Canada, Canadian Intelligence Service (CIS), civil service, Col. Rudolph Albert Herrmann, Communist East Germany, espionage, FBI, Hansard, Members of Parliament, Order Paper, Ottawa, Otto Jelinek, Patrick Walsh (RCMP), Paul Fromm (Toronto journalist), Pierre Elliott-Trudeau, Professor Hugh Hambleton, Quebec City, Robert Kaplan, Solicitor-General, Soviet KGB, Tom Cossitt (Tory MP for Leeds), U.S. Department of Justice
“From 1962 to 1968, after a 6-year residency in Canada, Col. Rudolph Albert Herrmann, a Soviet KGB illegal resident, was instructed by Moscow to proceed to the United States. Col. Herrmann’s 25-year career with the KGB began in the 1950’s while serving in the military of a Soviet-bloc country. His initial training in espionage techniques such as secret writing and cipher systems took place in Communist East Germany. More advanced training was received in the Soviet Union. Not long after his arrival in the USA, Col. Herrmann was identified by FBI agents and then decided to co-operate with the FBI.
Through Herrmann’s co-operation, the FBI has achieved significant and sustained counter-intelligence objective and is pursuing additional leads developed from Herrmann’s information. The Herrmann family has been granted asylum in the United States and has been resettled under a new identity.
Herrmann has also provided significant leads on previously unidentified Soviet agents including Hugh George Hambleton, now (1981) a professor at Laval University in Quebec City. Hambleton, whom Herrmann identified as a long-time and
trusted Soviet agent, has recently been interviewed by Canadian authorities. (Emphasis added)
— Excerpts of correspondence from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to Patrick Walsh, March 3, 1980
Upon becoming acquainted with the above FBI statement, the mass media located Professor Hambleton in Quebec City and he acknowledged that he had been a Soviet spy while working with External Affairs and CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) in Ottawa, as well as for the Canadian government and Crown corporations in France, Israel, Saudi-Arabia, Spain and Latin-America. He also stated he had no fear of being arrested because if he were “a lot of big names in Ottawa are going to go down with me.’*
For several weeks the mass media splashed Professor Hambleton’s declarations on the front pages and on the TV screens. Hambleton gave an interview to the Ottawa Journal in which he boasted of his many “achievements” during the 30 years he admitted working for the Soviet KGB in Ottawa and foreign countries. Repeated attempts by federal MPs to get some kind of confirmation from the federal government failed to even get on the “Order Paper” at question time.
However, on April 15, 1981, the fighting Tory MP for Leeds, Tom Cossitt, did succeed in getting two questions on the Order Paper. Here is the Commons Debates [Hansard] report on Questions 990 and 991, with the usual cover-up reply from the Solicitor-General, Robert Kaplan:
PROFESSOR HAMBLETON OF LAVAL UNIVERSITY
Question No. 991—Mr. Cossitt:
1. To the knowledge of the government, did Professor Hambleton of Laval University, work for the KGB in (a) Canada (b) France (c) Israel (d) Saudi Arabia (e) Spain (f) certain sections of Latin America (g) any other country?
2. To the knowledge of the government, did Professor Hambleton make the statement, that if he was charged and put on trial “a lot of big names in Ottawa are going to go down with me“?
Hon. Bob Kaplan (Solicitor General): The Government of Canada believes that it would not be in the public’s interest to either confirm or deny or provide additional information on this investigation.
Question No. 992—Mr. Cossitt:
1. Did Professor Hambleton of Laval University admit to having contact with a known agent of a foreign power and, if so, was he charged under the Official Secrets Act and, if not, for what reason?
2. Was he receiving coded wireless instructions from Moscow, depositing messages in “dead letter” drops, etc?
3. What is a complete history of all employment directly or by contract with the government or any Crown corporation by Professor Hambleton, and did he perform certain duties in connection with the Canadian International Development Agency and, if so, what are the details of such duties?
Hon. Bob Kaplan (Solicitor General): The Government of Canada believes that it would not be in the public’s interest to either confirm or deny or provide information on this investigation.
As Toronto journalist, Paul Fromm, stated in the August 1981, issue of the CIS:
“To all his questions he received from Solicitor-General Robert Kaplan the Canadian Cabinet Minister’s equivalent of the Fifth Amendment: ‘The Government of Canada believes that it would not be in the public’s interest to either confirm or deny or provide any additional information.’ Professor Hambleton has never been charged.
“These cumulative revelations well merit Otto Jelinek’s description of them as a “stinking mess.” Jelinek called on Prime Minister Trudeau recently ‘to initiate a full-scale investigation into espionage activities in Canada, both past and present, where they are connected, for the sake of national security.’ Trudeau responded: “Presumably espionage has been going on, is going on, and will go on. If we know of any spies we will get rid of them. If we do not know of any, I fail to see how an investigation by some public body will turn up any names of spies.’
“For the moment the deeply penetrated Canadian civil service, diplomatic corps, and academic community can breath easier. There’ll be no full-scale inquiry. Nobody will be embarrassed. For the moment.”