The prevalence of homosexuals in government enabled the Soviet Union’s KGB spy network to score its greatest post-war successes in Ottawa.
—Columnist Bob Reguly, Toronto Sun, March 30, 1981
The publication of Chapman Pincher’s book, Their Trade is Treachery, dealing with the penetration of the Free World’s secret defences by the Soviet KGB secret police, has created concern throughout the Free World. This book was also responsible for the startling revelation that John Watkins, Canada’s ambassador to Moscow for 1954-56, and his successor, David Johnson, were both blackmailed by the KGB through set-up pictures of homosexual encounters.
The RCMP Security Service has likewise disclosed that a third ambassador, his name unrevealed, had also been blackmailed in similar circumstances by the KGB.
Further revelations by investigative reporter Bob Reguly in the Toronto Sun in the spring of 1981, quoted a former top-level RCMP officer to the effect that the Watkins “affair” had unleashed a large-scale clean-out of homosexuals in government as security risks, with the hunt focusing on the External Affairs Department in Ottawa. RCMP sources indicated that they had identified 3,000 homosexuals in middle and senior positions in the civil service and wanted them all weeded out, but didn’t succeed.
Many Canadians were somewhat puzzled in 1967, when the then Justice Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, spawned his Criminal Code amendments which included legalizing homosexuality. Bob Reguly and others have claimed that when he became Prime Minister, Trudeau was instrumental in easing up the security restrictions on homosexuals, especially in External Affairs. It was around this time that the first inkling of a “Featherbed File” became known, and for the next 13 years all attempts by the Opposition MPs and the mass media to have the “Featherbed File” made public was thwarted by the Trudeau regime.
However the on-going security investigation pursuant to the “Gouzenko revelations ” of 1945-46 (which led to the arrest of fifteen top civil servants involved in Soviet espionage) brought out other aspects which have been carefully concealed by successive federal governments over a 60-year period.