Old-Time Fascist Scornful of New Canadian Nazi Party”, Gazette, November 10, 1960

Old-Time Fascist Scornful of New Canadian Nazi Party

“Old-Time Fascist Scornful of New Canadian Nazi Party” by Alexander Farrell, CP, The Montreal Gazette, Thursday, November 10, 1960, page 16. Google Newspaper Archives.



Source:  The Gazette. Google Newspaper Archives

LANORAIE, Que. ― CP ― The flurry caused by recent reports of Fascist organization in Canada leaves one-time Fuehrer Adrien Arcand cold.

“This Sorel fellow is just a hoax,” he says of Fuehrer-Come-Lately André Bellefeuille.

Almost forgotten except for a handful of followers who still come to his white-brick house in this farm village on the north shore of the St. Lawrence 40 miles from Montreal, Arcand’s name was recalled when the CBC showed some film of Bellefeuille in a telecast Oct. 20.

The 29-year-old Bellefeuille, now suspended from his Federal Transport Department job as a draughtsman at Sorel, Que., told on the program of his party activities and his anti-Semitism.

Arcand, who once headed the Nazi-like Partie de l’Unité Nationale [sic] (National Unity Party) and spent five wartime years behind the barbed wire of an internment camp, also still talks of the “Jewish danger” but he has decided there is not much he can do about it.

Arcand, now 61, once claimed thousands of blue-shirted followers and surrounded himself with a highly-trained Iron Guard1, the counterpart of Hitler’s storm troopers. They boasted 20 years ago they would take over the Dominion.

Now L’Unité Nationale, revived by its leader after the war, has no program of political action.

“We are not a party now,” Arcand said.  “We are just a study group.

“There are a few hundred of us.  We have fun.  We look at what is going on, and try to see what is coming.”


Turning to Bellefeuille, he said the Sorel man once tried to join his movement but there was no place for him.

“Knowledge counts with us,” Arcand said.  “We want nothing to do with people who lack deep convictions and just shout at the tops of their voices.”

Meanwhile, in Sorel, Bellefeuille was lying low.  His wife and a self-styled “press attache” told reporters he was not well and could see no one.  The press attache said the young draughtsman was “upset by the publicity given his declarations and is giving it all up.”

Arcand gave this reporter his own impression about all the fuss about Bellefeuille.

Seated before a typewriter in his living-room chair, surrounded by books and magazines, he looked out without relish upon the world scene but said, “I have done my share.”

He did not regret having spoken out against “the plans of international Jewry to dominate the world” and said his views have not changed.

He felt, in effect, that he has spoken his piece and “paid the price for it, with my liberty, my health and my reputation.”

His wartime internment he considered “unjust, for I committed no crime, I was simply put away as a danger to the state.”  He was not treated roughly during the years he spent in Petawawa, Ont., and Fredericton internment camps, he said, but his health was nevertheless ruined.

During that time he had no means of supporting his wife and three sons.  “They lived with the help of friends.”

His oldest son enlisted in the Army on reaching military age in 1944 and was on his way overseas when the war ended.

The gaunt, six-foot Arcand lives austerely, by his own account, eating but two meals a day and spending most of his time reading, writing and translating, his chief remunerative occupation.  He speaks French, English, Italian, and can read German.

He rarely leaves his home, a stone’s throw from the river, except to go to Montreal for “study sessions” with his followers.

His routine is frequently interrupted, however, by visitors coming to discuss “politics and problems.”

He said he has always counselled against the use of violence.  “Neither the Jewish problem nor any other problem can ever be settled by murder.  A people seeking to dominate the world must be challenged, but not condemned to death.

“Our rules provide for the immediate expulsion of any member who uses force, or even carries any kind of weapon or liquor to a meeting.”

He wanted also to stress his loyalty to Canada.

“It is wrong to say I thought Hitler had the answers to the world’s problems.  I had no association with the Nazi movement.  In fact, the only German I ever corresponded with in those days was a philology professor who shared my interest in languages without sharing my interest in politics.”

At this point, Mme. Arcand, a strikingly attractive woman, came in with coffee and the conversation turned effortlessly to less controversial topics.

Arcand said he greatly admires the United States, “the country in the world which has had the most liberty for the last century and a half.

“American society, greatly superior to the Russian in his view, is the product of “the free activity of free men with initiative.”

The trouble was that the Americans had not succeeded in convincing many foreigners of this.


1.  Translator’s note:  Adrien Arcand’s “Iron Guard” is a topic I would like to have more time to research.  The equivalence Farrell made with Hitler’s stormtroopers is a step removed from what appears to be the real inspiration for Arcand’s Legionnaires:  the Legionaries and Iron Guard of Romanian patriot Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, born in 1899, the same year as Arcand.  Codreanu, also in his turn, had been inspired by a slightly earlier Romanian Christian Defense movement whose members wore blue shirts.

Codreanu’s movement was Orthodox Catholic; it had a version of the Swastika as an emblem, and took the Archangel Michael for its patron.  The Archangel Michael in Christian iconography led God’s armies against Satan and his armies.  That would certainly have appealed to strict Roman Catholic, Adrien Arcand, who discusses Lucifer in his short book, The Universal Republic:  “We call Lucifer, who was the brightest, most radiant of created beings, the ‘Prince of Darkness’.  What could cause so total a reversal of this same being, a fall from the pinnacle of light to the depths of darkness, the collapse from one extreme at the summit to another extreme in the abyss?”  Arcand links his Catholic understanding with politics when he goes on to say that Lucifer “proclaimed” the “liberal principle” when he defied the supremacy of God by crying “I will not serve!” (non serviam).

A study needs to be done of the sources of inspiration for Arcand’s choice of symbols and institutions; and to then contrast the way these were deployed and the differences between Arcand’s movement, the source movements, and parallel movements.  To say that Arcand’s concepts are the “counterparts” of different ones chosen by Hitler, for example, does not answer the particular question of their real origin and of Arcand’s motivations, or of the particular way Arcand chose to use them.  As Professor Pierre Trépanier has said, (translation:)  “Despite the common features that link them, nationalisms are not conceived as exportable because each one is rooted in an original history and responds to particular conditions.  They are all poles apart from Marxist internationalism.”  Trépanier, P. (1991). La religion dans la pensée d’Adrien Arcand. Les Cahiers des dix, (46), 207-247. https://doi.org/10.7202/1015587ar (En dépit des traits communs qui les rapprochent, les nationalismes ne se conçoi¬vent pas comme exportables car chacun s’enracine dans une histoire originale et répond à des conditions particulières.  C’est dire qu’ils se savent aux antipodes de l’internationalisme marxiste.)

– 30 –

Adrien Arcand and Dr. Noël Décarie Arrested: La Presse, 30 May 1940

Adrien Arcand et le Dr Noël Décarie arrêtés 30 mai 1940

Adrien Arcand and Dr Noël Décarie arrested:  La Presse, May 30th, 1940. / Adrien Arcand et le Dr Noël Décarie arrêtés 30 mai 1940




Source:  La Presse. BANQ numérique

On les a découverts au lac Clément à 14 milles de Nominingue ce matin

They were discovered this morning at Lac Clément, 14 miles from Nominingue

Ces deux arrestations portent à dix le nombre des organisateurs du parti de l’Unité Nationale aux mains de la police. ― Cinq ont comparu.

These two arrests bring to ten the number of National Unity Party organizers now in the hands of the police. ― Five have appeared.

Deux arrestations en Ontario

Two arrests in Ontario

Adrien Arcand, chef du parti de l’Unité Nationale et le Dr Noël Décarie, trésorier de ce parti, ont été appréhendés par la gendarmerie royale canadienne, ce matin, au lac Clément, à 14 milles de Nominingue, dans les Laurentides, où Arcand avait un camp.  Ce matin, Hughes Clément, adjudant provincial des Légionnaires, s’est livré à la police fédérale à Montréal, aux quartiers-généraux de celle-ci, ancien hôtel des postes, rue Saint-Jacques ouest.

Adrien Arcand, leader of the National Unity Party and Dr. Noël Décarie, the party treasurer, were apprehended by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police this morning at Lac Clément, 14 miles from Nominingue, in the Laurentians, where Arcand had a camp.  This morning, Hughes Clément, provincial warrant officer for the Legionnaires, gave himself up to the federal police in Montreal, at its headquarters, a former post office, on Saint-Jacques Street West.

Ceci porte à huit le nombre des arrestations effectuées depuis hier, la gendarmerie, de concert avec la police provinciale ayant déjà arreté les membres suivants:  le major MAURICE SCOTT, directeur national des Légionnaires ou parti des gardes de Fer; HENRI ARCAND, avenue Mount-Pleasant, Westmount, directeur général du transport.

This brings to eight the number of arrests made since yesterday, the RCMP, together with Provincial Police, having already arrested the following members:  Major MAURICE SCOTT, national director of the Legionnaires or party of the Iron Guard; HENRI ARCAND, Mount-Pleasant Avenue, Westmount, Director General of Transport.

MARIUS GATIEN, directeur national de la propagande; PAUL GIGUERE, adjudant national des Légionnaires; G.-R. BARCK, ville St-Laurent, organisateur.

MARIUS GATIEN, national director of propaganda; PAUL GIGUERE, National Legionnaires’ adjutant; G.-R. BARCK, Ville St-Laurent, organizer.

Déjà, à Toronto hier soir, la gendarmerie royale canadienne, division de l’Ontario, avait mis en état d’arrestation Joseph-C. Farr et John-M. Lorimer, de Toronto, deux des organisateurs de l’Unité Nationale dans la province voisine. Chez Farr, les agents auraient saisi toute une documentation que l’on juge très importante. À Montréal, aucun des prévenus n’a opposé de résistance et tous ont suivi les policiers aux quartiers généraux de la police fédérale, rue Saint-Jacques Ouest, à l’ancien hôtel des postes pour être ensuite conduits aux quartiers généraux de la police provinciale.

Already in Toronto last night, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Division, had arrested Joseph-C. Farr and John-M. Lorimer, of Toronto, two of the organizers of National Unity in the neighboring province. At Farr’s, the agents apparently seized substantial documentation considered very important.  In Montreal, none of the defendants offered any resistance and all followed the police to federal police headquarters, Saint-Jacques Street Ouest, at the old post office, and then to Provincial Police headquarters.

Henri Arcand, quand les agents se sont présentés à son domicile, se préparait à quitter Montréal pour une destination que l’on ignore. Il portait un sac de voyage et une voiture l’attendait à la porte. Dans son sac de voyage, on n’aurait découvert aucun papier compromettant. A part certains articles de lingerie, on y trouve des lettres personnelles et des circulaires de publicité commerciale.

Henri Arcand, when the agents showed up at his home, was preparing to leave Montreal for an unknown destination.  He was carrying a travel bag and a car was waiting for him at the door.  In his travel bag, no compromising papers were found.  Apart from certain underwear items, there were personal letters and advertising circulars.

Cinq des accusés en Cour

Five of the accused in Court

Cinq des membres de l’Unité Nationale appréhéndés par la gendarmerie royale, la Sûreté provinciale et la police municipale, au cours de la nuit dernière, ont été traduits devant le juge Rodolphe DeSerres, à midi et demi, en Correctionnelle sous des accusations portées en vertu des articles 39 et 39a de la loi des mesures de guerre au Canada.  M. Jean Tellier, procureur de la Couronne et représentant du procureur général, a déclaré vouloir procédé par voie de mise en accusation et l’enquête des cinq prévenus a été fixée au 5 juin prochain.  Dans l’intervalle, ils seront détenus durant trois jours aux quartiers généraux de la gendarmerie royale canadienne.

Five of the members of National Unity apprehended by the RCMP, the Provincial Police and municipal police, last night, were brought before judge Rodolphe DeSerres, at 12:30 p.m., in Correctional, with charges laid under sections 39 and 39a of the Canadian War Measures Act.  Mr. Jean Tellier, Crown Attorney and representative of the Attorney General, said he wanted to proceed by way of indictment and the investigation of the five defendants has been set for June 5.  In the meantime, they will be detained for three days at the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Les inculpés sont Henri Arcand, C.-R. Barck, Paul Giguère, Marius Gatien et le major Maurice Scott et ils sont représentés par Me Salluste Lavery.

The accused are Henri Arcand, C.-R. Barck, Paul Giguère, Marius Gatien and Major Maurice Scott and they are represented by Maître Salluste Lavery.

Adrien Arcand, le Dr Noël Décarie et Hughes Clément comparaissent cet après-midi.

Adrien Arcand, Dr. Noël Décarie and Hughes Clément are appearing this afternoon.

Les accusations portées contre les prévenus

The charges against the defendants

Les prévenus sont accusés d’avoir du 3 septembre au 29 mai 1940 répandu des rapports ou fait des déclarations avec l’intention de causer de la désaffection dans les troupes de Sa Majesté ou d’intervenir dans les succès des armées de Sa Majesté et des pouvoirs alliés; de répandre des rapports de nature à causer du préjudice au recrutement, à l’entrainement et à la discipline, et pouvant être préjudiciables à la sécurité de l’Etat et à la poursuite efficace de la guerre; d’avoir imprimé, publié et mis en circulation des circulaires, périodiques, etc., de nature à causer de la désaffection aux forces de Sa Majesté ou alliées, à nuire au recrutement, à l’entrainement et à la dis-

The defendants are accused of having from September 3 to May 29, 1940 spread reports or made statements with the intention of causing disaffection in His Majesty’s troops or of interfering in the successes of His Majesty’s armies and those of the allied powers; having disseminated reports likely to prejudice recruitment, training and discipline, and which may be prejudicial to the security of the State and to the effective pursuit of the war; having printed, published and circulated circulars, periodicals, etc., likely to cause disaffection among His Majesty’s or the allied forces, hindered recruitment, training and dis-





cipline et destinés ou propres à nuire à la Sûreté de l’Etat ou à la poursuite efficace de la guerre.

cipline and destined or likely to harm the Security of the State or the effective continuation of the war.

Dans la capitale fédérale, une arrestation a également été opérée, dans la banlieue, à East-View, celle d’Alexandre Brosseau, d’Ottawa, un des adeptes de l’Unité Nationale.  On a saisi à son domicile plusieurs brochures d’un caractère subversif.  L’inculpé est âgé de 38 ans.  La Gendarmerie royale canadienne ne peut pas assurer encore si cette littérature a été distribué a Ottawa ou dans les environs, mais elle est sous l’impression que cette littérature avait été expediée des quartiers-généraux de l’Unité Nationale de Montréal à Ottawa.  Les autorités sont sur le qui-vive et exercent tout le district d’Ottawa.

In the federal capital, an arrest was also carried out, in the suburbs, in East-View, of Alexandre Brosseau, of Ottawa, one of the followers of National Unity.  A number of brochures of a subversive nature were seized from his home.  The accused is 38 years old.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police cannot yet be sure that this literature has been distributed in or around Ottawa, but it is under the impression that this literature had been dispatched from the headquarters of National Unity in Montreal to Ottawa.  The authorities are on the alert and are working the entire district of Ottawa.

La police fédérale et la police municipale ont opéré ces diverses arrestations dans la soirée et de bonne heure ce matin.  Les rumeurs les plus fantaisistes ont couru au sujet d’Adrien Arcand et du Dr Noël Décarie, qu’on n’avait pu localiser la nuit dernière.  On prétendait qu’ils étaient quelque part dans Toronto et qu’on les avait arretés la.  On a ajoutait qu’ils devaient arriver en avions a l’aérodrome de S.-Hubert, vers midi et demi aujourd’hui.  La gendarmerie ne se laisse pas émouvoir par ces racontars.  Pars ses agents dépéchés dans les Laurentides, elle était au courant des allées et venues d’Arcand et de Décarie, mais néanmoins elle prenait ses précautions pour que les deux chefs du parti ne lui échappent pas.  On était intrigué par la présence d’un passe-port émis en 1934 au nom d’Adrien Arcand et portant la photographie de ce dernier.  Cependant, rien n’indiquait que ce passe-port avait déja été utilisé.

Federal and municipal police made these various arrests in the evening and early this morning.  The most fanciful rumors were afoot about Adrien Arcand and Dr Noël Décarie, who could not be located last night.  It was claimed that they were somewhere in Toronto and that they were arrested there.  It was added that they were to arrive by air at the St. Hubert aerodrome around 12:30 pm today.  The RCMP was not moved by these stories.  Through its agents dispatched in the Laurentians, the Force was aware of the comings and goings of Arcand and Décarie, but nevertheless took precautions so that the two party leaders would not escape.  They were intrigued by the presence of a passport issued in 1934 in the name of Adrien Arcand and bearing the photograph of the latter.  However, there was nothing to indicate that the passport had been used.

Ces arrestations ont été opérées conformément aux articles 39 et 39A, de la Loi fédérale des mesures de guerre, mais il semble bien que l’accusation de trahison sera portée contre certains des prévenus.

These arrests were made in accordance with sections 39 and 39A of the Federal War Measures Act, but it appears that the charge of treason will be laid against some of the defendants.

Les autorités de la gendarmerie royale canadienne à Montréal sont muettes sur ce sujet et attendaient des ordres du procureur général.

The authorities of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Montreal are silent on this subject and were awaiting orders from the Attorney General.

Dans les perquisitions comme dans les arrestations la gendarmerie a reçu un précieux concours des polices provinciale et municipale.

In the searches as in the arrests, the RCMP received precious assistance from the provincial and municipal police.