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Whence They Came

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Barbara Roberts

7. Troublemakers and Communists, 1930-1935

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1Deportation of radicals in the 1930s was made to order by political fiat. It was a logical extension of earlier deportations of similar troublemakers. The techniques used for the political deportations of the 1930s were similar to those developed during the period of the First World War. In both instances, political deportation was made easier by special legal powers to deport radicals overtly for political “crimes” as enemies of the state. Although the Department of Immigration openly deported radicals for political reasons, it also continued to throw up a documentary smokescreen to disguise this target group and its specific undesirability by deporting radicals under various nominal legal causes. There was no category in the Department’s Annual Report for “political deportation”. By using other legal categories, the Department could avoid unfavourable publicity, make legal appeals against their deportation more difficult and less effective, and make the administrative management of deportation smoother, more efficient, and easier.

  • 1 William Beeching and Phyllis Clarke, eds., Yours in the Struggle: The Reminiscences of Tim Buck, T (...)

2The longstanding policy of the Department to deport radicals and troublemakers whenever possible found its logical extension in the communist cleanups of the 1930s. A good many of the deportations of radicals had previously taken place under normal headings: medical causes, entry without proper inspection, public charge, or criminal conviction. These tried and true measures lost none of their effectiveness during the first half of the 1930s. A new legal weapon against the Communist Party of Canada gave the Department the powers it needed to deport communists simply and openly for being communists. The Communist Party was declared an illegal organization in Canada on 11 August 1931, under Section 98 of the Criminal Code.1

  • 2 In 1930 the absolute minimum upon which a worker’s family could live with some degree of health an (...)

3Since the 1920s, communists and other radicals had been involved in activities which deeply alarmed the government and the business community of Canada: organizing industrial unions, building leftwing groups within existing unions, organizing the unemployed, leading militant strikes, and conducting successful publicity campaigns, such as the one that collected 100,000 signatures on a petition for unemployment insurance, a five-day work week, and a $35 weekly minimum wage for both women and men workers.2

  • 3 Michiel Horn, “Keeping Canada Canadian: Anticommunism in Toronto, 1928-29,” Canada. An Historical (...)

4Anti-radical drives were flourishing in several Canadian cities by the end of the 1920s. Police and civic officials, as well as provincial politicians, were prominent in such campaigns. At conferences, in groups and individually, officially and privately, they warned that the “communist menace” was growing, and urged clampdowns and wholesale deportations. In Toronto, regulations were passed in 1929 against non-English language public meetings and disorderly or seditious utterances. Anyone renting a public facility to a group for such a meeting could lose their licence. Police Chief Denis Draper and Mayor Sam McBride promoted police harrassment and assault against radicals, for which the radicals frequently found themselves arrested. The “free speech” issue became a cause célèbre; Toronto remained a hotbed of radical action and repression by the authorities until the mid-1930s.3

  • 4 City of Winnipeg Archives, Winnipeg City Council Papers, File 15141, Sudbury City Clerk to Winnipe (...)

5It was not only Toronto; anti-radical sentiment was high in smaller centres. In Sudbury, the City Council passed a resolution that the government should deport “all undesirables and communists”, and sent it round to all the members of the Union of Canadian Municipalities in April 1931; over seventy sent in the resolution to Ottawa. As well, provincial premiers and other officials wrote urging action.4

  • 5 Public Archives of Canada (PAC) Manuscript Group (MG) 26K, (Bennett papers), File C-650, “Communis (...)

6Winnipeg Mayor Ralph Webb, a staunch supporter of law and order, carried out a one-man campaign, writing regularly to R. B. Bennett demanding action against communists and agitators. In May 1931, Webb sent Bennett the names of fifteen Winnipeggers who had gone to Moscow to study revolutionary organizing, asking that Immigration be told to bar their re-entry. In July, Webb wired Gideon Robertson urging him to press for “deportation of all undesirables” including behind-the-scenes radical activists and administrators. A number of local veterans’ and employers’ and fraternal associations supported Webb’s position; the Bennett papers contain many resolutions and demands for stiffer laws and intensified or automatic deportation of radicals. The local Immigration official, Western Commissioner of Immigration Thomas Gelley, shared the prevailing views: he wrote to Commissioner Jolliffe in June 1931, suggesting a revival of the draconian provisions of the June 1919 version of Section 41 of the Immigration Act, repealed only three years before. His explanation of the problem was at least original (although perhaps not his own): Gelley argued that to allow the “communistic element” to come into contact with young people was like a farmer allowing potato bugs to multiply until the whole potato patch was endangered. In his opinion the Department must take some “radical action... to stamp out this element from Canadian life.”5

  • 6 Henry Trachtenberg, “The Winnipeg Jewish Community and Politics: The Inter-war Years, 1919-1939,” (...)

7Such sentiments were not surprising from the influential classes of a city that had survived Canada’s only attempted Bolshevik revolution (or so they thought) a scant dozen years before. As well, there was a fear in some quarters that such an event might again be in the making. RCMP and Provincial Police headquarters, especially, were prone to such alarms. Among their contributions to the suppression of the Red menace were warnings to the Premier that the local Communist Party was setting up a “fighting group... to obtain funds” by “rob[bing] banks and stores,” and a report that the Communist Party had insinuated many of its important members into municipal and other government positions, which was supposed to offer them protection against the authorities.6

8The federal authorities in Ottawa were receptive, indeed enthusiastic. Prime Minister Bennett revived Section 98 of the Criminal Code and the government used it to go after the Communist Party.

  • 7 Ron Adams, “The 1931 Arrest and Trial of the Leaders of the Communist Party of Canada,” Canadian H (...)

9Police signalled this campaign by raiding the offices of the Party and the homes of three of its leaders, and the offices of the Workers Unity League and the official paper The Worker, on 11 and 12 August 1931. The raids had been planned by Ontario Attorney General William Price, and co-ordinated by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Victor Willimas, who had arranged for a squad of federal, provincial, and city police to carry out simultaneous raids in Toronto. There was a slight hitch; Willimas had failed to keep the leaders under surveillance, so six of the eight leaders sought were not there when the police appeared. A second series of raids had to be carried out to finish the operation.7

  • 8 Public Archives of Ontario (PAO) Attorney-Generalֹ’s Department, Record Group 4, Series D-1-1-, Fi (...)

10Although the OPP initiated the crackdown, it was strongly supported by the federal authorities. The federal Justice Minister had been sending spy reports obtained from the RCMP and other material to the Ontario authorities and offering “the fullest co-operation” from Justice and the RCMP, in any actions taken. The actions resulted in the arrest of eight Party members and officials; all were charged with being members of an unlawful organization, and seditious conspiracy.8

  • 9 For biographical sketches see CLD December 1931, pp. 4-5; William Rodney, Soldiers of the Internat (...)

11The eight were: Tim Buck (aged forty, married, three children, British-born, here since 1912), chief official of the Communist Party in Canada; Sam Carr (aged thirty-one, of Ukrainian origin, immigrated in 1924), in charge of the Party’s organizational work; Malcolm Bruce (aged fifty, born in Prince Edward Island), editor of The Worker and on the Party executive; Matthew Popovich (aged forty-one, Ukrainian-born, in Canada since 1911), was former editor of Robochny Narod and a leader in several organizations such as the Ukrainian Labor Farmer Temple Association; John Boychuck (aged thirty-nine, married with one child, Ukrainian origin, immigrated in 1913), was a long-time organizer and official Ukrainian representative on the Central Executive Committee; Tom Ewan (aged forty, widower with four children, in Canada since leaving Scotland in 1911), was National Secretary of the Workers Unity League; Amos Hill (aged thirty-three, married, one child, Finnish-born immigrant to Canada in 1912), was active in various Finnish organizations, and Tomo Cacic (aged thirty-five, Croation, in Canada since 1924), was active in various ethnic branches.9

  • 10 Frank Scott, “The Trial of the Toronto Communists,” Queen’s Quarterly, August 1932; Adams, “1931 t (...)

12The eight were tried in front of a Toronto jury. The Crown’s chosen method of presenting evidence was to be a precedent for the numerous prosecutions that followed. Rather than arguing that these individuals advocated force or violence, it argued that as communists, they were under the direction of the Communist International which advocated revolutionary violence. The views or actions of the individual were not germane; all that was necessary was to show that a person was a member of the Communist Party, which was bound to follow Comintern policy. The Crown’s case rested primarily on Comintern policy documents, publications, etc., and on the testimony of a Mountie spy who had been an undercover member of the Party for ten years. Sergeant Leopold’s statements were used to establish the subordination of the Canadian Communist Party to discipline from abroad, and the seditious nature of the organization.10

  • 11 Petryshyn, “Bennett”, p. 45; Rasporich, “Cacic”; Dick, “Deportation”, pp. 124-5 citing Sedgewick t (...)

13All eight men were convicted. All save Tomo Cacic were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment; he got two (because of his relative youth, according to Anthony Rasporich’s account, but Sam Carr and Amos Hill were younger than Cacic). All were supposed to be deported, but in the end, only Cacic was. On appeal, the seditious conspiracy charges were dropped, but the Section 98 charges stood. Thus, after February 1932, the Communist Party’s status as an illegal organization was confirmed; all of its members were chargeable under Section 98. Such an outcome had been the hope of the authorities.11 It was particularly pleasing to Immigration officials. Now political deportation could proceed smoothly, either overtly under Section 41 of the Immigration Act, or under the criminality category; an immigrant convicted of a crime was automatically deportable upon completion of sentence.

  • 12 Lorne and Caroline Browne, An Unauthorized History of the RCMP, Toronto, Lorimer, 1978, p. 64 citi (...)

14Not that they had not been busy. By 1931, Immigration officials were routinely exploring various avenues to expedite the deportation of radicals. They received names from the RCMP and other sources, investigated the immigration status of the prospective deports, and set in motion the appropriate machinery. By the fall of 1931, intensified political deportation had become federal policy. In October, the Minister of Justice hosted a special meeting to discuss the need to increase deportation. It was attended by the Minister of National Defence, the Commissioner of Immigration, the Military Chief of General Staff, and the RCMP Commissioner. They decided to use the RCMP barracks in Halifax to house the expected deports.12

  • 13 File 563235, Memo from the Assistant Deputy Minister, 26 June 1931; see also Shin Imai, “Deportati (...)

15Naturalized citizenship was no sure defence against deportation. In June 1919 the citizenship laws had been amended to permit revocation of naturalization certificates, as a preliminary to deportation. In the 1930s, the Department of Immigration used this route to move radicals from an inviolable to a deportable category. Stripped of citizenship, an immigrant could revert to being a member of the prohibited classes, unable to gain domicile no matter how long in Canada, because persons of that class could never legally enter. In November 1931, for example, Jolliffe of the Department of Immigration sent Thomas Mulvey of Citizenship Branch of the Department of the Secretary of State a list of thirty-five names to be checked for citizenship, as part of deportation proceedings. Thirteen were naturalized; eighteen had no record of citizenship, two had been rejected, and one case was being held in abeyance. Mulvey’s staff obligingly identified four likely candidates for deportation: one was Michael Novakowsky, an Alberta farmer in Canada since 1912, and a citizen since 1920. Some of the names were those of men sentenced in Montreal to one year for sedition by Mr. Justice Wilson in the Court of Queen’s Bench, the past June.13

  • 14 The order to tell Mulvey etc. was underlined in ink on the original typed memo: File 513057, Depar (...)

16An Immigration memo on one case illustrates the process. The Immigration official had been reading the RCMP file on a political case, and was lamenting the poor quality of evidence. The case against the man was shaky. “None of his speeches, nor the article in the Montreal Star and the one in the Worker... are of a seditious nature.” The only evidence given at the trial had been that of “two secret agents” working for the RCMP, and it had been of “very little value.” But it had been good enough to have the man sent up for sedition. For Immigration to deal with him, however, a preliminary step was needed. Their strategy would be to have his naturalization “revoked and then attack the case on the basis of the fact that the conviction on a charge of sedition brings him within the meaning of Section 41.” The order went out: “request Mulvey to cancel naturalization certificate – and Board him after – tell Mulvey he must act at once.”14

17Although it is impossible to be sure of how many political deportations were carried out during the Depression, it is possible to verify that these were numerous. Usually they were carried out under public charge, criminality, or other legal categories, and they were not explicitly acknowledged as such in the public documents of the Department, such as the Annual Report. Internal documents are somewhat more revealing, but it is frustrating to try to pin down specific cases, not least because the problem is ultimately not quantifiable.

  • 15 The list of 82 is in RG 26, Vol. 16, “Deportation of Communist Agitators, 1931-1937.”

18The sources of information are fragmentary. In one memo, a total of eighty-two names were listed by the Department as having been deported as communist agitators. Many of the names are not those of well-known communists, and few appear in the historical literature on the Party. Many, but not all, of the individuals listed had been convicted of a crime prior to their deportation, usually under Section 98. Charges cited in the file include: unlawful assembly, distributing communist literature, inciting riot, assault of police, concealing weapons, communist demonstration, unlawful association, and simply communist. By far the most common was membership in an unlawful association or member of an unlawful assembly – in other words simply being a communist or participating in a communist meeting or demonstration. Three of the eighty-two were also noted for other violations of the Immigration Act: Section 33, subsection 7 (prohibited classes) and communist; unlawful association and previously rejected; unlawful association and epilepsy. This notation suggests that in these three cases, the Department may have used other legal grounds for deportation than those in Section 41, or may have used provisions of Section 33 specifying membership in the prohibited classes on other than political grounds. Epilepsy was a medical condition interdicted in the regulations; epileptics could never legally immigrate to Canada. Medical prohibitions were not subject to appeal.15

  • 16 File 513047, Mulvery to Jolliffe, 24 November 1931. File 513116 (Arvo Vaara) Memo, Immigration to (...)

19A second source of information in the records of the Department is a list of thirty-five names compiled to have citizenship status checked and naturalization certificates revoked, in order to effect deportation. Among the thirty-five names are those that do not appear on the list of eighty-two communists deported as such. A third list of twenty-six names of alleged communists also contains several names not elsewhere listed.16

  • 17 File 513057, Memo for file, 17 June 1932, and see also RG 26 Vol. 16.

20A fourth file concerned with political deportation also contains lists of names, for example of thirteen immigrants arrested in Rouyn in 1932 for participating in a May Day demonstration. A note by a Department official explained that all legally deportable immigrants were to be ordered deported by Boards of Inquiry, and in the case of those with domicile, the Boards were to be adjourned until the Department could decide how to proceed. Eight of the names on the list of eighty-two radicals deported also are on the Rouyn list. Five other immigrants appearing only on the Rouyn list include just one who might have been in Canada barely long enough to acquire domicile, and who consequently might have been somewhat more difficult to deport. Cross-checking reveals that domicile was no bar; for example, one of the men on both the Rouyn list and the list of eighty-two names, Wasyl Semergo, had been in Canada since July 1913. He wets deported almost twenty years later in March 1933.17

  • 18 File 513057. Deputy Minister of Immigration to Secretary of State Skelton, External Affairs, 20 Ju (...)

21Another reference to those arrested in the 1932 Rouyn May Day demonstration contains information about Polish nationals involved in deportation proceedings on account of their alleged communist activities. The names of two women and one man, not elsewhere mentioned, are given.18

  • 19 “Deportation Abuses,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 October 1931.

22Other Department files, memos, and correspondence contain names, or discussions of cases, of other radicals not appearing on the list of eighty-two names. Internal and external evidence indicates that these people were deported under the legal grounds of public charge and other categories, or that the Department tried but failed to obtain such deportations. Whatever the details of individual cases, it is clear that such practices were routine and widespread. For example, in the fall of 1931, a group of Polish nationals who had been detained at Winnipeg for deportation, refused to co-operate in the documentation process necessary to arrange their departure. The Winnipeg Immigration official sought and received advice from his superiors in Ottawa about how to proceed. Further substantiation is given by accounts in the local press about the detention and deportation of those twenty immigrants as public charges, over the protests of the Polish consul.19

  • 20 Oscar Ryan, Deported!, Canadian Labor Defense League, Toronto, nd [19321, p. 10, and RG 26 Vol. 16

23Another source of information on individual cases is the Canadian Labor Defender, the organ of the Canadian Labor Defense League (CLDL), which cites numerous instances of deportations for political activities. Some of the names given here can be cross-checked against Department of Immigration and other sources, although many names cannot be verified. Although the CLDL had an axe to grind and would have found it advantageous to portray the situation in the blackest possible terms, it was also to the advantage of the League to trumpet its successes in averting deportation in individual cases. On balance, it seems reasonable to accept as valid their descriptions of deportations completed. As well, their sporadic forays into statistics may also be useful for cross-checking other sources. For example, the CLDL claimed that between January and June 1932, thirty-three workers had been deported for political offences. The files of the Department list only fifteen persons deported as communist agitators during that period, suggesting that eighteen were probably deported under other legal categories.20

24Also informative are oral history interviews with people who participated in the events of the time. Satu Repo’s interview of Einar Nordstrom, a Lakehead radical, provides details not only about Department practices, but about community responses. In Thunder Bay, an October 1932 protest drew 1,000 demonstrators demanding services from city officials. According to Nordstrom, at the time the city had no soup kitchens, and unemployed single men had been denied relief by the City Relief Officer. They marched, and were turned back, some beaten, by the RCMP, OPP, and city police. Many were arrested. Most were later released, but a few leaders were held and eventually deported.

25One of these was Emil Sandberg, a twenty-one-year old Swede, in Canada three years, who was very outspoken and active in the local Scandinavian Workers and Farmers Club. He was charged with vagrancy and being instrumental in causing a public disturbance. Deportation had by that time become so common, according to Nordstrom, that ethnic associations had developed the custom of holding dances and other fundraisers to pay a tailor to make a suit of clothes for the person to wear on the trip home. The tailor who measured Sandberg was the only visitor he was allowed. Even when he developed appendicitis and had surgery, he was guarded so closely at the hospital that a Swedish hospital worker could not slip in for a word.

  • 21 Satu Repo, “Lakehead in the 1930s – A Labour Militant Remembers” [Einar Nordstrom], This Magazine,(...)

26Somehow Sandberg smuggled out a piece of toilet paper giving the time of his departure on the train East to be deported. A large crowd went to the station to see him off. Sandberg was handcuffed to two OPPs and not allowed to speak to anyone.21

27Emil Sandberg’s case does not appear in any of the Department lists of radicals deported. No information is available on the legal category under which his deportation was carried out. The circumstances of the case suggest that criminality would have been likely (his prison sentence), or public charge (if he had succeeded in obtaining relief)-either of which could have been smoothly executed procedures.

  • 22 File 563236, Department memo requested by High Commissioner for Canada Ferguson, London, 4 March 1 (...)

28Causes for deportation were reported under five headings. “Public charge” covered those who were non-paying inmates of any publicly funded institution (medical or charitable), or who received some form of welfare payment from the public purse. “Criminality” covered those who had served sentences in penal institutions. “Accompanying” referred to members of families who were themselves not necessarily deported or deportable (Canadian citizens by birth, for example), accompanying a deported family head or member. “Medical causes” included those who were ill, injured, or incapacitated in ways that contravened the Immigration Act. They were usually not self-supporting at the time when ordered deported, and might have been non-paying inmates of hospitals and so on. Some may have been self-supporting but had a contagious disease, or were afflicted in some way that might in the future affect their ability to be self-supporting. Causes ranged from industrial accidents, tuberculosis, epilepsy, heart disease, varicose veins, venereal disease, retardation, and psychological problems (from raving insanity to masturbation). “Other causes” referred to various violations of the Act, usually related to improper entry, or belonging to some prohibited category.22

29“Other causes” covered a multitude of sins. A Board of Inquiry could use Section 33 for an immigrant whose entry had been improper (sneaking in, lying, failing to comply with regulations), or Section 3 for an immigrant belonging to the prohibited classes on account of medical conditions, political beliefs or activities or intentions, criminal records, or morals at the time of entry. Many cases falling under sections 3 or 33 could be deported regardless of the number of years of residence subsequent to entry.

  • 23 File 274485, Memo for Mr. Jolliffe, 23 July 1927. Three-page RCMP spy report included. Similar cas (...)

30The charge of “entry by misrepresentation” was a handy catchall used by the Department to deport those who undertook activities at variance with those they stated as intended at the time of entry. For example, Mikolaj Dranuta was brought over under the auspices of the Ukrainian Colonization Board in 1926 to do farm work. Instead, according to an RCMP spy report, he took a job in an Edmonton meat packing plant, joined the Ukrainian Labor Temple and taught in a Ukrainian school, helped to organize cultural activities such as the visit of a dance troupe, and so on. The Mounties described him as a communist, and noted that while he had not made any public speeches (“yet”), he was open about his views. After reviewing the spy report, an Immigration official perused Dranuta’s photograph (from his Canadian Pacific Railway Occupatio.nal Certificate) and decided on that basis that Dranuta was not the farming or peasant type. “Under the circumstances” wrote the official, the Department would take “action... with a view to deportation on the ground of entering Canada by misrepresentation.”23

  • 24 Personal communication, John Ferris, Sault Ste. Marie, 19 August 1981; see also CLD June 1930.

31“Vagrancy” was a common criminal charge against radicals. John Ferris recalls that in Sault Ste. Marie, activists in unemployed workers’ movements were picked up and charged with vagrancy because they were “without substantial means of support.” Margaret Patterson was reportedly charged with vagrancy in Toronto when she was arrested after singing “The International” at a 1930 May Day rally.24

  • 25 Discussion about his research with Mauri Jalava, 27 July 1981. At the time he was researching an M (...)

32Although any activist could find him or herself in trouble with the law, immigrants – especially the non-British – were particularly at risk. Mauri Jalava’s interviews with Sudbury Finns revealed that deportations were a strongly feared feature of Finnish life in Canada during the Depression. By the early 1930s, many Finns still did not have citizenship, and others were refused when they applied, so any contact with the authorities could prove dangerous. Political persecution could take place even if no laws were broken: translators for companies hiring Finns were often anti-radical informers.25 Protesting poor working conditions or the lack of work could have grave consequences. The political climate in Finland was not friendly to radicals; there might be a danger to liberty or perhaps to life for those deported.

  • 26 For examples of deportation after vagrancy convictions, see file 563236, Commissioner of Immigrati (...)

33A further problem for immigrant radicals was that existing laws were unevenly enforced. As Leslie Morris of the CLDL pointed out, many thousands of unemployed transients rode the rails and were usually ignored by police (partly because there was no space in the jails for a fraction of them). But anyone identified as a radical was far more likely to be arrested. For an immigrant, that might mean a one way ticket out of the country, marked only by a number in the criminality deportations listed in the Annual Report of the Department of Immigration.26

  • 27 See for example discussion of the need to hire legal counsel for the Department if the Poles detai (...)

34Deportation for any cause except violating Section 41, that is, under any category not overtly political, was considered so problem-free, so automatic, by the Department, that it did not normally hire lawyers for the Boards of Inquiry. So long as the Department followed properly all the procedures outlined in the Immigration Act, there was little likelihood of any successful challenge, even by the courts. The Department processed many thousands of deportations without any interference whatsoever during the 1930s. Most were carried out under the heading of “public charge”. Many were in fact political deportations. For example, the City of Winnipeg had requested the deportation of a group of Polish immigrants reputedly “members of organizations connected with the communist movement,” some of whom hired lawyers to represent them at their Boards of Inquiry. But the Department made no attempt to hire its own lawyers, and any tactics of resistance on the part of the Poles were futile because, although their political affiliations were their real crimes, their deportations were “based on public charge grounds.” It is clear from the records that the Department was nervous about public protests in these cases (civic elections were coming up in Winnipeg and the communists were active in politics), but the facts were irrefutable. The immigrants were public charges, and were legally deportable as such after hearings in conformity with the Immigration regulations. And as such, they were deported.27

  • 28 File 513057, Memo for file, 17 June 1932; names on RG 26 Vol. 16 list. File 513057, memo to Jollif (...)

35The real causes for which radicals were deported were varied. Arvi Johannes Tielinen, Thomas Gidson Pollari, Viljo Adolf Piispa, and Jaako Emil Makynen were convicted (along with several others) for taking part in an unlawful assembly after they had marched in a parade at Timmins, and deported in 1932. Of thirty-four people convicted of unlawful assembly for a similar parade in May 1932, eight were deported. Those deported for organizing or participating in relief strikes or demonstrations included Matti Hautamaki of Port Arthur, Leontie Karpenkower of The Pas, and W. Jacobson of Vancouver. Askeli Panjata was arrested for marching in a Port Arthur parade of unemployed workers in November 1930. He was sentenced to three months, then hastily removed from the local jail to Halifax, “before any of his friends were aware of it.” He was deported to Finland in March 1931, in spite of his protests that his life would be in danger.28

  • 29 For Hymie Sparaga see CLD January 1931 and May 1931; Canadian Forum May 1931, p. 284; Louise Watso (...)

36Hymie Sparaga was arrested in Toronto in January 1931, on the picket line of a garment worker strike, sentenced to two months in jail, then deported (and according to Annie Buller, he was later killed by the Nazis). Louis Revay and John Gryciuk were convicted, respectively, of unlawful assembly and rioting during the 1931 Estevan strike, and deported.29

37Often little information has survived about events such as these. In other cases, more can be learned. The details are different but the patterns are predictable. Sophie Sheinen’s experiences were in some ways typical.

38Sophie Sheinen was a Russian Jew who had immigrated to Canada in May 1927. Little is known about her subsequent activities save that she was involved in protests. She was arrested in Calgary and convicted in July 1931 of unlawful assembly. The case went to appeal; she lost, and served a six-month sentence in the Fort Saskatchewan Gaol, at the end of which she was ordered deported to the U.S.S.R. Her sentence was completed 11 May 1932, but she was held until 31 May, partly to induce her to sign some of her deportation documents. Worried about her ill health, eventually the CLDL stepped in and signed on her behalf.

  • 30 See''They're Killing Sophie in Jail, ” CLD June 1932; see also CLD December 1931, November 1932; s (...)

39Apparently she was ill-treated in jail. It is unclear if such treatment was typical of prisons of the time, or if she was singled out. Her cell was allegedly overheated and unventilated, the water periodically turning black and undrinkable. She complained of being harassed by a night matron who refused to turn off the noisily running water in the toilet and who rattled the door. Sheinen said that she was kept in solitary confinement as punishment, and was refused medical treatment until she threatened to complain to the warden. The CLDL passed on to Immigration a letter in which she detailed her complaints, claiming that by the end of her sentence she was spitting blood and had lost nearly thirty-five pounds.30

40By September 1932 protests against her deportation were gaining Bennett’s attention. He sought advice from Immigration officials, who told him that Sheinen had been “mutinous” in jail and vociferous about ill-treatment. In the opinion of the Department, her claims of ill-health were simply a device to avoid deportation; they had her medically examined and pronounced “fit to travel”.

  • 31 File 244957, Secretary of Immigration to Prime Minister's Secretary, 6 October 1932; see also Ryan (...)

41The Department’s advice to Bennett was typical and revealed a consistent policy in political deportation cases. They admitted receiving many protests, but the sources were suspect. All seemed to be from communist sources. The Department had thus “decided to ignore such communications unless they were from responsible parties.” Unless there were protests of a “special nature” or from a “source which obviously should be recognized,” they would continue to follow this policy. They advised Bennett to do likewise. (Bennett needed little encouragement; he was rabidly anti-communist.) Sophie Sheinen was picked up at her home and deported in November 1932.31

  • 32 Photographs of Reinkanen’s and a Mrs. Morton’s bruises in CLD August 1931; jail and deportation in (...)

42Not even that much is known about the experiences of some of her colleagues. Edward Reinkanen was arrested (and beaten) at a Toronto anti-deportation demonstration in June 1931; he served one month at the Jail Farm, then was held at the Don Jail until deported to Finland in November 1931. Sam Langley, an activist in Northern Ontario, was deported to England on the Ascania, 23 December 1931. He had been previously ordered deported after a 1929 jail sentence for a free speech demonstration, on charges of vagrancy (the disorderly conduct subsection) – part of a whole series of arrests by Toronto police beginning in February 1929 and continuing into the summer. An uproar organized by the CLDL was effective in stopping Langley’s 1929 deportation, probably because of his nationality as much as the dubiousness of the vagrancy conviction as the ground for a criminality deportation. By 1931 the political climate had changed; he was picked up in Port Arthur at 5:00 p.m., and on the train to Halifax by 9:00 p.m. that same evening, to be deported under the reactivated 1929 order. Essentially the same thing happened to Joseph Farley who had been arrested and jailed with Langley and four others in 1929. The old order was activated and used to deport him after he completed a ten-month sentence in Lethbridge. He was sent back to England in December 1931. Peter Zepkar, a Croat long active in Yugoslav organizations in the Party, and in Canada since 1924, was sentenced to one year in jail for his part in a Fort Frances lumber strike (unlawful assembly), and deported in December 1934.32

43John Ferris of Sault Ste. Marie, a young man during the Depression, recalled pressures against radicals. Women canvassing for the Canadian Labor Defence League were arrested, then released without charges being laid. These cases were merely adjourned and left hanging so that they could be picked up long after. He remembers numerous cases where radicals were picked up and deported-sometimes so fast that friends did not even know that they were gone. Most of these cases involved non-British immigrants. The Sault Ste. Marie City Council, like others, passed a resolution to “deport all known Reds.” “Reds” was synonymous with activists.

  • 33 Personal communication, Ferris to Roberts, 19 August 1981.

44Although Ferris himself was subject to arrest, he could not be deported, as he was born in Canada. Partly for this reason, he was responsible for conveying the hidden mimeograph machine to meetings. Accompanied by a left-leaning Free Methodist preacher (later forced by his congregation to resign), Ferris concealed the press in the family baby buggy and took it for innocuous strolls. The police never caught on, and never managed to confiscate the press. But there were other repercussions. The superintendent of the local steel plant told Ferris that he would have to change his politics if he ever wanted a job. “Practically blacklisted”, Ferris gave up and left for Cochrane, Ontario, to look for work in 1935. If he had been a recent immigrant, and unable to find work, he would have had to apply for relief eventually; deportation would have resulted, although the real issue would have been his politics.33

45Departmental files on individual deportation cases reveal disquieting evidence about the grounds on which the officials were prepared to act. Cases were built on the personal impressions of officials about the attitudes of the accused; the immigrants were not privy to this material and even if they had been, such stuff is impossible to refute, slippery as it is. Worse, Red smearing based on such impressions could remain in someone’s official records for years, decades, and later be used against them-all without any foundation in fact, or at least without substantiation. Innuendo was good enough. For example, Sam Kluchnik of Winnipeg was reported for deportation by J. D. Fraser, Superintendent of the City of Winnipeg Relief Department in June 1932. His experiences in Canada were typical of many relief cases. He had entered as a farmworker, in 1928, but quit in disgust at the wages (seventy-five cents a day). In the ensuing years he worked seasonally in railway construction. More often than not unemployed, he lived “on the charity of friends” through most of 1930 and 1931. By October 1931 he was sufficiently desperate to apply for relief, and when the deportation complaint was recorded he had received a total of $101.50 in beds, meals, and clothing, in exchange for which he had worked a number of weeks on the Grassmere Ditch.

46At his deportation hearing he said quite clearly that he was prepared to accept any kind of work, including farm work; he hoped to be hired for the harvest. He was ordered deported as a public charge, an order which he appealed. The regional Immigration official prepared a memo concerning the appeal, to be used by Ottawa in the ruling. In the memo, another reason for the ruling appears. Kluchnik’s appeal should be dismissed:

There is a memorandum in my file from the Chairman of the Board of Inquiry in this case, stating that at the time of the Board, the appellant was surly and gave the impression of one who belonged to one of the “Red” organizations of this country, although he denied this. The Chairman of the Board is of the opinion that Canada would be well rid of the appellant.

47The next step in the proceeding was to have the steamship company pay the costs of the deportation. If an immigrant were proven defective, the transportation company which had brought the immigrant to Canada would also be responsible for removing him. In the case of Kluchnik, the Department letter to the company displayed careful use of the opinion of the Chairman of the Board of Inquiry, and was an excellent example of distorted and fabricated evidence. It was based on an internal memo to the Commissioner of Immigration and the Deputy Minister, claiming that Kluchnik had admitted that he

had not fulfilled the conditions of entry to Canada and apparently has no intentions of doing so. While he claims to be anxious to remain in this country he does not desire to take farm work and in the opinion of the examining officer he is a surly individual and gave the impression of being a Red although he denies this.

48To the steamship company, Commissioner Jolliffe wrote that Kluchnik “refuses to accept farm work”. The transcript of the Board of Inquiry reveals that Kluchnik made no such statements nor could anything he said be so interpreted.

  • 34 See Roberts, “Shovelling Out the Unemployed,” for a discussion of reaction to the deportation of t (...)

49Sam Kluchnik’s deportation was not effected; by the time that the order got back to Winnipeg, he had found farm work. He was lucky; there had been such an outcry against deporting the unemployed that the Department had begun suspending deportation orders against those who had been on the dole but had found work by the time that their orders were ready. Had they again gone on relief, the orders would have been activated and carried out; otherwise they remained suspended.34

  • 35 All information from File 530021, “Kluchnik, Sam, Undesirable, Winnipeg, 1932-52”; includes Board (...)

50Kluchnik was under suspended sentence of deportation for more than twenty years. In December 1949 he hired a Winnipeg law firm to try to obtain his passport. The Department of Immigration investigated the request. Their records show that since 1932 Kluchnik had worked in farming, construction, and finally had gone into mining. By 1949 he had a family, owned a home and other property, and had savings. The local Immigration official declared himself ready to quash the outstanding deportation order, but the RCMP demurred. In a confidential memo, Special Branch replied, “We have no alternative but to say that he is’not clear for security’ on the grounds of ’A’”. On this basis, the Department of Immigration decided to retain the deportation order, although Kluchnik had never done anything to warrant its use.35

  • 36 File 513116, memo, Immigration to RCMP, 24 November 1931; Secretary of State to Commissioner of Im (...)

51The federal authorities had a heyday in 1932. The previous autumn they had undertaken preparations for another showcase raid of communist functionaries. Internal documents show names of prospective targets whose arrival dates were to be verified; lists of naturalized citizens, some of whom might have their certificates revoked; and a sampling of warrants issued for arrests. Immigration records are scattered and incomplete, but there is sufficient evidence from a number of sources to piece together an account of the events.36

52In February 1932 the appeal court decision in the Buck et al. cases gave the green light. Now it was legally established that the only evidence needed for deportation on political grounds was to prove that the immigrant was a member of some communist organization. A conviction under Section 98 or any other section of the Criminal Code was handy but no longer necessary. Deportation had never depended solely on conviction in a court of law; now it was even simpler.

  • 37 File 513111, warrant to search Dan Chomicki’s residence.

53On May Day 1932 the authorities swooped down on eleven radicals in Montreal, Oshawa, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Offices, homes, and persons were searched for evidence of communist affiliation.37 All arrested were kept incommunicado and quickly sent to Halifax for deportation hearings. The swift removal to Halifax was intended to avoid public outcry, prevent any effective defence, and effect swift deportations. The tactic had been a clever choice.

  • 38 House of Commons Debates, 6 May 1932, pp. 2658-9.

54As details of the proceedings became known, there were widespread protests. There was good reason. Questioning of the Immigration Minister in the House by Woodsworth and others revealed an arbitrariness and disregard for due process all too typical of deportation methods. Gordon evaded questions concerning the nature of the charges and the whereabouts, date, and nature of the hearings. Cornered, he excused the hurried removal of the men by saying that when immigration officials were sure that an immigrant was illegally in the country, they frequently chose the “nearest most convenient port” for deportation as the site of the hearing.38

55Feeble on the face of it, subsequent revelations suggested that Gordon was trying to cover up star chamber tactics. Three men had been arrested in Winnipeg: one, Orton Wade, had been taken to jail after speaking at a May Day rally. He was visited the next day by a CLDL lawyer who then demanded (and was promised) a look at the order for arrest. Instead, RCMP Inspector Mellow stood up the lawyer and put the handcuffed men on the train for Halifax. What made all this more than just awkward was that Wade was a Canadian citizen by birth, under no circumstances deportable, and not accountable to the Department of Immigration for any reason. The Department had not done its homework.

56Wade was not released until after his hearing with the Board of Inquiry in Halifax. He sued the Deputy Minister and others for false arrest and imprisonment. His case was dismissed by Winnipeg’s Court of Queen’s Bench, but heard by the Manitoba Court of Appeal. Wade lost the case by a narrow three to two decision, one judge ruling against him solely on a technicality.

57The hearing produced a number of scandalous revelations for which the Department was roundly criticized by the Bench and the public. For example, Deputy Minister Egan had signed the warrant for Wade’s arrest five months before it was used, but had made no effort to verify that Wade was subject to Immigration’s authority. Nor did he think it reasonable to do so. If the Department verified particulars before issuing warrants, it would never get its work done, he said. The court was willing to agree that although the Department had acted improperly in failing to verify Wade’s status, it may have had some justification in arresting him because Wade had previously told a police official that he had been born in the United States. But Wade’s treatment after arrest “amounted to a denial of justice... actuated by motives which are not permitted by the law,” said Justice Dennistoun. Further, even if Wade had been deportable, there was no excuse for his removal from Winnipeg (close to the U.S. border, thus the nearest port for his deportation) to Halifax. Justice Trueman compared the Department’s conduct to “parallel high handed proceedings” of 1667 when Clarendon shipped off various of his opponents to islands and other remote outposts so that they could not have the protection of the law.

58Egan’s response was as revealing as his apparent imperturbability. He defended the Department’s actions on the grounds that these were perfectly routine and normal procedures used in a “great number” of instances. Thus, if there were anything wrong in the Wade case, by implication, it was wrong in most deportation cases. And indeed it was. A victory for Wade would have put a serious crimp in the Department’s activities.

  • 39 Account taken from Frank Scott, “Immigration Act: False Arrest, Ilegal Treatment of Arrested Perso (...)

59Orton Wade succeeded only because he was Canadian-born. The remaining ten prisoners taken in May 1932 had little chance to escape deportation. There were as yet few constraints on the Department. The ten were a diverse lot, fairly representative of men in the Party. Typical, too, was the handling of their cases by the Department. At their Boards of Inquiry, held within a few days of their arrival, all ten denied that they were currently Communist Party members (the Party no longer existed, they said) or that they advocated the use of force or violence to overthrow the government. The Department depended on Sergeant Leopold’s testimony to dispute both claims. All were members of communist affiliated organizations; all were subject to Party discipline. If Party policy advocated force or overthrow by violence, their individual beliefs were unimportant.39

60Whatever else might be said of these men, the outlines of their activities contained in Departmental records show them to have been phenomenally energetic. Each was involved in numerous organizations. The Department’s distaste for them and their ilk was hardly concealed; the more active the man, the more the Department urged his deportation.

  • 40 The Halifax Agent pointed out the danger of using only Section 41 in such cases, suggesting that S (...)

61Conrad Cessinger was German, single, aged thirty-one, and in Canada since August 1927. He did farming and bush work, and was active in a plethora of ethnic and other Party organizations, and on the executive of several. He was deported 18 December 1932. Dan Chomicki, a Pole who used the name Holmes, was thirty-four, married, and the father of one child; he had come to Canada with his parents from Austria in June 1913. He was a printer, and had worked for eleven years for the publisher of Ukrainian Labor News, Working Women, Farmers Life, and Militant Youth Magazine. Although it was awkward to deport him when he had been here since childhood, and all his relations were in Canada (his wife and child were Canadian-born), nonetheless the Department saw him as a leader “of a particularly dangerous type... entitled to no consideration whatsoever.” He received none and was deported 17 December 1932.40

  • 41 File 513057, Memo on Sembaj, 10 May 1932. The spy was Secret Agent #125 J. M. Tatko.

62From Edmonton, Iwan Sembaj (John Semboy) had been arrested. He was then forty, born in Poland and claimed U.S.S.R. citizenship, and had been in Canada since 1923. He was married with Canadian-born children. He had done farm work for a short time, joined the Ukrainian Labor Farmer Temple, and had become a member of the executive. He was also active in the CLDL and other organizations. A Mountie spy in the Ukrainian Labor Farmer Temple Association (ULFTA) had reported that Sembaj had made “radical utterances” at meetings, and had advocated the establishment by force and violence of a Soviet-type government in Canada. He was regarded as a “more cultured type than average” and more dangerous for it. He was deported 16 July 1933.41

  • 42 File 513057, Munroe to Jolliffe, 16 May 1932.

63John Farkas was thirty when he was arrested in Oshawa. Single, he had come from Hungary in 1926 as a farmworker. He tried farming for less than six months and then headed for the city. He went from Toronto to Oshawa, where he remained after February 1928. He was involved with the CLDL, the Unemployed Workers Association, and various ethnic groups. When raided he had in his possession literature of an “extremely radical nature, revolutionary in its teachings and distinctly Communistic in its expression.” He had “caused considerable trouble in Oshawa due to his radical tendencies and his active participation in various demonstrations there,” and the OPP were eager to remove him. So was the Immigration Department; they deported him in December 1932.42

  • 43 File 513057, Munroe to Jolliffe, 14 May 1932.

64Martin Parker (Pohjansalo) was only twenty-two, but a threat to the security of the state, nonetheless. He had come to Toronto with his parents in 1913. Since 1928 he had been involved with Vapaus in Sudbury, and when arrested, he was associate editor. He was also active in the Finnish Organization of Canada. At his Board of Inquiry, while he denied advocating violence, he admitted that he thought a revolution was inevitable, and that the masses might retaliate if the bourgeoisie used violence against them. Immigration was impressed with his intelligence (of a “higher standard than average”) and was keenly committed to his deportation. He left with his colleagues on the 17th of December 1932.43

  • 44 Canadian Forum, February 1934, p. 165; File 513057, 13 May 1932.

65Hans Kist was also young. At twenty-seven, he was married (common-law) and had lived in Vancouver since deserting his ship in May 1930. He was charged with entry without inspection (Section 33, subsection 7) as well as under Section 41. He had been active in a strike at Fraser Mills and in several unemployed organizations. Immigration had a good deal to say about him: obviously he had stepped on some toes. He was “saturated with Communist beliefs and revolutionary ideas of a particularly virulent nature... a thoroughgoing troublemaker” with “no respect for the law”: a “dangerous type.” He was deported in December 1932 and died a few years later after being tortured in a Nazi concentration camp.44

  • 45 For earlier details on Vaara’s “criminal” activities, see File 513116, passim; Betcherman, Band, p (...)

66Arvo Vaara was an old hand at this sort of thing. Aged forty-one, single, he had immigrated in 1909 and settled in Sudbury. He had previous brushes with the authorities: he had been rejected at the border in 1928, and admitted only after J. S. Woodsworth and others intervened. In December 1928 he was convicted of seditious libel for publishing an editorial which expressed indifference about the possibility that the King might die from an illness he was currently suffering. His appeal failed and he was in prison until August 1929. He was in trouble soon after his return to Sudbury, where he was editor of Vapaus and a stalwart of the Finnish Organization of Canada. In 1931 he was arrested for a May Day demonstration and various free speech activities; the authorities kept tabs on Vapaus and accumulated other articles that they thought might be seditious. Vaara was adjudged to be a “particularly clever individual... particularly dangerous. He is a menace to Canada and to the existing economic and governmental structure of this country.” He was deported 17 December 1932.45

  • 46 File 513057, Memo, Halifax Inspector in Charge to Commissioner, 26 May 1932.

67John (Toivo) Stahlberg (aged forty, married to a Finnish citizen), was born in Finland and had come to Canada in 1910, but had gone on to the United States where he had worked for ten years and acquired citizenship in 1917. He was a trained blacksmith, but after his return to Canada he worked as a steamship agent and as business manager for Vapaus. He was also involved in the Finnish Organization. He was deported to the United States in December 1932.46

  • 47 File 513057, Munroe to Jolliffe, 25 May 1932.

68Gottfried Zurcher, a Swiss citizen (thirty-two years of age), had been in Canada since September 1927. After working on a friend’s farm for nearly a year, he became a welder in Winnipeg. He eventually settled in Vancouver. Active in the Communist Party from his early months in the country, at the time of his arrest he was Secretary of the CLDL. In addition to Sergeant Leopold’s testimony, the Department used the testimony of two Mountie spies who had witnessed Zurcher’s speeches and activities at various meetings and demonstrations. In particular, Constable Upton had been a fellow member of the Vancouver branch of the National Unemployed Workers Association. Immigration and the Mounties regarded Zurcher as an “active and dangerous” communist. He and his wife (who had come from Switzerland to marry him in 1928) were ordered deported, and departed 1 January 1933.47

  • 48 File 513057, 6 May 1932.

69By comparison, Stefan Worozcyt of Montreal was small potatoes. Single, aged thirty, he had come in 1926 as a farm worker through the CPR, to a job in the West. Instead, he went to Hamilton and next to Montreal where, at the time of his arrest, he worked as a window cleaner. He was involved in the ULFTA, CLDL and Ukrainian patriotic associations (Society for Assisting the Liberation Movement in Western Ukraine). Although he was not high up in the Party, and “possibly of a lower grade of intelligence” than the leaders (in the view of the Department), he was still a prime candidate for deportation. The Department saw two reasons to deport him: he had “failed to comply with the conditions of entry when he came to Canada” by skipping out on farm work, and he had “obviously associated himself with a class who are a menace to the accepted government structure and institutions here.” He was deported 23 January 1933.48

70Although the Department preferred that the Halifax Ten (as they came to be known) never saw the inside of a courtroom, the CLDL did its best to get the case into the courts. Their first attempt failed: the Nova Scotia court under Justice Carroll refused to consider an application for habeas corpus under the provisions of the Liberty of Subjects Act of Nova Scotia. The CLDL appealed this refusal and got a hearing before Acting Chief Justice Renfret and his colleagues in the Supreme Court in October 1932. Technically, the issue was the lower court’s refusal to hear the habeas corpus application, but the Ten’s attorneys challenged the validity of the entire deportation proceedings.

71The discussion centred on the issue of the Supreme Court’s authority to review the evidence considered by the Boards of Inquiry. The men’s lawyers argued that due process had not been followed, that “full particulars” of the charges (as required by the Immigration Act) had not been given, and thus the arrests and hearings were unfounded. Moreover, the charges were so vague that the men did not know of what unlawful actions they had been convicted. Besides which, the applicants had been charged with advocating the overthrow by force or violence, and their advocacy had not been proven.

  • 49 RG 26 Vol. 172 File 3-10-111, “Communist name cases... Robinson, Reid, Carr etc.,” Memo from V. J. (...)

72The Justices accepted the argument that “full particulars” had not been given. They were not swayed by most of the points put forward by the Department of Immigration’s lawyer who claimed that: it was too late to challenge the validity of the composition or activities of the Boards of Inquiry; a provincial tribunal could not judge the activities of a federal tribunal or question the extent and nature of the powers of the Minister of Immigration in relation to the cases under consideration. But in the end, in November 1932, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. The Minister of Immigration did the same in December.49 Despite much agitation and a veritable flood of letters, petitions, telegrams and other documents attempting to avert the deportations or alter the destinations, as soon as arrangements for documents and transportation were completed, the men were shipped out.

  • 50 For the CLD see Petryshyn, “Class Conflict” and “Bennett”; see also Rodney, “Soldiers,” p. 122.

73The most important source of protests against the deportation of radicals in the 1930s was the Canadian Labor Defense League.50 It was a Communist Party front, established to raise funds in aid of striking miners and their families in the mid-1920s. It was modelled on International Red Aid which carried out diverse support activities, including supplying fake passports and safe passage to the U.S.S.R. for radicals who were being deported to unsafe countries. With the intensification of political repression in the late 1920s, the League refocused its activities from fund raising to organizing protests and providing legal defense for arrested radicals. It defended eighty-eight Toronto cases alone between January 1929 and February 1930. In 1930 the CLDL began a major membership and fundraising drive to increase its skimpy resources. It was heavily dependent on its 130-odd branches, most of whose members were non-British in origin. The Finnish and Ukrainian organizations were particularly important. By 1930, deportation of the unemployed and of radicals were the major issues with which the League was dealing. After 1931, as the authorities increased their crackdowns on the communists, the CLDL began to campaign for the repeal of Section 98 and the reform or abolition of deportation procedures.

  • 51 Buck, Yours, pp. 162-4 and Betcherman, Band, p. 177.

74The campaign for repeal was played out against a background of intense anti-radical paranoia. Anyone speaking out against persecution of radicals risked being labelled a communist. In some cities, more than a label was at stake. In Toronto, for example, businesses stood to lose their licenses if they allowed communists to use their premises. The men and women going bail for Buck et al. in 1931 risked losing everything they had put up if Buck et al. were convicted, as Section 98 provided for the seizure of property of communists, and large fines. Anyone willing to put up bail was a de facto communist.51

  • 52 Horn, “Free Speech”. Several of the founders of the League for Social Reconstruction, which arose (...)

75Not everyone was intimidated by such a climate. Although most of the protest generated by the League was from communist affiliated organizations, a good part of it was not, especially on two issues. The first was the free speech issue in Toronto. When the city police moved from communist-bashing to an attack on the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a religiously based liberal group of pacifistic leanings, the respectable middle classes were affected and a certain measure of indignation was aroused. When sixty-eight professors from the University of Toronto took on the redbaiters, the ensuing furor at least had the effect of showing the importance of the free speech issue as a civil liberties question of much broader importance than the quashing of radical dissent and disorder.52

  • 53 McNaught, Prophet, pp. 242-5. Woodsworth did not support the CLDL; not surprising given CP attacks (...)

76The second and more significant instance of broad support for a CLDL campaign was that for repeal of Section 98. Mainstream farm, labour, church and social groups worked for repeal. J. S. Woodsworth, who had opposed Section 98 from its passage (as Sections 97A and 97B) in 1919, made numerous attempts in the Commons to have it repealed or revised. Eventually Mackenzie King agreed to support repeal and when he was elected in 1935, he repealed Section 98 the following year.53

  • 54 Ryan, Deported!; the pamphlet discusses several specific cases, providing some details not given i (...)

77Among its many activities the League published a pamphlet entitled Deported! which contained a succinct and accurate analysis of the activities of the government in deporting radicals, activists and the unemployed.54 The adjectives may have been extreme, but the League’s understanding of the mechanisms and purposes of deportation was quite sound:

The Immigration Act as a whole is essentially a legal carte-blanche for the brazen skin-game of importing labor, using this labor as a lever against both the native Canadian and the imported labor itself, forcing every possible dollar of profit out of it and throwing it on the scrapheap, ready for deportation.

  • 55 Contrast this view to Donald Avery’s discussion of the existence of a hidden system of importing i (...)

78Oscar Ryan, the author of Deported!, compared Section 98 of the Criminal Code with Section 41 of the Immigration Act, pointing out the essential sameness of the offences described in each. Except for the critical flavour of his description, that section of the pamphlet could have been taken from a Departmental memo describing the legislation. Ryan concluded that it was easier for authorities to rely on Section 41 for political deportations, because such a procedure “dispenses with the bother of a formal Section 98 charge and the routine of court procedure.”55 This was in fact a view shared by authorities.

79The CLDL claimed that large-scale protest could stop deportation of activists – at least in some cases. Ryan described the case of Dan Malone as an inspiring example of what could be done. According to an account in the Canadian Labor Defender, Malone, his wife, and several others were driving to a meeting in Ottawa when they were stopped by the RCMP brandishing guns. After allegedly attempting to plant a gun on Malone (the planter admitted at the scene that it was his own gun, said the CLDL; the account was confused), the RCMP searched and eventually released all the travellers. Five days later, two officers from the notorious Toronto Red Squad arrested Malone, charged him with vagrancy and accused him of being an IRA terrorist. The CLDL organized mass protests. In the next few days the police case did not advance, and on 8 August Malone went to court on vagrancy charges alone. Although the papers of 5 August had reported that the RCMP had ordered Malone’s arrest in relation to a plot to assassinate J. H. Thomas, a British delegate to the Imperial Conference, the Toronto police did not lay any such charges. Before Malone went to trial, it was announced by the Department of immigration that Malone would be deported as a public charge: he was unemployed and had received some relief money.

  • 56 CLD, September 1932; Ryan, Deported!, p. 12; for evidence that deporting radicals as public charge (...)

80Meanwhile the CLDL was publicizing the cases as widely as possible and organizing protests. On 12 August the League claimed that it had found a stool pigeon called Kusack, who had been responsible for initiating the accusations of terrorism (no motive was suggested). Malone went to trial 13 August, and the vagrancy charges were dropped. He was free, insofar as the criminal justice system was concerned, but still under threat of deportation. The next day a large meeting was held at the Labor Temple to protest his deportation, and on 18 August the Department announced that his deportation “would not be effected”.56

  • 57 Petryshyn, “Bennett”, pp. 46-52, and “Class Conflict”, p. 63.

81On the face of it, the protests had influenced the course of events. By the summer of 1932, the CLDL had become an old hand at protests. But just how effective were they? Did the CLDL succeed in more than a few scattered cases? Certainly it was active. It got thousands, tens, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions; it got hundreds and thousands of letters and resolutions against deportation sent to the government over the years. It provided legal defence for many hundreds of court cases, and sometimes – when the cases were shaky, the actions of the authorities particularly unconscionable, the defendants clearly victimised, and the judge fair – the defence was successful. Noisy publicity about unsavoury practices by the authorities was awkward; protests probably helped in some circumstances. Petryshyn, who certainly knows more about the CLDL than anyone who was not a participant in the organization, believes the CLDL was an effective force in at least slowing down the deportations.57

82The files of the Department of Immigration tell a different story. The Department was eager to avoid informed criticism by the public, press, politicians or the courts – partly because its practices were often illegal or at least unpalatable and would not stand scrutiny. Fortunately for the Department, few people ever understood that deportation procedures violated cherished traditions of British justice and fair play. Those who realized this were rarely powerful enough to bring about more than cosmetic changes. Fear of publicity aside, when Departmental officials were assured that they had the support of the government, the public could go whistle, and especially the radical public. This is quite evident in the Department’ֹs response to substantial protest against the deportation of communists. Tomo Cacic’s case is a good example.

  • 58 On Cacic, see Rasporich, “Tomo Cacic”, passim; case records on File 513173-2. Also see Rasporich, (...)

83Cacic was not a big fish. He was only picked up in the 1931 raids by chance. He had spent many years in North America, had worked seasonally in the United States and in British Columbia for several years before and during the First World War, and then had returned home to Yugoslavia. After a spell in jail for his political activities, he came to Canada as an immigrant in 1924. He had not applied for Canadian citizenship (and probably would not have been granted it, in any case). At the time of his arrest he had just returned to Toronto from an organizing trip through Sudbury, Timmins, and Kirkland Lake. He worked primarily in unions and ethnic organizations for the Party. On 12 August, he was at the Workers Unity League office arranging to have some pamphlets shipped, when the police burst in.58

  • 59 See File 513109, memo from Assistant Commissioner to Jolliffe, 27 August 1932:“You will remember t (...)

84His deportation hearing was held early in 1933 at the Kingston Penitentiary by a one-man Board of Inquiry. Officer Reynolds acted under strict instruction by his superiors, who foresaw weaknesses in the case and wanted to avoid problems. Cacic had been in Canada long enough to acquire domicile; Reynolds was to be sure to establish that Section 41 nevertheless applied because as a member of the “prohibited or undesirable classes within the meaning of Section 41 [Cacic was not] capable of acquiring Canadian domicile.”59

  • 60 See ibid., Fall 1933 passim.

85As Cacic’s deportation date grew closer, his case was made a focus of protest. Radical groups from all over the country sent in resolutions, petitions, letters, and telegrams, urging the government to cancel the order, or failing that, to change Cacic’s destination. By the fall of 1933, there was a furor over the conditions of Cacic’s imprisonment (which were unusually punitive, if the records can be believed), as well as his imminent deportation.60

  • 61 Ibid., Minister of Immigration Gordon to Jolliffe, 15 November 1933; Yugoslav Consul General, Mont (...)

86Protests were futile. Not only the bureaucrats but also the politicians – including the Prime Minister – were determined that Cacic’s deportation would be carried out. Just as the protests were heating up, the Yugoslav Consul wrote to the Department of Immigration: “As one of the leaders of the Communist Party in Canada and... of very dangerous influence upon our nationals in this country, this Royal Consul would appreciate very much if you would proceed with his deportation.” Such requests were treated seriously by the Department (while protests against the deportation of public charges by other consuls often were not). A Departmental official wrote and twice underlined “VERY IMPORTANT”, in red ink, upon the consul’s letter. The Department’s reply was reassuring: a number of protests had been received but “it is not our intention to favourably entertain these requests. The Department fully appreciates your desire to have Cacic removed on account of his very dangerous influence upon his fellow-countrymen in Canada.”61

87Although the Department was determined not to accede to demands to cancel Cacic’s deportation, there were a number of practical problems to be solved. The Department frequently could not arrange to collect prisoners on the day of their release and to take them to a port for deportation. The usual solution was to detain them (illegally) in the prison until shipping arrangements could be made. This avoided the bother of timing a re-arrest by Immigration officials, and lessened the pressures on the Department’s already-overcrowded detention facilities. Of course there were protests against such practices, but the Department had decided that it could usually afford to ignore them.

  • 62 Ibid., to Minister of Justice, 10 November 1933. See also N. Dreisziger et al., Struggle and Hope. (...)

88When the stream of protests became a flood and Cacic’s case threatened to become a cause célèbre, the Department could no longer carry out business as usual. The publicity would do its reputation no good, and by late 1933 it was already under fire for its deportation activities. When the Hungarian Workers’ Club wired that it was determined to “free Cacic and stop his deportation,” the implied threat was the last straw.62 The Department was caught between two unpleasant alternatives. Holding Cacic past his release time might invite court intervention and rescue by legal means. Releasing him might make it possible for some sort of homegrown Red Aid attempt to smuggle Cacic to safety, to secrete him who-knew-where.

  • 63 File 513173-2, Gordon to Jolliffe, 15 November 1933.

89There was pressure from the Prime Minister. Bennett had been at Minister of Justice Guthrie after Guthrie received the threatening telegram. Guthrie in turn sent an alarm to Gordon at Immigration who passed on the substance of Guthrie’s memo to Commissioner of Immigration Jolliffe. Identifying Cacic only as “one of the Tim Buck crowd,” Guthrie had said, “I do not know this chap’s name but the Prime Minister made it clear that he desired great care taken in connection with the holding of the Board on this man to see that it is conducted strictly in accordance with the law.” Gordon told Jolliffe to have the Department of Justice go over each step of the case to be sure it was legal, so that there would be no repetition of a “previous unfortunate case” where the government had bungled a deportation and the prisoner had been released.63

  • 64 Ibid., Jolliffe to Guthrie, 14 November 1933, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration, Memo for file (...)

90Jolliffe wrote reassuringly to Guthrie. Radical elements might indeed “seek to obstruct the process of law by legal action or other methods which may tend to cause embarrassment.” Immigration would take “every precaution... tending to ensure of his safe delivery.” The Assistant Commissioner of Immigration would personally oversee sailing arrangements.64

  • 65 Ibid., Acting Deputy Minister of Justice to Immigration, 2 December 1933.

91Not too surprisingly, Justice found that the case was shaky. The only evidence given at the Board of Inquiry that Cacic had advocated the overthrow of government by force was his conviction under Section 98 of the Criminal Code of being a member and officer of an unlawful association. If a habeas corpus application were made, likely the court would hold that this was “not evidence of the conduct described in Section 41 of the Immigration Act, which renders the immigrant undesirable.” Justice suggested holding a second Board of Inquiry with a fresh complaint and a new Ministerial Order, and adding to the evidence a certified copy of the transcript of Cacic’s court trial. The trial evidence would probably satisfy the requirements of Section 41 and safeguard the Department from the courts.65

  • 66 Ibid., 5 December 1933, 11 December 1933; transcript of Board of Inquiry, December 14-18 1933.

92A new Board of Inquiry was held, following procedures carefully specified by high-level Justice and Immigration officials. Nothing was left to chance. Sergeant Leopold was brought in as a witness to repeat his testimony that, regardless of Cacic’s personal views, as a Party member he was committed to carry out Party policy supporting the overthrow of government by violence. As the hearing continued, Leopold’s testimony broke through Cacic’s resignation. Defending the ethnic organizations as teachers of “geography and the everyday life of Canada to... illiterate immigrants,” Cacic burst out at Leopold, “You are a paid agent who appeared in court against myself and comrades, swore their life, through nothing else but reading pamphlets and trying to establish a Red scare. I really do not expect anything else from you.”66

  • 67 Ibid., Guthrie to Jolliffe, 10 December 1933. One wonders if Immigration would have reacted as ner (...)

93As far as the authorities were concerned, everything was now ready. They geared up for final arrangements. Guthrie wrote privately to the Commissioner of Immigration to make sure that everything was properly arranged. None of the casual illegalities so much a part of deportation must be permitted for Cacic. Guthrie told Jolliffe to “take such steps as may be necessary to take charge of him upon his release. In my judgement it will not be possible to hold this man in the penitentiary after the [end of his sentence].... This letter is for personal information and not for your fyles.”67

  • 68 In his first Board of Inquiry, he had stated he would not appeal; he saw it as an expensive and us (...)

94Cacic appealed. The Department reluctantly decided to release relevant documents to Cacic’s CLDL lawyer on an eyes-only basis. Justice had carefully double-checked the second Board of Inquiry, so that Immigration had little to fear about the outcome of the appeal.68

  • 69 Ibid., Onie Brown to Minister of Immigration, 19 December 1933; Stewart Edwards to General Ormond, (...)

95Cacic’s lawyer was afraid that his client would be hastily removed from prison and deported. He need not have worried. Justice had cards up its sleeve. Cacic was to serve every single day of his sentence – none of the usual time off for good behaviour. Further, it might be possible to hold him beyond the late December expiry date until the first of March 1934, under Section 72 of the Penitentiaries Act which provided that a convict could request to stay in jail from December to the end of February.69 How Cacic would be induced to make such a request was not discussed.

  • 70 Ibid., passim, December 1933; Assistant Commissioner Munroe to Deportation Officer Howell, 22 Dece (...)

96While Justice plotted and Cacic’s fellows protested his imminent deportation (to prison or death, they feared), the Department methodically arranged for Cacic’s shipment. The day after the appeal was refused, all procedures were in place. Deportation Officers Howell and Souillard would pick up Cacic, take him on the train from Brockville, Ontario (“take great care to avoid publicity,” the Officers were told) to a remote stop in Quebec, where they would be met by car and driven to a police station to wait for the Halifax train. At Halifax they would take him directly to the Immigration Inspector-in-Charge who would oversee boarding the ship. Ordering the officers to take the “greatest care... overlook no details,” their superiors made it clear that this case must go off perfectly. “It is absolutely essential that the law should take its course in this particular instance.”70

  • 71 Ibid., David Goldstick, CLDL lawyer, to Gordon, 25 December 1933; see also Ottawa Citizen, 28 Dece (...)

97Far from masterminding a rescue plan, the CLDL almost missed its chance to make a last-ditch legal plea; they only indirectly learned that Cacic was about to be taken East. By now the CLDL was resigned to Cacic’s deportation. Now their tactic was to try for a change of destination. If they could get him to the U.S.S.R., he would be safe. The CLDL and Department lawyers fought it out in the Halifax courts. Justice Doull refused habeas corpus; so did the Full Court on appeal. The Montcalm sailed at 4:30 a.m. New Year’s Day, 1934 with Tomo Cacic aboard.71

  • 72 File 95027, Starnes to Jolliffe, 15 August 1930. See also Becky Buhay, “Bennett’s Answer to the Un (...)

98Did the Department believe that it was sending him to his death? Probably not, but it seems unlikely that Immigration officials truly had no idea that radicals deported to their native countries might be in danger. Even if Immigration officials rejected as excessive the alarms raised by the left (and there were thousands of these warnings), they had information from more palatable sources. For instance, in 1930, Commissioner Cortlandt Starnes of the RCMP, a much-relied upon and consistent source of information on the Red menace, passed on reports from a British source that a “fascist” takeover in Finland featured persecution of communists.72

  • 73 Irving Abella and Harold Troper, None is Too Many. Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948, Toron (...)

99The man who usually made crucial Immigration decisions (then instructed the Minister, as well as his own subordinates) was the type who allowed his head to rule his heart. Frederick Blair had joined the Department by the turn of the century; in 1905 he became an Immigration officer and moved up rapidly. After a spell as Secretary, he became Acting Deputy Minister, and in 1936, Director (equivalent to Deputy Minister in rank). He was a wonderful bureaucrat, which was particularly easy because he had determined most of the rules under which he operated. He was anti-Semitic, anti-radical, anti-East Indian, anti-Eastern European, and anti-Southern European – a typical churchgoing English-Canadian civil servant, exemplifying much of the worst of Canadian society of the time. It was Blair who played a major part in refusing entry to and deporting Polish Jews around 1920, and who held the line (even in the face of occasional rebellions by his Minister) against European Jewish refugees in the late 1930s, even after he began to realize that they were going to be killed in Europe.73 Blair was perfectly capable of knowingly deporting communists to prisons or worse.

  • 74 File 513057, 1 December 1932, 3 December 1932; Immigration to RCMP, 15 December 1932.

100It was not just Blair. Discussions of this issue in the files of the Department reveal a punitive attitude. Assistant Commissioner Munroe commented to RCMP Director of Intelligence Charles Hamilton that he hoped deported radicals would “appreciate the laws and conditions which prevail [in their own countries] better than those which we have in Canada and which they decry so violently.” The RCMP Commissioner wrote Jolliffe about two Yugoslav radicals who had escaped in Germany during their deportation, picked up clothes and false passports, and fled to the U.S.S.R. If they had gone to Yugoslavia, it would have meant their deaths, said Starnes. The response of Immigration was to tighten up procedures to prevent more escapes.74

  • 75 Ibid., Minister Gordon to CLDL, 17 December 1932. A. Upton, The Communist Parties of Scandinavia a (...)

101Publicly the Department denied that there were any risks. Concerning an “alleged danger to those men following deportation,” it wired the CLDL, “they will unquestionably have the full protection of the laws of their native countries to which they are being returned.” During December 1932 when arrangements for the deportation of the Halifax Ten were being completed, there were massive protests sent to the Department about the dangers awaiting the men in native countries now under repressive governments. Arvo Vaara and Martin Parker, for example, were to be sent back to Finland, where the Whites had been in power for more than a decade (which they had initiated with concentration camps and executions for Reds) and were busily carrying out antiradical campaigns of their own through the agency of fascist thugs. Immediately after receiving strong warnings of dangers to Vaara and Parker in Finland, and pleas to let them go to the Soviet Union instead, the Department ordered extra guards and arranged particularly tight security to ensure their delivery to Finland. Perhaps the best that can be said about the Department officials is that they did not take the warnings seriously, even those given by the RCMP. They hid behind the law, which said that deportation sent immigrants back whence they came; if there was any reluctance in this choice, it is not evident in the records. As Guthrie said about the protests, he received too many to acknowledge. “I merely hand them over to the Mounted Police in order that a record may be kept of the names and addresses of the people who sign them and I make this statement so that the petitioners may know what I do with them.”75

102What is evident, and perhaps more to the point, is the importance of links to overseas security organizations. If overseas governments were anti-communist (and this was characteristic of fascist and pro-fascist governments in Europe), then their law enforcement agencies would treat communists as enemies of the state; appropriate information would be shared with fellow law enforcement organizations, usually through diplomatic channels. Canada was especially reliant upon the British who were only too happy to co-operate with anti-communist authorities in Europe.

  • 76 File 95027, Starnes to Deputy Minister of Immigration, 22 November 1926; 31 July 1928.

103There are many examples of the Department of Immigration being fed such information. In 1926, before the extreme crackdowns in Finland, a communist newspaper celebrated its third anniversary by printing congratulatory messages from a number of Canadian Finns, whose names and addresses were published. A copy of it was sent to Commissioner Starnes of the RCMP who sent it to the Deputy Minister of Immigration for action. As the Finnish government stepped up its anti-communist activities, the RCMP was kept informed. In 1928 it passed on a list of communists purged by the government, obtained from a confidential source; later, photographs were sent and distributed to Immigration officers, in case any fugitives sought refuge in Canada.76

  • 77 Ibid., Commissioner of Immigration to Commissioner of RCMP, 29 January 1932; Commissioner of Immig (...)

104Acting on another RCMP tip in 1932, Immigration told its agents to “closely examine” persons returning from Russia, “irrespective of the documents they present in the nature of passports or citizenship papers.” (Canadian citizens were by law not subject to re-entry examination. Once Immigration determined they were citizens, it had no legal right to examine them.) In 1934, the Department issued a general order to be on guard for Canadian Finns who had “confessed” to the Finnish police that they were spies for Russia. in fact, these people had fled the dreadful conditions of Karelia, a Finnish socialist colony in Russia. The source of the report on the “spies” was the British Consul in Helsinki, whose report was forwarded by the British government to Canadian authorities.77 The validity of such information, or the conditions under which it was obtained, are nowhere questioned.

  • 78 File 961162, RCMP to Immigration, 21 August 1933, for example; Immigration Branch, Home Office, U. (...)

105Similarly, the RCMP regularly sent on the Immigration secret circulars from the Home Office consisting of a series of cards giving the name, date of arrival in the United Kingdom, and passport details of various radicals. British Immigration also communicated directly with its Canadian counterpart, sending on its “suspect index” of people to be rejected or detained. This information was considered to be sufficiently confidential to order previous editions burned upon receipt of updated editions.78

106American sources were also utilized. Canadian authorities kept abreast of U.S. crackdowns on Reds, of course. As well, Canadian Immigration regularly received a “lookout list” for American “Reds” who had been active in “riots” and the like-in other words, had been involved in organizing workers or the unemployed, free speech movements, and other social protests most of which were not illegal. Such exchange of information was not a phenomenon of the Depression. Similar channels had been in existence for decades. They were without question acted upon by Canadian Immigration authorities.

  • 79 For example, File 969713, Windsor Agent to Ottawa, 9 March 1932, enclosing a clipping on the Ford (...)

107Officers of the Department must have found it frustrating when, despite their best efforts, subversive foreigners kept slipping through the net and popping up in Canada. Officers of the RCMP must have been even more frustrated. The head of the RCMP in Vancouver wrote to his chief in Ottawa pleading for changes to the Immigration Act to reduce protection against deportation; as it was, he could not do his job. The Vancouver area was a hotbed of “foreign agents”, as he called radicals. “Deportation is the one effective weapon against foreign agents and one of which they are in continual fear.” But a recent ruling by the Commissioner of Immigration was creating problems for the Mountie.79

  • 80 File 513057, RCMP Commander Wood, E Division, Vancouver, to RCMP Commissioner, Ottawa, 14 May 1933

108Fearing court intervention, Jolliffe had ruled that communist deportations had to be based on evidence of active (as opposed to nominal, former, or alleged) involvement with the Party. And the only way to provide the necessary evidence was to have a Mountie spy testify at the Board of Inquiry. “Uncovering a secret agent” ended that agent’s usefulness. Alas, agents were hard to replace. The high level of commitment among radicals in the vicinity made it hard to recruit agents from radical ranks (because there were so many “foreign agents” around, argued the Mountie).80

  • 81 On this point see memos re: appeals from the Halifax Ten, File 513057, May 1932 passim; R. Curtis, (...)

109Political deportation relied heavily on RCMP spy reports. The bestknown example is the testimony of Sergeant Leopold, who not only identified the official functions of suspects, but provided the evidence of centralized control and universal applicability of Party discipline that was necessary to declare the Communist Party an illegal organization. Leopold’s testimony was supported by documents seized from Party offices and members’ homes. Other RCMP sources relied less on evidence, documentary or otherwise. Some like Secret Agent #125 Tatko or Constables Upton and Bordeau were regular RCMP officers. Others were disaffected radicals, anti-labour or anti-radical informers, and less savoury elements not noted for their integrity or intelligence. An RCMP Crown witness against radical Allen Campbell in Vancouver claimed the alphabet had thirty-six letters.81 He was far from the worst.

  • 82 Betcherman, Band, pp. 29-33. Vaara was not Jones’ only target. See File 95027, Jolliffe to Starnes (...)

110In addition to the paid agents, there were public-spirited citizens only too pleased to turn in their neighbours. For example, the Reverend Thomas Jones from Sudbury was responsible for Arvo Vaara’s 1929 sedition conviction. It was Jones who got a Finnish fellow missionary to translate Vaara’s “seditious” editorials, then took the translations to the Sudbury Star for publication. The town was duly stirred up, the Legion passed resolutions, the local Crown Attorney stepped in and brought the wrath of His Majesty’s Government on Vaara’s head. Jones was certainly a patriot. Nonetheless, as Betcherman points out, he had a few grievances against Vaara. The success of the Red Finns and Vapaus was a serious hindrance to Jones’ missionary work. Vapaus made fun of the missionaries. Equally bad, Vapaus was campaigning to organize a union for the Northern Ontario miners. The timing was inopportune; two major nickel companies were negotiating a merger. Queen’s Park, ever a friend of the mine owners, would not have approved of any hitches.82

  • 83 Petryshyn, “Class Conflict,” pp. 50-3: Justice Minister Guthrie’s comment that in the repeal campa (...)

111By 1934, public opinion was beginning to change. It was no longer merely the communists who objected to mass deportation, the curtailment of civil liberties, and Section 98. Mackenzie King had found it expedient to oppose the worst of Bennett’s Iron Heel policies. He had promised that if elected he would repeal Section 98 and, by implication, stop the abuses. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), whatever support it mustered, also opposed mass deportation and Section 98 as violations of civil liberties and common decency.83

  • 84 File 563236, Ottawa to Winnipeg Commissioner, 1 April 1933.

112Many people, who were untroubled by the summary deportation of radicals, were not so sanguine about wholesale deportation of the unemployed. Challenges in the courts had combined with public opinion to cause the Department of Immigration to become slightly more circumspect in its activities. By 1933, the Department had to tighten up on irregular or illegal practices. As the Commissioner of Immigration noted in a directive, the courts were increasingly reviewing deportation cases upon habeas corpus applications by the prospective deports. When courts found procedural irregularities, they were empowered to order the release of the appellant. Any departure from strict legality could destroy a case, and lead to “an adverse decision with embarrassing consequences and complications.”84

  • 85 Betcherman, Band, p. 124.

113The excesses of some local authorities had begun to come under fire. The Toronto Police’s Red Squad had been under criticism for some time, because of its heavy-handed and arbitrary actions: beating up suspects, seizing papers, almost at Red Squad leader Nursey’s whim. Whims were no substitute for good judgement or legality. Lawyers and judges began to express concern. In the fall of 1933, the Toronto Police Commission (its two most rabid members had retired) told Nursey that henceforth he could only raid meetings that were clearly in violation of the law.85 That cooled down Toronto considerably.

114After 1934, the worst was over. That year was a turning point. The most spectacular event was the arrest and trial for sedition of A. E. Smith, the head of the CLDL. It all began with a play called Eight Men Speak, put on by the CLDL in Toronto in December 1933. It castigated prison conditions, the shooting of the Estevan strikers, and the attempted shooting of Tim Buck, allegedly on orders from high authority. The play was quickly closed by Toronto police.

  • 86 Justice Minister Guthrie gave credence to such accusations later when he said that the eleven shot (...)

115Bennett was furious about the play. He hated Smith and had been seeking a way to silence him. Two weeks later Smith publicly accused Bennett of giving the order to shoot at Buck.86 Bennett ordered Smith charged with sedition.

  • 87 Petryshyn, “Class Conflict,” pp. 53-9. See also Buck, Yours, pp. 247-8.

116This time Bennett and his men had gone too far. They were criticized in the press. Support for Smith came also from mainstream labour and church groups. Then the trial revealed that the Crown had no case against Smith; he was found innocent. And if he was not guilty, other sedition cases were cast into doubt. A few months later, all of the remaining Kingston communist prisoners were set free, save Buck who was held until November. Bennett had backed down.87

  • 88 File 513057, Division Commissioner of Immigration at Vancouver to Commissioner at Ottawa, 11 Febru (...)

117The Department of Immigration still carried on. It scoured the jails periodically to find those “convicted as a result of identifying themselves with riots, or disturbances of a communistic nature.”88 But when the country-wide crackdown against Reds lessened, so did the supply of radicals in the jails who could be deported for their political activities. When King repealed Section 98, early in 1936, the authorities lost their strongest weapon for political deportation. Immigration still had all its apparatus intact; it merely had to return to a more discreet style of operation, relying on other methods and other charges for deporting immigrants judged undesirable.

118Deportation ultimately depended on a network of referrals from criminal justice, relief, medical, and political authorities. When such referrals became inexpedient, deportation diminished. There were limits to what could be accomplished by administrative fiat from the top down. The limits had been reached. After 1935, deportation declined to “normal” levels.

Notes

1 William Beeching and Phyllis Clarke, eds., Yours in the Struggle: The Reminiscences of Tim Buck, Toronto, NC Press, 1977, p. 161; hereafter Buck, Yours. Ian Angus claims the CP itself was partly to blame for not responding effectively in court; it had lost most of its members and isolated itself from the broader left movement, and the Buck group were so focused on sectarianism and adventurism and a suicidal clash with the authorities (which they called revolutionary) that it almost invited persecution. On internal splits within the Party during the thirties, see Ian Angus, Canadian Bolsheviks. The Early Years of the Communist Party of Canada, Montreal, Vanguard, 1981. For 1930s political deportation from Canada, see Barbara Roberts, “Shovelling Out the ‘Mutinous’: Political Deportation from Canada before 1936,” Labour/Le travail, Autumn 1986.

2 In 1930 the absolute minimum upon which a worker’s family could live with some degree of health and decency, although certainly not in comfort, was $20 weekly. This figure is based on unpublished research by F. D. Millar, “Real incomes in Manitoba”; see also Barbara Roberts, “Social Policy, Female Dependence and the Living Wage,” paper to the Canadian Women’s Studies Association, Learned Societies, 9 June 1982, Ottawa, and Roberts and Millar, ”Living with less,” Western Association of Sociology and Anthropology, Regina, 1984. For an account of such activities see J. Petryshyn, “R. B. Bennett and the Communists,” Journal of Canadian Studies, November 1974, and “Class Conflict and Civil Liberties: The Origins and Activities of the Canadian Labor Defense League, 1925-1940,” Labour/Le travailleur, Autumn 1982. See also Merrily Weisbord, The Strangest Dream, Toronto, Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1983, pp. 10-48.

3 Michiel Horn, “Keeping Canada Canadian: Anticommunism in Toronto, 1928-29,” Canada. An Historical Magazine, September 1975, and “Free Speech within the Law: The Letter of the 68 Toronto Professors, 1931,” Ontario History, March 1980; the Canadian Labor Defender (CLD) 1930-1934 passim describes many such campaigns. Weisbord’s brief account of the 1931 sedition trials in Montreal is illuminating: pp. 35-7. She notes that one of the Montreal sedition prisoners, David Chalmers, was deported to Scotland after he served his one-year prison term at Bordeaux: p. 39.

4 City of Winnipeg Archives, Winnipeg City Council Papers, File 15141, Sudbury City Clerk to Winnipeg City Clerk, 11 May 1931; Barbara Roberts, “Shovelling Out the Unemployed: Winnipeg City Council and Deportation, 1930-35,” Manitoba History, Fall 1983; Lyle Dick, “Deportation under the Immigration Act and the Canadian Criminal Code, 1919-1936,” unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of History, University of Manitoba, 1978, p. 118.

5 Public Archives of Canada (PAC) Manuscript Group (MG) 26K, (Bennett papers), File C-650, “Communists, 1931, S98”, Webb to Bennett, 29 May 1931; Webb to Robertson, 9 July 1931, cited by Michiel Horn, ed., The Dirty Thirties, Toronto, Copp Clark, 1972, pp. 457-8. The Bennett papers are an excellent source of examples. PAC Record Group (RG) 76, File 95027, Winnipeg Commissioner of Immigration Gelley to Commissioner of Immigration Jolliffe, 25 June 1931. All RG 76 files will hereafter be cited only by file number.

6 Henry Trachtenberg, “The Winnipeg Jewish Community and Politics: The Inter-war Years, 1919-1939,” Manitoba Historical and Scientific Society Transactions, Vol. 35 (1978/9-1979/80), p. 131.

7 Ron Adams, “The 1931 Arrest and Trial of the Leaders of the Communist Party of Canada,” Canadian Historical Association, 1977; Lita Rose Betcherman, The Little Band, Ottawa, Deneau, 1983, chapters 15-17, is the best published account, especially when read with Tim Buck, Yours.

8 Public Archives of Ontario (PAO) Attorney-Generalֹ’s Department, Record Group 4, Series D-1-1-, File 3188/1931, Justice Minister Guthrie to Ontario AG Colonel Price, 18 March 1931 and 1 April 1931. See also Petryshyn, “Bennett”, Betcherman, Band, Buck, Yours. Weisbord describes the problems with the indictment, which Chief Justice Rose refused to accept as initially written. He did not accept the view that mere membership in an illegal organization was an offence as provided in Section 98; he believed the accused had to be an officer of the organization and commit the illegal actions laid out in the Section, to be indictable. The prosecutors had to negotiate with Justice officials in Ottawa, and eventually change the wording of the indictment: see her discussion pp. 36-9.

9 For biographical sketches see CLD December 1931, pp. 4-5; William Rodney, Soldiers of the International, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1968, pp. 161-70; Anthony Rasporitch, “Tomo Cacic: Rebel without a Country,” Canadian Ethnic Studies, Vol. 10 No. 2, 1978; and Files 513173 part 2 and 531057.

10 Frank Scott, “The Trial of the Toronto Communists,” Queen’s Quarterly, August 1932; Adams, “1931 trial,” Betcherman, Band, have details. The transcript can be found in Rex v Buck et al., Ontario Court of Appeals, Mulock CJO, Dominion Law Reports (1932)3.

11 Petryshyn, “Bennett”, p. 45; Rasporich, “Cacic”; Dick, “Deportation”, pp. 124-5 citing Sedgewick to Price, 17 October 1931, “it would establish the unlawfulness of the association, and future proceedings could be taken against those who are mere members of the association, as was always intended.” Ontario AG papers, File 3188/1931.

12 Lorne and Caroline Browne, An Unauthorized History of the RCMP, Toronto, Lorimer, 1978, p. 64 citing McNaughton papers, Vol. 10 File 46, Secret memo of Chief of General Staff to Adjutant General, 14 October 1931.

13 File 563235, Memo from the Assistant Deputy Minister, 26 June 1931; see also Shin Imai, “Deportation in the Depression,” Queen’s Law Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1981, p. 89; he points out that in the fiscal year ending March 1932, there were 239 certificates revoked, a six times greater rate than average. He also mistakenly claims the Department did not resort to illegalities: on this see B. Roberts, “Purely Administrative Proceedings: The Management of Canadian Deportation, Montreal 1900-35,” unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of History, University of Ottawa, 1980, and “Shovelling Out the Unemployed.” File 513157, Jolliffe to Mulvey, 18 November 1931, Mulvey to JollifFe, 24 November 1931. File 513057, RCMP Commissioner J. H. MacBrien to Jolliffe, 16 November 1931. Bennett had appointed MacBrien to succeed Starnes. According to Sawatsky, MacBrien was “an even greater anti-Communist fanatic” than Starnes: John Sawatsky, Men in the Shadows: The RCMP Security Service, Toronto, Totem, 1980, p. 65.

14 The order to tell Mulvey etc. was underlined in ink on the original typed memo: File 513057, Department memo, 19 November 1931. Radicals were not infrequently warned not to apply, or rejected for citizenship in the 1930s. See “Branded as a Communist in 1930s,” Toronto Globe, 17 June 1974, p. 8, about Nick Urkewich who was told by the RCMP not to apply, after a 1932 strike in Crowsnest Pass; when he finally did apply in 1972, he was rejected, presumably on the basis of his involvement in left and other labour causes in the 1930s. Others in the area were in a similar situation and it took intervention by their MP to get citizenship, after 40 years. See also comments on citizenship refusals by Shin Imai, “Deportation”, pp. 70-1.

15 The list of 82 is in RG 26, Vol. 16, “Deportation of Communist Agitators, 1931-1937.”

16 File 513047, Mulvery to Jolliffe, 24 November 1931. File 513116 (Arvo Vaara) Memo, Immigration to RCMP, 21 November 1931.

17 File 513057, Memo for file, 17 June 1932, and see also RG 26 Vol. 16.

18 File 513057. Deputy Minister of Immigration to Secretary of State Skelton, External Affairs, 20 June 1932. They were Tekla Ogrodnuk (Mrs. Pete Sarakopas), Anna Schurbatz (Mrs. Tony Zingle), and Anton Pysanuk.

19 “Deportation Abuses,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 October 1931.

20 Oscar Ryan, Deported!, Canadian Labor Defense League, Toronto, nd [19321, p. 10, and RG 26 Vol. 16.

21 Satu Repo, “Lakehead in the 1930s – A Labour Militant Remembers” [Einar Nordstrom], This Magazine, July/August 1979.

22 File 563236, Department memo requested by High Commissioner for Canada Ferguson, London, 4 March 1931.

23 File 274485, Memo for Mr. Jolliffe, 23 July 1927. Three-page RCMP spy report included. Similar cases are discussed passim.

24 Personal communication, John Ferris, Sault Ste. Marie, 19 August 1981; see also CLD June 1930.

25 Discussion about his research with Mauri Jalava, 27 July 1981. At the time he was researching an M.A. thesis on leftwing Finns in Sudbury, for Laurentian University.

26 For examples of deportation after vagrancy convictions, see file 563236, Commissioner of Immigration to Divisions, 26 June 1931; Leslie Morris, “Labour Defense and the Vagrancy Laws,” CLD September 1930.

27 See for example discussion of the need to hire legal counsel for the Department if the Poles detained in Winnipeg had been charged under Section 41: File 817510, Winnipeg to Ottawa, 3 September 1931. File 563236, Winnipeg Commissioner to Ottawa, 5 September 1931, Ottawa to Winnipeg, 2 October 1931, and 6 November 1931. File 817510, Winnipeg Commissioner to Ottawa, 3 September 1931. The Poles had refused to sign passport applications but the Department ingeniously found their photographs and other necessary documentation on their entry cards, as they had come in under the Railway Agreements, a series of 1920s agreements permitting the transportation companies to bring in agricultural immigrants.

28 File 513057, Memo for file, 17 June 1932; names on RG 26 Vol. 16 list. File 513057, memo to Jolliffe, 17 June 1932; CLD November 1932; eight names appear on the RG 26 list, for the Rouyn deports: Mathias Ruhinski, Lauri Renko, Emile Suorsa, Ralle Simola (all domiciled Finns), Steve Garich, Mitar Mrdic, Steve Pavletich (Yugoslavs, Pavletich domiciled), Byll Semergo (Pole, here since 1913). For Timmins, the following were listed: Arvi Tielinen, Thomas Pollare (aka Tom Blaren), Viljo Piispa, Emil Maki (Makynen), (all Finns, none domiciled). File 513057, memos 17 June 1932. CLD January 1931, January 1932, May 1933; Hautamakki is on the RG 26 list; so is Karpenkower, whose case is mentioned in CLD September 1931. Jacobsen is on the RG 26 list, and is mentioned in the CLD of February 1931. For Panjata see Canadian Forum, May 1931, pp. 284-5.

29 For Hymie Sparaga see CLD January 1931 and May 1931; Canadian Forum May 1931, p. 284; Louise Watson, She Never Was Afraid, The Biography of Annie Buller, Toronto, Progress, 1976, p. 111. See also Stanley Hanson, “Estevan 1931,” in Irving Abella, ed., On Strike, Toronto, James Lewis and Samuel, 1974, p. 57. Gryciuk and Revay are on the RG 26 list. Relief camp strikers also risked deportation as radicals. See Ralph Pimlotte's account of the May 1933 “riot” in Saskatoon: “Closing Relief Camps Sparks Riot,” Briarpatch, January-February 1983; several of his fellow ‘rioters’ were deported for their pains, p. 29. See Glen Makahonuk, “The Saskatoon Relief Camp Workers’ Riot of May 8, 1933: An Expression of Class Conflict,” Saskatchewan History, Spring 1984. Thomas O'Hara, convicted of unlawful assembly and sentenced to nine months'hard labour, plus three months for assaulting police, was deported 10 August 1934; Patrick O’Dare was also deported for his part in the riot: see Makahonuk pp. 67-9, and the RG 26 list. James Forrest was also deported: see Makahonuk, p. 70, and RG 76 File 563236 Saskatoon Workers Defence League to Minister of Immigration, demanding the release of 21 men from the Prince Albert gaol (some of these were from the riot), and protesting the deportation of Forrest, Furlong, and Sutton, 6 January 1934. See also ibid., Women’s Labour League Saskatoon Branch to Minister of Immigration, 14 March 1934, protesting the deportation of prisoners upon completion of sentences; this likely refers to some of the rioters.

30 See''They're Killing Sophie in Jail, ” CLD June 1932; see also CLD December 1931, November 1932; she is on the RG 26 list.

31 File 244957, Secretary of Immigration to Prime Minister's Secretary, 6 October 1932; see also Ryan, Deported!-, RG 26 Vol. 16; CLD November 1932.

32 Photographs of Reinkanen’s and a Mrs. Morton’s bruises in CLD August 1931; jail and deportation information, CLD November 1931. He is on the RG 26 list. For Langley and Farley see CLD January 1932, RG 26 Vol. 16, and Betcherman, Band, pp. 44-50. For Zepkar see CLD October/November 1934; he is on the RG 26 list.

33 Personal communication, Ferris to Roberts, 19 August 1981.

34 See Roberts, “Shovelling Out the Unemployed,” for a discussion of reaction to the deportation of the unemployed.

35 All information from File 530021, “Kluchnik, Sam, Undesirable, Winnipeg, 1932-52”; includes Board of Inquiry transcript, 21 July 1932.

36 File 513116, memo, Immigration to RCMP, 24 November 1931; Secretary of State to Commissioner of Immigration, 24 November 1931; warrant for the arrest of Dan Chomicki sent by Minister to Jolliffe, 4 December 1931. Subsequent testimony in Orton Wade’s case revealed that his warrant had been issued at about the same time.

37 File 513111, warrant to search Dan Chomicki’s residence.

38 House of Commons Debates, 6 May 1932, pp. 2658-9.

39 Account taken from Frank Scott, “Immigration Act: False Arrest, Ilegal Treatment of Arrested Person,” Canadian Bar Review, January 1936; see also Wade v Egan et al., Manitoba Court of Appeal, Prendergast CJM, Canadian Criminal Cases 193 Vol. 54.

40 The Halifax Agent pointed out the danger of using only Section 41 in such cases, suggesting that Section 3 be used as well or instead. Under S3 when membership in the prohibited classes was established, persons were illegally in the country, no matter how long they had resided here. File513057, Personal to Munroe, 9June 1932. For Cessinger, File 513057, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration Munroe to Commissioner Jolliffe, 11 May 1932. See also File 513111 containing his Board of Inquiry transcript and other documents relating to the case.

41 File 513057, Memo on Sembaj, 10 May 1932. The spy was Secret Agent #125 J. M. Tatko.

42 File 513057, Munroe to Jolliffe, 16 May 1932.

43 File 513057, Munroe to Jolliffe, 14 May 1932.

44 Canadian Forum, February 1934, p. 165; File 513057, 13 May 1932.

45 For earlier details on Vaara’s “criminal” activities, see File 513116, passim; Betcherman, Band, pp. 30-41; File 513057, Munroe to Jolliffe, 16 May 1932.

46 File 513057, Memo, Halifax Inspector in Charge to Commissioner, 26 May 1932.

47 File 513057, Munroe to Jolliffe, 25 May 1932.

48 File 513057, 6 May 1932.

49 RG 26 Vol. 172 File 3-10-111, “Communist name cases... Robinson, Reid, Carr etc.,” Memo from V. J. LaChance, Chief, Bureau of Records, on Parker et al. appeals, 15 October 1932. See also Arvo Vaara and others v the King, Canadian Law Reports, Supreme Court of Canada, (1932) 37-43, and File 513057, R. B. Curry to Brother Stanislaus, 24 February 1966.

50 For the CLD see Petryshyn, “Class Conflict” and “Bennett”; see also Rodney, “Soldiers,” p. 122.

51 Buck, Yours, pp. 162-4 and Betcherman, Band, p. 177.

52 Horn, “Free Speech”. Several of the founders of the League for Social Reconstruction, which arose in part out of this experience, were among the 68. See also Kenneth McNaught, A Prophet in Politics. A Biography off. S. Woodsworth, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1959, pp. 256-60.

53 McNaught, Prophet, pp. 242-5. Woodsworth did not support the CLDL; not surprising given CP attacks on the CCF as a “fascist” organization. See ibid., pp. 266-70. For efforts in Parliament see for example House of Commons Debates, 22 February 1932, pp. 380-4 and 7 March 1932, pp. 842-5.

54 Ryan, Deported!; the pamphlet discusses several specific cases, providing some details not given in the CLD and other sources.

55 Contrast this view to Donald Avery’s discussion of the existence of a hidden system of importing industrial workers, hidden under Canada’s ostensible policy of promoting permanent agricultural settlement: Dangerous Foreigners, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1979, chapter 1. See also B. Roberts,“Shovelling Out the ‘Mutinous” and Oscar Ryan, Deported!, pp. 7-10.

56 CLD, September 1932; Ryan, Deported!, p. 12; for evidence that deporting radicals as public charges was a long standing practice of both the U.S. and Canada, see File 961162, “Report on Conference between Ireland and Blair, Canadian Department of Immigration, and United States Commissioner of Immigration Caminetti, ”24 November 1919.

57 Petryshyn, “Bennett”, pp. 46-52, and “Class Conflict”, p. 63.

58 On Cacic, see Rasporich, “Tomo Cacic”, passim; case records on File 513173-2. Also see Rasporich, For a Better Life. A History of the Croatians in Canada, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1982, pp. 136-44 and especially 142, for a clear and perceptive discussion of conditions causing radicalism, the risks of militant activity, and the threat of political deportation for Croats and other immigrant industrial workers. Rasporich incorrectly cites RG 26 Vol. 16 as RG 76 Vol. 16; see his footnote 27, p. 163 for example.

59 See File 513109, memo from Assistant Commissioner to Jolliffe, 27 August 1932:“You will remember there was a question as to whether we would take action against those men under Section 41... The majority of those concerned are either Canadian-born, British subjects with Canadian domicile, or have the protection of their Canadian naturalization certificates.” He noted that the State Department did not seem happy about the proposal to cancel the naturalization certificates in this case, and suggested that although it might be a good idea to have Boards of Inquiry for all of them, a Ministerial Order had to be issued soon for Cacic’s Board. See also ibid., Munroe to Officer Reynolds, “Memo for guidance in Board of Inquiry,” 1 February 1933.

60 See ibid., Fall 1933 passim.

61 Ibid., Minister of Immigration Gordon to Jolliffe, 15 November 1933; Yugoslav Consul General, Montreal, to Department of Immigration, Ottawa, 17 October 1933; Roberts, “Shovelling Out the Unemployed,” particularly discussion of letter from several European consuls; the letter had to be answered but it certainly had little impact. File 513173-2, Department to Consul, 24 October 1933.

62 Ibid., to Minister of Justice, 10 November 1933. See also N. Dreisziger et al., Struggle and Hope. The Hungarian-Canadian Experience, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1982. Deportations are discussed pp. 141-2 only in terms of economic causes (public charge). A brief note on the attractions of communism for Hungarians is found pp. 151-2, and some information on the Hungarian Workers’ Club[s], pp. 158-9.

63 File 513173-2, Gordon to Jolliffe, 15 November 1933.

64 Ibid., Jolliffe to Guthrie, 14 November 1933, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration, Memo for file, 14 November 1933.

65 Ibid., Acting Deputy Minister of Justice to Immigration, 2 December 1933.

66 Ibid., 5 December 1933, 11 December 1933; transcript of Board of Inquiry, December 14-18 1933.

67 Ibid., Guthrie to Jolliffe, 10 December 1933. One wonders if Immigration would have reacted as nervously as Justice, had the telegram been differently addressed. Immigration tended to be more blasé. On the other hand, Bennett was pulling the strings.

68 In his first Board of Inquiry, he had stated he would not appeal; he saw it as an expensive and useless formality. For a transcript of his first Board, see ibid., 2 February 1933; Assistant Commissioner of Immigration to Warden of Kingston Penitentiary, 19 December 1933; Deputy Minister of Justice Edwards to Minister of Immigration Gordon, 19 December 1933.

69 Ibid., Onie Brown to Minister of Immigration, 19 December 1933; Stewart Edwards to General Ormond, 20 December 1933.

70 Ibid., passim, December 1933; Assistant Commissioner Munroe to Deportation Officer Howell, 22 December 1933.

71 Ibid., David Goldstick, CLDL lawyer, to Gordon, 25 December 1933; see also Ottawa Citizen, 28 December 1933; File 513173-2, Halifax Agent to Munroe, 2 January 1934. Cacic escaped en route and got to Moscow. Later he fought in Spain and was held in a French concentration camp after leading a group of refugees out of Spain. He escaped the camp in 1941 and fled to Yugoslavia where he fought with the Partisans. He died in 1969. See Rasporich, “Tomo Cacic” for details. On the deportation, see also Canadian Forum, February 1934, p. 165.

72 File 95027, Starnes to Jolliffe, 15 August 1930. See also Becky Buhay, “Bennett’s Answer to the Unemployed: Deportation,” CLD June 1931, especially her comment about Don Evanov of Toronto and the consequences of his deportation to Bulgaria. There is a further mention of Evanov in “Facing Bulgarian Gallows,” CLD July 1931. See as well discussion of the case of Peter Zepkar, a Croat arrested in a Ft. Frances lumberworkers’ strike in January 1934 and ordered deported to Yugoslavia: CLD October/November 1934. Other cases include Ted Merino of Vancouver, ordered deported to Japan, CLD January 1935, and Nick Stitch of Pt. Arthur ordered deported to Hungary, Labor Defender, April 1935.

73 Irving Abella and Harold Troper, None is Too Many. Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948, Toronto, Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1982, pp. 7-9. The Reds and the Jews not infrequently (but not necessarily admittedly) were linked as twin demons in the official mind: see a rare instance of such views in print, from the RCMP quarterly magazine quoted by Merrily Weisbord, The Strangest Dream, p. 30: “tearing the camouflage from the Red beast,” destroying “the ugly cancer gnawing at the vitals of the Dominion,” and confronting the “dark Jewish conspiracy.”

74 File 513057, 1 December 1932, 3 December 1932; Immigration to RCMP, 15 December 1932.

75 Ibid., Minister Gordon to CLDL, 17 December 1932. A. Upton, The Communist Parties of Scandinavia and Finland, London, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1973. He points out that in 1918 about 20,000 Reds were killed directly or died in prison camps as a result of repression by the Whites: p. 119. By the late 1920s, communists in Finland were being arrested for political activities. By 1930, fascist vigilantes were terrorising communists with the approval of the government. In October 1930 anti-communist laws were passed and during the 1930s there was very little communist or communist front activity in Finland: it simply was unsafe. See pp. 153-5, 178-93. For a brief mention of the anti-communist regime in Hungary, see Dreiszinger et al., Struggle, pp. 16-18. See also File 513057, Ottawa to London office, 20 December 1932; House of Commons Debates, 14 February 1933, pp. 2101-2.

76 File 95027, Starnes to Deputy Minister of Immigration, 22 November 1926; 31 July 1928.

77 Ibid., Commissioner of Immigration to Commissioner of RCMP, 29 January 1932; Commissioner of Immigration to Department of Immigration Inspectors, 24 March 1934. For an account of the experiences of some Canadian Finns in Karelia, see Larry Warwaruk, Red Finns on the Coteau, Saskatoon, Core Communications, 1984, pp. 65-83.

78 File 961162, RCMP to Immigration, 21 August 1933, for example; Immigration Branch, Home Office, U.K., to Canadian Immigration, passim 1934; Canadian External Affairs to Canadian Immigration, 5 January 1935.

79 For example, File 969713, Windsor Agent to Ottawa, 9 March 1932, enclosing a clipping on the Ford Motor Company “riots”where four “rioters” were killed. Some names such as that of Foster, remained on the “lookout” list for years, all through the twenties and thirties.

80 File 513057, RCMP Commander Wood, E Division, Vancouver, to RCMP Commissioner, Ottawa, 14 May 1933.

81 On this point see memos re: appeals from the Halifax Ten, File 513057, May 1932 passim; R. Curtis, “Demand the Release of Campbell,” CLD June 1931; A. E. Smith, “Terrorism – Capitalism’s Secret Weapon Against the Workers,” CLD July 1931 mentions Campbell’s sentence to Oakalla. See also Betcherman, Band, pp. 92, 94-95, 154-5 on Campbell.

82 Betcherman, Band, pp. 29-33. Vaara was not Jones’ only target. See File 95027, Jolliffe to Starnes, 23 April 1930, re: Jones’ letter informing on Hannes Sula, another Red Finn returning to Sudbury after a visit to the U.S.S.R. Jolliffe ordered his officers to take “any action possible under the circumstances.”

83 Petryshyn, “Class Conflict,” pp. 50-3: Justice Minister Guthrie’s comment that in the repeal campaign “the CLDL had managed to build up a huge protest movement with even the churches committing themselves.” See the Regina Manifesto, Section 12, Freedom, in McNaught, Prophet.

84 File 563236, Ottawa to Winnipeg Commissioner, 1 April 1933.

85 Betcherman, Band, p. 124.

86 Justice Minister Guthrie gave credence to such accusations later when he said that the eleven shots had been fired at Buck “to frighten him.” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 June 1934, cited by Betcherman, Band, p. 215.

87 Petryshyn, “Class Conflict,” pp. 53-9. See also Buck, Yours, pp. 247-8.

88 File 513057, Division Commissioner of Immigration at Vancouver to Commissioner at Ottawa, 11 February 1935; Ottawa to Vancouver, 19 February 1935.

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