foot of foreign territory.”  This Stalin slogan was in the spirit of Leninism — and Bolshevik speeches, banners, broadcasts and articles repeated it millions of times.

The principle of “free development of all national minorities” inside the Soviet Union was adhered to even more loyally by the Soviet government.  In fact, the treatment accorded to races is the brightest page in the political history of the Soviet Union.

Persecution of national minorities or discrimination on account of race was made tantamount to counter-revolution in revolutionary Russia.  To be anti-Tartar or anti-Jewish, or to exalt the Slav or Russian, was a crime against the socialist state, and was mercilessly punished.  Just as Hitler later deliberately fostered race hatred in Germany in order to divert attention from the class war and to intensifv German nationalism, so the Bolsheviks curbed racial passions and nationalism and emphasized the class war.

Racism is to fascism as racial equality and internationalism are to Bolshevism.

Fractions and Federalism

The Soviet regime did not merely end discrimination against  national minorities.  It discriminated in favor of national minorities so as to wipe out their cultural, political, and economic lag.  Every opportunity, encouragement, and aid was given to the races of Soviet Asia, the Caucasus, the Volga region, the Ukraine and White Russia — to educate themselves, to develop the economic wealth of their areas and, as far as was practicable within a highly centralized country, to enjoy political autonomy.  Each large national minority, like the Ukrainians, Georgians, Uzbeks, White Russians, and Armenians, constituted an independent republic inside the federal union.

But in Georgia, for example, there is a race called Adjari, numbering a few thousand, who live in and around the Black Sea port of Batum, and another race of Abkhazi at Sukhum.  So the Union Republic of Georgia includes the autonomous subdivisions of Adjaristan and Abkhazia.  Like all other subdivisions and republics of the national minorities, Adjaristan and Abkhazia use their own racial language in their schools and government offices.  Most of their officials are members of these races.

Soviet economy is planned in and directed from Moscow.  The federal government owns all land, large factories, oil wells, railroads, mines, lines of communication, wharves, ships — all forms of capital.  The federal government operates all important industrial units and also controls the finances and domestic and foreign trade of the entire country.  Moreover, the communists are the only political party and their primary allegiance is to Moscow.  The secret police — keystone of any dictatorship — the Red Army, Air Force, and Navy, are likewise functions of the central government in Moscow.  The powers and responsibilities of the regional autonomous republics and territorial subdivisions which constitute the Soviet Union are therefore, of necessity, severely circumscribed.  Yet in the central government, Russians have had no monopoly.  Many Soviet leaders of the past, Dzerzhinski, Trotsky, Svcedlov, Zinoviev, Rakovski, Kamenev, Ordzhonikidze, Yagoda, and so on, were non-Russian.  Stalin is a Georgian; Mikoyan, Commissar of Trade, an Armenian; Kaganovich, the able industrial organizer, a Jew.

Every Soviet citizen knows that racial origin has not been a bar to the attainment of the highest goals.

Virgin Human Soil

Even the limited political and Economic rights and prerogatives which the national minorities enjoy in their autonomous regions have infused them with a sense of dignity.  New opportunities have fired their ambitions and given them a mighty incentive to achieve progress and knowledge.  The country’s tremendous expansion in the economic and educational fields created a vast demand for talent and ability.  The national minorities, especially, answered the call, since many of the new industries were located in the peripheral areas — the Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia — which are largely peopled by non-Russians and which Tsarist Russia had exploited in the usual imperialist manner.

In some cases, the human soil was almost completely virgin.  I visited Central Asia in 1930 when the ambitious Turkestan-Siberian railway was opened.  Bill Shatoff, former Chicago revolutionist who supervised the construction of the line, told me that one of his chief difficulties was building a railroad with labor that had never seen a railroad.  By labor he meant the Kazakh nomads of the vast empty spaces bordering on China.

These are more Chinese than Russian and they had not yet reached even the agrarian stage of civilization.  They live in cylindrical or conical felt yurts (cousin of the wigwam) and followed the grass crop with their flocks.  They rode ponies.  In fact, they seemed to live on their ponies.  I saw thousands of them, assembled from the endless domains of Central Asia, listen to many speeches while sitting in their saddles.  The women did the hard chores, and the men, Shatoff said, consequently had “lady fingers” and suffered from the unaccustomed work of building the railway.

The moment they accepted employment, the Soviet authorities started teaching them to read and write and to be loyal citizens.  In Ain Bulak, a Kazakh settlement on the new Turk-Sib line, a native bard, strumming a gourd-like instrument, sat on the rails and extemporized couplets about “giant bands of steel” and “the iron chug horse.”

Amid the Caucasus Mountains, under the shadow of Mt. Elbrus which is higher than Mt. Blanc, dwell the Swannetians who saw Soviet airplanes fly over them before they themselves were sufficiently advanced to use wheeled vehicles.  At a lower altitude in the same region, I met Kevsurs who wore coats of mail and claimed to be descendants of the Crusaders.

Even these very retarded peoples moved forward rapidly with Moscow’s aid and under communist prodding.  Betal Kalmikov, a Kabardinian married to a Polish woman, acquired an all-Soviet reputation for the skillful administration of his native Kabardino-Balkarian Republic in the North Caucasus near Pyatigorsk, and he was only one of a new generation of leaders and executives which quickly emerged under the warm sun of racial opportunity.

Soviet experience has demonstrated that “backward” races quickly lunge forward when they are no longer held back.

Alphabets and Unity

The overwhelming majority of the members of the national minorities were illiterate before the Bolshevik Revolution.  That was because the Empire had not devoted itself to the education of Russians much less non-Russians and, equally, because where schools were established their language of instruction was Russian — an often hated tongue to the racial groups.

The Soviet regime reversed this.  Teachers began to teach in the national language of each race.  If there were enough Jewish pupils to constitute a class or school in a Russian or Ukrainian or Tartar region a class or school was opened for them in Yiddish.  Just as Russians were no longer able to impose the Russian language on Ukrainians or Georgians, so the Ukrainians could not impose Ukrainian on Germans, Poles or Jews nor could Georgians impose Georgian on Russian or Armenian or Turkic inhabitants of Georgia.

Some nationalities were so backward that they possessed no written language or grammar.  Soviet scientists evolved these for them.  Literacy in some races was particularly low because they used the complicated, cursive Arabic script.  The Soviet government substituted the simple Latin alphabet for this script and the result was a sharp rise in literacy in the Caucasus and Central Asia.  By creating a script-gulf between the Turco-Turanian peoples of the Soviet Union and their kin abroad, this innovation, incidentally, was calculated to weaken the Pan-Turanian movement.

Moreover, through the industrialization and modernization of the country, Bolshevism served to Europeanize Russia.  The grant of culture to the eastern nationalities was a further westernizing influence.  In the primitive hills of the Caucasus I once met a young Ossetian who had learned the Latin alphabet.  I showed him an American magazine and he slowly spelled out the syllables, although he could not understand the words.  This feat gave him the sense of having performed a miracle.  He said, “I have jumped across an ocean and I have touched America.”

He felt as if he had risen into interplanetary space on the vehicle of language.

“None of my ancestors back to birth of the earth,” he said, “could ever read his own language.  Now I can read yours.”

In my fourteen years in the Soviet Union, I traveled a good deal among the national minorities because there the creative processes released by the Revolution were most exciting.  A few hours’ trip took one from the home of one race to the home of a very different race bound to its neighbor by the new and common experience of constant growth and flowering.

Daring and Consistency

Literacy plus, of course, dynamic Soviet politics, helped to break the influence of religion — especially of the Moslem and Buddhist churches — in the retarded regions of the minorities.  The emphasis of scientific teaching in Soviet schools and, in general, the rationalistic nature of communist theory served to further undermine religion.

It is impossible to assume that Stalin would give up Soviet centralism in the midst of a war that requires the highest concentration of political authority and military organization.  Moscow’s decision to accord the sixteen constituent Soviet republics the right to maintain their own armies and to have their diplomatic representatives abroad was published just as the Red Army touched Estonian soil and when the Soviet penetration into Poland began to develop.  It is logical to suppose, therefore, that Stalin hoped his promise of separate armies and separate foreign representation would weaken the resistance of Baltic nationalists to what they might otherwise regard as the total extinction of their countries.  The same promise may stimulate the desire of Balkan peoples to solve their problems by merging with the Soviet Union.

Occasionally, Soviet minorities have given Moscow plenty of trouble. Ukrainians or Georgians or Armenians have been accused of wishing to expand their nationalism to a point where it might lead to secession.

The Ukrainians were thus charged with dreaming of an independent Greater Ukraine embracing the Ukrainians of the Soviet Union, Poland, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia.  Such designs were branded as “bourgeois” and those accused of harboring them were liquidated.  In several instances, the number of liquidated Ukrainians was large.  But in view of Russia’s pre-revolutionary past and the variety of social, political, economic and cultural levels, the unity which the Soviet Union achieved has been truly remarkable.

Freedom under Moscow pleased the racial minorities which had been irked by Russian supremacy.

Racial Peace

All the minorities have forged ahead very rapidly in cultural attainments and economic development.  There has also been much intermarriage between races!  Peoples that were anathema to one another and traditional enemies — like the Armenians and the Tartars, the Ukrainians and the Jews — have intermarried in considerable numbers.  Racial divisions mattered less because the full expression of racial personality was unimpeded by the Soviet government.  No one “superior” race made the others race-conscious.  In Samarkand I once asked an Uzbek woman whether the child she had by her Russian husband would be an Uzbek or a Russian.

“He will be a Soviet citizen,” she answered.

In his book, “The Soviets,” Albert Rhys Williams describes Tsarist policy as “One Tsar, One Religion, One Language,” or, in the more abstract formula, Autocracy, Orththodoxy, and Nationalism — meaning by the last the culture, customs and institutions of the Great Russians.”  This is a profound truth.  Not only Russian nationalism but monarchy and the Orthodox Church conflicted with Bolshevism; it was no accident that the Soviet regime opposed all three.

Another factor contributed to racial peace within the Soviet Union:  total employment!  and the elimination of an exploiting class.  Beginning in 1928, on the eve of the introduction of the First Five-Year Plan, unemployment ceased; later, indeed, manpower shortage became the rule.  In this circumstance, no one could feel that another person was keeping him out of work.  Moreover, given the Soviet monopoly of domestic trade, no middleman exists who can be blamed for high prices, for cheating in weights and measures, for cornering the market.  I think this condition has helped to diminish anti-Semitism and to improve relations between the many Soviet races and the Armenians and Tartars who formerly bulked large in retail business.

Religion counts for very little to the new generation of Soviet Jews educated by the Revolution — and that means all Jews thirty-six years old or younger.  They have had no Hebrew education and they do not yearn for Palestine.  Anti-Semitism is too weak to reinforce their Jewishness or to make them want to be less Jewish.  I have talked to Jewish parents in the Ukraine who did not send their children to the government-encouraged Yiddish-language schools on the ground that pupils who acquired their knowledge in Yiddish would be handicapped in using it among non-Jews — say as teachers, physicians, or agriculturists.  For this practical reason, many Jews prefer Ukrainian schools to Jewish schools and, elsewhere in the Soviet Union, Jews frequently attend Russian-language schools.

When Lenin died in 1924, Alexei Rykov became Prime Minister not because he was most fitted for the position but because he was a Russian, whereas Boris Kamenev, who might have met the requirements better, was a Jew; and Stalin, whose power could have given him the job, was a Georgian.  But I remember how apologetically communists, then, explained this by the backwardness of the Russians.

In 1924, I visited Soviet Georgia together with a German newspaperman.  Georgian officials entertained us in a huge wine cellar in the wild mountains of Kakhetia.  General Tchaikovsky, a Russian commanding a cavalry regiment stationed in that area, was also present.  A Georgian filled his ram’s horn with wine and spoke a toast to “our three guests.”  Tchaikovsky remarked that there were only two guests.  “A Russian is always a guest in Georgia,” the official replied.  Even as late as 1936, I encountered resentment in the Caucasus against the presence of officials who were Russian.  Such instances were exceptions.

Gulfs widened by fear and hatred are bridged by tolerance.

The Nub of the Question

Soviet citizens have a remarkable blind spot for differences of race, religion, color, and place of birth.  They like foreigners even when they fear to associate with them.  Our American Negroes are special favorites in Soviet society.  In Soviet factories, offices, social gatherings, racial distinctions seem to pass unnoticed.

The Soviet policy of equal opportunity for all nationalities was practical and logical.  It offended no one and satisfied everyone except perhaps some Great Russian chauvinists and a few extreme anti-Bolshevik nationalists among the minorities.  It made administration of far-off areas easy and it accelerated progress throughout the land.  It had everything to recommend it.  Its concrete advantages and benefits might recommend it to other countries.

The Soviet policy towards national minorities had a particularly interesting effect on the teaching of history in the Soviet Union.  Russian history before the Revolution celebrated the works of monarchs, princes, generals who had ruthlessly conquered the territories inhabited by the national minorities; it glorified the classes that had exploited the common people.  It was, above all, the history of Russians.  Russia’s racial stepchildren had no part in it.  The Tsar’s imperialistic dream about the Balkans was disguised as the “Little Father’s” tender concern for “Brother Slavs.”  For all these reasons, the Bolsheviks rewrote the history books and showed the past in a very unfavorable light, a light which reflected the abhorrence which all good Soviet citizens — and especially the racial minorities — felt towards the deeds of the Tsarist regime.  This is the nub of the entire race question in the Soviet Union.

The Bolsheviks were able to establish racial peace at home because they broke with the past.  That is also the key to world peace.  There is no peace in the past.


— A Philadelphian who first set out for Moscow in 1922 — Mr. Fischer’s encounters for fourteen years were not only with Russian leaders who planned and wrought greatly but with workers, collective farmers, racial minorities.  His abiding faith in the future of the Soviet Republic has been matched by open-mindedness as an observer, and independence as an assessor of such issues as purges and pacts.

Long time correspondent of The Nation, and other journals, Mr. Fischer’s Russian books include “The Soviet and World Affairs,” 2 vols. (1930); “Why Recognize Russia?” (1931); “Machines and Men in Russia” (1932); “Soviet Journey” (1935).

Since 1936, along with lecturing at home, has come his interpretation of civil war in Spain, India in tension.  Meanwhile he has distilled the meaning of our times in an autobiography, “Men and Politics” (1941); “Empire” (1943).


FBI File on Lester Pearson

Soviet Espionage:  FBI File on Lester (Mike) Pearson



(Actual FBI file extract is embedded below.)

FBI Memo About Lester Pearson

September 8, 1951

Mr. A. H. Belmont

Mr. C. E. Hennrich

Michael Pearson:


To recommend that the answers to the State Department’s questions concerning the information made available by Elizabeth Bentley on Lester Pearson, highly placed Canadian government official, by [be] forwarded to the State Department. To recommend that additional information made available by Bentley regarding Lester Pearson be forwarded to the Department of Justice and to Inspector Bayfield of the RCMP.


Elizabeth Bentley was interviewed by agents of the New York Office on August 17, 1951, at which time she related that she recently had been a witness before the McCarran Committee and had answered questions placed by the Committee concerning Lester Pearson. On interview Bentley provided as much as she could recall of the testimony that she gave on August 14, 1951 to the McCarran Committee. In effect she stated that in 1943 and 1944 Pearson, then an official of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, made information available to Bentley through an intermediary. Pearson allegedly gave information of a political nature.

The intermediary was not identified in the communications sent to the Department of State, the Department of Justice, or Inspector Bayfield under date of August 27, 1951. Elizabeth Bentley identified the intermediary as Hazen Size, member of the Canadian Film Board in Washington, D. C.

By teletype dated September 5, 1951, New York advised that on reinterview on that date Bentley was unable to state in what manner Size obtained the information concerning top level British policy and political matters from Pearson. She did not know whether Pearson provided such information voluntarily to Size knowing that it was going to be given to an unauthorized party. Bentley restated that Pearson and Size were very friendly in Canada and were connected with left wing circles in that country. She advised that she was only guessing but that 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 simply was stupid.

[Approximately 18 lines deleted under United States Freedom of Information Act.]


Answers to the above questions obtained during the interviews of Bentley are set out as follows:

1. Bentley identified the intermediary who passed information from Pearson to her as Hazen Size, member of the Canadian Film Board in Washington, D. C. Bentley on interview on September 5, 1951, told New York agents that she was only guessing but that 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.

2. By confidential memorandum dated August 27, 1951, Inspector Bayfield of the RCMP was advised of the identical information provided to the Department of State and the Department of Justice under letters of that date.

3. Bentley provided the information attributed to her to agents of the New York Office on August 17, 1951, and on September 5, 1951.


It is recommended that this information requested by the State Department through Liaison be forwarded to them together with the information provided by Bentley on reinterview. In view of the additional information provided by Bentley on reinterview it is recommended that this information be forwarded to the Department of Justice and to Inspector Bayfield.


For your approval are attached letters to the Department of State, the Department of Justice and a memorandum for Inspector Bayfield.


Source:  Unknown, FBI Memo About Lester Pearson, The Education and Research Institute, Silvermaster File Online,, (September 8, 1951)

Read a copy of Pearson’s FBI spy file online here:


M O R E   E X T R A C T S

(Actual FBI file extract is embedded below.)

FBI Memo About Lester Pearson



Date: August 16, 1951



AUGUST 16, 1951

At 11:15 P.M., New York Night Supervisor John Willis called, referred to your call earlier this evening in connection with instant matter, and advised as follows:

The files of the New York Office fail to reflect that Elizabeth Bentley at any time spoke to Bureau Agents concerning Michael Pearson, Canadian Minister of External Affairs.

The Agents handling Bentley don’t recall the name Michael Pearson; however, Agent Tom Spencer will look into the matter further and will call you tomorrow from the New York Office.


None. This is for your information.



The above call is in response to my request of August 16, following the receipt of information from a representative of the McCarran Committee that Miss Bentley allegedly furnished certain information to the Bureau regarding Lester B. (Michael) Pearson, Canadian Minister of External Affairs. The New York Office was advised that a thorough check of the Bureau’s records had failed to locate any information received from Miss Bentley regarding Pearson. Accordingly, Mr. Willis was requested to check the files of the New York Office and if no record was located there, arrangements should be made to have Miss Bentley interviewed concerning this matter.

At 9:20 A.M., August 17, 1951, I talked to Mr. Spencer, who was acting on Mr. Whelan’s desk, and inquired as to the status of this matter. Mr. Spencer stated that he was endeavoring to reach Miss Bentley and that he would notify the Bureau as soon as Miss Bentley was interviewed. At this time Mr. Spencer stated that he was positive that Miss Bentley never furnished any information to him concerning Pearson.




At 3:35 P.M. Mr. Spencer advised that he had talked to Miss Bentley, who stated that she is of the opinion that she previously had furnished information concerning Pearson’s activities to the Bureau during the several interviews had with her by Bureau representatives in connection with the Gregory and other cases. Mr. Spencer stated he assured Miss Bentley that she had not furnished information concerning Pearson. Spencer further pointed out that Miss Bentley then stated that apparently she was in error since it was her recollection that she had made this information available to Bureau Agents.

Mr. Spencer then stated that the information he obtained from Miss Bentley had been incorporated in a teletype and forwarded to the Bureau.


Upon the receipt of this information, consideration should be given to making it available to the Department and the State Department in view of Pearson’s official Canadian position.



[ Page 58 of 116 of the Silvermaster PDF: ]


MR. L. L. LAUGHLIN          September 6, 1951
MR. V. P. KRAY [sp?]


Under date of August 17, 1951, the Bureau supplied to the State Department information concerning the alleged Soviet espionage activities of Lester B. Pearson, as reported by Elizabeth Bentley.

The information supplied by the Bureau reflected that in 1943 and 1944, Pearson, then an official of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, made information available to Bentley through an intermediary. Pearson allegedly gave information of a political nature.


RRR: mfs:mer


It is recommended we comply with the State Department’s request and supply to Mr. Matthews for his personal and confidential use the answers to the above mentioned questions raised by him.

The Liaison Unit should be informed of the nature of the reply to be given to Mr. Matthrews [sic].



[ Page 63 of 116 on the Silvermaster PDF: ]

September 8, 1951
Michael Pearson

Reference is made to my communication to you dated August 27, 1951 in captioned matter.

This is to advise that Elizabeth Bentley has stated that Lester Pearson and Hazen Size, member of the Canadian Film Board in Washington, D.C., were friendly in Canada and were connected with and moved in left wing circles in Canada before World War II. Accordingl [sic] to Bentley, while Pearson was either number 1 or number 2 man in the Canadian Legation in Washington, D.C., in 1943, he attended all top level meetings with British diplomats in Washington, D.C. At these meetings policy and political matters were discussed. Pearson would make this information available to Size, who in turn would provide the same to Bentley. This type of contact was maintained for about 1-1/2 years in 1943 and 1944.

Bentley advised that she was unable to state in what manner Size obtained that information from Pearson and that she did not know whether Pearson provided such information voluntarily to Size knowing that it was going to an unauthorized party. She also stated that she was only guessing but that she was of the opinion that Pearson either knew what [sic] the information made available by him was being given to an unauthorized person or that he was simply stupid.

The information attributed toe [sic] Bentley in this communication and in the communication of August 27, 1951, was provided by her to Special Agents of this bureau in New York on August 17, 1951 and on September 5, 1951.

cc:   Mr. Glenn H. Bethel
c/o The Commissioner
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Foreign Service Desk



L’Affaire Norman Revisited

L’Affaire Norman Revisited

Category: Historical Reprints.
Source: Straight Talk! The Official Bulletin Of The Edmund Burke Society.
Editor: Joseph A. Genovese
Associate Editors: F. Paul Fromm, D. Clarke Andrews
Volume I Number 3, December 1968

What is The Edmund Burke Society? The E.B.S. is a conservative organization unaffiliated with any political party. We are dedicated to the principles of individual freedom and responsibility, free enterprise, and firm ACTION against all tyrannies, especially Communism and all its manifestations in Canada and abroad. The E.B.S. is financed mainly through small donations from generous Canadians. Straight Talk! is produced by voluntary labour.

L’Affaire Norman  Revisited

The publication of William A. Rusher’s new book, SPECIAL COUNSEL (Arlington House, New Rochelle, N.Y.), a series of fascinating reflections of the author’s work with the Internal Security Subcommittee of the American Senate (I.S.S.C.), for the years 1956-57, will have special interest for Canadians if only for the two chapters in which he reviews the strange case of E. Herbert Norman, the Japanese-born communist, whose career as a Soviet agent in our Foreign Service came to an abrupt end with his suicide in Cairo in 1957 on the heels of his devastating exposure by the Subcommittee.

Prior to the Subcommittee’s revelations and unknown to the Canadian people, the RCMP had tumbled to Norman’s game as early as 1940, as a result of information from an undercover informant in the Communist fifth column who subsequently became an RCMP agent.  “According to information developed by the Mounties”, Rusher reveals,

“… Norman had probably been a member of the Canadian Communist Party as early as 1935.  In that year he married Laure Irene Clark, and one of the official witnesses had been Charles P. Holmes, a well-identified Canadian Communist … In February 1940, however, an underground source of the RCMP had identified Norman (by now a Canadian Foreign Service officer and about to leave for service in Japan) as a member of the Canadian Communist Party.”

Two years later, in 1942, there was an exchange of civilian prisoners, according to which a Japanese economist of the Communist persuasion, one Shigeto Tsuru, who had been at Harvard, was repatriated to Japan, and Norman was repatriated to Canada.  In the rush to leave, Tsuru left a raft of letters and documents in his apartment.  Norman then approached the FBI, represented himself as acting confidentially for the Canadian Government, and asked for custody of these papers.  He later admitted that he was not acting in any official capacity, but as a matter of personal interest.  He didn’t get the papers, which proved to be documents involving a “study group” in which Tsuru had played a leading role in the thirties.  Among them was a project of Tsuru’s for the “study” of American capitalism from the Communist point of view, as well as a paper by E. Herbert Norman on … AMERICAN IMPERIALISM.

Five years later, in 1947, Norman had been recalled from Tokyo to explain his close friendship with Israel Halperin, who was a member of one of the Russian spy rings uncovered in the previous year (1946) by Igor Gouzenko, the defecting cipher clerk of the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa.  The Third Interim Report of the Taschereau-Kellock Royal Commission revealed that Halperin was known to the Soviet Embassy by the cover name “Bacon”, and that he had “formed part of the group which was to operate under the direction of Captain Gordon Lunan.”  For reasons which seemed more technical than valid, Halperin was acquitted, despite the Royal Commission’s finding that “he violated the Official Secrets Act on more than one occasion.”  Norman seems to have talked himself out of any embarrassment on this occasion and continued to rise in our Foreign Service, largely, says Rusher, because of his “powerful friends”, chief of whom was Lester Pearson, then Secretary of State for External Affairs.

In October, 1950, the RCMP submitted a Memorandum to the Government on Norman’s subversive connections and activities, which was squelched.  “Pearson actually succeeded,” reports Rusher, “in forcing the RCMP to issue a second report in December 1950, modifying and softening its October memorandum; and Norman sailed serenely on.  Of this struggle behind the scenes, of course, the Canadian public was told nothing.”

Then came the famous Wittfogel testimony.  Professor Karl August Wittfogel, a German-born former Communist on the faculty of the University of Washington, and famous authority on Chinese history, was testifying to the Subcommittee on the activities of the infamous Institute on [sic] Pacific Relations and its anti-Chinese and pro-Soviet intrigues prior to World War II.  In the course of his testimony, he described one of those famous “study groups” to which he had belonged when he was at Columbia University in New York in 1933.  One of its members was our boy, Norman, who by 1951 had risen to become Chief of the American and Far Eastern Division of the Secretariat of State for External Affairs, and acting head of our delegation to the United Nations, if you please!

Behind The Liberal Curtain

When the Wittfogel testimony was made public (1951), the Liberals were understandably thunderstruck, for this merely corroborated the substance of the October 1950 Memorandum of the RCMP, which had been suppressed by Pearson.  On this occasion Pearson played it cool:  Norman was not called to account, he was not arrested, he was not discharged.”  Pearson expressed his “complete confidence” in him, a confidence which was not so complete that he did not find it expedient to recall Norman from Turtle Bay, and, after the smoke had cleared a little, pack him off to New Zealand in 1953 as our High Commissioner.  There he pastured until the public had forgotten the affair, and then in 1956 Pearson sent him to Cairo as our Ambassador with concurrent accreditation as Canadian Minister to Lebanon.

The Pearson Cover-Up

On the heels of this, Pearson was to face a further embarrassment.  Shigeto Tsuro (remember him?) the Japanese Communist who had been repatriated to Japan in 1942 (he had played a major part in Communist intrigues in postwar Japan) was now back in America, as a visiting lecturer at Harvard.  The Subcommittee subpoenaed him to get at the bottom of his interesting documents left behind in 1942, about which Tsuru had almost completely forgotten.  They especially wanted to know why Norman should have been so eager to put his hot little hands on them.  “Tsuru testified”, Rusher reports, “that he had met Norman at Harvard, through a mutual friend, in the spring of 1936.  Within a year they were both members of a study group — yet another of those famous study groups! — at Harvard, founded … ‘for the study of American capitalism from the Marxist point of view.”  The Tsuru testimony also revealed that Tsuru had been introduced to, of all people, Israel Halperin, by Norman, “possibly around 1937”.

All of this evidence, of course, meant nothing to the defeatists and conciliationists, who clamoured for the abolition of all Congressional investigations into fifth column Communist activities in North America.  In Canada, according to Rusher, “Lester Pearson’s bland and total rejection of the massive evidence against Norman was quite enough to satisfy even those individuals and newspapers that were preparing to oppose Pearson in the election.  Canada, firmly in the grip of political forces we may call liberal in the broader sense, was virtually unanimous in wanting no so-called ‘McCarthyism’ in its public life.  The information concerning Norman, accumulated by the RCMP in the years preceding 1950 and placed on the public record for the first time by the ISSC on March 14, 1957, was not really evaluated and rejected by Canadian opinion; it was simply ignored, on Pearson’s repeated assurance that it was wholly false.”

Death In Cairo

Then came the news that Norman had committed suicide in Cairo.  The fat was now in the fire.  In the lynch-mob atmosphere which prevailed in the communications media, Rusher and his colleagues awaited the full fury of the co-existential wolf pack.  At this moment, Monsignor Bela Varga, prominent Hungarian anti-Communist and head of the Hungarian-American National Council turned up at Rusher’s office to thunder “like an Old Testament prophet” that “You will be savagely attacked, but you are right, and you must never forget it!”

The attack, of course, was unleashed:  the Subcommittee was widely and thoughtlessly accused of having hounded an “innocent” man to death.  The attacks, of course, ignored the incontrovertible evidence, and seemed founded on nothing more substantial than Pearson’s assurances that the charges were “slanders” and that Norman had been cleared by the Canadian Government’s alleged “exhaustive security check”.  The Subcommittee of course, knew that this was not the case.  “From our vantage point in the Subcommittee,” writes Rusher,

“we knew how empty Pearson’s assurances were.  The truth was that there had been no security check worthy of the name, and that the full force of the case against Norman had never reached unbiased eyes and unfettered tongues until March 14, 1957, when our Subcommittee published the transcript of its first Emmerson Hearing.  Even then, a complacent press had in effect conspired with Pearson to minimize the clear implications of the evidence … It was with an almost hypnotic fascination that we watched our critics inch out onto the limb Pearson had inadvertently provided for them.”


“the cool, moon-faced opportunist who had quarterbacked Herbert Norman through the Canadian Foreign Service, bullied into silence the Canadian security officials who knew the truth concerning him, and all but succeeded in concealing with the world forever the facts about his protege’s long Communist record”

now began to fear that if the anti-American hysteria went too far his “assurances” would evaporate in the heat of the evidence against Norman, and issued “a call to Canadians for forbearance.”  It was to no avail; Pearson had unleashed a storm he was now powerless to abate.  The liberal newspapers continued to scream for the suppression of the Subcommittee.  On Wednesday April 10 (still 1957), President Eisenhower held his regular press conference, and it had been fully expected that he would add his voice to the clamour against the Subcommittee, all of which would accelerate the campaign to abolish all such Congressional investigations.  It didn’t work out that way.  Eisenhower pleaded that the whole affair “be dropped, if possible …”

“What we did not know, writes Rusher,

“and were not to learn until some months later, was the [fact that] Eisenhower also had the benefit of a dispatch radioed from Cairo by American intelligence sources less than 48 hours after Norman’s suicide — in other words, on or before Sunday, April 6.  According to this dispatch, Norman had dined with a friend, a doctor, the night before his death and had told this friend that, as a result of the impact of our hearings on the forthcoming Canadian elections he feared that a Royal Commission would be appointed to investigate the entire matter; that, if called before such a Royal Commission, he would be forced to implicate ‘sixty or seventy’ Canadians and Americans and that, rather than do this, he would kill himself.”

The public, of course, was unaware of all this, just as they remained in ignorance of the published record of Norman’s service as a fifth columnist in the service of Communism.  Here, as more recently, the press has failed in its primary function:  to keep the House informed.

The Crunch

Then, on April 13th, the day Parliament closed up shop to the federal election in June, John Diefenbaker, who had previously tossed his rhetorical bricks at the damn Yankees, in one of those stunningly dramatic moments which studded his career as leader of the Opposition, rose in the House to put a question to Lester Pearson, the Secretary of State for External Affairs:

“Will the Minister say that the allegations before the Subcommittee of the United States Senate on March 12 and 21 specifically were untrue, unjustified and had no basis in fact?”

Pearson’s sweeping denials outside the House were one thing, but however Liberal his ethics, he would not want to be caught lying to Parliament, especially since he had no way of knowing precisely what Diefenbaker was prepared to spring on him. 1  He waffled.  He read a prepared statement (Diefenbaker had filed his question in advance) stating that Norman

“as a university student was known to have associated with Communists or persons thought to have been Communists, and he made no secret of it.  These associations were, of course, known to us.  We examined Mr. Norman’s record on the basis of confidential information.  I examined this information more than once myself.”

No reference was made to the massive evidence revealed by the American hearings.  Diefenbaker, with an instinct for the jugular, pressed his question:  would Pearson state categorically that this evidence was “untrue, unjustified, and had no basis in fact?”  Pearson is reported to have blushed, as the crowded visitors’ Gallery focussed intently upon his fumbling.

“I’ve made my statement”, he replied, “I will stand on that.  I am not going to say at this moment whether any single statement made in a United States Subcommittee is accurate or not.  I have not got the statement before me.”

Diefenbaker hammered back,

“The answer is an equivocal one. He equivocates.  He has the statements released by the Subcommittee in connection with its hearings of March 13 and March 21 … He has come into the House with a prepared statement, but he has not denied those charges.”

the nation went to the polls in the knowledge that Pearson would not reiterate to Parliament his extra-Parliamentary assurances that the evidence against Norman was totally a matter of slander.  On the following Wednesday, April 17th, Pearson tried to salvage something from the debacle, in a telegram to the Montreal GAZETTE in which he pointed out that the Subcommittee has based its findings on the October 1950 Memorandum of the RCMP, re which the Canadian people had known nothing until that moment.  He then went on to point out that the RCMP had modified its view in a second Memorandum (in December 1950), which he quoted to the effect that the first Memorandum was based on “mistaken identity”.  This first Memorandum, let it be remembered, revealed Norman as a member of the Communist Party and covered much of his subversive activity from 1935 on into the 40s.

Pat Walsh

To give him the lie, the famous undercover informant whose intelligence was the basis of the original October Memorandum which Pearson had suppressed, now turned up and publicly vouched for the accuracy of his information.  It was no less a person than Pat Walsh, now research director for the Canadian Intelligence Publications of Flesherton, Ont., which is Target No. 1 of Pearson’s children, the Trudeaucrats.

“I met Norman personally in Toronto in the thirties,”

Walsh revealed, “when I was with the Canadian League Against War and Fascism and he was secretary of the Canadian Friends of the Chinese People, a commie front.  He was introduced to me as ‘Comrade Norman’.  A chap by the name of A. A. McLeod, who later became a Communist member of the Ontario Legislature and editor of the Communist Canadian Tribune told me that he had sponsored Norman as Secretary.”

Walsh’s connection with the CIP publication of embarrassing information re the left-wing activities of another of Mr. Pearson’s famous proteges, Pierre-Elliott Trudeau, may account for the special edge of malice directed against CIP from which other anti-Trudeau “hatemongers” are presumably spared.

Norman left two suicide notes before he died, which were published on April 18th (the day following Pearson’s wire to the Montreal GAZETTE) in the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.  One was to his wife, in which he said, “I have no more hope of life, no more future.”  The other was to his friend, the Swedish Minister to Egypt, Brynolf Elq, in which he said,

“I cannot bring myself to tell you the true reasons that impel me to commit suicide.”

Hardly what one would expect from a man hounded to death by slanders.  Pearson had received copies of the notes from the Egyptian authorities, and authorized a statement to be released on the next day (April 19th) branding the versions published in New York as “complete fabrications”.  Now the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS texts were probably retranslations from the Arabic translation, and may therefore be somewhat variant in wording from the originals.  In any case, those originals have never, to this day, been published by the Canadian government.

Diefenbaker, of course, won that election, and the whole matter was dropped.  Mr. Norman’s “powerful friends” have never been more powerful than they are today, and we must now pay the price for not having swept them into the dustbin ten years ago.  Such are the consequences of the lotus-eating apathy which has characterized Canadian political life for far too many years.

– 30 –


The exposure of E. Herbert Norman to the RCMP as a Communist by Patrick Walsh was reported on eleven years earlier than the item above by the EBS.  On 19th April 1957, a Washington Post and Times Herald staff reporter, at page A11, gave an account entitled: “Ex-Red Courier Says He Originated Charges Against Norman in 1940“.


Maine At The Front

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceThe Evening Journal, Lewiston, Tuesday, July 14, 1953

Maine At The Front

That Maine is at the very front of a possible air or other invasion route is indicated by the maintenance of big air bases.

An ex-Red testified before a House committee at Albany, N.Y., that Communists had been instructed to set forest fires along the Maine-Canadian border and to sabotage hydro-electric power plants in case of war between Russia and the West.

Also, he said, that a 1949 shipping strike was a Red plot to wreck the Marshall Plan.

Patrick Walsh, 37-year-old labor leader from Quebec City, said that as late as last September, Communists had been alerted to sabotage Canadian hydro electric plants and set fire to forests in the event of war with Russia.

– 30 –