To celebrate the 74th anniversary marking the end of “the longest internment of its kind in the whole British Empire,”1 Adrien Arcand Books is proud to present rare source materials on the arrest, internment and release of Adrien Arcand. We focus in particular on a document by communist defector Pat Walsh and another by Adrien Arcand, himself.Additional materials complement the choice, including excerpts from Hansard, photos of Arcand and his men in the interment camps, a rare audio tape of Louis Saint-Laurent telling the U.N. it’s the “basis of the world government” (required to put an end to wars), and our third new eBook in less than a month, Adrien Arcand’s 1957 Memorandum and Request Re: Claims of Canadian Nationalists Against the Government of Canada for Unjust Internments, to complete our launch trio. The other two new eBooks are already up. Heading for Ottawa! Canadian Corporatism, and The Inevitability of a Social Reconstruction.
First up, Pat Walsh: Who is he?
Pat Walsh defected from the Communists on Catholic radio and in the Catholic press on 27th February 1953. His French radio and newspaper interviews are online along with English translations at the Anticommunist Archive.
Pat Walsh was a well known anticommunist of his era. Yet his life and work seem to have gone down George Orwell’s “Memory Hole”. Walsh has no profile in The Canadian Encyclopedia (in contrast, say, to influential Communist, Stanley Bréhaut Ryerson).
Walsh has no profile in Wikipedia, either – odd, given the pleasure taken by Wikipedia in trashing people they call “far right”.
Despite the public vacuum, lecturer Eric Bédard in 2013, at the Quebec library and archives (BAnQ) knew who Walsh was, and mentioned Walsh, along with Robert Rumilly, in a talk Bédard gave on the 1960 Quebec provincial elections.1 Walsh and Rumilly were trying to warn the public about the Jean Lesage Liberals, who nonetheless won a minority government and set up a Council to report to Lesage himself on a communist plan to run Quebec.
Pat was born in Quebec City, Canada, on March the 17th, 1916. His wife’s name was Rose. At the time Pat defected from the Communists, he and Rose had three children. Walsh was fluently bilingual and had a habit of apologizing for his Quebec French accent when speaking English. His interviewers described him as “stocky,” “ruddy-faced,” “a strapping man”.
As an unemployed teen in 1935, Pat Walsh joined the Young Communist League where he was trained in Marxism in Montreal. One of Pat’s professors was none other than Soviet spy and member of Canadian Parliament, Fred Rose, aka Fischel Rosenberg (code name: Dabouz), tried and convicted for espionage in 1946.
After his training, Walsh moved into the Communist party (without a Party card) to become one of its “old-time” reliable agitators. He also led numerous “grass-roots” and trade-union Communist front organizations here in Canada, and was often used as an agitator by the Communists in French-speaking countries.
On learning the truth about the Communists from the gritty inside, Walsh, in secret alliance with other anti-Communists, turned informer and helped to save lives by stopping the Communist scuttling (sinking) of the SS Mont Rolland.
Walsh gave voluntary testimony in 1953 to the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC), adding information to their data on convicted traitor Alger Hiss.
Pat Walsh, in his life and writings, gave us a crucial record of some of the Communist penetration of the WWII war effort, and of Canada generally – especially the federal level – in the period from the late 1930s onward. I recommend Pat’s Secret Communist Agents (1968) and his Inside The Featherbed File (circa 1982). The latter was purchased by me from The State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
Exactly two items by Walsh are found in container number two of Adrien Arcand’s papers in Special Collections at Vanier Campus, Concordia University. I grabbed both items on June 4th, 2019, produced one on a spy ring at the Anticommunist Archive, and the other — a 1963 letter to Mrs. Andrew Hunter “On the subject of Mr. Adrien Arcand” — is transcribed here for the 74th anniversary of Arcand’s release from WWII internment.
The Amazing Letter of Pat Walsh from 1963 detailing Federal government public statements of Arcand’s innocence before and after they interned him without a trial
Patrick Walsh’s letter of October 7, 1963, in English, to Mrs. Andrew Hunter of Ville St-Pierre, Quebec, “On the subject of Mr. Adrien Arcand”. In this testimonial to Arcand’s innocence, Walsh denounces Arcand’s internment and the fact that “he never had a trial” (Walsh’s underline). Pat Walsh was a well known anticommunist in his day who defected from the communists publicly on 27 Feb 1953, on Catholic radio and on the front page of the Quebec daily paper, L’Action Catholique. Before he defected, Pat Walsh worked for years, under cover, exposing communist activities to Canada’s national police. For background on Pat Walsh, and some of his writings, in French and in English, visit the Anticommunist Archive.
Arcand’s 1957 plea to the Federal government for war-time internment reparations
This is not a translation. It is a complete transcript of Adrien Arcand’s typewritten manupscript in English enttled: “Memorandum And Request Re: Claims Of Canadian Nationalists Against The Government Of Canada For Unjust Internments,” submitted by Adrien Arcand, 1957. This originally 13-page document on long paper (8.5″x14″), is from Adrien Arcand’s personal papers in the Special Collections at Concordia University’s Vanier Library. In transcribing it, typographical errors have been corrected for ease of reading.
MEMORANDUM CITATION, Chicago style: Author (Walsh, Pat). (Typed Draft) Memorandum and Request: Re: Claims of Canadian nationalists Against the Government of Canada for Unjust Internments submitted by Adrien Arcand . Identifier (C004). Box number 002, folder number or item number 538-550. Adrien Arcand Collection. Concordia University Library, Special Collections, location of repository (Montreal, Quebec, Canada.)
HERE’S WHAT I OWE YOU
Here’s what I owe you, as promised: Arcand’s 1957 Memorandum and Request as an eBook (Flash flipbook, PDF and ePub); and a cover Editorial for the 74th Anniversary of Adrien Arcand’s release from WWII internment.
The Editorial is underway, but I haven’t slept in a couple of days. I will finish it this week and post it later.
Also coming: Hansard of Justice Minister Louis Saint-Laurent, from October 1st, 1945, precisely as quoted by Pat Walsh to Mrs. Andrew Hunter, admitting there was no wrongdoing by Arcand and his National Unity Party of Canada.
Thank you for your patience! Happy End-of-Internment Day!
1 My exclusive English translation of Eric Bédard’s lecture, “Le 22 juin 1960 — L’élection de Jean Lesage : « un changemen de la vie »?” (June 22nd 1960 — the Electionof Jean Lesage : “a change of life”?) at the Grand Bibliothèque on 28 March 2013.