Some background information is necessary in order to understand the link-up between the Comintern (Communist International) and the KGB Soviet secret police in the context of Soviet penetration of the Federal civil service.
Let us go to the outstanding authority on the Comintern, Victor Serge, who broke with Stalin in 1936 after having been an outstanding member of the Executive Committee of the Comintern. In the February, 1947 issue of the magazine Plain Talk, in an article entitled Inside the Comintern, Serge gave this first-hand description of the Comintern:
The central bureaus of the Comintern in Moscow, located in a vast building opposite the Kremlin, guarded by the GPU, became a sort of worldwide intelligence center such as exists in no other country in the world. The central apparatus of the Comintern was subdivided into regional bureaus for the Latin countries, Central Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, the Far East, North America, Latin America, etc. These subdivisions varied with the needs of the moment. Each of these bureaus is, in turn, subdivided by countries. Economists, sociologists, political analysts examine with microscopic care the literature, press, secret intelligence, and other pertinent information stemming from the country of their specialization. They study the political configuration of these countries, and on the basis of their forecasts, the activities of Soviet agents throughout the world are outlined. This digested information and the elaborate plans worked out are finally submitted to the Politburo, passing through the hands of the party secretariat.
The ten years since the bloody purges of 1936-37 liquidated the Comintern’s former staffs have witnessed the formation of a new highly qualified personnel in this organization. A colossal set of archives has been accumulated and kept strictly up to date. No government anywhere has at its disposal as complete and documented an archive on its own country! Filed with the Comintern are the dossiers of sympathizers, active Communists, agents, subagents, anti-Communists, intellectuals, politicians, businessmen — all the material showing their usefulness to the Soviet Union, their corruptibility, their value in the struggle against the world. Two years after the “dissolution” of the Comintern, dossiers of the heads of the Canadian Communist party, removed by Igor Gouzenko from the files of the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, included notations such as “Sam Carr, alias Frank, member of the Labor Progressive Party, see detailed biography at the Center, Comintern.”
There has never been any question of “dissolving” or “liquidating” this remarkable inner organization. It has become an integral part of the Soviet state mechanism. And it would be stupid to doubt that these Comintern bureaus continue to gather their intelligence data, to stuff their dossiers, to supply their agents. If the Politburo were to decide to “reconstitute” the Comintern, under its old name or a fancy new one, officially or unofficially, it could do so with the scrawl of a pen — complete to the last dossier and the last pay voucher.
The Sam Carr referred to was the National Secretary of the Communist Party in Canada in the ’40s who was one of the masterminds of the Soviet spy network in the federal civil service. The Communist Party, after being banned in W.W. II, changed its name to the Labour Progressive Party, but with the same leadership as before.
It is not the purpose of this booklet to attempt to give the whole background of the Soviet KGB secret police. The informative book, KGB [The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents] is undoubtedly the most authoritative account of the KGB and is available from Canadian Intelligence Publications (CIP), although pressure from Ottawa has prevented Bantam Book (Canada) from publishing a Canadian edition for very obvious reasons which any careful reader can ascertain.
We must point out that although Soviet espionage generally operates on a parallel but separate level, the Canadian Royal Commission Report on Soviet espionage (generally referred to as the Gouzenko Report because of the involvement initially of Igor Gouzenko, a cypher clerk at the Soviet Embassy who defected and brought with him substantial proof of the existence of a Soviet military intelligence network operating within the Canadian government) did mention that several Soviet spy rings were operating in Canada, including the NKVD (now the KGB), and that the “Centre” (Comintern) had provided dossiers on some of the participants, including Sam Carr and Fred Rose, M.P. for Montreal-Cartier Constituency.
From the accumulation of material “leaked” to various individuals, plus the revelations in Chapman Picher’s book, Their Trade is Treachery, we are now in a better position to link the Comintern-KGB “connection” inasfar as the penetration of the civil service in general and the External Affairs Department in particular are concerned.
Readers of the Canadian Intelligence Service [CIS] for over 30 years and more recent On Target readers, of course, will find nothing startling in this booklet, except the Oscar Skelton “affair.” Had we published all of the CIS material dealing with treason and subversion in Ottawa, a more lengthy book would have been necessary. It is to the credit of the CIS publisher and editor, Ron Gostick, that such explosive material was printed and circulated, albeit to a smaller readership than the CIS has today. In 1982, belatedly, the CIS articles (especially dealing with the Herbert Norman and Jean-Louis Gagnon cases) are now becoming increasingly vindicated.