THE CANADIAN ROYAL COMMISSION’S REPORT
ON ESPIONAGE AND OTHER COMMUNIST
ACTIVITIES IN CANADA.
By ERIC D. BUTLER.
“Perhaps the most startling aspect of the entire Fifth Column network is the uncanny success with which the Soviet agents were able to find Canadians who were willing to betray their country.”
— From Canadian Royal Commission’s Report.
PRICE – – – 1/6
THE REAL COMMUNIST MENACE!
THE CANADIAN ROYAL COMMISSION’S REPORT ON ESPIONAGE AND OTHER COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES
By ERIC D. BUTLER.
Early in 1946, the press carried headlines concerning the disclosure of Communist espionage activities in Canada on behalf of Soviet Russia. After the initial information, which revealed that highly placed officials in Canadian Government Departments and one Federal Member of Parliament were actively associated with fifth column activities, the press generally, both in this country and in Great Britain, made little or no further reference to the matter. The significance of this policy of suppression by the press will be referred to later.
So serious were the disclosures of espionage activities in Canada, that, on February 5, 1946, the Federal Government appointed a Royal Commission
“To investigate the facts relating to and the circumstances surrounding the communication, by public officials and other persons in positions of trust of secret and confidential information to the agents of a Foreign Power.”
The Report of the Royal Commission on Soviet Espionage lists as agents of the spy network men and women working in high positions in universities, in the Department of External Affairs, the National Research Council, the Foreign Exchange Control Board, the Bank of Canada, the R.C.A.F. Intelligence, the Office of the U.K. High Commissioner, the Canadian Passport Office, etc.
The information contained in the Report of the Commissioners is of the greatest public concern at this critical period in history when the very foundations of our civilization are being destroyed. The Report concludes with these words:
“….. We consider it of paramount importance that there should be available for all to read as complete an account as possible of the illegal activities which have already so seriously affected, and were designed even more seriously to affect, the safety and interests of Canada.”
Unfortunately, however, the Report has received practically no publicity outside Canada, while copies of the Report are very difficult to obtain. It is strange to learn from Canada that the first edition is exhausted and that the next will be reserved for the legal profession.
This small booklet aims to bring before the Australian public the most important portion of the Report, together with complementary information concerning the real Communist threat to the British Empire.
The Canadian Report brings into clear relief the fact well known to students of the real nature of Communism: namely, that Communism is an international conspiracy with secret conspirators in nearly every country. Also, and most important, that the disclosed Communist activities, although a threat to our civilization, camouflage the more effective policies of the undisclosed Communists in Government Departments and other “key” positions.
The Canadian Report states on page 11 that it deals essentially with
“the existence of a conspiratorial organisation operating in Canada and other countries (my emphasis) …. the result of a long preparation by trained and experienced men …. well schooled in espionage and Fifth
Column organisational methods, and in political and psychological ‘development’ techniques.”
Effective espionage and similar activities require considerably more ability than is usually manifest by the disclosed Communists who shout on street corners or those who scrawl their slogans on the walls after dark. The Report remarks:
“Many of the Canadian public servants implicated in this espionage network were persons with an unusually high degree of education, and many were well regarded by those who worked with them in agencies and departments of the public service, as persons of marked ability and intelligence.”
The Canadian enquiry into espionage activities was initiated by the disclosures of Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk on the staff of the Soviet Embassy at Ottawa. Colonel Zabotin, for whom Gouzenko worked, and who figures prominently in the Commissioner’s Report, suddenly departed from Ottawa in December, 1945, without notifying the Canadian authorities, to whom he was accredited. He sailed from New York in a Soviet ship which left secretly at night without complying with port regulations. Just after the publication of the Canadian Report, a newspaper item said that Colonel Zabotin
“died from heart failure four days after his return to Russia from Canada.”
Although the Canadian Commissioners took five months to make their investigations, they make it clear in their Report that they were only able to study a small portion of subversive activities and that much was still unrevealed. Commenting on this matter, they mention their interrogation of Gouzenko:
“We have endeavoured to obtain from Gouzenko all the information he could give us about the ‘various circles’ or ‘parallel systems.’ He has expressed the opinion that the records he placed before us gives the names or cover names of all the persons in Zabotin’s organisation. This is the one organisation with which he is personally familiar.”
Gouzenko made the following significant observation:
“To many Soviet people abroad it is clear that the Communist Party in democratic countries has changed long from a political party into an agency net of the Soviet Government, into a fifth column in these countries to meet a war, into an instrument in the hands of the Soviet Government for creating unrest, provocations, etc., etc. ….”
The importance of this first hand observation on Soviet foreign policy cannot be over-emphasised.
The Canadian Report proved that the large Soviet Embassy in Canada cloaked the activities of at least five separate spy organisations, all unknown to one another, but all controlled from Moscow. Speaking at Canberra on November 29, 1946, Mr. Archie Cameron, M.H.R., criticised the appointment of ex-Labour Member Mountjoy, whose activities before entering Parliament and whose speeches while in Parliament indicate that he has strong pro-Communist views, to the executive of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Mentioning the Canadian espionage activities, Mr. Cameron also said that he had previously asked the Attorney-General the number of members of the Soviet Legation in Australia. The reply showed that there was at that time the large number of 84.
The Canadian Report reveals in detail how the Soviet Government and the Communist parties abroad co-operate in finding new recruits for espionage. Particular stress is placed upon the use of study groups as “fronts” for recruiting activities. The following extract is from Page 44 of the Report:
“It became manifest at an early stage of this Inquiry, and has been overwhelmingly established by the evidence throughout, that the Communist movement was the principal base within which the espionage network was recruited; and that it not only supplied personnel with adequately ‘developed’ motivation, but provided the organisational framework wherein recruiting could be and was carried out safely and efficiently. In every instance but one, Zabotin’s Canadian espionage agents were shown to be members of or sympathisers with the Communist Party. Zabotin found already in existence in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto numerous study groups where Communist philosophy and techniques were
studied and where writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and later authorities were read and discussed. To outsiders these groups were groups for discussing international politics and economics.”
The Report discloses that Fred Rose (real name Rosenberg) the only declared Communist Member in the Canadian Parliament1, was ordered back in 1930 to attend a six months’ course at the Lenin University, where he was trained as a leading espionage agent for the Soviet. Rose was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of espionage, at the Canadian Spy Trials.
Sam Carr (real name Schmil Kogan) before being appointed Secretary-General of the Canadian Communist Party, had to attend a special course of instruction in Moscow. Carr was not only Secretary of the Party, but also head of the passport forgery office in Ottawa. The Report made the following observation on Carr:
“It would not be difficult to conclude that Carr was sent to this country in 1924 as a professional Soviet agent, and has acted as such continuously.”
As Carr had previously had his naturalisation papers revoked, after the espionage disclosures a Mr. Anthony Hlynka, Social Credit M.P. in the Canadian Federal House, persisted in obtaining from the Liberal Government an answer to his question:
“Who signed Carr’s citizenship papers?”
No doubt because of the disclosures of subversive activities in high places, the Government reluctantly admitted that those recommending Carr’s naturalisation included some Ministers of Religion, the Mayor of one of Canada’s largest cities, and a Judge of one of the highest Canadian Courts!
Undoubtedly the feature of the Canadian revelations which caused the most public concern, was the fact that out of the 24 persons known to be engaged in espionage activities, no less than 19 were Jewish. The Report makes special mention of this matter.
The most important section of the Report is that entitled
“The Development of Ideological Motivation,”
which is republished in full. This detailed survey of the manner in which the ground was carefully prepared for the growth of subversive activities will repay careful study. It explains just how the real Communist fifth column works and recruits its agents. And, very important, it reveals how a secret conspiracy can be developed in a community without the members of the community realising what is happening. Those superior people who scoff at suggestions of secret plotting to disintegrate society, and whose scoffings merely help the conspirators to maintain their secrecy, are most effectively answered by the Canadian Report.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF IDEOLOGICAL MOTIVATION.
The evidence before us shows that in the great majority of cases the motivation was inextricably linked with courses of psychological development carried on under the guise of activities of a secret section of what is ostensibly a Canadian political movement, the Labour-Progressive Party (Communist Party of Canada); that these secret “development” courses are very much more widespread than the espionage network itself; and that the Canadian members of the espionage network themselves took an active part in directing and furthering such courses for other Canadians, which were calculated to allow them to draw suitably “developed” persons later into active participation and thus expand the network itself.
The Inquiry has revealed the names of a number of Canadians, employed in various Departments and Agencies of the Government, who while presumably quite ignorant of the espionage network and certainly innocent of implication in such illegal activities, were being subjected to “development” by the same means for use in the future.
For these reasons we are analysing with some care the question of motivation, and the highly organised methods employed to develop an appropriate moral and mental state among potential Canadian recruits before they are informed of what has been planned for them.
In virtually all cases, as has been stated, the agents were recruited from among “cells” or study groups of secret members or adherents of the Communist Party (Labour-Progressive Party).
It seems to be general policy of the Communist Party to discourage certain selected sympathizers among certain categories of the population from joining that Party openly. Instead, these sympathizers are invited to join secret “cells” or study groups, and to take pains to keep their adherence to the Party from the knowledge of their acquaintances who are not also members of the Communist Party.
The categories of the population from which secret members are recruited include students, scientific workers, teachers, office and business workers, persons engaged in any type of administrative activity, and any group likely to obtain any type of government employment.
The reason suggested by some of the agents in their evidence for the curious practice of keeping their political affiliations secret was that by this means they would avoid unfavourable discrimination in obtaining positions. There were enough such cases to justify us in concluding that this practice is a Party technique, the real objectives and results of which seem to be quite different.
One objective, we conclude, is that this technique facilitates the achievement of a basic policy of the Communist Party, viz., to get control, through the election of secret members to the directing committees, of as many types of functional organisations as possible, including trades unions, professional associations and broad non-party organisations, such as youth movements, and civil liberties unions. Similarly, secret members or adherents of the Communist Party may be used to take the lead in organising new, broad, and ostensibly non-political organisations, after which they obtain for themselves and secret adherents key positions on controlling committees of the organisation. By these means the technique of secret membership is calculated to facilitate essentially dishonest but not ineffective methods of propaganda in the interests of a foreign state.
One illustration of the use of this technique is furnished by the Canadian Association of Scientific Workers. Professor Boyer, in whose house the informal meetings at which the establishment of the organisation were held, became National President. Norman Veall, upon whom we are also reporting, told us that he “took an active part in the formation of the organisation”; and that he became a member of the National Executive Committee, charged with maintaining liaison with corresponding organisations in other countries. There is evidence suggesting that he used this position as a cover in making contacts with members of the staff of the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa. David Shugar testified that he had been very active in organising and extending the Association, and was elected a member of the Executive of the Ottawa Branch. In fact, Veall and Shugar each showed an inclination to claim credit for founding the Association. Mazerall stated that the Association was something “which people in the study-groups were interested in forming.”
In addition to Boyer, Veall, and Shugar, Dr. Alan Nunn May and Frank Chubb, both of whose names figure in the espionage note-books of Colonel Zabotin, hold or have held official positions on the Association’s executive committees. Professor Boyer characterised the majority of the members of the executive as “LPP”, i.e., Labour-Progressive Party or Communist “or left-wing” in political ideology; though he stated that very
few of the Association’s large membership amongst scientists would share this political view.
The propaganda value of control of such an organisation is illustrated by correspondence between Shugar and Boyer discussing whether Shugar or Veall should write an article in “The Scientist,” the Association’s magazine, regarding plans for the control of atomic energy.
Control by the Communist Party over a broad organisation such as the Canadian Association of Scientific Workers could be used in a variety of ways not only for propaganda purposes, but eventually as a base for recruiting adherents to that Party from among scientists, and in due course no doubt for recruiting additional espionage agents in key positions in the national life.
But there would appear to be a further basic object and result of this technique of secret membership of the Communist Party organised in secret “cells” or study-groups.
This object is to accustom the young Canadian adherent gradually to an atmosphere and an ethic of conspiracy. The general effect on the young man or woman over a period of time of secret meetings, secret acquaintances, and secret objectives, plans and policies, can easily be imagined. The technique seems calculated to develop the psychology of a double life and double standards.
To judge from much of the evidence, the secret adherent is apparently encouraged never to be honest or frank, outside the secret “cell” meetings, about his real political attitudes or views, and apparently is led to believe that frankness in these matters is the equivalent of a dangerous indiscretion and a potential menace to the organisation as a whole.
Thus in a preliminary report which Lunan wrote on March 28, 1945, to Lt. Col. Rogov, he referred to a “cell” or study-group in Ottawa to which Durnford Smith, Halperin, and Mazerall belonged, as follows:—
they already feel the need for maintaining a very high degree of security and taking abnormal precautions at their normal meetings (about once every two weeks), since they are definitely not labelled with any political affiliations. One or two have even opposed the introduction of new members to our group on the ground that it would endanger their own security.
This describes precautions taken by this group before any of the members were asked to engage in espionage or other illegal activities.
Evidence that this technique of secrecy among Communist Party membership is favoured — if indeed it had not been inaugurated — by Moscow, is found in a telegram, dated 22nd August, 1945, from The Director to Zabotin which reads in part: —
To Grant. (Cover name for Zabotin). 1. Your 243. We have here no compromising data against Veall, nevertheless the fact that he has in his hands a letter of recommendation from a corporant who was arrested in England (which he did not take care to destroy) compels us to refuse to have any contact with him whatsoever, the more so that many already call him “a Red.”
“Corporant” is a cover-name used for a member of any Communist Party except that of the U.S.S.R.
An inevitable result of this emphasis on a conspiratorial atmosphere and behaviour even in political discussions, correspondence, and meetings which are in themselves perfectly legal and indeed are the cherished right of everyone in a democratic society, would seem to be the gradual disintegration of normal moral principles such as frankness, honesty, integrity, and a respect for the sanctity of oaths.
We believe that this technique played a definite part in bringing persons such as Miss Willsher, Mazerall, Lunan, and others to a state of mind where they could disregard the moral obligations which they had undertaken in connection with their public duties.
A reading of the evidence before us, taken as a whole, indicates also that this technique seems calculated to affect gradually and unconsciously the secret adherent’s attitude towards Canada.
Often some of the agents seem to have begun their Communist associations through a burning desire to reform and improve Canadian society according to their lights. But one effect of prolonged habituation to conspiratorial methods and the conditions of secrecy in which these people work is to isolate them from the great mass of the Canadian people.
As the courses of study in the “cells” undermine gradually the loyalty of the young man or woman who joins them, it is necessary to say something as to the content of the courses pursued in them, as that is reflected by the evidence.
The curriculum includes the study of political and philosophic works, some of them far from superficial, selected to develop in the students an essentially critical attitude towards Western democratic society. This phase of the preparation also includes a series of discussions on current affairs, designed to further a critical attitude towards the ideals of democratic society.
But this curriculum would appear in reality to be designed not to promote social reform where it might be required, but to weaken the loyalty of the group member towards his or her society as such.
Linked with these studies at all stages, moreover, goes an organised indoctrination calculated to create in the mind of the study-group member an essentially uncritical acceptance at its face value of the propaganda of a foreign state.
Accordingly the study-groups are encouraged to subscribe to Communist books and periodicals. The “Canadian Tribune” and “Clarion” of Toronto, “New Masses” (a periodical published in the United States), “National Affairs” of Toronto, and “Club Life,” have been among those mentioned as regular objects of study and discussion in these groups, as well as selected books on Russia.
In some cases the effect of these study courses seems to be a gradual development of a sense of divided loyalties, or in extreme cases of a transferred loyalty.
Thus it seems to happen that through these study-groups some adherents, who begin by feeling that Canadian society is not democratic or not equalitarian enough for their taste, are gradually led to transfer a part or most of their loyalties to another country, apparently without reference to whether that other country is in actual fact more or less democratic or equalitarian than Canada.
Indeed, a sense of internationalism seems in many cases to play a definite role in one stage of the courses. In these cases the Canadian sympathizer is first encouraged to develop a sense of loyalty, not directly to a foreign state, but to what he conceives to be an international ideal. This subjective internationalism is then usually united almost inextricably through the indoctrination courses and the extensive exposure to the propaganda of a foreign state, with the current conception of the national interests of that foreign state and with the current doctrines and policies of the Communist Parties throughout the world.
e.g., Professor Boyer stated that he gave secret information to Fred Rose despite the oath of secrecy which he had taken, believing that this step would further “international scientific collaboration.”
Professor Boyer had not apparently enquired about the operations in practice of the various official organisations engaged in attempting to organise exchanges of military and other information with the Soviet Union, nor about the degree of reciprocity or relative balance developed in such official exchanges, nor about the relative merits of various possible methods of increasing international co-operation in scientific and other fields. His approach to the general question of increasing international scientific co-operation thus appears to us to have been relatively uninformed and unscientific, as well as singularly presumptuous and undemocratic in arrogating to himself by secret action the sole right of decision on
such matters affecting all the people of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. His action also involved a breach of oath. We see, however, no reason to doubt the sincerity of his motives as stated by himself. This sincerity was played on successfully by an unscrupulous and more sophisticated agent.
In Mazerall’s case also, his desire to further international scientific collaboration was among the complex of emotions successfully played upon by those who brought him into the espionage network. Mazerall, whose testimony as to his motivation seems to us to have been frank and sincere, stated in evidence: —
A. At the same time I did not like the idea of supplying information. It was not put to me so much that I was supplying information to the Soviet Government, either. It was more that as scientists we were pooling information, and I actually asked if we could hope to find this reciprocal.
Q. Did you ever have that experience?
A. I did not; no.
Q. Have you ever known of information of any kind being supplied by Russia?
A. Very little.
A further objective, pursued through the study-group, is gradually to inculcate in the secret membership of the Communist Party a habit of complete obedience to the dictates of senior members and officials of the Party hierarchy. This is apparently accomplished through a constant emphasis, in the indoctrination courses, on the importance of organisation as such, and by the gradual creation, in the mind of the new adherent or sympathiser, of an over-riding moral sense of “loyalty to the Party.” This “loyalty to the Party” in due course takes the place in the member’s mind of the earlier loyalty to certain principles professed by the Party propaganda.
In view of the rigidly hierarchic organisation of the Communist Party, particularly in its secret sections, the concept of “loyalty to the Party” means in practice, rigid obedience to those party members who are recognised as occupying a senior position in the hierarchy, and particularly to such persons as Carr, the National Organiser, and Rose, the Quebec organiser.
The indoctrination courses in the study groups are apparently calculated not only to inculcate a high degree of “loyalty to the Party” and “obedience to the Party,” but to instil in the mind of the adherent the view that loyalty and obedience to the leadership of the organisation takes precedence over his loyalty to Canada, entitles him to disregard his oaths of allegiance and secrecy, and thus destroys his integrity as a citizen.
The case of Kathleen Willsher offers a striking illustration of the uses to which this attitude of “party-loyalty” and obedience can be put by unscrupulous leaders, even when other aspects of the indoctrination courses have not been completely successful. She had joined a secret “cell” of the Communist Party and as early as 1935 agreed to give secret information, which she obtained from her work in the office of the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in Ottawa, to Mr. Fred Rose. She continued to do so regularly for four years. From 1942 to 1945 she gave similar information to Adams, whom she recognised as her superior in the secret section of the Communist Party. She told us that she was given to understand by Rose and by Adams that this information was for the guidance of the National Executive of the Communist Party of Canada.
She also said that when these requests, which she recognised were improper, were first put to her by Fred Rose, and later by Eric Adams, she had some struggle with her conscience, but that after a few weeks’ hesitation she decided to comply because, as a member of the Communist Party, she felt that she was expected to do what she was asked regardless of any obligation which she might have in any other direction.
Rose stated to her that such information would help the Communist Party in formulating its policies. She testified:—
“I felt that I should contrive to contribute something towards the helping of this policy, because I was very interested in it. I found it very difficult, and yet I felt I should try to help.”
Miss Willsher’s evidence, taken as a whole, shows that she felt her own position in the Communist Party to be a relatively humble one, that her one important contribution to the cause of the Party lay in the transmission of secret information to which her position gave her access, and that it was expected of her that she would not hesitate to make this information available on request to the Party leadership.
In many cases prolonged membership in the Communist Party seems to have resulted in a very high degree of discipline and to have induced a semi-military habit of largely unquestioning obedience to “orders” and “party policy.” Such habits, once developed, naturally made the task of the espionage recruiting agents, who are senior members of that Party, relatively simple.
It appears to be an established principle of at least the secret “cells” section of the Communist Party that rejection of “party orders” entails automatic resignation or expulsion from the party. This principle in itself assists in inducing obedience from members who might otherwise be inclined to waver, but who have become habituated over a period of months or years to membership.
Thus Mazerall, who was most reluctant to obey the request of Lunan to hand over secret information to Soviet agents, testified regarding the factors which caused him to comply:—
A. If I had told Lunan no, by the same token I would have turned round and left the group; and although in a way I wanted to do that, that is I didn’t like the group itself, nevertheless many of the things they stood for I felt I concurred with.
Q. But I am still asking you, what was your obligation that you felt to deliver material to Lunan?
A. I don’t know.
Q. It must have been something pretty strong that influenced you to do that, Mr. Mazerall, wasn’t it?
A. I suppose so.
Q. What was it? It was not money, you say?
A. No. Well, just the whole background; what I have been trying to tell you.
Thus the leaders of the Fifth Column solved what would appear at first sight to he their most difficult problem—that of motivation, or finding capable and well-placed Canadians who would be willing to engage in espionage against Canada for a foreign power—by means of a widespread system of propaganda and in particular by organising a system of intensive study-groups. This system has been functioning for years, and was already a going concern used for espionage in 1935.
These groups have provided a large base of Canadians in various stages of carefully induced evolution—emotional, mental, and moral— from which base leaders can recruit those who are considered adequately “developed” into expanding illegal networks for espionage or other purposes.
A further technical advantage, which this system has provided to the leading organisers of the espionage network, has been a surprising degree of security from detection. By concentrating their requests to assist in espionage within the membership of secret sections of the Communist Party, the leaders were apparently able to feel quite confident-and apparently with reason based on an experience in Canada over a period of at least eleven years—that even if the adherent or member should refuse to engage in activities so clearly illegal and which constitute so clear a betrayal of his or her own country—such adherent or member would in any case not consider denouncing the espionage recruiting agent to the Canadian public or to the Canadian authorities.
It is for example significant that when Rose first asked Kathleen Willsher, in 1935, to supply secret information to him, he did so, according to her testimony, at a regular meeting of her study group. Thereafter for four years she transmitted such information to him, orally, at the study-group meetings. While the conversations were private, Miss Willsher testified that no particular precautions were taken against being overheard “as no one else would have been interested.”
It is significant that not a single one of the several Canadians, members or adherents of the Communist Party (Labour-Progressive Party), who were approached by senior members of that Party to engage in espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union, reported this approach to the Agencies, Departments, or Armed Forces of Canada in which they were employed.
Not one even of those who have described, in evidence before us, serious hesitation and struggles with their consciences which they underwent before they agreed to act as spies against Canada, ever suggested to us that they contemplated taking the one loyal or legal course of action — i.e., reporting the criminal request to the Canadian authorities.
This is a striking illustration of the efficiency of the Communist study-groups in inducing a motivation for clearly illegal Party assignments directed against Canada.
What appears from the evidence to be the real purpose of the study-groups or “cell” organisations — as a wide and ever-expanding base for the recruiting, psychological development, and organisation of a Fifth Column operating in the interests of a foreign power — would have been frustrated if rank and file members of these groups or junior adherents of the Communist Party of Canada had been aware of the real objectives and policies of Carr, the National Organiser, Rose, the Quebec Organiser, and the other senior members of the conspiracy.
The evidence we have heard shows that at each stage of “development” the adherent is kept in ignorance of the wider ramifications and real objectives of the organisation, to one of the fringes of which he has allowed himself to be attached.
Indeed it appears from the evidence that some at least of the adherents recruited to study-groups are not told that these groups are in reality secret “cells” or units of the Communist Party; e.g., Mazerall testified that he was first invited by a friend to join an informal discussion group, and that he did not for a considerable period recognize that it was in reality a secret Communist “cell”, although he later knew it to have been such.
Kathleen Willsher was first a member of a group discussing the “difference between socialism and communism” and after a few years joined a smaller secret group of Communists.
Any small study-group, however called, which will allow more experienced Communists to influence and simultaneously to study the psychological development of potential “recruits” will do in the early stages of the new recruit’s “development.”
Participation of secret Communists in genuinely informal small discussion groups appears to be one of the methods used to attempt to develop some or all of the other participants and gradually draw them into more specifically Communist groups, if possible by turning the earlier informal body into such a unit without the full, immediate realisation by all the other participants of the metamorphosis.
Alternatively, persons considered suitable for “development” can be designated to “cell” leaders and then invited to join the “cell” instead of continuing with the broader group.
The extent of the secret section of the Communist Party is not normally disclosed at any time to the junior members of the secret groups, who know only the four or five other members of their own group. The leaders of each such group, who attend meetings of five or six such group leaders, will know them plus the secret “chairman” of these meetings; e.g., Mazerall, as a representative of his own secret group, attended also the meetings
of group leaders, at the home of Miss Agatha Chapman, the chairman of a group of group leaders in Ottawa. Here he met Benning and others.
However, over a period of time secret members will get to know many others through joint participation in various “front organisations” and otherwise, though they may not know the extent of their “development” unless designated to work with them for some purpose of the Party leaders.
It is, apparently, not the present practice for secret members to fill out any membership forms, or sign any declaration, or to be given any membership cards. This relatively loose system obviously assists in maintaining the secrecy of the organisation. But it appears also to play a role in the expansion of the organisation, since at each stage of his “development” the adherent is allowed to feel that he is still politically independent and merely assisting in the general activities of the movement without taking at any time, what he might consider to be a specific and binding step to acquire or ratify definite membership. This technique allows the development courses to proceed and to have their gradual effect on the adherent without raising any unnecessary resistance in the adherent’s mind to any specific stage of early development.
Thus even Boyer, Mazerall, and Lunan, the last-named an active espionage recruiting agent, apparently felt that they had not allowed themselves to become full members of the Communist Party, though they had paid “dues” for years, because they had at no time signed membership documents or taken out membership cards.
Boyer, who stated that he joined a Communist study-group in 1939, said when asked to explain his relations with the Communist Party:—
A. I have worked in organisations where there were Communists and in which I knew there were Communists, and I have worked very closely with Communists, but 1 have never held a party card or paid dues, etc.
Q. Have you ever made contributions to the work of the Communist Party?
A. I made contributions.
Q. Financial contributions?
Apparently at each stage of “development” the adherent is carefully kept from an appreciation of the nature of the tasks likely to be assigned to him when he is considered adequately “developed” for the next stage.
Apparently also many even among relatively senior and “developed” secret members of the Communist Party are kept unaware of the nature and existence of specifically illegal activities, directed against Canada, which are carried on by a section of the organisation which they support. Indeed, most persons actively engaged in such illegal activities are apparently given to understand that their activities are exceptional, and are kept quite unaware of the extent to which they have been carried on by the top leaders such as Sam Carr and Fred Rose. In view of the “leader-principle,” that is, the established principle of obedience to higher Party authorities, such unawareness among most members of the organisation would not hinder the organisation’s efficiency for Fifth Column purposes.
For example Lunan, who undertook, after designation by Rose, to organise a group of espionage agents, was given to understand that the only persons engaged in this illegal activity would be himself, the three Canadian scientists whose espionage activities he directed, and Rogov of the Soviet Embassy. In testifying before us as to his motivation, which he stated was directly linked with his political ideology, he said: —
“I would also like to say that I had no idea of the scope and extent of this work. I was amazed when it first became clear to me during my interrogation. I never thought of myself as being more than one person in a small group of five people.
“I do not offer this in any sense as an excuse for my work but I was striving to square myself with my ideals without a full knowledge of the position in which I really found myself.”
Boyer, Willsher and other active participants also assured us that they
were not informed of the extent of the espionage organisation in which they were invited, and had agreed, to take part.
Lunan, in his first report to Jan (Lt. Col. Rogov) dated March 28, 1945, stated that he intended to pursue a similar technique with Durnford Smith and Mazerall, gradually drawing them into the illegal network without at first revealing to them even his own limited knowledge of the true nature and extent of the conspiracy. His first written report states, inter alia: —
“… With the exception of Bacon [i.e., Professor Halperin], who is enthusiastic and politically experienced, it would be unwise to approach them point blank with all the tasks assigned … I therefore believe it wise to approach them carefully and not to advance too great an assignment to them at one time. Also, for the time being, not to characterise the work for what it is, but merely to let it be understood that it is work of a special conspiratorial nature, without mentioning my connection with you …”
Apparently only persons of top rank in the Communist Party hierarchy, such as Carr, the National Organiser of the Labor-Progressive Party, and Rose, the Quebec Organiser, were allowed to have any adequate picture of the real scope, nature and objectives of the organisation which they directed.
Regarding the original attraction of Canadians to the “development” courses or study-group organisations, it is difficult to speak with certainty. The appeal naturally varied greatly with each individual. In some cases it lay apparently in the highly systematised metaphysical concepts used by the Communist Party in its propaganda directed to certain types of “intellectuals” and students. Thus Durnford Smith, when asked what it was that attracted him to the movement, replied: “the logic of it.”
The factor which appears to have played a part in first attracting at least one of the Canadian espionage agents whose evidence we have heard was the belief that through these groups he could fight against the social evils of anti-semitism and racial intolerance. Gerson said: —
“I consider myself a second-class Canadian—not as a first-class Canadian. That is not a laughing matter, Mr. Commissioner; it is very serious.”
He elucidated this point:—
Q. You have been speaking about Communism and you also mentioned Fascism. What is your idea, of the difference, if any, between Communism and Fascism?
A. Well, my idea is that it would be based on a question of anti-Semitism.
Q. I see.
A. You see, we were very active at that time. There was the danger of Hitler; we realised it. The Doctor and his wife were over in Germany in 1931; he went to the University there and we realised it.
Q. What doctor?
A. Dr. Gottlieb; that is the [husband of the] sister of the Schlein family. We realised what was going to happen. We saw what happened in Montreal and Kirkland Lake where people were parading in blue shirts and sticking signs in windows and we felt we should do something about it … I mean it was from that; it was not from an economic point of view. It was from the point of view of self-preservation. We figured that if we were considered as good Canadians here a law should be passed to make that illegal.
The evidence before us strongly suggests that anti-semitism and the natural reaction of persons of Jewish origin to racial discrimination, was one of the factors played upon by the Communist recruiting agents. It is significant that a number of the documents from the Russian Embassy specifically note “Jew” or “Jewess” in entries on their relevant Canadian agents or prospective agents, showing that the Russian Fifth Column leaders attached particular significance to this matter.
In some cases a desire for companionship and intellectual discussion
may have played its part. With certain persons there is apparently an emotional appeal and glamour, as it were a sense of adventure, inherent in the conspiratorial methods and purposive activity of the groups. With more sophisticated persons, fascination by what may appear to them to be the efficiency of the unusual and essentially totalitarian system of Party organisation through pyramiding “cells” may offer an attractive appeal.
In the vast majority of cases, one important element in the original appeal would seem to have been propaganda carried out by the Communist Party for various measures of “social reform” in Canada. The policy of carrying on propaganda for various domestic measures which in themselves are calculated to appeal to a substantial section of the Canadian people, has obviously served two important objectives of the leaders of the Fifth Column.
In the first place, by associating such domestic propaganda, in the minds of as many people as possible, with the external propaganda of a particular foreign state, this policy serves in itself to “carry,” by implication, that foreign state’s propaganda. This is a common and very effective non-rational technique of modern advertising. An obvious commercial example is the use of a pretty face in advertisements for cigarettes.
Secondly, such a domestic propaganda has unquestioningly played an important part in recruiting Canadians for the “development” courses calculated eventually to make these Canadian instruments for more sinister and illegal Fifth Column purposes.
By these means, a number of young Canadians, public servants and others, who begin with a desire to advance causes which they consider worthy, have been induced into joining study groups of the Communist Party. They are persuaded to keep this adherence secret. They have been led step by step along the ingenious psychological development courses we have outlined, until under the influence of sophisticated and unscrupulous leaders they have been persuaded to engage in illegal activities directed against the safety and interests of their own society.
The Canadian espionage disclosures prompt the question: What do the controllers of Soviet Russia desire; what is their real policy? This real policy is clear enough, but, as with the Canadian Royal Commission’s Report, the international news agencies and the press appear to be determined to suppress the real facts, or distort them. There is little doubt that the undisclosed Communist operate on the newsagencies and the press as well as elsewhere. Mr. Douglas Reed, the famous English publicist, who has worked on every major British newspaper except the Communist “Daily Worker,” writes in his journal, “Tidings,” of August 10, 1946:
“The mob is misled much more to the Left than to the Right. The reason for this is that news-distortion as a political science is deliberately taught and practised by the Communists, as part of their totalitarian creed, so that they are more skilled in it. The Socialists, being neighbours of the Communists, are infected by it; and the Communist technique of ‘infiltration’ enables undeclared Communists who are sub-editors, reporters or leader-writers on professedly Socialist, Liberal or Conservative newspapers to work underground for their cause (this is the real explanation for the Communist twist that readers often find given to the news in what they have been brought up to regard as ‘Conservative’ or ‘Liberal* papers).” All of which also applies to the Australian press, and no doubt explains why little has been mentioned about the Canadian Spy Trials and
the Royal Commission Report. The press has made no serious attempt to tell the real truth about what is happening in Europe or about the real policy of the controllers of the Soviet. In fact there is plenty of evidence that it has pursued a policy of deliberate distortion.
In 1944, Victor Kravchenko, who had been a Member of the Russian Communist Party for 15 years, escaped from Soviet control while representing the Soviet in America. Placing himself “under the protection of American public opinion,” Kravchenko denounced the Soviet’s “double-faced political manoeuvres” and said that “The Soviet Government has dissolved the Communist International, but only in form; in reality Moscow has continued to support its Communist affiliates in many countries.”
In an article in the American “News of the World,” October 13, 1946, Kravchenko made the following statements:
1. “Stalin, in fact, says the opposite of what he is working for.”
2. “Not only does he believe in the threat of a new war, but he and the Government he runs are straining every nerve to get ready for it. Their whole foreign and domestic policy confirms this.”
3. “Stalin’s acts obviously bear no relation to his words. Their conscious purpose is to lull the vigilance of the Western countries.”
4. “Stalin does not believe in prolonged collaboration between the U.S.S.R. and the Western Powers. This statement is based on the fact that the Marx-Lenin-Stalin theory is the mainspring which has motivated, and is still motivating, the actions of the Soviet Government.”
What is this Marxism-Leninism which motivates Stalin and his fellow controllers of Russia? It is authoritatively outlined in two works by Stalin, “Problems of Leninism” and “Foundations of Leninism.” In the “Foundations of Leninism” the following appears:
“Objective: to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country, using it as a base for the overthrow of imperialism in all countries. The revolution is spreading beyond the confines of one country; the period of world revolution has commenced.”
Writing of the Russian revolution, Stalin says that it
“constitutes the first stage of the world revolution, and a mighty base for its further development.”
The popularisation of the idea that Russia is merely an Imperialistic Power seeking expansion by military methods, is a dangerous and misleading policy. As Stalin says, Russia is the base from which help can be given to the conspirators working for revolution in every country. “The revolution in the victorious country must regard itself not as a self-sufficient entity but as an aid, as a means of hastening the victory of the proletariat in other countries.”
Stalin quotes Lenin as saying that
“Revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis (affecting both the exploited and the exploiters)” 2
The Second World War helped considerably to advance the Communist strategy. It is now a matter of history that the Communist controllers of Soviet Russia helped to get the war under way by giving the all clear signal to Germany. At the Nuremberg Trials General Jodl told how the German General Staff was afraid to wage war on the Western Powers until their Eastern frontiers had been secured by the Russo-German Non-Aggression Pact. The controllers of Soviet Russia wanted war and welcomed its commencement.
After Soviet Russia had been drawn into the war, despite her obvious desire to remain neutral, the press conducted a vigorous pro-Russian policy, while in Jugoslovakia Allied support for the Serbian patriot, Michailovitch, was switched to the Russian agent, Tito. This policy of backing Tito, since admitted by Mr. Churchill to have been a bad mistake, coupled with the policy of Mr. Roosevelt, who was surrounded by notorious socialist and communist advisers, in resisting Mr. Churchill’s strategy
of the Allies invading Europe from the Mediterranean—”the soft underbelly of Europe”— resulted in the war finishing with Soviet Russia in direct and indirect control of half of Europe. Only strong British action (severely criticised by sections of the press in Great Britain and other countries) prevented the Communists from seizing power in Greece. From Tito’s Jugoslavia and other Russian dominated parts of Europe, a bitter anti-British propaganda campaign is being waged. The base from which the Communist conspiracy is being directed has been considerably increased as a result of the Second World War.
Now, in view of Lenin’s statement that revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis, it is essential that we understand that, although strikes by “key” unions controlled by Communists are an important factor in preparing the way for revolution, industrial troubles are merely a reflection of economic policies. These policies are laid down by the great numbers of “economic advisers” who surround all types of Governments. Most of these “advisers” are known socialists and no doubt some are undisclosed Communists.
The Canadian disclosures showed that many of those engaged in espionage, etc., were either products of, or, as in the case of Professor Boyer, actively associated with, the McGill University, the head of which is Dr. Cyril James, a product of the notorious socialist institution, the London School of Economics. James has been closely associated with the international socialist, Professor Harold Laski, a prominent instructor at the London School of Economics for many years.
In his book, “The State and Revolution,” Lenin wrote:
“That which is generally called Socialism is termed by Marx the first or lower phase of Communist society.”
After visiting Stalin in 1946, Laski proclaimed that Socialism and Communism are merely two distinct roads to the one objective: The World State. Amongst the socialists are undoubtedly many secret Communists, but most of the socialists — the “petty-bourgeoise democrats” — are regarded by the real conspirators against our civilisation as merely useful dupes who, once having served their purpose, can then, as Lenin said, be “liquidated.” Nothing is more tragic than to see the Labor-Socialists in this and other countries railing against the Communists while they intensify the policies which lead to the Police State so ardently desired by the international plotters who seek to accomplish what Hitler could not: dominate the entire world.
The London School of Economics was started by the Fabian Socialists and was later financed by the German-Jewish international financier, Cassel, who, according to his socialist friend, Lord Haldane, helped this socialist institution in order that it might be used to raise and train the bureaucracy of the future socialist State. At the diamond jubilee of the Fabian Society, in 1946, Mr. John Strachey, Communist Food Minister in the British Socialist Government said that the question before Great Britain was not socialism in one country, but socialism in one British Commonwealth. Mr. G. B. Shaw, a pioneer Fabian, said in a message to the Fabian jubilee:
“The only message I have at the moment is that the Fabian Society, having made Russia a great Fabian State, has now to make Mr. Wallace succeed President Roosevelt as President of the United States.”
Mr. Wallace’s pro-Russian attitude is well known.
The anti-British and subversive teachings of the London School of Economics and similar institutions have permeated all parts of the English speaking world, and have played a big part in the weakening of local loyalties in favour of internationalism. It was very significant that some of those tried for espionage in Canada had been closely connected with the advocacy of internationalism, even openly admitting that they justified their treasonable activities on the grounds that they had a “higher loyalty” than their loyalty to their own country.
The central policy of the “economic experts” tainted with the teachings of the London School of Economics and kindred institutions, has been
to centralise control of all political, financial and economic power into the hands of an enormous bureaucracy controlled by themselves. As was proved in Canada, big Government Departments are a p[er]fect cloak for the activities of the undisclosed Communists.
The “key” economic advisers in Australia are men such as Dr. H. C. Coombs, a London School of Economics man and an associate of Professor Laski, and Dr. Lloyd Ross, who now claims, that he is no longer a Communist. In Canada, the chief advisers are Dr. Marsh and Ra[s]minsky, both London School of Economics men. Ra[s]minsky is also an adviser to the Bank of Canada, from which institution a Miss Chapman was arrested for espionage activities.
As with the McGill and other Universities in Canada, here in Australia it has been obvious for some time that much of the instruction on law and economics is given a definite socialist or communist bias. Some Professors take no trouble to conceal their pro-Communist views. It is not surprising that our Universities are turning out more and more socialist and communist-minded students, perfect material for the secret fifth column. Early in the war, the prominent Zionist, Professor Julius Stone, became Professor of Law at the Sydney University. Professor Stone, apart from being a Zionist, is a socialist, and has been a regular commentator on the A.B.C. When the British had to take strong action in Palestine during the first serious Jewish outrages in 1946, “Honi Soit,” the Sydney University Students’ journal, published a special edition in which the most violent anti-British lies appeared. Ten thousand free copies of this issue were distributed in Sydney.
In the Melbourne “Argus” of September 20, 1946, the following interesting item on new arrivals in Australia appeared: “Tall, dark, with an attractive foreign accent, was Mrs. H. W. Arndt, who with her husband— Mr. Arndt— has come to Australia as senior lecturer in economics at Sydney University.
Previously he was attached to the Royal Institute of International Affairs. His wife studied sociology at the London School of Economics, where she met her husband.”
Concerning the [Royal] Institute of International Affairs, a kindred organisation to the London School of Economics, it need only be stated here that its Secretary, Professor Arnold Toynbee, said at a conference in Copenhagen in 1931, that he and his associates all over the world were striving desperately and with all their might to destroy the sovereignties of all countries. So as not to alarm people too much, Toynbee said that he and his internationalist friends were “denying with their lips what they were doing with their hands.” This is exactly what the secret Communists were proved to be doing in Canada and it is no doubt what they are doing in this country.
As the Canadian Report emphasises the fact that many Jews, some originally “refugees” from Europe, were used by Soviet Russia for espionage, it is particularly alarming that at the conclusion of the war a steady influx of Jewish refugees started arriving in Australia. When head of UNRRA in Europe just after the cessation of military hostilities, the British General, Sir Frederick Morgan, charged that UNRRA was being used as a cover to get well fed and well financed Jewish “refugees” out of Eastern Europe, and that some of these “refugees” were Soviet agents. Are such agents now arriving in this country from Europe?
As in Canada, the Communists in this country have used “study groups” — many will recall the creation of Left Book Club discussion groups many years before the war — and such organisations as the Australia-Soviet Friendship League and the Australian Association of Scientific Workers as “fronts” for their activities. It was revealing to find the following people trying to prevent the former Australian Ambassador to Russia, Mr. J. J. Maloney, from speaking in the Melbourne Town Hall in November, 1946, it being alleged that Mr. Maloney’s attack upon the Soviet would be an affront to the Soviet Minister to Australia, who was expected to be in Melbourne for a Communist inspired event at that time. Professor R. M. Crawford, Professor R. D. Wright, Professor G. S. Browne,
Professor Neill Greenwood, Professor Bernard Heinze, Dean H. T. Langley, Canon F. E. Maynard, Bishop Burgmann, Judge Foster and Judge Dethridge. Whether the above are all “useful innocents” or not, it is difficult to say. But, when we remember what happened in Canada, we are justified in being suspicious.
The following letter, signed by Harold W. Fry of Coogee, Sydney, appeared in the “Sydney Morning Herald” of September 17, 1946:
“Sir, — In connection with the meeting recently held in Double Bay by the Associ[a]tion of Scientific Workers, at which I was present, I think it is urgent to point out the following facts. When I raised he point, at the meeting, as to whether the Australian Association of Scientific Workers was affiliated with the organisation bearing the same name in Canada, it was admitted that such was the case. The Canadian Association is described in the report of the Royal Commission on the Soviet spy ring in Canada as an instrument in the hands of the Communists — and its leaders, Professor Boyer, Dr. Shugar, and Dr. Veall, were convicted and condemned as Soviet agents. The Association endorsed at the Double Bay meeting a motion to the effect that the Prime Minister be requested to use his influence to obtain the release of Dr. Alan Nunn May, a British scientist who was convicted of having communicated to a foreign power secret scientific information and specimens of uranium, in violation of the Official Secrets Acts, and of a pledge he had signed before his appointment. The Royal Commission report states that Dr. May was a secret and ardent member of the Communist Party.”
No comment is necessary on the information contained in the above letter.
The issue confronting us is clear: the activities of the secret Communists must be answered by the fullest possible publicity concerning their methods. The Canadian Royal Commission Report is a revelation which we cannot afford to neglect. The British Empire has been marked down for destruction, and our only hope of survival depends upon our efforts to defeat the secret fifth column and all those policies which assist it in its work of destruction.
Copies of this booklet may be obtained from Eric D. Butler, Pirron Yallock, Victoria. Single copies 1/6 plus postage; quantities of half a dozen or more at 12/- per dozen, post free.
1 Fred rose (aka Rosenberg) may have been the only declared Communist member of Parliament at the time that Butler wrote this article. However, Patrick Walsh “declared” another one in his 1953 Testimony to a Sub-Committee of the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee: William Kardash. Said Walsh” at pages 2410-2411 of his testimony:
Now, sometime last year apparently — I haven’t got the actual proof, but apparently — the worldwide campaign for clemency for the Rosenbergs [Ethel and Julius, the atom bomb spies], which was being sponsored, directed, and supported by Soviet agents all over the globe — and I have newspapers and publications and pamphlets from nearly every country where the Communist Party has an organization, and it is no coincidence that all these appeals follow along the same pattern — it was decided that Canada should not be an exception and that we should join the hue and cry of the Rosenberg clemency campaign.
Now, the way the League for Democratic Rights went about this is an illustration of communistic tactics. They sent word to Regina in Saskatchewan — that is in western Canada — to a Communist there that he should write in and suggest that people in the west were bothered about this Rosenberg affair and that, in his opinion, we should start a campaign in favor of the Rosenbergs.
Mr. Tavenner. Was he a person of any known record in the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. Well, he was a member of Parliament — a Communist member of Parliament — and his name is William Kardash — K-a-r-d-a-s-h — a well-known leader of the Ukrainian Communist section of the party for the past 20 years, and also a leader of the International Brigade in Spain between 1936 and 1939.
So, Kardash wrote to the League for Democratic Rights, and we had the excuse that it was not something that was coming from the central body; it was not a campaign that was being imposed because of the decision of the leadership, but that people from the west were anxious that we should do something about it, and in about 2 weeks we began to flood the country with save-the-Roscnbergs pamphlets, petitions, circulars, and what not.
2 Some observers of Communist Trudeau’s War Measures have wondered why at least they were not confined to Quebec. My answer would be the above quotation of Lenin by Stalin:
“Revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis.”
Trudeau wished to seize and restructure all of Canada on the pretext of “negotiating” with his Communist friend, Lévesque, in Quebec. He wished to impose a “new” constitution on all of Canada. Therefore, to accomplish this “Revolution”, the whole country had to be involved in the “problem” artificially created by Trudeau’s War Measures of 1970.