)(page 4623), Alger Hiss, Bob Haddow, Canada, Colonel Zabotin, Communist, Donald Maclean (Soviet agent), Fred Rose, Igor Gouzenko, Jean-Louis Gagnon, Le Hansard 30 mai 1956, Lester B. Pearson, Liberal Party, Lord Queensbury, On Target, Oscar Wilde, Ottawa, Patrick Walsh (RCMP Special Branch undercover agent), Pierre Elliott-Trudeau, Quebec, Secretary of State, Soviet spy, Soviet Union, Supreme Court Justices, The Canadian Intelligence Service, Whittaker Chambers
One incident stands out vividly in my mind which gives an insight into the secret of Gagnon’s success as a Communist infiltrator. In 1952 I was returning from a meeting of the National Committee of the Canadian Peace Congress in Toronto, and met Gagnon in the diner of the train going to Quebec City. The diner was practically deserted and we could talk freely. Somehow the converstion turned to the Alger Hiss-Whittaker Chambers affair — and, of course, Gagnon did not know that he was speaking to an RCMP Special Branch undercover agent. In his eyes I was one of the outstanding Communist fellow-travelers in Canada. He understood the fact that I was not, like him, a card-carrying member only because of tactical considerations. Consequently, he had no need to guard his words with me. “Hiss made one big mistake, Pat,” he confided as he looked around the diner, “and that mistake was when he sued Chambers for libel.”
A few years later Gagnon was to prove that he would not make a similar mistake. When I publicly called him a Communist in 1956 and produced a photostat of a letter of his which he had once written to me, showing beyond any shadow of a doubt that he was a Communist, he refused to be goaded on to sue me for libel — although he did bluff a libel suit on a few prominent politicians who had repeated my statements. But, significantly, when the time for the trials came along Mr. Gagnon failed to show up and the suits were dismissed. He knew only too well that I could easily prove he had been, and was still, a Communist.
A number of Liberals were disturbed by the references in the press to his Communist record. As the Quebec Liberal Party was trying to recoup its lost political prestige, and Gagnon was the virtual head of the Provincial Liberal publicity department, many sincere anti-Communist Liberals were convinced that he was more of a liability than an asset to the Liberal cause. Some of the more outspoken Liberals were always urging Gagnon to sue newspapers for libel whenever any reference to his Communist past or to his participation in the Gouzenko affair was mentioned.
But Jean-Louis Gagnon knew all the details of two of the most famous trials of recent history: the libel suit of Oscar Wilde against Lord Queensbury (in which Queensbury turned the defence into a prosecution which led to Wilde’s imprisonment), and the Hiss-Chambers trial (in which Chambers was instrumental in turning his defence into a prosecution which led to Hiss’ imprisonment for perjury). Somehow these two trials had become an obsession with Gagnon! And, on the other hand, he was not the only ‘Liberal’ involved, and the same situation that existed in Democratic circles in the USA was being paralleled in Canada. As Chambers said in his book, Witness (page 473):
Every move against the Communists was felt by the liberals as a move against themselves. If only for the sake of their public health record, the liberals, to protect their power, must seek as long as possible to conceal from themselves and everybody else the fact that the Government had been Communist-penetrated.
To get back to our conversation in the diner in 1952, Gagnon stated that he was “better protected” than even Alger Hiss, who even after conviction enjoyed the support of the Secretary of State and Supreme Court Justices! After a furtive look-around, Gagnon exultingly whispered across the dinner table, “What I have more than Alger Hiss had to protect me from exposure is the fact that I did work for British Intelligence at one time.” Obviously he thought that nobody could ever believe he had been a Communist because of the fact that he had worked for British Intelligence during the war.
The mere fact that Gagnon was first recommended to the British Foreign Office by Donald Maclean (the Soviet agent in the British Foreign Office who later fled to the Soviet Union) is rather significant. And the fact that whilst in London and other cities he seemed more interested in looking up Soviet contacts than in carrying out the work he was paid for (radio programs for the BBC, British double-checking of North African ‘contacts,’ etc.) was one of the reasons the British Intelligence dropped him like a hot potato. His pro-Soviet past was even too unsavoury for the French in North Africa, and neither he nor his wife was allowed to stay in Algiers after the Allied landings.
Whilst this writer was working for the RCMP Special Branch, he continually received specific instructions to supply as much information as possible on Gagnon’s underground Communist activities; and the late Superintendent, John Leopold, expressed disgust when the name of Jean-Louis Gagnon was ‘omitted’ from the final report of the Royal Commission pursuant to the Gouzenko revelations. In one of the Gouzenko documents it was plainly indicated that Jean-Louis Gagnon had supplied the ‘D-Day’ date [June 5th-6th] to Colonel Zabotin after Gagnon had received this information from the famous ‘missing papers.’. . .
So much for the excerpts from my report published in that 1960 CIS issue. Following, are extracts from a most revealing letter (original in French) which Gagnon wrote to me in 1940:
I haven’t got a drop of national glory in my veins, but I have a lot of hot red blood that demands vengeance …
“I believe that revolt is the law of the slave, and one must die according to his law — but I do not believe anymore that there are races that are born to reign or to dominate…
“Nationalism leads to useless wars; class struggle leads to the liberation of the oppressed… the class struggle is a liberating factor…
“I believe that we will find ourselves, inevitably, on the same side of the barricades; because, first of all I believe that one day there will be barricades, and finally because I believe that lead [bullets], fire and blood will suffice to ensure our agreement… ”
Should any reader still doubt the incredible pro-Red background of Mr. Gagnon, who has held so many top posts under the Pearson and Trudeau ‘Liberal’ regimes, I invite a close examination of the following photographic reproductions:
At the left is a photographic reproduction of a 1943 flier, promoting a Communist Youth Convention at which the featured speakers were none other than Jean-Louis Gagnon and Fred Rose, the Communist MP and Soviet spy.
Immediately below is a reproduction from an issue of the Communist organ, La Victoire, in which Jean-Louis Gagnon honours this Red publication. Two other ‘leading citizens’ who similarly ‘honoured’ this Red organ were Fred Rose and Bob Haddow, both notorious Red leaders.
NOTE: Over the years, both The Canadian Intelligence Service and On Target have published many reports on this incredible Gagnon case, giving more details and documentation. Several of these articles and reports have been gathered together and are available in a “packet” for $2. Order from: Canadian Intelligence Publications, Box 130, Flesherton, Ontario NOC 1EO.
In the Hansard report at the right, MP Dufresne is asking PM St. Laurent: “Is the Prime Minister aware that a radio commentator and newspaperman by the name of Jean-Louis Gagnon, who has been closely associated with Fred Rose and other well known Canadian Communist leaders, is presently one of the main publicity agents of the Liberal Party in Quebec, and chief editor of the party’s official publication in that province?”