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Canada’s Foreign Enlistment Act : Mackenzie King’s expedient response to the Spanish Civil War Frohn-Nielsen, Thor Erik 1982

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CANADA'S FOREIGN ENLISTMENT ACT: MACKENZIE KING'S EXPEDIENT RESPONSE TO THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR  by  THOR ERIK FROHN-NIELSEN B.A. (Hon.), The University of V i c t o r i a , 1979  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of H i s t o r y , University of B r i t i s h Columbia  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1982  © T h o r E r i k Frohn-Nielsen,  1982  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the  requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference  and study.  I further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by t h e head o f my department o r by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  It is  understood t h a t copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  s h a l l n o t be allowed without my w r i t t e n  permission.  Department o f  UlSToijy  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  Columbia  ABSTRACT  Twelve-hundred Canadians volunteered for the republican cause during the Spanish C i v i l War.  Along with the large number of  r e c r u i t s , committees were formed, fund r a i s i n g begun, r a l l i e s organized, and parliament p e t i t i o n e d .  Interest was widespread i n Canada, and  tended to become emotional as the c o n f l i c t became a b a t t l e f i e l d ideals.  of  Whether communist labourers, s o c i a l i s t i n t e l l e c t u a l s , or simply  champions of democracy, English speaking Canadians were i n c l i n e d to support the beleaguered Republic in i t s b a t t l e against Franco and his fascist a l l i e s .  Though English speaking Canada tended to be sympathetic toward the Republic, Mackenzie King's Liberal government passed the Foreign Enlistment Act  nine months into the war, which forbad any  Canadian from volunteering for e i t h e r side in the c o n f l i c t .  Why did  the Prime M i n i s t e r , usually so careful in his dealings with public opinion, pass l e g i s l a t i o n that seemed to go against the wishes of the electorate?  This thesis w i l l attempt to prove that King was, i n f a c t , paying scrupulous attention to popular sentiments, and passed the Act after a thorough analysis of his government's s i t u a t i o n .  It  will  be shown that opinion in Quebec, a federal Liberal stronghold, had become i n c r e a s i n g l y reactionary, and by 1936 was indeed sympathetic  - iv -  to Franco.  King believed, quite r i g h t l y , that the vehement a n t i -  republicanism in Quebec was simply much stronger than the pro voice from the rest of Canada.  The Foreign Enlistment Act was shrewdly  designed to placate Quebec voters without alienating too many English speaking Canadians.  To f a c i l i t a t e  this study i t w i l l f i r s t be necessary to  examine public opinion, and the role of the media in English Canada. An analysis of the Quebec s i t u a t i o n w i l l then be made.  Finally, a  chapter w i l l be devoted to Mackenzie King and how he dealt with the r i f t in public opinion .exacerbated by the Spanish C i v i l War.  This  chapter w i l l show the Prime Minister as a p o l i t i c a l animal par excellence, who in this case, put p o l i t i c a l  survival before moral  principles.  A Note on the Vocabulary  One of the most confusing aspects of the Spanish C i v i l War i s the antagonist's myriad of names and t i t l e s .  For the purposes of  t h i s t h e s i s , those Spaniards who supported the elected Spanish Republic w i l l be referred to as republicans or l o y a l i s t s , while those who fought for General Franco are rebels or n a t i o n a l i s t s .  Franco was,  strictly  speaking, not a f a s c i s t , but has been l a b e l l e d as such since July 1936, and w i l l be so in this t h e s i s .  It is hoped that this small semantic  indulgence w i l l , in f a c t , help to keep the themes c l e a r e r .  V  TABLE OF CONTENTS  INTRODUCTION. Notes to the. I n t r o d u c t i o n .  -  1 1 1  CHAPTER I The C i v i l War Thrrough E n g l i s h Canadian Eyes . . . . Notes to Chapter I  12 37  CHAPTER II The P i v o t a l Role of Quebec Notes to Chapter II  40 60  CHAPTER III Mackenzie King and the C i v i l War  62  Notes to Chapter III  88  CONCLUSION.  91  APPENDIX I The Foreign Enlistment Act of 1937 . . 94 APPENDIX II Order i n Council to the Foreign Enlistment Act . . .100 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  • • •  \  -  1 0 1  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I would l i k e to thank my supervisor, Professor C. Humphries, for his time and encouragement, and for helping me keep the subject within i t s proper perspective in the grand scheme of things. Thanks also to Wayne Westergard-Thorpe, for reading the thesis and offering much constructive c r i t i c i s m . A special thanks to you Debbie. Had i t not been for you, your enthusiasm, gentle encouragement, and long hours at the typewriter, the project would s t i l l be a dream. I humbly offer t h i s thesis to a l l those friends who have shared the dreams and i d e a l s . May you remain romantic and o p t i m i s t i c , sometimes i n d i g nant, but always able to laugh.  INTRODUCTION  Few twentieth century c o n f l i c t s have s t i r r e d the emotions of western man quite l i k e the c i v i l war that raged in Spain from 1936 to 1939.  The eyes of the world were on the Iberian Peninsula  from the morning of J u l y 18 1936 when n a t i o n a l i s t a r t i l l e r y rumbled, u n t i l  first  Franco's ultimate v i c t o r y three bloody years l a t e r .  Why were the hearts of so many ordinary c i t i z e n s moved by a v i c i o u s c i v i l war that did not concern them d i r e c t l y , and which was being fought thousands of miles away?  What could make someone forsake the  comparative t r a n q u i l l i t y of Canada and t r a v e l to a f o r e i g n land to face death i n a shallow republican trench?  Hugh Thomas, who has w r i t t e n  the d e f i n i t i v e study of the c o n f l i c t , p o s t u l a t e s :  Spain became the central point of l i f e , work, and a r t i s t i c i n s p i r a t i o n . Stephen Spender wrote that Spain " o f f e r e d the twentieth century an 1848." P h i l i p Toynbee s a i d of Spain "the gloves are o f f i n the struggle against f a s c i s m " Spain gave i n t e l l e c t u a l s a sense of freedom, the thought of rubbing shoulders with the dispossessed i n a h a l f developed country, above a l l , the i l l u s i o n that t h e i r " a c t i o n " would be e f f e c t i v e .  Jason Gurney, a former E n g l i s h volunteer to the I n t e r national B rigades, r e i t e r a t e d t h i s i n his memoirs:  The Spanish C i v i l War seemed to o f f e r the i n d i v i d u a l the chance to take p o s i t i v e and e f f e c t i v e a c t i o n against f a s c i s m . One could stand on an issue which seemed a b s o l u t e l y c l e a r By f i g h t i n g against fascism i n S p a i n , we would be f i g h t i n g against i t in our own  - 2 -  country and every o t h e r . . . . I t may have lacked r e a l i s m , but i t was heady s t u f f to a young man who was by nature a romantic. c  A s t r u g g l i n g , but f r e e l y e l e c t e d republican government was, a f t e r a l l , being b r u t a l l y attacked by the c o u n t r y ' s r e b e l l i o u s m i l i t a r y machine.  A c t i v e l y supported by Germany and I t a l y , Franco's Spanish  and Moorish troops were sweeping over S p a i n , l o o t i n g and p i l l a g i n g as they tightened t h e i r noose around the neck of Largo C a b a l l e r o ' s Popular Front government. for international  Most national leaders looked away when Madrid appealed afd to combat t h i s l a t e s t f a s c i s t menace, but t h e i r  c i v i l i a n populations sat up and watched the debacle with mounting curiosity.  It was not long before volunteers went to the a i d of the  beleaguered R e p u b l i c , where they fought and often died side by side with armed Spanish workers and peasants.  Eventually some 40,000 i n t e r n a t i o n a l s , i n c l u d i n g 1,200 4 Canadians, answered the republican c a l l to arms.  What i s not a l i t t l e  astonishing i s that according to V i c t o r Hoar, author of The MackenziePapineau B a t t a l i o n , "no other country provided so great a number of 5 volunteer s o l d i e r s in proportion to i t s population as did Canada." Though i n d i v i d u a l Canadian c i t i z e n s did go to S p a i n , and many more helped supply the l o y a l i s t s with badly needed m a t e r i a l s , sympathy f o r the Republic was f a r from universal i n Canada.  Nor d i d the L i b e r a l  government under Pr"ime M i n i s t e r Mackenzie King r a l l y to the banner of a fellow- democracy In her dour of need.  As Kugfi MacLennan has pointed  out i n The Watch that Ends the N i g h t , no matter whom Canadians supported,  - 3 -  the c r i s i s i n Spain captured t h e i r imaginations. i n f a c t , r e k i n d l e d the s t r a i n  The c i v i l war,  in national unity as Quebec tended to  support General Franco, while the sympathies of many E n g l i s h speaking Canadians were with the r e p u b l i c a n s .  It was t h i s s p l i t which e v e n t u a l l y  forced the Canadian government to take a r e l u c t a n t but d e f i n i t e p o l i c y stance with regard to the Spanish C i v i l War.  foreign  K i n g ' s ultimate  aim was to maintain Canadian i n t e r n a t i o n a l i n t e g r i t y and independence, while c a r e f u l l y s t e e r i n g a course away from issues that could d i v i d e the country.  Passing the Foreign Enlistment Act was an expedient  method of achieving t h i s as i t l e g a l l y prevented Canadians from volunt e e r i n g f o r the Spanish crusade.  Canadian f o r e i g n p o l i c y has r a r e l y been considered e i t h e r s t r i d e n t or a g g r e s s i v e .  On the c o n t r a r y , since the day i t began  conducting i t s own external a f f a i r s , the country has often been accused of s i t t i n g on the fence, watching from a safe distance as b a t t l e f i e l d s p e r i o d i c a l l y f i l l e d with the c l a t t e r of innumerable armies. This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , hardly new, was promoted by h i s t o r i a n s l i k e C P . Stacey and James Eayrs.  They were the scholars who, during the Pearson  e r a , examined the King y e a r s , compared the two, and found the l a t t e r 6  wanting.  Both Canada and the Age of C o h f 1 i c t , volume two,  and In  Defence of Canada, volume two, show the authors to be l e s s than e n t h u s i a s t i c w i t h the L i b e r a l government's i n t e r n a t i o n a l stance during the 1930s  as they suggest that Canada had a s i m i l a r f o r e i g n p o l i c y  to that of the western nations who appeased the d i c t a t o r s .  It  be argued that t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was a product of i t s time.  could Canada  - 4 -  d i d , a f t e r a l l , play a more aggressive r o l e in i n t e r n a t i o n a l during the 1950s,  and i t  politics  i s p o s s i b l e that h i s t o r i a n s l i k e Eayrs and  Stacey, w r i t i n g during that time, found the diplomacy of the l a t e 1930s weak by comparison.  This t h e s i s tends to f o l l o w t h e i r b a s i c i n t e r -  p r e t a t i o n , not because Canadian foreign p o l i c y i s n e c e s s a r i l y more dynamic i n 1982 than i t was in 1936, but because the documents a v a i l a b l e support t h i s argument.  The various Canadian Prime M i n i s t e r s have,  a f t e r a l l , repeatedly stepped aside to allow more daring heads of s t a t e to f i n d a safe passage through the miasmatic swamp of affairs.  international  Only then have they ventured to f o l l o w s a f e l y behind, r a r e l y  t i p - t o e i n g from the s e c u r i t y of the tested path.  At no time was t h i s  mouse-like mentality more f i r m l y entrenched i n government p o l i c y than during the Mackenzie King e r a , and then in p a r t i c u l a r during the  latter  h a l f of the 1930s.  There were a few exceptions.  To do him j u s t i c e , Walter  R i d d e l l , one of the Canadian delegates to the League of Nations in the mid-1930s, did once attempt to r e c t i f y by taking the i n i t i a t i v e  f o r Canada.  t h i s unimpressive p o s i t i o n  He c a l l e d f o r an o i l embargo  against I t a l y a f t e r M u s s o l i n i ' s armour had rumbled across the Ethiopian frontier  i n 1935.  Everyone lauded the moral courage of R i d d e l l with  the exception of the I t a l i a n s and his own government.  When Mackenzie  King came to power i n the autumn of 1935, and learned to his horrdr that Canada was suddenly and unexpectedly the standard-bearer of the League Covenant, r e t r i b u t i o n was s w i f t and r u t h l e s s .  Riddell  was immediately r e c a l l e d f o r c o n s u l t a t i o n , and the government made i t c l e a r that t h e i r representative had been speaking s o l e l y f o r  - 5 -  himself.  "I  am c e r t a i n l y going to give him a good spanking," was the  Prime M i n i s t e r ' s immediate response.^  The " R i d d e l l i n c i d e n t , " as i t  became known, b r i e f l y p r o p e l l e d Canada to the f o r e f r o n t of world diplomacy, but the subsequent nervousness in Ottawa was so acute that the new p o s i t i o n was ignominiously ended.  The i n c i d e n t was not only  the f i r s t Canadian foray into the l i m e l i g h t of foreign a f f a i r s during the 1930s, i t came to exemplify the u l t i m a t e Canadian diplomatic fauxpas, and served as an embarrassing lesson f o r the timorous Department of External A f f a i r s .  International  i n i t i a t i v e s could be o f f i c i a l l y  cheered, and even supported, but were not to emanate from the government of Canada.  Staying c l e a r of i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o n f l i c t s became one of the government's most important f o r e i g n a f f a i r s programmes, and the r e s u l t i n g noncommitment p o l i c y reached i t s z e n i t h during the f i r s t months of the Spanish C i v i l War.  The Canadian government z e a l o u s l y  t r i e d to remain uninvolved from the morning when r e b e l l i o u s s o l d i e r s f i r s t took up arms, u n t i l Franco's v i c t o r y in 1939.  What many Canadians  objected to was that the L i b e r a l s were i n Ottawa, apparently doing nothing to stop the pitched b a t t l e s on the Iberian Peninsula which i n c r e a s i n g l y threatened to s p i l l over the Pyrenees and to engulf the world i n yet another i n f e r n o .  When asked why he chose his p a r t i c u l a r s t a n c e ,  the Prime M i n i s t e r tended to ignore his q u e s t i o n e r s , and spoke of preserving national u n i t y .  King d id not hop from the fence u n t i l  March 1937, nine months a f t e r the c o n f l i c t had begun, and then only because he was f i n a l l y - forced to do so by a d i v i d e d Canadian p u b l i c .  -  6  -  The question therefore i s :  why did the Canadian government  f o l l o w i t s p a r t i c u l a r path during the Spanish C i v i l War? f a c t s h i r k i n g his r e s p o n s i b i l i t y toward i n t e r n a t i o n a l cracy?  Was King in  peace and demo-  Was, as the Prime M i n i s t e r argued, the Canadian stance only  l o g i c a l considering t h e . c o u n t r y ' s i n t e r n a l d i s u n i t y ?  Was the govern-  ment's handling of the c i v i l war simply an example of a weak foreign p o l i c y permitted to meander along by an apathetic Canadian p u b l i c ? Or was King c h i e f l y concerned with his L i b e r a l majority?  These questions can best be answered through an examination of the period from the beginning of the Spanish C i v i l War to the passing of the Canadian Foreign Enlistment Act on March 19 1937. This was the formative period when Canadian c i t i z e n s and the government a l i k e , taken aback by Franco's sudden r e b e l l i o n , had to decide which s i d e , i f any, they would support.  The government, f e a r i n g  controversy and a l i e n a t i o n from an i n c r e a s i n g l y divided p u b l i c , believed caution to be the l o g i c a l answer. . The Enlistment A c t , once passed, e s t a b l i s h e d o f f i c i a l p o l i c y toward Spain f o r the remainder of the c i v i l war.  For t h i s reason, i t i s unnecessary to f o l l o w Canada's conduct  during the course of the c o n f l i c t beyond March 1937. i s to examine why o f f i c i a l influenced i t ,  What i s important  p o l i c y evolved as i t d i d , what pressures  and whether i t acted as an e f f e c t i v e p o u l t i c e on the  wound to national unity aggravated by the c r i s i s .  To f a c i l i t a t e t h i s study, i t w i l l be necessary to examine and evaluate E n g l i s h speaking Canadian p u b l i c opinion and the c i v i l  - 7 -  war.  This w i l l be done through an a n a l y s i s of media coverage, e d i t o r i a l  comment, and the l e t t e r s Canadian  to the e d i t o r s of not only mass c i r c u l a t i o n  d a i l i e s and magazines, but a l s o i n some of the more e s o t e r i c  p u b l i c a t i o n s of the time.  I t w i l l be weighed f u r t h e r by measuring  the debates i n the House of Commons, and by delving i n t o the many l e t t e r s received by Prime M i n i s t e r Mackenzie King and J u s t i c e M i n i s t e r Ernest Lapointe.  Though no surveys are known to have been taken on  Spain and Canada, and though p u b l i c opinion i s by nature  intangible,  a c a r e f u l s c r u t i n y of the aforementioned sources, augmented by secondary m a t e r i a l , should y i e l d a reasonably accurate p i c t u r e of English speaking Canadians and t h e i r sympathies in the Spanish C i v i l War.  The f i r s t chapter w i l l h o p e f u l l y show why many E n g l i s h speaking Canadians q u i c k l y became sympathetic toward the republican cause.  It w i l l suggest the v i t a l  r o l e played by the media, how t h i s  l e d to changes of perceptions and to the i n t r o d u c t i o n i d e o l o g i c a l element.  I t w i l l a l s o be i l l u s t r a t e d  of the  vital  that pro-republican  p u b l i c opinion seemed to gather i t s own momentum once i t was accepted that the war was a great deal more than a protracted palace coup. F i n a l l y i t w i l l be shown that support f o r the Spanish Republic, though s t r o n g , was not universal in E n g l i s h speaking Canada.  Those who shied  away from the l o y a l i s t s were not n e c e s s a r i l y a t t r a c t e d by the r i g h t , but were members of that body of Canadians who did not want t h e i r country involved i n any European powder keg.  Conditions in Quebec must be examined next.  In t h i s  chapter  i t w i l l be shown that the L i b e r a l government had to pay c l o s e a t t e n t i o n  - 8 -  to French Canadian sentiments i f i t were to remain in power.  Much of  Mackenzie K i n g ' s support came from Quebec, and French Canada, in a conservative mood by 1936, had to be treated a c c o r d i n g l y .  Problems  were compounded by economic c o n d i t i o n s , as the t r a d i t i o n of animosity between E n g l i s h and French speaking Canada was exacerbated by the s o c i a l tensions of the depression e r a .  French Canadian leaders were making a  concerted e f f o r t to a l t e r the course of Quebec's h i s t o r y as they were s e r i o u s l y a f r a i d that t h e i r c u l t u r a l s o l i d a r i t y was being eroded by f o r e i g n f o r c e s Beyond t h e i r c o n t r o l .  Men l i k e Premier Duplessis and  Cardinal V i l l e n e u v e saw l i b e r a l i s m and communism as the enemy that threatened Quebec, and encouraged a general turn to the r i g h t as the best means of defence.  I t w i l l be shown that the Spanish C i v i l War aggravated Quebec's sense of i n s e c u r i t y and the r i f t between i t and the r e s t of the country.  U n l i k e E n g l i s h Canada which, tended to r a l l y behind the  republican banner, most of Quebec saw Franco as a conservative n a t i o n a l i s t who was t r y i n g to purge his country of communism.  Quebec did not per-  ceive the r e b e l l i o n as an a f f r o n t to democracy, but r a t h e r , viewed i t as an heroic a t t a c k against imported i d e o l o g i e s that were destroying Spain.  To many French Canadians, supporting republican Spain was t a n t a -  mount to a i d i n g a l l those i n f l u e n c e s that were threatening Quebec herself.  Thus i t  i s no wonder that French Canadians wanted nothing to do  w i t h the Spanish! R e p u b l i c , and found i t inexcusable that l o y a l i s t sympathizers, were allowed to r e c r u i t volunteers from t h e i r province.  - 9 -  The f i n a l chapter w i l l  deal with Mackenzie King and his  government's a t t i t u d e toward the Spanish C i v i l War.  The Prime M i n i s t e r  was already faced with p u b l i c opinion that was divided between E n g l i s h and French speaking Canadians, and the c i v i l war widened the r i f t . He therefore had to create a p o l i c y that would s a t i s f y as many as poss i b l e , hopefully ease the animosity between the two, and maintain his seat i n power.  I t was not a simple matter of mending the i n t e r n a l  s p l i t , however, as King a l s o had to weigh Canada's p o s i t i o n on the international  scene.  He had to consider whether the country would  toe the B r i t i s h , l i n e , s t r i k e out f o r c e f u l l y on i t s own, or b u i l d a f o r e i g n p o l i c y based on Canada's geographic i s o l a t i o n .  Britain did,  a f t e r a l l , pass i t s own Foreign Enlistment A c t , and did pressure Canada to f o l l o w s u i t .  I t could be argued that Canada's own Act was passed  as a r e s u l t of t h i s pressure, but the evidence does not support t h i s . It w i l l be shown that the Prime M i n i s t e r i n i t i a l l y attempted to calm Canadian emotions by keeping the country as uninvolved as p o s s i b l e , but that t h i s p o l i c y became untenable by e a r l y 1937.  It w i l l  then be  suggested that the Foreign Enlistment Act was c a r e f u l l y and shrewdly conceived as the most expedient s o l u t i o n to the d i v i s i v e problems aggravated by the c i v i l war in S p a i n .  I t was an Act c r e a t e d , not i n  haste, but a f t e r a thorough a n a l y s i s of a l l the f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d .  As  such, i t stood as an e a r l y example of K i n g ' s p o l i c y formulation method f o r the duration of his years in o f f i c e .  Indeed the roots of h i s  successful t a c t i c s over c o n s c r i p t i o n during the Second World War may be found i n minor p o l i c y p o s i t i o n s l i k e the Foreign Enlistment A c t .  The  - 10 -  conclusions w i l l be strengthened by an examination of the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s personal a l l e g i a n c e s and the government's  perceptions  of the war.  A number of conclusions may be drawn at t h i s p o i n t .  It  should be p o s s i b l e to suggest why sympathy f o r the Republic came almost e x c l u s i v e l y from E n g l i s h speaking Canada, and whether t h i s was because s u s c e p t i b l e i d e a l i s t s had been duped by a s e n s a t i o n a l i s t i c media.  Conclusions may be drawn concerning Quebec, why the province  was in a r e a c t i o n a r y mood by 1936, and how French Canadian f o r General Franco were encouraged.  affinities  F i n a l l y i t may be suggested that  the Foreign Enlistment Act was K i n g ' s way of paying c a r e f u l homage to the province that t r a d i t i o n a l l y  gave him much of his support.  The  Act was not introduced out of any concern f o r the Spanish people, nor f o r Canada's i n t e r n a t i o n a l  situation.  This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  differs  from the one reached by V i c t o r Hoar i n The Mackerizie-Papineau B a t t a l i o n . He seems sympathetic to the Prime M i n i s t e r who c a l l e d i t an Act which would "prevent Canada from being drawn into foreign c o n f l i c t s by the actions of manufacturers of munitions or of organizers of  recruiting."  7  Hoar accepts t h i s quote at i t s face v a l u e , though the evidence suggests that the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s stated p r i v a t e l y held a s p i r a t i o n s .  i n t e n t i o n s were d i f f e r e n t from his  King hoped the Act would be gentle enough  not to a l i e n a t e h i s government from too many E n g l i s h speaking Canadians while being severe enough, f o r the a n t i - r e p u b l i c a n i s m of Quebec.  It  stands as an e x c e l l e n t example of shrewd l e g i s l a t i o n introduced by a political  animal par e x c e l l e n c e .  K i n g , i n essence, attempted  l e g i s l a t e a thorny problem out of existence.  to  - 11 -  NOTES TO THE INTRODUCTION  *Hugh Thomas, The Spanish C i v i l War, t h i r d e d i t i o n , (Bucks: Watson & Viney L t d . , 1977), p. 347. 2 Jason Gurney, Crusade i n S p a i n , (London: 1974), p. 36. 3  Hazell  Faber & Faber L t d . ,  I b i d . , p. 49.  4 Hugh Thomas, The Spanish C i v i l War, p. 982. 5 V i c t o r Hoar, The Mackenzie-Papineau B a t t a l i o n , (Toronto: Copp C1 a r k , 1969), p. 1. C P . Stacey, Canada and the Age of C o n f l i c t , (Toronto: University of Toronto P r e s s , 1981), I I . 7  James E a y r s , In Defence of Canada, (Toronto: P r e s s , 1965), I I , p. 26.  U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto  V i c t o r Hoar, The Mackenzie-Papineau B a t t a l i o n , p. 105.  - 12 -  CHAPTER I  THE CIVIL WAR THROUGH ENGLISH CANADIAN EYES  [The Spanish] people are making [ a ] desperate and heroic e f f o r t to defend t h e i r homes against the savage onslaughts of Foreign Mohamedan Barbarians and other Foreign mercenaries, the lowest human or perhaps inhuman, scum of a l l . Lapointe Papers, v o l . 22, f i l e #70, P . A . C .  From the f i r s t v o l l e y of gun f i r e on J u l y 18 1936, the f a s c i s t r e b e l l i o n i n Spain offered t a b l e d'hote to those looking f o r excitment and drama.  Canadian newspapers i n i t i a l l y  focused on  the s e n s a t i o n a l i s t i c aspects of the war, o f f e r i n g t h e i r readers graphic d e s c r i p t i o n s of severed heads l y i n g i n pools of blood in the narrow s t r e e t s of Madrid; churches being v i c i o u s l y sacked and burned; f a s c i s t s raping innocent Spanish women and c h i l d r e n ; and republican workers bearing arms.  Canadian feminists could see women stand f a s t  behind cobblestone b a r r i c a d e s , looking l i k e so many copies of D e l a c r o i x ' s " L i b e r t y Leading the P e o p l e " .  Even the popular S h i r l e y  Temple found the g r a p h i c a l l y ghoulish news f l a s h e s from Spain hard competition.  The c h i l d s t a r l a s t e d f o r one b r i e f day on the f r o n t  page of the Vancouver Sun before being dispatched to the middle sections by the f l o o d of news b u l l e t i n s from the Iberian p e n i n s u l a .  As i t  elsewhere, Spain captured the imaginations of the Canadian people.  did  - 13 -  Was the c o n f l i c t viewed by Canadian e d i t o r i a l w r i t e r s as a b i t t e r b a t t l e of i d e a l s ?  Was there a l e g i t i m a t e emotional connec-  t i o n between the bloody struggles i n Spain and the beslippered f i r e side reader i n Edmonton?  Did the portrayal of the c i v i l war make  Torontonian gents clench t h e i r f i s t s i n anger or did i t make them doze o f f complacently?  How was the Spanish s i t u a t i o n i n i t i a l l y  to Canadians, and what was t h e i r  portrayed  reaction?  Though the perspectives a l t e r e d as i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s  changed,  the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the Spanish C i v i l War q u i c k l y h i t a l l Canadian newspapers and magazines.  Within a week of J u l y 18, papers across the  country were r e f l e c t i n g Canadian opinion and c u r i o s i t y .  Was Franco's  r e b e l l i o u s outburst merely another coup that would replace a bankrupt government w i t h a more i n s i d i o u s l y e f f i c i e n t f a s c i s t version?  Would  there indeed be a winner, or was Spain to o f f e r the w o r l d , i n graphic d e t a i l , another example of the horrors of protracted warfare? of Canada's major d a i l i e s were i n i t i a l l y point:  Editors  unanimous on one c r i t i c a l  that there could be no real v i c t o r y i n the c i v i l war since a  repressive and highly v o l a t i l e d i c t a t o r s h i p would l i k e l y be i n s t a l l e d no matter which s i d e won.  The Toronto Globe and Mail provides a good  example of t h i s general b e l i e f . 1936:  The paper e d i t o r i a l i z e d on J u l y 29  "Most c e r t a i n however i s the f a c t that whichever side emerges  v i c t o r i o u s nothing w i l l  be s o l v e d . " ^  From the West Coast, the Vancouver  Sun e d i t o r wrote on J u l y 22, that "whichever side wins now—and the winner i s anybody's guess—Spain w i l l be j u s t as f a r from peace and order as she was i n the beginning."  2  The l u c i d e d i t o r of the Winnipeg  - 14 -  Free Press J.W. Dafoe, passed e a r l y sentence on the s i t u a t i o n on J u l y 24.  A f t e r a lengthy and accurate a n a l y s i s of the f i r s t few  days of the c i v i l war, the a r t i c l e ended on a d i s t i n c t l y p e s s i m i s t i c note, suggesting that "a v i r t u a l  d i c t a t o r s h i p — e i t h e r s o c i a l i s t or 3  fascist—sems the l i k e l y outcome."  The Canadian l e f t , which l a t e r  championed the republican cause, was i n i t i a l l y very doubtful of the outcome.  Writing i n October, the e d i t o r of the s o c i a l i s t Canadian  Forum hypothesized that "whichever side wins w i l l  i n h e r i t a Spain im-  poverished and_embittered, with some of i t s best and f i n e s t men and 4 women s l a i n . " Had the Spanish s i t u a t i o n been without s i g n i f i c a n t  interest  to Canada and Canadians, the press would not have been as vehement i n i t s unanimous condemnation of the war.  The Spanish C i v i l War c r y s t a l -  l i z e d Canada's perceived r o l e i n world a f f a i r s .  The average Canadian  tended to be c a u t i o u s l y smug i n his geographical i s o l a t i o n , wanting l i t t l e to do with a c o n f l i c t i n which neither side was l i k e l y to duce a government embodying Canadian democratic i d e a l s .  It  intro-  can a l s o be  argued that most Canadians f e l t a d i s t i n c t aversion to both communism and f a s c i s m , seeing them both as v i o l e n t extremes, more d i s r u p t i v e than constructive.  The Spanish C i v i l War was i n i t i a l l y viewed as a prime  example of a l l that Canada was a g a i n s t .  Later seen as a war between  democracy and d i c t a t o r s h i p , the war i n Spain was f i r s t perceived as a f i g h t between communism and f a s c i s m , and thus e v i l against e v i l .  To  the i s o l a t i o n i s t , Canada followed i t s p a r t i c u l a r f o r e i g n p o l i c y p r e c i s e l y to avoid embroilment in a nonsensical s i t u a t i o n l i k e that i n Spain.  For  - 15 -  the f i r s t months of the war, Canadians took heed, watched with c u r i o s i t y , and were glad not to be i n v o l v e d .  To the Canadian newspaper industry the Spanish C i v i l War c l e a r l y e x e m p l i f i e d the ongoing d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of Europe.  Given the  wishful thinking of the l e f t and the p o l i c y of i s o l a t i o n advocated by the r i g h t , the l a t t e r was approved as the most pragmatic for Canada. With that i n mind, e d i t o r s of most Canadian d a i l i e s stressed the purely l o c a l nature of the c i v i l war, adamantly c h a r a c t e r i z i n g i t as a Spanish c o n f l i c t between two i l l o g i c a l e v i l s , and delved deeply i n t o Spanish h i s t o r y to substantiate t h e i r c l a i m s .  The Toronto Globe and M a i l ,  for  example, suggested i n l a t e J u l y 1936, that the war r e s u l t e d from a lack i  of democratic t r a d i t i o n  in Spain.  5  The Vancouver Sun i n a p o n t i f i c a t i n g  a r t i c l e , suggested that the c o n f l i c t was due to the b i o l o g i c a l make-up of the Spaniards:  We b e l i e v e that the r a c i a l f a c t o r which cont r i b u t e d more than any other to the eventual c o l l a p s e of S p a i n , was the national miscegenat i o n forced upon that unhappy country when she was over run by Moors and Arabs f o r almost four c e n t u r i e s . fi  By a t t r i b u t i n g i t s o r i g i n s to d i s t a n t and a b s t r a c t f a c t o r s inherent i n the Spanish h e r i t a g e , the e d i t o r s had minimized the relevance and import of the more immediate i d e o l o g i c a l dimensions of the c o n f l i c t . The war was simply i n e v i t a b l e anarchy once again appearing over the Iberian P e n i n s u l a .  This a n a l y s i s helped m o l l i f y the fears of those few  Canadians who were watching the general European s i t u a t i o n with mounting  - 16 -  apprehension and who had l i n k e d the c i v i l war to the seemingly inexorable r i s e of f a s c i s t d i c t a t o r s h i p s .  If Canadian e d i t o r s saw the Spanish con-  f l i c t as an i n e v i t a b l e , purely i n t e r n a l c o n f l i c t , and not as an example of world fascism versus democracy, Canada need not f e e l any o b l i g a t i o n to get i n v o l v e d .  Indeed, were t h i s t h e s i s c o r r e c t , the c i v i l war could  never b o i l over the Spanish cauldron nor could i t European or world c o n f l i c t .  create a major  Thus Great B r i t a i n and the Dominions would  t h a n k f u l l y remain uninvolved.  There were those, however, who were not placated by the rather forced i s o l a t i o n i s t e d i t o r i a l s .  Canadian l e f t - w i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l s , saw  beyond t h i s e d i t o r i a l a n a l y s i s , and soon supported s p i r i t of republican Spain.  the i d e o l o g i c a l  This group, so v i v i d l y portrayed i n Hugh  MacLennan's novel The Watch that End the N i g h t , was more than a c o l l e c t i o n of l i b e r a l i n t e l l e c t u a l s championing that y e a r ' s f a d . concerned w i t h the spread of f a s c i s m , they soon i n t e r p r e t e d  Deeply  the  p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Spanish C i v i l War, and made an impassioned plea f o r democracy to Canadians.  The e d i t o r s of New F r o n t i e r s ,  one of the b e t t e r Canadian i n t e l l e c t u a l magazines, wrote i n October 1936:  Labour and progressive groups i n Canada cannot ignore t h i s l e a d . The events in Spain have m e r c i l e s s l y exposed the i s o l a t i o n i s t p o l i c i e s advocated by many Canadian l i b e r a l s and s o c i a l i s t s . . . .The immediate task f o r those who desire to keep Canada out of another war i s the most a c t i v e support of the Spanish government.  Though these people made t h e i r a l l e g i a n c e s p a t e n t l y , and in l e f t i s t f a s h i o n , p e d a n t i c a l l y obvious, f i l l i n g t h e i r pages with s o c i a l -  - 17 -  i s t jargon and dogmatic r h e t o r i c , t h e i r a n a l y s i s of the Spanish s i t u a t i o n tended to be extremely l u c i d and t r a g i c a l l y p r o p h e t i c :  "If  fascism i s v i c t o r i o u s in Spain, then the f a n t a s i e s of the Canadian p a c i f i s t s and i s o l a t i o n i s t w i l l be smashed to pieces by the r e a l i t y of g another World War." initially  The Canadian Forum, more perceptive than i t had  been, noted i n an e d i t o r i a l , that "The present c i v i l war i n  Spain has turned i n t o a dress rehearsal f o r the bigger European war which everybody over there now e x p e c t s . " ^ Canadian i n t e l l e c t u a l s though highly v o c a l , comprised a d e f i n i t e m i n o r i t y of the p o p u l a t i o n .  Small groups of Canadians had  become p o l i t i c a l l y p o l a r i z e d by the depression, and by the emergence of fascism and communism as p o t e n t i a l a l t e r n a t i v e s to democracy and capitalism.  This schism was l a r g e l y between f r i n g e groups, however,  leaving the bulk of the population as s t o l i d upholders of middle c l a s s i d e a l s and e t h i c s .  As mentioned, the r e a c t i o n to the outbreak of the  Spanish C i v i l War i l l u s t r a t e d that most Canadians f e l t an aversion f o r extremist European i d e o l o g i e s , few heeding the h i s t r i o n i c c a l l to arms from the f a r l e f t or r i g h t .  The Vancouver Sun echoed t h i s sentiment in  an e d i t o r i a l of August 11 1936:  "We f a i l  about whether Fascism or Communism w i l l  to see why anybody should worry  control Europe because not only  i s the one as bad as the other but to a l l i n t e n t s and purposes they are one and the same t h i n g . T o  the eyes of the middle c l a s s i n Canada,  the Spanish C i v i l War was i n i t i a l l y seen, i f nothing e l s e , as un-Canadian.  - 18 -  I s o l a t i o n i s m was one of the most dominant trends in p u b l i c opinion in Canada during the 1930's.  There were the many immigrants  who, having turned t h e i r backs on t h e i r ancestral lands, had a r r i v e d to s t a r t a new l i f e i n Canada; there were those who f e l t that Canada had everything to lose and nothing to gain from j o i n i n g another European war; many j u s t i f i a b l y  f e l t that anything but s t r i c t i s o l a t i o n could  d i v i d e the country i n t o e t h n i c , and p a r t i c u l a r l y E n g l i s h versus French camps of a l l e g i a n c e .  F i n a l l y , there was a l s o a strong f e e l i n g among  many Canadians that Europe, long past i t s z e n i t h , was in i t s waning y e a r s , that the warring nations and i d e o l o g i e s should conclude t h e i r own quarrels without dragging i n the r e s t of the world. memories of Canadian p a r t i c i p a t i o n  The horrendous  i n the European trenches of the  Great War were made p a r t i c u l a r l y poignant i n the summer of 1936 with the u n v e i l i n g of the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge.  "Never Again"  f e e l i n g s were strong throughout the country.  Newspapers were c e r t a i n l y against any Canadian involvement on the Iberian P e n i n s u l a . when a n a l y s i n g  The e d i t o r s took a rather p a t r o n i z i n g stance  the d a i l y f r o n t page reports of horrors and a t r o c i t i e s  committed by republicans and rebels a l i k e . .  The Vancouver Sun had spoken 12  of the waste of time worrying over Europe,  while the Winnipeg Free  Press s t a t e d : "Any leaving [ s i c ] away from n e u t r a l i t y might mean the spread of war over Europe between those adhering to Fascism and those 13 whose ideal i s Communism." would not be an exaggeration.  Their a l l u s i o n to "Splendid I s o l a t i o n "  - 19 -  When i t became c l e a r , in the f i r s t weeks of August 1936, that the Spanish c o n f l i c t had mushroomed i n t o a f u l l scale c i v i l the e d i t o r i a l  war,  denunciations in-Canadian newspapers increased appreciably.  The f r o n t pages s t i l l  featured photographs of r i f l e - c a r r y i n g women g i v i n g  the republican clenched f i s t s a l u t e , accompanied by racy action-packed s t o r i e s , but the p o l i t i c a l pessimistic.  a n a l y s i s became i n c r e a s i n g l y sombre and  On J u l y 31, the Toronto Globe and Mail f i r s t mentioned  the p o s s i b i l i t y that the Spanish s i t u a t i o n could e s c a l a t e into a f u l l 14 fledged European war.  Reports had been c i r c u l a t i n g that the  Italians,  and perhaps the Germans, were about to give the rebels material  support.  Leon Blum, the French s o c i a l i s t Premier, watched apprehensively.  He was  very aware of the dangers of Franco's f l a g f l y i n g over Spain—his country would be a l l but hemmed i n , surrounded on three f r o n t s by f a s c i s t d i c tators.  A republican sympathizer by c o n v i c t i o n , he did not h e s i t a t e to  o f f e r support to the l o y a l i s t s (support which was o f f i c i a l l y  withdrawn  in short o r d e r ) , and sent stern warnings to the A x i s powers to stay c l e a r of Spain.  In the autumn of 1936, Europe was a v e r i t a b l e powder  keg, and each power seemed to be s t r i k i n g matches with abandon.  The  Winnipeg Free Press headline of August 5 i l l u s t r a t e d Canadian f e a r s : "Anxiety Over C i v i l War in Spain Grows. 15 camps i s i n d i c a t e d . "  D i v i s i o n of Europe i n t o two  One spark t h a t very nearly set the charge  occurred on August 7, when four German c i t i z e n s were shot by Spanish r e p u b l i c a n s , incensed,  the Third Reich issued stern warnings and shunted  part of the German navy into the Bay of B i s c a y ; France responded to the move by v e r b a l l y lashing out at the Germans, ordering H i t l e r to keep c l e a r of the war; the republicans marched through the s t r e e t s ; and England  - 20 -  t r i e d to soothe the raw tempers by supporting the new French demand f o r general non-intervention  in the war.  The Winnipeg Free Press again  epitomized Canadian newspaper headlines: Near C l i m a x " .  "Events i n Spanish Revolt  The a r t i c l e declared Europe to be on the brink of war 1 fi  over the Spanish s i t u a t i o n .  The Canadian Forum held s i m i l a r views,  but went f u r t h e r , admonishing England f o r her i n a c t i o n i n the war: Spain i s f a r away, but we doubt whether many of our readers w i l l be able to view her troubles with the complete detachment of the B r i t i s h Foreign O f f i c e . They reveal very c l e a r l y how the c l a s s struggle converts domestic i n t o i n t e r national p o l i t i c s . Every c o u n t r y i n Europe i s swayed by the Spanish C i v i l War. 7  Europe was indeed on the verge of war over Spain.  By mid-  August i t had become patently obvious that i n i t i a l media a n a l y s i s had been rather s i m p l i s t i c i f not na'ive--blame f o r the c r i s i s could no longer be pinned on the i n f e r i o r genetic composition of the average Spaniard.  An already divided Europe had been f u r t h e r s p l i t over the  c o n f l i c t , making i t  i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t to ignore the i d e o l o g i c a l  differences between the two warring f a c t i o n s on the Iberian P e n i n s u l a . This r e a l i z a t i o n was r e i t e r a t e d o f f i c i a l l y  i n Canada when Malcolm  MacDonald, the Secretary f o r the Dominions i n London, sent a telegram to the Department of External A f f a i r s on August 5.  In i t he remarked  that "the struggle between m i l i t a r y and government i s becoming a f i g h t 18 between fascism and communism." world-wide s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s h i f t i n media coverage.  This was an a n a l y s i s which c a r r i e d i m p l i c a t i o n s , and led to yet another  - 21 -  No Canadian newspaper  had i t s own correspondent in Spain  when f i g h t i n g broke out i n J u l y , but that changed as the war became one of the century's major media events.  The f l u i d nature of the  Spanish b a t t l e s provided a p e r f e c t t e s t i n g ground f o r some of the. newly perfected high speed communications techniques of j o u r n a l i s m . For the f i r s t time sensational and often s t i r r i n g photos and s t o r i e s could be f l a s h e d from Spanish trenches to Canadian p a r l o r s in a. scant few hours.  Thus i t was not long before a l l the major papers had  syndicated j o u r n a l i s t s combing Spain, r i s k i n g l i f e and limb f o r exc l u s i v e s and "human-drama" a r t i c l e s .  One of the f i r s t Canadian war  correspondents to leave f o r Spain was Henning S0rensen, a young Danish emigre who went on behalf of the Canadian Forum and New Commonwealth. He l e f t i n e a r l y September, but changed his vocation a f t e r he was offered an opportunity to work with Dr. Bethune's new mobile blood t r a n s - . ,. . 19 fusion c l i n i c s .  E n g l i s h d a i l i e s l i k e the Winnipeg Free P r e s s , Vancouver Sun and Toronto Globe and Mail had i n i t i a l l y  r e l i e d on Associated Press  news s e r v i c e f o r t h e i r b u l l e t i n s , which meant that Anglo-Canadian newspapers drew from the same stock of material and therefore tended 20 to have s i m i l a r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s .  French-Canadian papers, on the  other hand, received most of t h e i r information from S . P . A . news s e r v i c e . With Canadian Press supplying very l i t t l e i n f o r m a t i o n , i t was therefore easy f o r Quebec papers to reach t h e i r own, rather d i f f e r e n t , p r e t a t i o n of events i n Spain.  inter-  - 22 -  The r o l e of Associated Press was soon usurped by Canadian Press s e r v i c e , which by October 1936 c o n t r o l l e d most of the Canadian information emanating from Spain.  I t would seem that Canadian Press  managed to r e t a i n that monopoly f o r the duration of the war.  With  most of the Spanish news being funnelled through one major news s e r v i c e , before entering Canada, i t can be conjectured that biases of s i n g l e Canadian Press reporters could f i l t e r t h e i r way i n t o most major Canadian d a i l i e s , thereby helping sway p u b l i c o p i n i o n . fluential subjective interpretation  Perhaps the most i n -  transmitted to Canada was that Spain  was becoming the t u r f f o r an i d e o l o g i c a l j o u s t i n g match between fascism and democracy.  The i n t e r n a t i o n a l and emotive character of the war  tended to have a negative e f f e c t on o b j e c t i v e j o u r n a l i s m .  Ernest 22  Hemingway's reports were, a f t e r a l l , not appealing to cold i n t e l l e c t . Even the London Times was not f r e e from b i a s .  The paragon of o b j e c t i v e  journalism had t h e i r man, Kim Phi 1 by, reporting on the n a t i o n l i s t s i d e , 23 unaware that t h e i r reporter was i n f a c t a Russian agent. Once the notion was accepted that Spain had become the b a t t l e ground f o r two of Europe's most c o n t r o v e r s i a l i d e o l o g i e s , Canadians began to look at the c o n f l i c t from a new p e r s p e c t i v e .  I s o l a t i o n i s m was  no longer enough as i t did not provide an answer f o r the e t h i c a l , i d e o l o g i c a l , and p r a c t i c a l questions inherent i n the Spanish C i v i l War.  The Canadian Forum not only supported the l e g a l i t y of the Spanish Republic, but also questioned the moral aspects of the c r i s i s . The appeal i n the October issue e x e m p l i f i e d what was to become standard  - 23 -  f a r e f o r the magazine throughout the war:  "Every s o c i a l i s t , every  l i b e r a l , we would almost say every man of any decent f e e l i n g , can only 24 hope that the  [Spanish] government w i l l p r e v a i l . "  People responded,  began to take s i d e s , and, much to the dismay of staunch i s o l a t i o n i s t s who r e j e c t e d any a s s i s t a n c e to f o r e i g n combatants, the newly aroused consciousness soon led to d i r e c t a i d . New York l o c a l of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l  When i t was learned that the  Ladies Garments Workers Union had  donated $5,000 to the r e p u b l i c a n s , the conservative Toronto Globe and M a i l , i n an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Meddling i n S p a i n ' s R e v o l t " , stated that "governments  [should] put a ban on the m a t e r i a l i s t i c sympathies of  their nationals."  The e d i t o r , no i s o l a t i o n i s t , advocated a strong  new f o r e i g n p o l i c y that would bring Canada i n t o c l o s e r a l l i a n c e with Great B r i t a i n .  He f e l t that "any f o r e i g n p o l i c y devised by the Dominion  that f a i l e d to dovetail with that of B r i t a i n would be of no serious importance i n world a f f a i r s and might as well be forgotten before is s t a r t e d . "  it  2 6  Given Moroccan imports of Canadian i n d u s t r i a l goods, however, Mackenzie K i n g ' s government could not simply ban the " m a t e r i a l i s t i c sympathies" of Canadians without appearing to approve of the r e b e l s . Franco's r e b e l l i o n had, a f t e r a l l , been born in Spanish Morocco, and the country was f i r m l y under n a t i o n a l i s t c o n t r o l . To his c o n s t e r n a t i o n , the Canadian Prime M i n i s t e r , wanting to keep the country uninvolved i n the c i v i l war, found p r i v a t e c i t i z e n s sending goods to the republicans while Canadian business circumvented the Non-intervention Treaty by pumping m a t e r i a l s i n t o " n e u t r a l " Morocco.  The f i r s t to question the  - 24 -  m o r a l i t y of t h i s ambiguous s i t u a t i o n was the Canadian Forum. magazine i n s i s t e d that there was no j u s t i f i c a t i o n  The  f o r sending goods to  a " n e u t r a l " which was, in f a c t , t o t a l l y under the control of General Franco and the r e b e l s :  The "Mail and Empire's^' Ottawa_correspondent assures us that "the [Canadian] a u t h o r i t i e s have no delusions about where the shipments are going to u l t i m a t e l y — t o General Franco, but they don't f e e l c a l l e d upon to take any a c t i o n . A f t e r a l l , we get our money.  The government's export p o l i c i e s were a l s o attacked i n the House of Commons i t s e l f .  Vancouver C . C . F . opposition M.P. Charles G. MacNeil  openly c r i t i c i z e d K i n g , saying that "unquestionably large p r o f i t s are being made on material exported to Morocco f o r the assistance of the f a s c i s t insurgents in S p a i n . "  The a s s e r t i o n s , both from the media and  from the o p p o s i t i o n , gained tremendous credence when Canadian war material export f i g u r e s f o r Morocco were r e l e a s e d .  1935  Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.  $ 1,929 $16,461 $ 4,392 $ 4,836  1936  Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.  Canadian War M a t e r i a l Export to Morocco.  $ $ $ $  296,752 291,135 678,101 505,809  29  Much l a t e r the Prime M i n i s t e r , with the p o l i t i c a l success of the Foreign Enlistment Act. by then behind him, had an Order i n Council passed i n J u l y 1937 p r o h i b i t i n g the export o f any war material to e i t h e r side i n 29 the c o n f l i c t .  Though his e t h i c s might perhaps be questioned, there i s  no doubt that K i n g , a p o l i t i c a l animal par excellence , e f f e c t i v e l y  - 25 -  eliminated a p o t e n t i a l thorn i n his side by l e g i s l a t i n g i t out of existence.  Meanwhile, the debate on the moral issues continued unabated.  The Winnipeg Free P r e s s , an advocate of a more independent  Canada, and much more l i b e r a l than the Globe and M a i l , sided with the republicans on August 8 when the e d i t o r i a l read:  {the r e b e l l i o n ] i s a r e v o l t against a properly c o n s t i t u t e d government with a majority i n a p o p u l a r l y e l e c t e d assembly and has no more status from a legal point of view, than a mob t r y i n g to take the law i n t o i t s own hands or a gangster r e s i s t i n g the p o l i c e . . . . T e c h n i c a l l y then, other European powers would be r i g h t i n permitting the shipment of arms to the government of S p a i n , wrong i n allowing t h e i r n a t i o n a l s to give any a i d to the f a s c i s t cause.  According to J.W. Dafoe, i n f l u e n t i a l e d i t o r to the Winnipeg Free P r e s s , the Spanish C i v i l War had c r y s t a l l i z e d p u b l i c opinion on Canadian f o r e i g n p o l i c y v i s a v i s general currents i n Europe.  At  a conference on Canadian-American a f f a i r s i n e a r l y 1937, he noted that the c o n f l i c t had p o l a r i z e d p u b l i c opinion i n t o f i v e camps: 1) the s t r i c t i s o l a t i o n i s t s .  These were mostly p a c i f i s t s who f e l t  that Canada should not involve h e r s e l f i n any external c o n f l i c t or treaty.  If  the country came under a t t a c k , t h e i s o l a t i o n i s t contended  that Canada should r e l y on the United States and Great B r i t a i n f o r any military assistance.  2) The i s o l a t i o n i s t s who f e l t that Canada should  remain neutral at a l l c o s t s , but should be able to defend her borders  - 26 -  as needed.  3) People advocating a f o r e i g n p o l i c y r e j e c t i n g any advance  commitments, but allowing Canada to go to war i f  i t were deemed necessary.  4) The c o l l e c t i v i s t s , who were glad to see Canada's modest re-armaments programme because i t meant more power to the League of Nations and the idea of c o l l e c t i v e s e c u r i t y .  5) The i m p e r i a l i s t s , who c a l l e d f o r a 31  melding of Canadian f o r e i g n p o l i c y with that of Great B r i t a i n .  Dafoe  f e l t that preparations f o r defence with no commitment of any kind ( i . e . number 3) " c o n s t i t u t e d a p o l i c y which s u i t e d a very d e f i n i t e majority 32 of the people i n Canada." There were those who f e l t a great deal stronger about the Spanish c o n f l i c t .  A week a f t e r the war broke o u t , l e t t e r s began to  t r i c k l e i n to the e d i t o r s of the various Canadian d a i l i e s . the f o l l o w i n g theme:  Most echoed  "Can anyone be i n doubt as to which side i s the  r i g h t when wives and sweethearts are marching side by side with t h e i r 33 loved ones to defend the ' P e o p l e ' s F r o n t ' . " rhetorical  And on J u l y 25, a more  l e t t e r t y p i c a l of the Canadian Communist P a r t y :  " A l l honour  to the Spanish people, who defend with t h e i r l i v e s t h e i r hard won democ r a c y ; a noble people marching proudly and d e f i a n t l y on the road to 34 emancipation."  The Anarchists may have been p i l l a g i n g C a t h o l i c  churches, but as Canadian n o v e l i s t Morley Callaghan noted, the r e b e l s , despite what Quebec clergymen s a i d , were hardly upholders of C h r i s t i a n ethics either: The spectacle of the devout Foreign Legion thugs and pious i n f i d e l Moors, the ancient enemy of the C h r i s t i a n Spanish people marching to the tune of Onward C h r i s t i a n S o l d i e r s leaves me very c o l d indeed.  - 27 -  An anonymous poem submitted to the Canadian Forum i n October 1936 followed the same l i n e s :  B a t t l e Hymn f o r the Spanish Rebels. The Church's one foundation Is now the Muslim sword, In meek c o l l a b o r a t i o n With flame and axe and c o r d ; Deep-winged with holy love The b a t t l e - p l a n e s of W o t a n , The bombing-planes of Jove.  3g  There were a few English-Canadians who thought championing the l o y a l i s t cause foolhardy, unworthy, or downright meddlesome. Some l i k e the author of the f o l l o w i n g T e t t e r , could not understand what the fuss was a l l about:  that under the sacred stand of humanitarianism, would meddle with the i n t e r n a l a f f a i r s of a nation 4000 miles away from Canada, and towards which n a t i o n , the B r i t i s h government i s endeavouring to ensure the n e u t r a l i t y of other nations by me^ns of a concentration of i t s f l e e t o f f i t s shores.  Excluding Quebec, however, a n t i - r e p u b l i c a n sentiments were very l i m i t e d . Prime M i n i s t e r Mackenzie King and J u s t i c e M i n i s t e r Ernest Lapointe received several hundred l e t t e r s and p e t i t i o n s from E n g l i s h Canada during the f i r s t nine months of the c o n f l i c t , of which but two were a n t i - l o y a l i s t , and one of them can be eliminated as i t came from the town of F a l h e r , A l b e r t a , which was ninety-nine percent French-Canadian Catholic.  38  The author of the other, who also sent Mr. Lapointe a  - 28 -  sampling of Germany's propaganda m i n i s t e r  Dr. J . Goebbels's i n t e r -  p r e t a t i o n s of the Spanish C i v i l War, could not have been taken too s e r i o u s l y considering his concluding a n a l y s i s :  "Oh f o r an ' A n t i -  Communist League' England, America and even here i s seething with 39  Bolshevism."  *  *  *  Canadian p u b l i c opinion i s n o t o r i o u s l y f i c k l e and to judge.  difficult  Unlike the c i t i z e n s of so many other c o u n t r i e s , even wrath-  f u l Canadians r a r e l y b u i l d b a r r i c a d e s , take to the s t r e e t s in vast numbers, or storm t h e i r l e g i s l a t i v e b u i l d i n g s .  Whether i t i s the  Anglo-Saxon heritage of the s t i f f upper l i p , or the newly a r r i v e d immigrant's fears of d e p o r t a t i o n , the f a c t remains that Canadians tend to a s s e r t t h e i r f e e l i n g s i n unobtrusive, innocuous ways that are consequently d i f f i c u l t  to assess.  L e t t e r s to the e d i t o r are indeed  one i n d i c a t o r , but one that must be used with caution as there are always those c o n t r i b u t o r s who w i l l w r i t e anything to see t h e i r names in print.  E d i t o r s a l s o c a r e f u l l y s i f t through the incoming m a i l .  There-  fore i t i s v i r t u a l l y impossible to know whether, i n f a c t , the l e t t e r s p r i n t e d are an honest r e f l e c t i o n of those r e c e i v e d .  Perhaps a s a f e r  clue to p u b l i c opinion i s an examination of the l e t t e r s w r i t t e n by groups or i n d i v i d u a l s d i r e c t l y to the government.  There i s very l i t t l e  ego involved i n a message to the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s o f f i c e ; i t w i l l not be published; w i l l and w i l l  be r o u t i n e l y answered, often by an unsympathetic s e c r e t a r y ;  then be relegated to an obscure  s h e l f i n the p u b l i c a r c h i v e s .  L e t t e r s to the government therefore tend to be w r i t t e n from c o n v i c t i o n  - 29 -  rather than v a n i t y , often with the co-operative hope that enough s i m i l a r messages w i l l bring the desired changes.  Though i t  is a tiny  percentage of the population which a c t u a l l y writes Ottawa, the  letters,  analyzed in conjunction with p r e v i o u s l y mentioned sources, can j u s t i f i a b l y be used as reasonable i n d i c a t o r s of Canadian p u b l i c o p i n i o n .  The  emotive  character of the Spanish C i v i l War led to  innumerable appeals and p e t i t i o n s pouring i n to the o f f i c e s of the Prime M i n i s t e r and J u s t i c e M i n i s t e r Ernest Lapointe f o r the of the c o n f l i c t . letters will  duration  For the purposes of t h i s paper, however, only those  be examined that had been received by the time of the  Foreign Enlistment debates i n March 1937. of c l a r i t y , French-Canadian l e t t e r s w i l l  Furthermore, f o r the sake be d e a l t with in a separate  chapter.  The l i t e r a l l y  hundreds of messages and r e s o l u t i o n s sent  during the f i r s t nine month period may be broken i n t o f i v e  distinct  c a t e g o r i e s , each dealing with a s p e c i f i c aspect of the Spanish C i v i l War:  1) popular responses to the government's threatened ban on exports  to Spain;  2] the uproar, i n September 1936, when l o y a l i s t S p a i n ' s  membership in the League of Nations was not renewed;  3) the disappear-  ance, in February 1937, of General Emile K l e b e r , f i r s t leader o f what was to become the International  Brigades, and reputedly a Canadian  citizen;  4) general views on Canada and the Spanish C i v i l War, and  finally;  5) the e t h i c a l and moral questions involved i n the proposed  Foreign Enlistment A c t .  - 30 -  As has been mentioned, l e f t - w i n g  Canadian magazines l i k e  the Canadian Forum and New F r o n t i e r s demanded that the Spanish Republic be permitted to buy any material  i t needed from Canada.  also found expression i n l e t t e r s to King and Lapointe.  This sentiment Typical of  these was a p e t i t i o n sent by the "Canadian League Against War and Fascism f o r Peace and Democracy":  Be i t resolved that t h i s Mass Meeting of one thousand Canadian c i t i z e n s urge upon the Dominion government that i t permit the transport of supplies to the f r i e n d l y government of Spain in accordance with International law and that i t w i l l not a t tempt to place r e s t r i c t i o n s upon Canadian c i t i z e n s who may wish to a i d the Spanish people i n t h e i r * defence of the p r i n c i p l e of c o n s t i t u t i o n a l and democratic government.  As with the above r e s o l u t i o n , few authors r e s t r i c t e d themselves s o l e l y to the question of s u p p l i e s , but rather dealt with both material and human a i d .  Many of the l e t t e r s r e f l e c t the highly charged emotional  nature of the Spanish C i v i l War through t h e i r strong  indignation:  In conclusion I beg to ask i f i t i s proposed i n t h i s b i l l , to p r o h i b i t the sending of f u r t h e r cash and material a i d to such a worthy and admirable c i t i z e n of t h i s country as Dr. Norman Bethune who i s c a r r y i n g on such a noble work i n l i t e r a l l y snatching from the jaws of death, hundreds i f not thousands who otherw i s e , would be numbered among the hundreds of thousands who have been s a c r i f i c e d to the God of Finance C a p i t a l fn S p a i n , through her trusted l i e u t e n a n t s , the-,Fascist and Nazi butchers of I t a l y and Germany. . . .  S p a i n ' s membership in the League of Nations came up for r e newal i n September 1936.  To the consternation and s u r p r i s e of many, the  - 31 -  League ousted Spain by r e j e c t i n g the R e p u b l i c ' s a p p l i c a t i o n on September 20th.  That alone could have r e s u l t e d i n general i n d i g n a t i o n from the  democratic w o r l d , but when i t was learned through the Canadian p r e s s ' t h a t Senator Dandurand, Canada's representative to the League, had voted against S p a i n ' s r e - a d m i s s i o n , l e t t e r s p o s i t i v e l y flooded the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s office.  The government of A l b e r t a , having l i t t l e sympathy f o r the federal 42  L i b e r a l s , went so f a r as to pass a r e s o l u t i o n condemning the a c t i o n . H.R.L. Henry, the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s p r i v a t e s e c r e t a r y , answered a l l  the  p r o t e s t a t i o n s , c a r e f u l l y pointing out that since the vote had been by s e c r e t b a l l o t , Canada's p o s i t i o n could not have been known to the p r e s s . 43 Though Dandurand did i n f a c t vote f o r S p a i n ' s r e - e l e c t i o n ,  the p u b l i c  o u t c r y , p a r t i c u l a r l y from the West, went a long way to prove that E n g l i s h Canada did not want Spain i s o l a t e d from the w o r l d , and was indeed symp a t h e t i c toward the l e g a l l y e l e c t e d republican government. * The disappearance of Emile Kleber i n February 1937 caused a minor p u b l i c uproar i n E n g l i s h speaking Canada.  Kleber, a professional  r e v o l u t i o n a r y and veteran of the Russian r e v o l u t i o n , reached the stature of a f o l k hero i n the f a l l crew of i n t e r n a t i o n a l s  of 1936 a f t e r s k i l l f u l l y commanding a motley 44  i n the defence of Madrid.  To many Canadians  Kleber not only stood f o r l i b e r t y , j u s t i c e and i d e a l i s m , but as a n a t u r a l i z e d Canadian of A u s t r i a n o r i g i n , was almost a native son.  Thus i n t e r e s t  in  Spain was f u r t h e r heightened by the f a c t that one of the f i r s t leaders of 45 the International  Brigades was Canadian.  Mackenzie King received dozens  of l e t t e r s and telegrams from the time Kleber was f i r s t reported captured by Franco's Moorish troops u n t i l his eventual re-emergence several weeks  - 32 -  later.  Every one of them c a l l e d , with varying degrees of  civility,  f o r the Canadian government to go to K l e b e r ' s a i d , or at l e a s t to ensure his s a f e t y .  The p e t i t i o n s were not only from l e f t - w i n g groups, but were  also from i n d i v i d u a l concerned c i t i z e n s .throughout Canada ( i n c l u d i n g AC  Quebec).  Recurring i n c i d e n t s such as t h i s were embellished by papers  l i k e the communist D a i l y C l a r i o n , and became v i t a l  to the construction  of the mystique surrounding the Spanish C i v i l War. The smallest category of l e t t e r s sent to the government during the f i r s t nine months of the war concerned general impressions of the crisis.  These notes were not w r i t t e n as a r e s u l t of any p a r t i c u l a r  i n c i d e n t , and were therefore more expressions of general concern rather than s p e c i f i c angry complaints.  A t y p i c a l example was the f o l l o w i n g  note from the "Lutheran Workers L i t e r a r y A s s o c i a t i o n " of Toronto:  "Tramp  [the f a s c i s t ] down and end a l l the butchery which they have caused w i t h 47 out any r i g h t or r e a s o n . "  There were also seventy-two copies of a  p r o - r e p u b l i c a n a n t i - r e b e l p e t i t i o n a l l e g e d l y representing a t o t a l of 4,331 people.  A l l stemming from B r i t i s h Columbia, most from the Vancouver  a r e a , they were sent in mid-October 1936, and tended to emanate from C . C . F . clubs w i t h a smaller assortment of women's groups, German, I t a l i a n and church organizations a l s o represented.  This category of l e t t e r s was again  overwhelmingly sympathetic to the Spanish Republic and tended to see the war as an i d e o l o g i c a l s t r u g g l e . The government's proposed Foreign, Enlistment Act drew by f a r the greatest response from the e l e c t o r a t e throughout the f i r s t nine  - 33 -  months of the Spanish war.  L e t t e r s from across Canada flooded i n to  the o f f i c e s of both the Prime M i n i s t e r and Ernest Lapointe from l a t e January 1937 u n t i l the Act was passed i n March.  As with the other  c a t e g o r i e s , they seem to have been weighted evenly between those sent by i n d i v i d u a l s and those dispatched under the auspices of groups or clubs ( i n the l a t t e r  particular  case, labour groups tended to dominate).  Though the l e t t e r s d i f f e r e d i n t h e i r approach the emphasis, less than f i v e percent a c t u a l l y supported the proposed Act while most condemned i t outright.  Vehement r e j e c t i o n of the Act revolved around two central  and p o l i t i c a l  issues:  the democratic r i g h t of Canadians to come and go  as they pleased^and the increasing f a s c i s t threat to democracy and l e g a l l y e l e c t e d democratic governments.  The f o l l o w i n g r e s o l u t i o n adopted  at a C . P . C . chaired "mass meeting" i n Winnipeg furnished a good example of the former case:  As free Canadians we demand the r i g h t to go to the assistance of any injured person, group of persons, or a nation who i s s u f f e r i n g under these or s i m i l a r circumstances, e i t h e r as combattants, or as non-combattants.  Even elements from w i t h i n Mackenzie K i n g ' s own L i b e r a l Party r e b e l l e d against the perceived anti-democratic nature of the A c t . The L i b e r a l Club of S t . Jacques, Montreal, sent the Prime M i n i s t e r a p o l i t e note  informing  him ,that i t believed the proposed Act to be "contrary to democracy".  49  The emotionally indignant character of the l e t t e r s also took a personal form,  with attacks on the i n t e g r i t y of King himself:  "I  had always  thought that you were i n favour of democracy, but today I perceive the contrary.  I' hope that your a t t i t u d e w i l l  change i n the next few days."  50  - 34 -  And t h i s rather v i c i o u s and scornful statement: you have been overwhelmed by [ B r i t a i n ' s  "It  appears to me that  Prime M i n i s t e r ]  and company and the entertainment i n t h e i r c a r e . "  , Mr. Baldwin  51  Many Canadians saw the Act as t a c i t government approval the rebel cause.  for  Though the Enlistment Act was to prevent Canadians  from volunteering f o r e i t h e r side i n the Spanish war, the number who wished to j o i n Franco's Foreign Legions was so miniscule that the B i l l was l o g i c a l l y perceived as an attack s o l e l y upon the l o y a l i s t s .  A  C . C . F . candidate from West York f e l t that the Act would be "tantamount to countenancing r e b e l l i o n against a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y  chosen government  52 of a f r i e n d l y power."  M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y ' s " S o c i a l Problems C l u b " ,  a c t i v e l y f o l l o w i n g events i n S p a i n , wrote to the J u s t i c e M i n i s t e r : I t has been unmistakeably shown that [passing the Act} would amount i n p r a c t i c e to i n t e r v e n t i o n on the side of the r e b e l s . . . . C e r t a i n ! v t h e Canadian people are not p a r t i a l to the r e b e l s . 3  Many p r o t e s t s , though l e s s academic, were n e v e r - t h e - l e s s obvious i n their  intent:  What dark and s i n i s t e r object i s behind the b i l l ? Surely an opponent of democracy i n S p a i n , would, be an opponent i n Canada. An advocate of government by the Thug, l i k e his f r i e n d Franco, the F a s c i s t Baby-butcher. I f t h i s damnable outrage i s permitted to becowe law, I s h a l l never again cast a L i b e r a l vote.  - 35 -  Protestant r e l i g i o u s groups a l s o j o i n e d in a t t a c k i n g the government over the foreign enlistment i s s u e .  Their l e t t e r s , exem-  p l i f i e d by the f o l l o w i n g , tended to dwell on the moral aspects of the Act:  As a c i t i z e n of Canada and a clergyman of the United Church, I wish to add my voice to those which are protesting against the government's announced i n t e n t i o n s to introduce a b i l l p r o h i b i t ing Canadians from f i g h t i n g f o r democracy i n Spain. Such l e g i s l a t i o n would, i n my judgement, be a t o t a l l y unwarranted infringement on c i v i l l i b e r t i e s , a gross i n s u l t to a f r i e n d l y government, a shameful encouragement to world-wide f a s c i s m , and a c l e a r breach of i n t e r n a t i o n a l law. I f e r v e n t l y hope that the professedly L i b e r a l government of Canada w i l l not disgrace i t s e l f by introducing t h i s abominable b i l l .  Perhaps the best example of a l l the l e t t e r s dealing with the Foreign Enlistment Act i s the f o l l o w i n g s u c c i n c t note to the Prime Minister.  Torontonian L e i t h McMurray q u i c k l y i l l u m i n a t e d the central  issues that seemed to d i s t u r b so many E n g l i s h Canadians about Canada and the Spanish C i v i l War:  I consider i t a c r y i n g shame that only when a c l i q u e of reactionary generals conspire with f o r e i g n c a p i t a l i s t s to overthrow a government, democratically chosen by a people, do you cons i d e r i t necessary to forbid Canadians to j o i n that people's armed f o r c e s . g  One c r u c i a l inference may be gathered from the many l e t t e r s sent to the government during the e a r l y stages of the Spanish C i v i l War.  As has been mentioned, of a l l the i n c i d e n t s and issues revolving  - 36 -  around Canada and Spain f o r the f i r s t nine months of the  conflict,  none aroused as much a t t e n t i o n from E n g l i s h Canada as the Foreign Enlistment A c t .  The p l a u s i b l e explanation f o r t h i s i s that E n g l i s h  Canada, though p r o - r e p u b l i c a n , did not want to become p h y s i c a l l y i n volved i n S p a i n ' s c i v i l war.  P r i v a t e c o l l e c t i o n agencies l i k e  Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy" and volunteer recruitment  "the efforts  gave E n g l i s h Canada a sense of s o l i d a r i t y with the l o y a l i s t s without a c t u a l l y dragging the country i n t o the muck of t h e i r war.  Forcedly  stopping the s a l e of materials and the t r i c k l e of r e c r u i t s to Spain would mean blocking English Canada's sole i d e o l o g i c a l and legal vent. That, whether conscious or not, was the crux of the matter.  Of more v i t a l  import to t h i s paper was the obvious English  Canadian support f o r the Spanish republican cause.  Why did the Prime  M i n i s t e r , well aware of t h i s sentiment from E n g l i s h Canada, encourage the Foreign Enlistment Act and the ban on m i l i t a r y the Spanish antagonists?  sales to e i t h e r of  The answer to that question l i e s neither  in  English Canada, nor with the personal sympathies of Mackenzie King and his c o l l e a g u e s , but rather i n the province of Quebec.  NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 Toronto Globe and M a i l , 29 July 1936, p. 4.  2  Vancouver Sun, 22 July 1936, p. 6. 3 Winnipeg Free Press, 24 July 1936, p. 11. 4 The Canadian Forum, e d i t o r i a l , October 1936, p. 4 - 5 . Globe and M a i l , 20 July 1936, p. 4 .  5  ^Vancouver Sun, 25 July 1936, p. 4. 7  New F r o n t i e r s , e d i t o r i a l ,  o  9  v o l . 1, #6, October 1936.  I b i d . , v o l . 1, #5, September 1936, p. 3. New Frontiers says of the f a s c i s t s and t h e i r attempted overthrow of the Spanish government: "The insurgents continue to ffgftt l i k e the cornered rats they a r e . "  I b i d . , v o l . 1, #11, March 1937, p. 3.  10  T h e Canadian Forum, e d i t o r i a l ,  February 1937, p. 5.  ^Vancouver Sun, 11 August 1936, p. 4 . 1 2  Ibid.  13 Winnipeg Free Press, 6 August 1936, e d i t o r i a l . G l o b e and M a i l , 31 July 1936, p. 1. 14  15 Winnipeg Free Press, 5 August 1936, p. 1. 1 6  l7  I b i d . , 8 August 1936, p. 1.  T h e Canadian Forum, e d i t o r i a l , September 1936, p. 4 - 5 .  18 John A. Munro, e d . , Documents on Canadian External Relations, (Ottawa: Queen's P r i n t e r , 1972), V I , p. 754. 19 20V i c t o r Hoar, The B a tAssociated t a l i o n , (Toronto: The.Winnipeg FreeMackenzie-Papineau Press i n i t i a l l y used Press S eCopp rvice, Clark Publishing C o . , 1969), p. 10. ~ then combined i t with Canadian Press, the l a t t e r dominating the paper by January 1937. The Vancouver Sun seems" to have used both press services f o r the f i r s t nine months of the c o n f l i c t , while papers l i k e the Toronto Star had i t s own correspondent, M.H. Halton, i n place by October 1936.  21 Montreal's Le Devoir used S.P.A. news service e x c l u s i v e l y for the f i r s t two months of the c o n f l i c t a f t e r which time they supplemented i t with a few dispatches from the Canadian Press S e r v i c e . 22 At l e a s t one member of the International Brigades, Jason Gurney, was not impressed by Hemingway's macjnsmo_: "The most controversial of (the distinguished v i s i t o r s to the republ i c a n trenches^J, was Ernest Hemingway, f u l l of hearty and bogus bon-homie. He sat himself down behind the b u l l e t proof s h i e l d of a machine-gun and loosed off a whole b e l t of ammunition i n the general d i r e c t i o n of the enemy. This provoked a mortar bombardment f o r which he did not s t a y . " Jason Gurney, Crusade i n Spain, (London: Faber & Faber L t d . , 1974), p. 67. 23 > see Andrew Boyle, The Fourth Man, (New York: Bantam Books, 1980). 24 The Canadian Forum, e d i t o r i a l , October 1936, p. 5. 25  G16be and M a i l , 5 August 1936, p. 4.  Ibid. 27 The Canadian Forum, e d f t o r f a l , November 1936, p. 4. 28 Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Debates, (Ottawa: Queen's P r i n t e r , 15 February 1937], p. 885. Hereafter c i t e d as House of Commons, Debates. 29 J . A . Munro, Documents, p. 977.  2 6  30  Winnipeg Free Press, 8 August 1936, p. 7. 31 J.W. Dafoe, "Canadian Foreign P o l i c y , " Conference on Canadian . American A f f a i r s , (Boston: Ginn & C o . , 1937), p. 224-231. 32 ^Ibid. Vancouvef Sun, 25 J u l y 1936, p. 5. 33  34 ^Ibid. 35  New F r o n t i e r s , v o l . 1, #8, December 1936, p. 14.  36  T h e Canadian Forum, October 1936, p. 23. Globe and M a i l , 19 January 1937, p. 1.  38  Ernest Lapointe Papers, v o l . 22, f i l e #70, Public Archives of Canada. Letter dated 12 February 1937, from Mr. L . P . Labbe (in French). A l l subsequent references are to materials in the Public Archives, and w i l l be referred to as Lapointe Papers.  39  Ibid.,  l e t t e r dated 21 February 1937, from A l f r e d Mansfield E s q . , V i c t o r i a , B.C.  Ibid.,  l e t t e r dated 8 February 1937.  40  41 42  43  I b i d . , l e t t e r dated 1 February, from J.W. Gorman, Montreal. for examples see King Papers, v o l . 342, f i l e S-500, P u b l i c Archives of Canada. A l l subsequent King Papers references are to materials in the public archives.  King Papers, J4 s e r i e s , v o l . 212. Volume 167 of the King Papers contains a memorandum to the Prime Minister which says that Senator Dandurand did in fact vote for Spain's membership renewal. The word " c o n f i d e n t i a l " is scribbled i n the margin. 44 Victor Hoar, The Mac-Paps, p. 17. 45 memoranda in the King Papers suggest that the Department of Immigration ran a check on Mr. Kleber. The conclusion was that he was indeed not a Canadian c i t i z e n nor a landed immigrant. 46 4 7  King Papers, J4 s e r i e s , v o l . 212. I b i d . , v o l . 342, f i l e S-500, l e t t e r dated 20 December 1936.  48 49  Lapointe Papers, v o l . 22, f i l e #70, l e t t e r dated 7 February 1937. I b i d . , l e t t e r dated 31 January 1937, from Monsieur L. Rousseau, S e c r e t a i r e , Club L i b e r a l , St. Jaques, Montreal (in French).  50 51  52  I b i d . , l e t t e r dated 30 January 1937. K i n g Papers, v o l . 342, f i l e S-500, l e t t e r dated 31 January 1937. L a p o i n t e Papers, v o l . 22, f i l e #70, l e t t e r dated 3 February 1937.  53 Ibid., 54  l e t t e r dated 31 January 1937, from the s i x t y members of the "Social Problems Club."  • I b i d . , l e t t e r dated 2 February 1937, from Mr. B. Seanlon, Montreal. 55 56  I b i d . , l e t t e r dated 5 February 1937, from Rev. J . C . Mortimer, Northport, N.S. f i l e S-500, l e t t e r dated August 1937. King Papers, v o l . 342,  - 40 -  CHAPTER  II  THE PIVOTAL ROLE OF QUEBEC  Mackenzie King wouldn't know a p r i n c i p l e i f he t r i p p e d over i t . A l l he was i n t e r e s t e d i n was votes. Interview with Senator Eugene Forsey, February 1982  A f t e r that f a t e f u l day when the Bolsheviks f i r s t began to board up or convert churches i n t o workers' clubs in the new Soviet Republic, communism had become the avowed nemesis of organized r e l i g i o n . Of a l l c l e r i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s ,  the C a t h o l i c church reacted most vehemently  against the new f o e , condemning communism from the p u l p i t , and supporting any group that promised to challenge and destroy the growing red menace. Undoubtedly t h i s was because the C a t h o l i c church, through centuries of e f f e c t i v e socio-economic and p o l i t i c a l  c o n t r o l , bore the brunt of the  l e f t i s t a t t a c k s , and stood to lose the most.  Thus one of the many reasons f o r the n a t i o n a l i s t  rebellion  against the Spanish Republic i n J u l y 1936, was the r e a l i z a t i o n by the m i l i t a r y that the new l e f t i s t tendencies of Madrid posed a deadly threat to the t r a d i t i o n a l  p o s i t i o n of the Spanish church.  Not only were  s o c i a l i s t s c a l l i n g f o r reforms w i t h i n the C a t h o l i c h i e r a r c h y , communists and a n a r c h i s t s were reaching s a c r i l e g i o u s heights by c a l l i n g f o r complete e r a d i c a t i o n of a l l papal influence i n Spain.  the  The Spanish  a r i s t o c r a c y , i n c l u d i n g i t s m i l i t a r y l e a d e r s , r e b e l l e d against i n c r e a s i n g  - 41 -  s e c u l a r i z a t i o n of the state and the threat to the former semi-feudal state of church, gentry and m i l i t a r y ,  a bastion which had kept a l l  i n p o s i t i o n s of wealth and power f o r c e n t u r i e s . feared a moral c o l l a p s e i f  three  Many C a t h o l i c s also  the influence of the church were to be destroyed.  They f e l t that the o l d bonds of law, order, and the family would be severed i f the v i g i l a n t eye of the church were c l o s e d .  P l a y i n g on t h i s  sentiment, the r i g h t pointed to the apparent d e c l i n e of the Spanish moral f i b r e s i n c e the creation of the Second Republic i n December 1931, repeatedly warning Spain of the dangers of l i b e r a l i s m .  There were a l s o l e s s  a l t r u i s t i c reasons f o r fearing l e f t i s t a n t i - c l e r i c a l i s m .  The C a t h o l i c  church stood to lose a great deal more than several m i l l i o n Spanish souls were the republicans to i n s t i t u t e  a l l t h e i r promised programmes.  The church, through i t s vast holdings and the centuries old system of t i t h e s was an immensely r i c h and powerful o r g a n i z a t i o n , which j u s t i f i a b l y feared that the l e f t was about to a l t e r t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l by e x p r o p r i a t i n g holdings  and r e d i s t r i b u t i n g  position  them among the Spanish  citizens.  By the time war broke out i n S p a i n , the forces of s o c i a l i s m and communism on the one hand, and C a t h o l i c i s m on the o t h e r , had c a l l e d up t h e i r respective reserves f o r the impending b a t t l e f o r the souls and a l l e g i a n c e s of western man.  M u s s o l i n i , the I t a l i a n  dictator,  had scored a major diplomatic coup f o r f a s c i s m , n a t i o n a l i s m , and a n t i communism by signing the Lateran t r e a t i e s with the Vatican in 1929. Through them, Pope Pius XI came to terms with the I t a l i a n government and p u b l i c l y endorsed the f a s c i s t in t h e i r f i g h t against communism.  Arriving  - 42 -  at a legal and p o l i t i c a l officially  agreement with the r i g h t meant that the papacy  s h i f t e d i t s world-wide f l o c k f u r t h e r toward conservatism,  u l t r a - n a t i o n a l i s m , and a n t i - l i b e r a l i s m .  I t a l i a n f a s c i s m , though never  completely championed by the V a t i c a n , was g e n e r a l l y encouraged from the' p u l p i t as i t promised to r a i s e the s t r o n g e s t , and perhaps only  effective  bulwark against encroaching communism.  This rapprochement between the Vatican and I t a l i a n fascism led to immediate and dynamic s o c i a l repercussions throughout C a t h o l i c world.  the  In the case of French Canada, i t added an a i r of  l e g i t i m a c y to a conservative swing that had been waxing f o r many y e a r s . This acted as a d i r e c t threat to the federal system i n g e n e r a l , and to Mackenzie K i n g ' s L i b e r a l government in p a r t i c u l a r , because i t  sur-  r e p t i t i o u s l y helped widen the o l d g u l f between E n g l i s h and French Canada.  *  *  *  French Canadians t r a d i t i o n a l l y  f e l t themselves to be members  of a proud and unique m i n o r i t y whose c u l t u r a l menaced by outside f o r c e s .  s u r v i v a l was p e r e n n i a l l y  The sense of i n s e c u r i t y engendered by t h i s  s i t u a t i o n was f u r t h e r exacerbated by demographic s h i f t s , a n d by the depression of 1929.  The majority of French Canadians l i v e d , by 1936,  i n an urban environment, g e n e r a l l y around the few i n d u s t r i a l of Quebec.  centres  The r u r a l exodus was recent however, and the o l d  p r o v i n c i a l values had y e t to make allowances f o r t h e i r new m i l i e u .  - 43 -  The t r a g i c r e s u l t of t h i s ambiguous s i t u a t i o n was the creation of French Canadian p r o l e t a r i a t which did not have a c u l t u r e to r e f l e c t i t s new urban c o n d i t i o n .  B l a i r Neatby describes the s i t u a t i o n as  follows:  There was no place f o r the urban worker i n t h i s i d e a l i z e d version of French-Canadian s o c i e t y ; no i n f l u e n t i a l French-Canadians had become spokesmen f o r the working c l a s s and there was l i t t l e awareness of the problem of an urban p r o l e t a r i a t .  The ideas of s o c i a l i s m , trade unionism or even m i l d l y  left-  wing l i b e r a l i s m were therefore treated as a l i e n or r a d i c a l i d e o l o g i e s . Viewed as urban threats l i k e l y to leave French Canada even more v u l nerable to d e s t r u c t i v e external f o r c e s , these r a d i c a l a l i e n ideas were h i g h l y suspect.  Most of Quebec's C a t h o l i c leaders saw any form of pro-  gressive s o c i a l change as a d i r e c t attack on French Canadian c u l t u r e and race.  It  i s hardly s u r p r i s i n g , t h e r e f o r e , that the apparent r e l i g i o u s  i n t o l e r a n c e of l e f t i s t s and Spanish republicans a l i k e garnered l i t t l e sympathy from Quebec.  Unlike the Spanish Popular Front, which was  crying f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l a i d , French Canada was being swept by powerful i l l i b e r a l c l e r i c a l n a t i o n a l i s m , and to many was indeed r i p e f o r the dynamic r i g h t - w i n g extreme of f a s c i s m .  The s o c i a l swing to the r i g h t was also r e f l e c t e d i n the p o l i t i c a l climate of Quebec.  Though Prime M i n i s t e r Mackenzie King  had been l e s s than fond of the former Taschereau a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , there i s no doubt that he favoured i t over the new Union Nationale a d m i n i s t r a -  - 44 -  t i o n which Maurice Duplessis had led to a major v i c t o r y in the Quebec p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t i o n s of 1936.  It can be s a f e l y assumed that King was  t r y i n g to make the best of a bad s i t u a t i o n when he noted- i n h i s d i a r y :  I am not sorry to have a conservative government i n power i n Quebec. I t i s e a s i e r to govern at Ottawa with the provinces c o n t r a . Also i t w i l l help us i n dealing with the other provinces, and in meeting c o n s t i t u t i o n a l questions e t c .  Supported by Cardinal  V i l l e n e u v e , Duplessis had ridden to power as the  champion of anti-communism.  His government's p o l i c i e s and the reactionary  mood w i t h i n French Canada were l a r g e l y instrumental  i n shaping Canadian .  f o r e i g n p o l i c y v i s a v i s Spain and the Spanish C i v i l War.  *  *  *  The well documented examples of church desecrations i n republican S p a i n , French Canadian fears of communism, and the recent accord between C a t h o l i c i s m and I t a l i a n fascism were  instrumental  i n swinging Quebec p u b l i c opinion away from the l e g a l l y e l e c t e d Spanish Popular Front government.  Even without these v i t a l  f o r c e s , however,  strong French Canadian i s o l a t i o n i s m would never have permitted Quebec to endorse any o f f i c i a l  Canadian support f o r the Spanish Republic.  i s t sentiments had always been dominant w i t h i n Quebec, but were gaining momentum by 1936.  Isolationswiftly  The debacles i n the trenches of the F i r s t  World War, the depression, and the dark clouds that again hung over Europe, made French Canada a l l the more vociferous i n i t s e f f o r t s  to keep  - 45 -  the country from being embroiled i n the European c o n f l i c t that so many saw coming.  Most French Canadians perceived i s o l a t i o n i s m and  reactionary conservatism as the most e f f e c t i v e weapons in t h e i r for  bid  self-protection.  Instincts  for preservation in Quebec ran very deeply indeed.  I t might have been natural f o r Quebec to f e e l at l e a s t nominal  loyalty  to the " o l d country" since the province had l i t t l e love f o r England and could trace i t s ancestry s t r a i g h t back to France.  The re-occupa-  t i o n of the Rhineland by Germany in March 1936, proved that t h i s was, i n f a c t , not the case at a l l .  Professor James Eayrs has w r i t t e n about  Quebec's r e a c t i o n to French appeals f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l  a i d against her  old foe:  Perhaps the balance o f informed opinion came down on the side of Henri Bourassa who, no A n g l o p h i l e , wrote to Mackenzie King from Europe: "On the Rhine i s s u e , w i l l I shock you i n saying that I side with the B r i t i s h against the French? Whether H i t l e r ' s peace proposals be sincere or not, they ought to be_taken at t h e i r face value and H i t l e r gousie f s i c ] au pied du mur to d e l i v e r the goods."  Though an E n g l i s h language paper, the Montreal Gazette exemplified French Canada's stance by arguing that "Nothing can ever be gained by p e r s i s t e n t l y t r e a t i n g Germany as though she were national enemy No. 1 4 in perpetuity."  If  the i s o l a t i o n i s t sentiments ran so deeply that  French Canadians would not run to the a i d of France, there was abs o l u t e l y no reason to suppose that Quebec would ever r a l l y to the  - 46 -  t a t t e r e d banner of republican Spain.  L.M. Gouin, a prominent business-  man, and Mackenzie K i n g ' s former Quebec l i e u t e n a n t , wrote of the deteriorating  Spanish s i t u a t i o n : "French Canadians are i n favour of  i s o l a t i o n i n one form or another, from t h i s i t follows that we do not 5 intend to have Canada become one of the policemen of the w o r l d . "  In  his l u c i d a n a l y s i s , w r i t t e n f i v e years a f t e r Franco's r e b e l l i o n , professor F.H. Soward noted: The sense of aloofness from Europe was perhaps even stronger i n Quebec than was the w i l l i n g n e s s to give Franco material support. That may explain why French-Canada was more i n t e r e s t e d i n blocking assistance to the Spanish Republic than in f a c i l i t a t i n g d i r e c t a i d to General Franco.  A f u r t h e r example of the staunch i s o l a t i o n i s t stance i n Quebec was that p r o v i n c e ' s r e a c t i o n to the modest rearmament proposal put f o r t h by the federal government in 1935.  According to professor  James E a y r s , to defend i t s sovereignty, Canada i n the m i d - t h i r t i e s s h u f f l e and wheeze f o r t h w i t h :  . . .a sea-going, Navy [consisting] of two s e r v i c e able d e s t r o y e r s , and two destroyers and a minesweeper something, l e s s than s e r v i c e a b l e . On shore, barracks were d e c r e p i t , and w i r e l e s s inadequate, the naval magazine at Esquimalt (having been condemned as long ago as 1905) a menace to the surrounding community. . . .Not a s i n g l e a n t i - a i r c r a f t gun was to be found i n the e n t i r e Dominion. Ammunition was scarce and, on account of i t s great age, a gamble to f i r e . Mechanzied transport was a r a r i t y . The A i r Force could muster twenty-three a i r c r a f t , but not one of them was judged s u i t a b l e for active service.  could  -  4Z  -  Though the exact f i g u r e s can be d i s p u t e d , the country was, to a l l i n t e n t s and purposes, l a c k i n g in adequate defences.  It  is  therefore  small wonder that Defence M i n i s t e r Ian Mackenzie pushed so strenuously f o r a large increase to the meagre defence budget.  Though Canada's  borders were poorly defended, however, i s o l a t i o n i s m appeared so strong i n Quebec that the Prime M i n i s t e r received warnings from C.G. Power, the i n f l u e n t i a l  L i b e r a l from Quebec E a s t , that "Any extensive defence 8  programme would cost the government the support of the e n t i r e  province."  Since a large percentage of federal L i b e r a l support came from Quebec, Power's threat had to be taken s e r i o u s l y . Canada's response to the E t h i o p i a n c r i s i s i n 1935 i l l u s t r a t e d j u s t how s e r i o u s l y Mackenzie King took the i s o l a t i o n i s t sentiments from w i t h i n Quebec.  Jean B r u c h e s i ' s a r t i c l e , "A French-Canadian view of  Canadian Foreign p o l i c y " , t y p e f i e d the Quebec response to H a i l e S e l a s s i e ' s plea f o r a i d against the I t a l i a n invaders.  In i t he s t r e s s e d that "the  League of Nations as i t now e x i s t s i s not h i g h l y p r i z e d i n the province of Quebec", and that there was very l i t t l e enthusiasm f o r a war fought 9  on behalf "of a c e r t a i n t r i b e of negroes." of an i n t e r v e n t i o n i s t  Even when the vague idea  war had died i t s i n e v i t a b l e death and sanctions  against I t a l y were proposed, Quebec newspapers of a l l p o l i t i c a l suasions came out f o r c e f u l l y against t h e m . ^  K i n g ' s c o l l e a g u e , Ernest  L a p o i n t e , r e i t e r a t e d t h i s when he declared: No i n t e r e s t i n E t h i o p i a , of any nature whatsoever, i s worth the l i f e of a s i n g l e Canadian c i t i z e n . No consideration could j u s t i f y Canada's p a r t i c i pation-iin such a war, and I am u n a l t e r a b l y opposed to i t . 1 1  per-  - 48 -  According to professor E a y r s , Lapointe spoke f o r French Canada, "and 12 on t h i s i s s u e , French Canada was to speak f o r Canada."  The members  of the League, i n c l u d i n g Canada, turned away while the I t a l i a n s marched unimpeded i n t o Addis Ababa a f t e r a gross and r u t h l e s s v i o l a t i o n  of  sovereign t e r r i t o r y .  *  *  *  Prime M i n i s t e r K i n g , always  a f r a i d of  divisive  elements w i t h i n Canada, was l e f t in a quandry over the reactionary and i s o l a t i o n i s t mood of Quebec.  The L i b e r a l s , taking 55 of 65 p o s s i b l e  s e a t s , had won a resounding v i c t o r y i n Quebec i n the federal e l e c t i o n s of 1935, but could not a f f o r d to g l o a t . the federal majority,  L i b e r a l party  I t was r e a l i z e d  regained i t s t r a d i t i o n a l l y  that  large  not through i t s own p o p u l a r i t y , but l a r g e l y because of d i s -  i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h Bennett's former Conservative government. no doubt that t h i s worried the Prime M i n i s t e r as i t was, a f t e r  There i s all,  l a r g e l y Quebec which had endorsed him as L a u r i e r ' s successor to the head of the L i b e r a l party.  King knew how v i t a l Quebec was to his power  base; the problem was how to i n t e r p r e t  the p r o v i n c e ' s i n c r e a s i n g con-  s e r v a t i s m , and what actions to f o l l o w i f  reactionary French Canada were  to be p l a c a t e d .  As was his wont when dealing with s e n s i t i v e problems in Quebec, King w i s e l y sent his widely respected French Canadian J u s t i c e M i n i s t e r , Ernest L a p o i n t e , i n t o the f r a y .  However, an o l d man by the 1930's,  - 49 -  Lapointe seemed incapable of dealing with the dynamic Quebec s i t u a t i o n . He was, i n f a c t , so disturbed by events in his home province that  it  14 a f f e c t e d his h e a l t h .  An entry in the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s diary shows  that King eould not understand these d e f e a t i s t f e e l i n g s in the u s u a l l y o p t i m i s t i c and buoyant Lapointe: L a p o i n t e ' s f e a r of the Cardinal and Duplessis amounts to absolute t e r r o r . No one can convince me that i f he, h i m s e l f , and a few others would begin to expound the doctrines of L i b e r a l i s m to the younger generation of Quebec, i t would not take long to-,free them from c l e r i c a l or p o l i t i c a l intolerance.  An otherwise t r i v i a l  event that occurred i n l a t e 1936 ex-  e m p l i f i e d K i n g ' s incomprehension of the trends w i t h i n Quebec. e f f o r t to garner i n t e r n a t i o n a l  In an  a i d and support f o r the Spanish repub-  l i c a n cause, four l o y a l i s t s requested permission to embark upon a c r o s s Canada speaking t o u r .  An ardent proponent of free speech, the Prime  M i n i s t e r was a l l i n f a v o u r , while L a p o i n t e , equally dedicated to the s p i r i t s of l i b e r a l i s m , b e l i e v e d that the tour must be stopped as a l o y a l i s t v i s i t to Quebec might prove calamitous.  Previous incidents  between v i s i t i n g republicans and French Canadians had, a f t e r a l l , led to bloodshed, and the general sentiment i n Quebec was a g a i n s t allowing republican propaganda i n t o the province.  In a long l e t t e r to the J u s t i c e  M i n i s t e r , the A s s o c i a t i o n Catholique des Voyageurs de Commerce du Canada r e i t e r a t e d French Canada's fears of subversive propaganda:  We have been advised that Dr. Be'thume [ s i c ^ i s continuing his propaganda i n favour of red Spain.  - 50 -  Leaving Vancouver he the p u b l i c in favour I t has been proposed ask you to have t ^ i s i n t e r e s t of a l 1 .  i s coming east i n d o c t r i n a t i n g of Spanish communists. . . . and unanimously resolved to propaganda stopped in the  The f o l l o w i n g l e t t e r from a law f i r m i n Montreal to the M i n i s t e r of J u s t i c e i s a l s o t y p i c a l of French Canada's f e e l i n g s towards  visiting  republican speakers.  A l l e z - v o u s , en votre q u a l i t e de m i n i s t r e de l a j u s t i c e et de premier m i n i s t r e i n t e r i m a i r e , l a i s s e r entcer au pays un element inevitablement subversif?  When one such delegation was scheduled to speak i n Montreal i n October 1936, the r e s u l t i n g v i o l e n t student p r o t e s t forced the mayor to cancel the meeting permit.  In the aftermath, "the vociferous students were .  p u b l i c l y p r a i s e d by Premier Duplessis f o r hindering 'communists' from 18 speaking."  The i n c i d e n t would have been l e s s s i n i s t e r had the r i o t  been a spontaneous a c t , but that was not the case.  Deeply disturbed  and f r i g h t e n e d by the event, Eugene•Forsey, than a young l e c t u r e r at M c G i l l , wrote to Ernest Lapointe on November 3 1936: The p l a i n f a c t i s that the c i t y a u t h o r i t i e s abdicated i n the face of t h r e a t s . Law and order were set at naught. Peaceable decent c i t i z e n s were deprived of t h e i r r i g h t s at the bidding of lawless and turbulent adolescents. . . .This aff a i r was c a r e f u l l y organized; former students of mine have i n t h e i r possession one of the notes sent round ordering the youths to meet at the headquarters of the Jeunesse Ouvriere Catholique and "bring t h e i r canes". I t i s obvious a l s o that i t has approval i n high q u a r t e r s . There i s , i n f a c t , a formidable F a s c i s t movement in t h i s province. q  - 51 -  Contrary to Premier D u p l e s s i s ' s a c c u s a t i o n s , Senator Forsey proved c o n c l u s i v e l y that there were, i n f a c t , no "communist elements" at the meeting.  With passions in Quebec as inflamed as they were, Lapointe believed that entry visas to the second group of republican speakers should not be granted.  The J u s t i c e M i n i s t e r f e a r e d , quite  that p e r m i t t i n g them to speak would be interpreted  rightly,  i n Quebec as t a c i t  federal support f o r the l e f t i s t ideas of the l o y a l i s t s .  "He seemed  to t h i n k " , noted King i n his d i a r y , " t h a t i f they were allowed to come i n t o Canada at a l l , i t might only lead to the secession of the 20 province of Quebec from the r e s t of Canada."  Through a compromise,  the l o y a l i s t s were f i n a l l y permitted to tour and speak, but only in E n g l i s h Canada.  The Spaniards were thoroughly checked by the Canadian  l e g a t i o n i n Washington before entering Canada, and were obliged to sign a document promising to stay well c l e a r of Quebec.  On December 24 1936,  the Under Secretary of State f o r External A f f a i r s , Dr. O.D. S k e l t o n , who had taken personal charge of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n , wrote a memorandum to the Prime M i n i s t e r i n which he s a i d :  " S a t i s f a c t o r y assurances were  received that i f  the v i s i t o r s entered Canada they would not v i s i t the 21 province of Quebec." The republicans entered the country and had a successful t o u r , well aware that " i f they came near Quebec and caused 22 disturbances they would be immediately deported." peared i n t o l e r a n t  and a n t i - d e m o c r a t i c ,  If  t h i s r u l i n g ap-  i t was because Lapointe sensed  that i n the case of Quebec, the s a f e s t p o l i c y was to acquiesce to the w i l l of the m a j o r i t y .  - 52 -  Cardinal V i l l e n e u v e , D u p l e s s i s , and many other French Canadian leaders would have Quebec and the r e s t of the country believe that "La B e l l e Province" was in gravest p e r i l of being overrun by red. hord£. To them, nothing was as pernicious or got b e t t e r p o l i t i c a l mileage than communism.  Though the powerful i n d u s t r i a l e l i t e of Quebec was l a r g e l y  E n g l i s h speaking, p r o t e s t a n t , and unsympathetic to D u p l e s s i s ' s French Canadian n a t i o n a l i s m , i t r a i s e d no o b j e c t i o n to his tough stance on Spain.  A f t e r a l l , the more v i r u l e n t l y anti-communist the province  became, the b e t t e r the i n d u s t r i a l leaders l i k e d i t .  A p i o u s , and  obedient working c l a s s would be a tremendous asset to E n g l i s h manuf a c t u r e r s i n Quebec. therefore be examined.  The s i z e of t h i s communist f i f t h column must Unlike the r e s t of Canada, where the depression  served as the best r e c r u i t i n g agent the Communist Party of Canjda could have hoped f o r , economic d i f f i c u l t i e s  turned Quebecers away from the  l e f t , toward the r i g h t and extreme n a t i o n a l i s m .  This i s borne out by  an examination of e l e c t i o n r e t u r n s , which show that the Quebec wing of the communist party never garnered more than a few thousand votes, these  23 coming almost e x c l u s i v e l y from the i n d u s t r i a l areas of Montreal.  It  i s safe to say then, that communism, i n r e a l i t y , never posed any form of threat to Quebec a t a l l . If,  as suggested, communism never r e a l l y posed a threat  Quebec, why was the fear of anything l e f t - o f - c e n t r e out the province?  to  so rampant through-  One p o t e n t i a l explanation i s that French Canadians,  who tended to be a church-going people, were not only bombarded with anti-communist r h e t o r i c from t h e i r government, and the French Canadian  - 53 -  media, but also from the p u l p i t and those s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s the C a t h o l i c c l e r g y .  run by  Thus, when a l l e f f e c t i v e media of communication  issued steady streams of a n t i - l e f t i s t  propaganda, i t i s small wonder  that the already concerned French Canadian population became more f i r m l y entrenched i n i t s conservative outlook. i n t e n s i f i e d those f e e l i n g s .  The Spanish C i v i l War merely  It was d i f f i c u l t to see Spanish r e p u b l i c a n -  ism i n an o b j e c t i v e , l e t alone p o s i t i v e l i g h t , when Monsignor A n t o n i u t t i , the powerful papal delegate to Canada and Newfoundland, introduced General Franco and the rebels as "An 'Christ's  militia'."  army of heroes, j u s t l y  called  2 4  The various ethnic groups of Quebec also tended to help sway opinion away from anything remotely l e f t - w i n g . was t r a d i t i o n a l l y a v i t a l  As mentioned, C a t h o l i c i s m  anti-communist, pro-conservative f o r c e , and  many of the non-French ethnic groups in Quebec were staunchly c a t h o l i c . Chief among these was the large I t a l i a n p o p u l a t i o n .  Badly impoverished  by the depression, these poeple, who tended to be f a c t o r y workers in and around the i n d u s t r i a l  areas of the p r o v i n c e , n a t u r a l l y took courage and  heart from the reports of M u s s o l i n i ' s new I t a l y .  The Italian-Canadian  c a t h o l i c church buttressed t h i s sentiment f u r t h e r by urging i t s to support M u s s o l i n i i n word and deed.  Veneration of II  flock  Puce reached  the point where a; giant f r e s c o of the I t a l i a n d i c t a t o r appeared on 25  the w a l l s of the Madonna d e l l a Difesa church in Montreal.  Charles  Bayley, who wrote a Master's t h e s i s on the I t a l i a n community of Montreal i n 1935, estimated that f u l l y ninety percent of the l o c a l  Italians  26  supported I t a l i a n f a s c i s m .  Together, the various C a t h o l i c groups in  - 54 -  Quebec manifested so much overt support f o r the Spanish rebels that Hugh Thomas, author of the d e f i n i t i v e study o f the Spanish C i v i l War, observed that Quebec and B r a z i l offered more moral support to Franco than any other n o n - f a s c i s t province or country i n the world.  71  Support f o r the r i g h t and v i r u l e n t condemnation of republican Spain was, however, not u n i v e r s a l i n Quebec.  There were small e n c l a v e s ,  p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the urban a r e a s , of men and women who not only supported the l o y a l i s t s , but who were e q u a l l y deeply disturbed by the threat of fascism w i t h i n t h e i r own province.  As could be expected, the most  vocal a n t i - f a s c i s t of these groups seems to have been the Anglo-Quebec intellectual class.  A small Quebec chapter of the Committee to A i d  Spanish Democracy e x i s t e d , and an e q u a l l y small but vocal group supported republican Spain because i t was the l e g a l l y and democratically e l e c t e d government.  The f o l l o w i n g two l e t t e r s are t y p i c a l of the many  Ernest Lapointe received from the l a t t e r group of E n g l i s h Quebecers a f t e r the Canadian government refused to s e l l goods to the l o y a l i s t s :  . . . .Whatever our opinions might be [the Spanish government} was e l e c t e d i n a democratic manneg and should receive our f u l l support as L i b e r a l s . The government knows t h a t , had the Rebels not been sided by H i t l e r and M u s s o l i n i , and the whole p l o t engineered i n Germany, the legal government of Spain would have overthrown i t s enemies in a month's time. . . .And since the government knows t h a t , and who can help knowing, i f a i d i s refused to the e l e c t e d government of S p a i n , then we are d i r e c t l y a s s i s t i n g the enemies of a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y e l e c t e d government, and we s h a l l be, ours e l v e s , the enemies of,democracy.  - 55 -  Though no records have been kept, i t  i s l i k e l y that t h i s E n g l i s h group  a l s o provided many of the Quebec contingent of the Mac-Paps.  This i s  borne out by V i c t o r Hoar's The Mackenzie-Papineau B a t t a l i o n , which mentions "at l e a s t three dozen" French Canadians of the t o t a l hundred man f o r c e . ^ 3  twelve  Since there were over s i x t y volunteers from 31  Quebec, most of the remaining must have been E n g l i s h .  Very few  French Canadians supported the l o y a l i s t s , and those who did seem to have done so f o r l e s s i d e a l i s t i c reasons.  The motives of the f o l l o w i n g  scathing attack on Franco are rather suspect as the union which wrote the l e t t e r represented Quebec workers i n the armaments i n d u s t r y : We f e e l that the l e g i t i m a t e l y e s t a b l i s h e d Spanish government has the r i g h t to buy what they want to protect against the vandals who k i l l women and c h i l d r e n . We ask you to s e l l arms to the Spanish government who render s e r v i c e to c a t h o l i c people by putting an end to the t e r r i b l e b a t t l e caused by C o l . [ s i c ] Franco and his bandits who commit the most barbaric acts in a l l h i s t o r y .  The suspicions of more l i b e r a l l y minded Quebecers were heightened f u r t h e r by the i n t r o d u c t i o n in 1937 of D u p l e s s i s ' s Padlock A c t .  By i t ,  the  Attorney General (Duplessis h i m s e l f ) , could padlock a l l premises a l l e g e d l y used "to propagate communism or bolshevism by any means what32 soever."  The E n g l i s h and l i b e r a l French community in Quebec was  outraged and attacked the Act through the C i v i l L i b e r t i e s Union.  They  fought a l o s i n g b a t t l e , however, since most Quebecers, p a r t i c u l a r l y French Canadians, approved the measure.  Adelard Godbout was barely  heard, and l e s s l i s t e n e d t o , when he t o l d a Quebec C i t y audience "That  - 56 -  the dangerous menace in the province was not communism—the people 33  could never be taken i n by t h a t — i t was f a s c i s m . "  Since the vast  m a j o r i t y of Quebecers showed l i t t l e sympathy f o r s o c i a l i s m or communism, and indeed tended to support those i n s t i t u t i o n s and groups which a t tacked s o c i a l i s t s , the m i n o r i t y of Quebecers who feared the r i g h t i s t trend w i t h i n t h e i r province and the world i n general had l i t t l e impact e i t h e r on t h e i r own province or on Canada as a whole.  *  *  *  Though the u l t a - c o n s e r v a t i v e trends in Quebec were d i s t u r b ing i n t h e i r own r i g h t , i t i s u n l i k e l y that they would have had much impact on Canadian f o r e i g n p o l i c y i f the Spanish C i v i l War had not broken out.  I t was l a r g e l y the c r e a t i o n of the International  Brigades  on the Iberian P e n i n s u l a , and the subsequent world-wide l e f t i s t r e cruitment drives that forced Mackenzie K i n g ' s L i b e r a l government away from i t s p o l i c y of non-commitment, towards a p o s i t i v e f o r e i g n p o l i c y statement, and u l t i m a t e l y to pass the Foreign Enlistment A c t .  The  question posed by the Spanish c r u c i b l e was whether the Canadian government would allow i t s c i t i z e n s to volunteer f o r the ranks of the I n t e r national Brigades. indifferent,  On the one hand, E n g l i s h Canada tended to remain  or sympathetic towards the l o y a l i s t cause.  While on the  o t h e r , Quebec tending to see things i n black and white (or i n t h i s case red and b l u e ) , n a t u r a l l y viewed recruitment f o r the Spanish trenches as another example of an i n t e r n a t i o n a l had to be r u t h l e s s l y nipped at the bud.  communist f i f t h column that For example, when asked by  - 57 -  a Montreal Star reporter whether he thought that "anybody who j^contendedj that the present Spanish l o y a l i s t s [were] not communists could be classed as a communist on that account," acting Montreal mayor Leo McKenna an34  swered emphatically in the  affirmative.  Duplessis too, as we have seen, used the idea of communist i n f i l t r a t o r s to great e f f e c t .  Though unwarranted, t h i s fear was none-  t h e l e s s very r e a l , and caused many Quebecers a great deal of concern, p a r t i c u l a r l y when t h e i r Premier c a t e g o r i c a l l y d e c l a r e d :  that i n our province communistic r e c r u i t i n g has been going on, that our young men have been e n r o l l e d to f i g h t f o r the communists in Spain. . . not f o r one or two young men, but f o r s e v e r a l , which shows that an organization e x i s t s , and i n d i c a t e s that there i s something l a c k i n g somewhere.  It was the idea of an o r g a n i z a t i o n that disturbed French Canada so much. If volunteering f o r Spain was a purely i n d i v i d u a l and spontaneous a c t , i t could perhaps be overlooked i f not condoned, but a communist ing network could not be t o l e r a t e d .  recruit-  This problem went beyond Quebec  and entered the h a l l s of the House of Commons.  When asked by the  o p p o s i t i o n whether there had been s u f f i c i e n t enlistment in Canada to warrant federal a c t i o n , the government's r e p l y made i t obvious that there was concern:  It i s known that a small number of Canadians have e n l i s t e d on one side or the other of the c o n f l i c t , p a r t i c u l a r l y on the side of the government. The number i s very small but organized e f f o r t Isabelng made to increase i t to a s u b s t a n t i a l s c a l e .  - 58 -  There was an obvious cloak-and-dagger aura about the whole business as exemplified by the f o l l o w i n g l e t t e r to the Under Secretary of State f o r External A f f a i r s , Dr. O.D. S k e l t o n :  I beg to advise that paymaster-lieutenant Commander Del age, Quebec D i v i s i o n , Royal Canadian Naval V o l unteers Reserve, reported by telephone l a s t night that a doubtful character with headquarters in a Chinese laundry i n Quebec C i t y was e n l i s t i n g young men f o r the Spanish army and providing each one w i t h a passport.  The v i t a l  issue was that E n g l i s h Canada did not seem overly  concerned that small groups.of Canadians went overseas to f i g h t for Spanish democracy, while Quebec, f o l l o w i n g along the conservative path to  already d i s c u s s e d , r a l l y behind any  c a t e g o r i c a l l y refused to  red banner.  Some,  allow her c i t i z e n s  l i k e L i b e r a l Maxime Raymond,  did not mind that the volunteers l e f t , s a y i n g :  "[their leaving], I  admit,  does not give me any sorrow; i t w i l l r i d us of these undesirable people, 38 provided that they not return h e r e , " minority.  but men l i k e him were a d e f i n i t e -  Nor could Quebec's vehement stand toward Spain be  interpreted  only as an i s o l a t i o n i s t p r o v i n c e ' s desire to remain aloof from the rapidly deteriorating  European arena.  Condemnation of the Spanish  Republic was almost e x c l u s i v e l y motivated by p o l i t i c s since Quebec encouraged her young men to f i g h t f o r Finland when that country came under f i r e from the Soviet Union, in the winter of 1 9 3 9 .  39  - 59 -  The b a t t l e l i n e s were drawn up by the beginning of 1937. If  the Prime M i n i s t e r did not a l t e r h i s own l i b e r a l p r i n c i p l e s and  pay heed to the anger i n Quebec, he would l i k e l y come face to face with one of h i s g r e a t e s t f e a r s :  a deepening r i f t in the u n i t y of Canada,  and a headlong tumble f o r his P a r t y .  The s a f e s t and most  politically  expedient s o l u t i o n proved to be the Foreign Enlistment A c t , passed i n March 1937.  - 60 NOTES TO CHAPTER 2  1  B l a i r Neatby, William Lyon Mackenzie King, (Toronto: of Toronto Press, 1976), p. 234'.  2  K i n g Diary, 28 October 1937.  University  James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada, 11, p. 51. 4  Ibid.  5  L . M . Gouin, "The French-Canadians, Their Past and Their A s p i r a t i o n s , " World Currents and Canada's Course, e d . , V.A. Anderson, (Toronto: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1937), p. 122-125.  6  F . H. Soward and others, Canada i n World A f f a i r s , (London: University Press, 1941), p. 63.  7  E a y r s , Ih Defence of Canada, 11, p. 134.  8  I b i d . , p. 140.  9  Jean Bruchesi, "A French-Canadian View of Canadian Foreign P o l i c y , " Canada the Empire and the League, (Toronto, 1936), p. 146.  Oxford  10  L i t a - R o s e Betcherman, The Swastika and the Maple Leaf, (Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1975), p. 84.  1  Ottawa C i t i z e n , 9 September 1935.  12 James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada, 11, p. 4. 13 J . Murray Beck, Pendulum of Power: Canada's Federal E l e c t i o n s , (Scarborough, 1968), p. 206-222. 14 B l a i r Neatby, Mackenzie King, p. 232. 15  K i n g Diary, 18 December 1936.  16  L a p o i n t e Papers, v o l . 22, f i l e #70, l e t t e r dated 23 October 1937.  1 7  I b i d . , l e t t e r dated 22 October 1936, from Vanier & Vanier, Avocats.  18 L.R. Betcherman, The Swastika, p. 87. I b i d . , p. 88. 21 King Papers, J4 s e r i e s , v o l . 212, memorandum to the Prime Minister B l a i r Neatby, Mackenzie King, p. 233. from O.D. Skelton dated 24 December 1936. 1 9  2 2  B l a i r Neatby, Mackenzie King, p. 233.  2 3  S , "Embryo of Fascism i n Quebec," Foreign A f f a i r s , ( A p r i l , 1938), p. 455. V i c t o r Hoar, The Mac-Paps, p. 35.  2 5  L . R . Betcherman, The Swastika, p. 8.  2 6  Ibid.,  p. 7.  27  Hugh Thomas, The Spanish C i v i l War, t h i r d e d i t i o n , (Bucks: Watson & Viney L t d . , 1 9 / / ) , p. 362.  Hazell  28  L a p o i n t e Papers, v o l . 22, f i l e #70, l e t t e r dated 1 February 1937.  2 9  Ibid.,  l e t t e r dated 31 January 1937.  3 0  V i c t o r Hoar, The Mac-Paps, p. 35.  31  L a p o i n t e Papers, v o l . . 2 2 , f i l e #70, l e t t e r dated 8 February 1937, in French.  3 2  B l a i r Neatby, Mackenzie King, p. 235.  3 3  L . R . Betcherman, The Swastika, p. 98.  34  T h e Canadian Forum, e d i t o r i a l , December 1936, p. 23.  35  Montreal Le Devoir, 26 January 1937.  36  L a p o i n t e Papers, v o l . 49, f i l e #31.  37  Canada, Department of External A f f a i r s , f i l e #265557, JanuaryDecember 1937.  38  House of Commons, Debates, 29 January 1937.  3 9  C P. Stacey, Canada and the Age of C o n f l i c t , (Toronto: of Toronto Press, 1981), 11, p. 279.  University  - 62 -  CHAPTER  III  MACKENZIE KING AND THE CIVIL WAR  If I am r i g h t and p u b l i c sentiment does favour the L o y a l i s t s a r e n ' t you p o l i t i c a l l y making a mistake in not disavowing the actions of the Foreign O f f i c e ? L e t t e r to King from his f r i e n d J . L . Counsel 1, A p r i l 1937  Franco's r e b e l l i o n , due to i t s clandestine p l a n n i n g , took the world by s u r p r i s e .  Spain had been i n a s t a t e of p o l i t i c a l  turmoil  for  several y e a r s , but no one expected the General's legionnaires to burst from the  Spanish s k i e s i n t h e i r borrowed Junkers on J u l y 18th.  ready been discussed how the media i n i t i a l l y  It has a l -  perceived the bloody f r a t -  r i c i d e as another curious example of L a t i n temper, a l o g i c a l next scene in the "Death of Europe" tragedy.  It has a l s o been shown how t h i s  inter-  p r e t a t i o n changed as the skirmishes became f u l l - s c a l e b a t t l e s , as other nations seemed inexorably drawn i n t o the v o r t e x , and as ideology became v i t a l to the c o n f l i c t .  The Canadian Department of External A f f a i r s a l s o  attempted to analyze the s i t u a t i o n , and to formulate an o f f i c i a l Canadian stance.  Unlike the media, however, the government was in ho hurry to  pass judgement on the a n t a g o n i s t s , but trod g i n g e r l y , never stepping i n t o the mire without f i r s t f e e l i n g f o r f i r m ground.  This became K i n g ' s  method throughout the c i v i l war, and the Foreign Enlistment Act i s a good example of that policy—move only when absolutely necessary, to a minimal degree, and only a f t e r exhaustive a n a l y s i s of a l l elements involved.  - 63 -  Was the Foreign Enlistment Act indeed passed purely because i t was the s a f e s t way out of a L i b e r a l p o l i t i c a l only part of the reason?  dilemma, or was that  Could i t not be that the Prime M i n i s t e r en-  couraged i t because i t was in keeping with his personal sympathies? to t h e i r p o t e n t i a l  Due  impact on the d e c i s i o n making process, K i n g ' s own  a l l e g i a n c e s must be e s t a b l i s h e d before drawing concrete conclusions concerning the Canadian government and the Spanish C i v i l War.  The enigmatic Prime M i n i s t e r produced one of the world's most comprehensive and voluminous d i a r i e s , but one that often presents more questions than answers.  The references to K i n g ' s personal a l l e g i a n c e s  are few, u s u a l l y c r y p t i c , and often rather s t i l t e d . Though consistent with the sentiments of a man who z e a l o u s l y separated h i s p r i v a t e and p u b l i c l i v e s , t h i s n e v e r - t h e - l e s s leaves the reader d i s s a t i s f i e d , s k e p t i c a l , and suspicious that the d a i l y e n t r i e s were w r i t t e n with an eye toward p o s s i b l e future p u b l i c consumption.  C e r t a i n d e f i n i t e s u b j e c t i v e trends do emerge,  however, and when these are augmented by statements from the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s personal correspondence and memoranda, i t  i s p o s s i b l e to  paint a reasonably accurate p o r t r a i t of Mackenzie K i n g ' s own sympathies i n the Spanish c o n f l i c t .  The d i a r y repeatedly shows that King found a l l war  abhorrent.  Nor can there be any question that the Prime M i n i s t e r believed strongly i n democratic and federal systems.  Indeed, one need only read b r i e f  passages from his Industry and Humanity to see the author's  almost  c h i l d l i k e reverence f o r l i b e r a l i s m and his undying f a i t h in the  inherent  - 64 -  p o s i t i v e p o t e n t i a l of mankind.  He had a l s o , as M i n i s t e r of Labour  i n the L a u r i e r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , seen himself as the champion of Canadian workers and of "those i n humble circumstances."  Though communism was  anathema to K i n g , he remained true to the s p i r i t of l i b e r a l i s m , and t o l e r a t e d red a g i t a t o r s because he f e l t sure that they would dig t h e i r own graves.  F i n a l l y , though impressed by the trappings of Empire, the  Prime M i n i s t e r , a staunch Canadian n a t i o n a l i s t , phasis on s o v e r e i g n t y , independence, and  placed greater em-  national  unity.  Conversely, Mackenzie King could also be p o s i t i v e l y impressed by l e s s  than l i b e r a l or  democratic people.  He v i s i t e d H i t l e r and  the Third Reich i n June 1937, and returned impressed, his a n x i e t i e s m o l l i f i e d by the "great calmness and moderation" of the F u h r e r J  In  the memorandum on his meeting with the German C h a n c e l l o r , he wrote:  I confess that the impression gained by t h i s i n t e r v i e w was a very favourable one. As I t o l d Herr H i t l e r i n the course of the i n t e r v i e w , what he s a i d was a r e l i e f to my mind because of the very p o s i t i v e manner i n which he spoke of the determination of himself and his colleagues not to permit any r e s o r t to war. 2  This was not l i k e l y a statement of pure naivety since  it  was common knowledge by June 1937 that the Third Reich had thousands of men and tons of war material engaged i n Spain on behalf of General Franco.  The memorandum's concluding r e m a r k — " [ H i t l e r ' s ]  interest  in  Spain a r i s e s unquestionably out of h i s f e e l i n g s and fears concerning the 3 spread of communism" —suggests that King could acquiesce when i t came  - 65 -  to war on communism, as long as the b a t t l e s were fought well beyond Canada's h o r i z o n .  As shown i n chapter one, many Canadians viewed t h e i r Prime M i n i s t e r i n p r e c i s e l y t h i s way, but i t was an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that may now be proven f a l s e .  The Prime M i n i s t e r could be and was accused of  being an u n p r i n c i p l e d and r u t h l e s s p o l i t i c i a n , but he cannot be branded as a f a s c i s t sympathizer.  Furthermore, K i n g ' s conscience  would never have allowed him to support a group of reactionary generals attempting, through c i v i l war, to usurp the power of a l e g a l l y and d e m o c r a t i c a l l y e l e c t e d government.  constituted  This i s v e r i f i e d c o n c l u s i v e l y by  an examination of the personal correspondence between the Prime M i n i s t e r and his c l o s e f r i e n d J . L . C o u n s e l l .  Dismayed and obviously hurt by the  personal d i a t r i b e s against his Spanish p o l i c y , King wrote to his f r i e n d i n A p r i l 1937:  I am at a l o s s to understand how you or anyone e l s e could be of the opinion that my sympathies i n the Spanish C i v i l War have been with Franco and the r e b e l s . As a matter of f a c t , as the t r a g i c event has continued month a f t e r month, I have become i n c r e a s i n g l y of the opinion which I have held from the o u t s e t , that only the gravest sense of oppression on the part of the r u r a l and urban elements of the population a l i k e could account f o r the determination and endurance they have shown throughout the e n t i r e s t r u g g l e .  One of the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s few c l o s e confidants to judge by the  letter's  s a l u t a t i o n and the warm r e p l y , Counsell answered i n a manner that suggests an intimate knowledge of the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s sentiments:  -  66  -  My dear Rex: Don't l e t us get mixed up i n t h i s Spanish situation—Our personal opinions have nothing to do with i t . A l l that I have been t r y i n g to do i s to ompress you with the f a c t that the people in Canada and the U.S. are a l s o behind the L o y a l i s t s i n Spain to a f a r greater extent than we are perhaps aware of.  Since K i n g ' s p r i v a t e a l l e g i a n c e was with the l o y a l i s t s ,  it  may be concluded that the Foreign Enlistment Act was not encouraged because of any Prime M i n i s t e r i a l p r e d i l e c t i o n for the r e b e l s .  This also  holds true f o r the sympathies of Dr. O.D. S k e l t o n , the Under Secretary of State f o r External A f f a i r s .  I f anything, Skelton was a confirmed  i s o l a t i o n i s t who believed that Canada's sovereign i n t e r e s t s could be damaged by " i r r e s p o n s i b l e f o r e i g n adventuring." Sudeten C r i s i s , he wrote:  Referring to the  "we are the s a f e s t country i n the world as  long as we mind our own b u s i n e s s . "  7  Though a confirmed  isolationist,  however, his personal views on Spain were very s i m i l a r to those of the Prime M i n i s t e r .  He made t h i s patently c l e a r i n a l e t t e r  to Mackenzie  K i n g , w r i t t e n l a t e in the Spanish C i v i l War:  Whatever mistakes were made by the a n t i - f a s c i s t forces i n Spain i n t h e i r f i r s t angry r e p r i s a l s , they have shown a s u r p r i s i n g growth i n moderation, courage, u n i t y , and e f f e c t i v e n e s s . I have followed the record of the Spanish government with s u r p r i s e and increasing admiration. When t h e i r record i s compared with that of most of the recent governments i n France and England, with t h e i r endless muddling and lack of f o r e s i g h t , t h e i r cold-blooded concentration on t h e i r own immediate i n t e r e s t s , there i s a l o t to be s a i d for the conclusion that i f the people of Canada r e a l l y wanted to get i n t o somebody's European war, they might choose Negrin's instead of N e v i l l e ' s .  - 67 -  The Foreign Enlistment A c t , which stood i n opposition to these s e n t i ments, was therefore introduced because of outside pressures.  Quebec's  r o l e thus becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y obvious.  *  *  *  E a r l y news f i l t e r i n g i n t o the Department of External A f f a i r s made the Canadian government aware of the g r a v i t y of the s i t u a t i o n . Already by J u l y 22, a scant four days a f t e r the r e b e l l i o n broke out, the Prime M i n i s t e r cabled the Canadian High Commissioner to London, Vincent g Massey, f o r information on the s a f e t y of Canadians i n Spain. did not have an o f f i c i a l  Canada  representative i n Madrid, so Massey had the  d i f f i c u l t , but reasonably s u c c e s s f u l , task of seeking his answer through the B r i t i s h embassy.  Few Canadians were in Spain at the time, but there  were the i n e v i t a b l e t o u r i s t s , and some vested i n t e r e s t s run by Canadian businessmen.  A Canadian company had, f o r example, organized the d i s t r i -  bution of e l e c t r i c i t y i n C a t a l o n i a , and much of i t s personnel was s t i l l thereKing  thought these people might need the p r o t e c t i v e wing of  Britannia. Once assured that Canadian c i t i z e n s were i n no immediate danger, the government could concentrate on analyzing the p o t e n t i a l repercussions of the war i t s e l f .  Unfortunately f o r K i n g , i t took a mere  two weeks f o r the B r i t i s h Foreign O f f i c e to r e a l i z e that i t s assumptions about the war had been unfounded. tunately much more than  immediate  The c o n f l i c t was unfor-  an extended palace coup. The telegram sent to King  - 68 -  on August 5 by the Secretary f o r the Dominions suggested ominous p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s , and was to help s h i f t the Canadian government's o r i e n t a t i o n toward the war:  The struggle between m i l i t a r y and government i s becoming a f i g h t between Fascism and Communism and there are signs that even i f the struggle were to r e s u l t i n v i c t o r y f o r Moderate L e f t P a r t i e s composing the government, these would be submerged by A n a r c h o - s y n d i c a l i s t s and Communists to whom.,they would have l a r g e l y owed their victory.  The L i b e r a l government was apparently s l i g h t l y ahead of the media in i t s change of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  A f t e r a l l , the Canadian press  clung to the " n a t i o n a l miscegenation" idea u n t i l mid-August (page \f). Thus the Prime M i n i s t e r knew from e a r l y August 1936 that the Spanish C i v i l War was an i d e o l o g i c a l s t r u g g l e .  This was an unpleasant r e a l i z a t i o n  f o r a man who feared both the d e t e r i o r a t i n g s i t u a t i o n i n Europe, and the dynamism of i d e a s .  True to K i n g ' s  cautious f o r e i g n  policy,  the f i r s t  a c t i o n taken by the Department of External A f f a i r s was to determine what Canada's c l o s e s t a l l i e s were going to do about Spain. sent Massey a telegram on August 18, i n s t r u c t i n g to discover B r i t a i n ' s p o s i t i o n on: 2) enlistment of v o l u n t e e r s ;  O.D. Skelton  the High Commissioner  1) arms and ammunition shipments;  3) .transmission of funds; and  4) propaganda  This telegram, sent so e a r l y i n the war, suggests the Canadian government' f u l l awareness that Spain could become a p o l i t i c a l  crusade f o r  foreign  nations and i n d i v i d u a l s a l i k e , and that contingency plans f o r such an  - 69 -  e v e n t u a l i t y had to be made. King.  W h i t e h a l l ' s answer doubtlessly  frustrated  When f i n a l l y sent on September 11, the message offered few  g u i d e l i n e s f o r Canada to consider: arms exports would be p r o h i b i t e d , but the r u l e s on enlistment were unclear i n cases of c i v i l war; and no a c t i o n was contemplated regarding propaganda. concerning the transmission of funds.  Mention was not made  13  A day a f t e r dispatching the telegram to B r i t a i n , the governr  ment also decided " i n f o r m a l l y  14  1  ^toj  The Canadian government was s t i l l  consult Washington as to i t s views." t r y i n g to decide whether to consider 15  the Spanish C i v i l War a purely i n t e r n a l or a general European a f f a i r . Obviously Ottawa hoped that the former was the case, but i t must be assumed by August 19 that there were nagging fears that the l a t t e r was, i n f a c t , a more accurate a n a l y s i s of the s i t u a t i o n .  It  i s not known,  however, whether Ottawa a c t u a l l y consulted Washington at t h i s e a r l y date.  *  *  *  P e r s o n a l l y sympathetic towards the republicans by mid-August, Mackenzie King knew that the Spanish C i v i l War was not merely an a t tempted coup d ' e ' t a t, but was q u i c k l y becoming an i d e o l o g i c a l between r i g h t and l e f t , fascism and democracy.  battleground  I t must now be e s t a b l i s h -  ed whether the Prime M i n i s t e r and his advisors feared that the war posed a real threat to the peace and s e c u r i t y of Canada i n p a r t i c u l a r , and Europe i n g e n e r a l .  If  indeed they d i d , i t w i l l  i l l u s t r a t e the s e r i o u s -  ness of the government's dilemma, and why i t f i n a l l y forced King i n t o constructing a f o r e i g n p o l i c y that would deal with the i s s u e s .  - 70 -  Using h i n d s i g h t , i t could l o g i c a l l y be argued that the Spanish C i v i l War was never a preview of the second world war, but rather a purely i n t e r n a l a f f a i r which Goering used to t e s t the mettle of h i s f l e d g l i n g Luftwaffe; which Mussolini used as a bombastic imperial adventure; S t a l i n promoted as a general European a g i t a t o r ; and which i d e a l i s t i c i n d i v i d u a l s used as t h e i r personal crusade.  Indeed there  i s a degree of t r u t h to t h i s s u p p o s i t i o n , but i t does not go f a r enough. The f a c t remains that i n the e a r l y months in p a r t i c u l a r , the  conflict  seemed to b u i l d i t s own momentum, and to very nearly set the r e s t of Europe and i t s a l l i e s a b l a z e .  Many i n f l u e n t i a l  both sides of the A t l a n t i c c e r t a i n l y voiced t h i s  and informed sources on fear.  King held high l e v e l d i s c u s s i o n s on Spain with C h u r c h i l l by mid-October, t r y i n g to discover what f i r m action England intended 1 6  to take i n the c o n f l i c t . concern to Canada. Canada was s t i l l  B r i t a i n ' s p o s i t i o n was, a f t e r a l l , of v i t a l  Though wishing to a s s e r t her new-found independence  the senior Dominion, f e e l i n g s of l o y a l t y toward B r i t a i n  S t i l l e x i s t e d , and there were d e f i n i t e moral o b l i g a t i o n s to consider. The Prime M i n i s t e r s e r i o u s l y worried l e s t Canada be obliged to back Great B r i t a i n i f England were to go to war over Spain. a preposterous i d e a .  Nor was t h i s  By the e a r l y f a l l of 1936 Germany and I t a l y were  pumping massive amounts of m i l i t a r y a i d to Franco's rebel f o r c e s , the Soviet Union supported the l o y a l i s t s , and B r i t i s h property in G i b r a l t a r had been i n a d v e r t e n t l y damaged more than once by overly e n t h u s i a s t i c 17 rebel a r t i l l e r y m e n . -  I f nothing e l s e , the complete European a l l i a n c e  network was becoming Involved, which as had been shown i n 1914 could havedisasterous consequences.  - 71 -  King l e a r n e d t h a t England hoped f o r a stalemate i n the conflict.  The B r i t i s h government b e l i e v e d t h a t i f n e i t h e r s i d e c o u l d  g a i n the upper hand, reason would p r e v a i l and a t r u c e be the n a t u r a l result.  Prime M i n i s t e r Baldwin, however, r e a l i z e d t h a t the only r e a l i s -  t i c way to a c h i e v e t h i s was by c l o s i n g the French-Spanish border.  The  stream o f v o l u n t e e r s f o r the R e p u b l i c , steady by September 1936, had to be dammed i f t h e r e were to be any hope of keeping the I t a l i a n s out of Franco's t r e n c h e s J  8  Leon Blum, the French Prime M i n i s t e r , concurred.  He was i n an unenviable p o s i t i o n , a r e p u b l i c a n sympathizer who f o r p o l i t i c a l and economic reason, b e l i e v e d t h a t he c o u l d not a f f o r d t o o f f e r d i r e c t a i d to the l o y a l i s t s .  He too was deeply concerned about  the s i t u a t i o n , as was obvious from Mackenzie King's a n a l y s i s o f t h e i r discussions:  "Spain, t h e r e f o r e , i s l i k e l y to remain a dangerous spot 19 in Europe f o r some time to come." U l t i m a t e l y i t was Blum, v a c i l l a t i n g and with the most to l o s e , who pushed h a r d e s t f o r the n o n - i n t e r v e n t i o n 20  meetings t h a t were convened i n September. The Spanish s i t u a t i o n was indeed grave, and threatened to get worse.  Two of the top Canadian r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s i n Europe, Walter  Riddel 1 with the League i n Geneva, and High Commissioner V i n c e n t Massey in London, both sent t h e i r Prime M i n i s t e r p e s s i m i s t i c i f not f r i g h t e n i n g a n a l y s e s of the war.  The former, conscious of the "good spanking" he  had r e c e i v e d as a r e s u l t o f h i s o v e r l y e n t h u s i a s t i c p a r t i n the A b y s s i n i a n c r i s i s , took g r e a t care with h i s l a t e r r e p o r t s to the government.  T h i s i s c e r t a i n l y i l l u s t r a t e d by the a c c u r a c y and m e t i c u l o u s r e -  search i n the f o l l o w i n g memorandum sent on December 19th:  - 72. -  The appeal of Spain to the Council under A r t i c l e XI of the Covenant has re-emphasized the danger of the Spanish C i v i l War developing i n t o an i n t e r n a t i o n a l war. From the reports before the Non-intervention Committee i n London, the s t a t e ments of the United Kingdom Members of Parliament who v i s i t e d S p a i n , as well as from other sources, i t i s evident that the C i v i l struggle i n Spain i s r a p i d l y becoming an i n t e r n a t i o n a l war of i d e o l o g i e s on Spanish s o i l . . . .1 have i t on the best a u t h o r i t y that the Government of I t a l y are j s i c ] c a r r y i n g on an a c t i v e programme of r e c r u i t ment. . .The I t a l i a n Government undertakes to supply a l l such r e c r u i t s f o r t h i s s e r v i c e with unmarked uniforms, a cash g r a t u i t y of 3,000 l i r a and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n v i a Spesia to the Spanish f r o n t . T h i s campaign of recruitment i s meeting w i t h very considerable success. While my i n f o r m ant could not give d e f i n i t e f i g u r e s he considered that some thousands had already l e f t f o r Spain. It i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e that s i m i l a r methods are being used i n Germany i n r e c r u i t i n g the large numbers of Germans which are f i n d i n g t h e i r way i n t o Franco's armies.  Nor was R i d d e l ! being melodramatic.  It  can be assumed that the  author had become rather s e n s i t i v e to committing or i m p l i c a t i n g hims e l f p o l i t i c a l l y , and that he therefore avoided exaggerating the seriousness of the c o n f l i c t .  From London Vincent Massey a l s o warned King  of the world-wide dangers brewing w i t h i n S p a i n , and a m p l i f i e d h i s concern by sending the message of gloom on Christmas day 1936:  It i s , of course, p o s s i b l e to exaggerate the g r a v i t y of the Spanish s i t u a t i o n , but i t would be a f a r greater e r r o r to under-estimate i t s seriousness. . . i t would be f o l l y not to r e c ognise that the Spanish s i t u a t i o n , f a r from improving, has become more dangerous during the past few weeks, so f a r as the p o s s i b i l i t y of i n t e r n a t i o n a l repercussions are concerned. . . . Germany and I t a l y have now made c l e a r that they w i l l not permit the establishment of what they c a l l a Soviet state in Spain and Russia has made i t  - 73 -  e q u a l l y c l e a r that she w i l l do what she can to bring about such an establishment. As the p o s i t i o n of both sides hardens, the l i n e s of r e t r e a t by the three nations who have taken p o s i t i o n s are beginning to c l o s e . It i s t h i s development • which, in my o p i n i o n , c o n s t i t u t e s the gravest threat to European^oeace a r i s i n g out of the Spanish C i v i l W a r . "  I t may be concluded that the L i b e r a l government saw the Spanish C i v i l War as a d i r e c t threat to world peace and s t a b i l i t y .  *  It  *  *  \  i s now necessary to examine Mackenzie K i n g ' s f o r e i g n  p o l i c y , to look at the i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o n d i t i o n s that r e s t r i c t e d form, and more i m p o r t a n t l y ,  its  to determine why the Prime M i n i s t e r per-  ceived his f o r e i g n p o l i c y as an extension of the i n t e r n a l Canadian socio-political situation.  This w i l l h o p e f u l l y i l l u s t r a t e the v i t a l  r o l e played by Quebec, and show that K i n g ' s Foreign Enlistment A c t , though i t might have appeared p o l i t i c a l l y s u i c i d a l and morally bankrupt, i n f a c t showed shrewd judgement, expediently s o l v i n g a p o t e n t i a l l y destructive situation.  As i n so many other aspects of h i s f o r e i g n p o l i c y , Mackenzie King i n i t i a l l y  succeed i n keeping the government out of controversies  over the Spanish q u e s t i o n .  Though Canadian newspapers headlined events  in Spain every day f o r the f i r s t three months of the war, they barely mentioned Canadian o f f i c i a l  reaction.  By not committing his govern-  ment to any p a r t i c u l a r f o r e i g n p o l i c y , King c a r e f u l l y deferred to the f e e l i n g s of the m a j o r i t y of Canadians, who did not want Canada a c t i v e l y  - 74 -  involved i n a p o t e n t i a l  powder keg i n southern Europe.  No doubt the  L i b e r a l s had learned some embarassing lessons i n the R i d d e l l  affair,  and were extremely c a r e f u l not to declare themselves before a b s o l u t e l y necessary.  Harold Nicol son, author of Curzon:  The Last Phase, described  the philosophy of a safe foreign p o l i c y as f o l l o w s :  The essence of good foreign p o l i c y i s c e r t i t u d e [and though] an uncertain p o l i c y i s always bad, on the other hand, parliamentary press and opp o s i t i o n i s l e s s l i k e l y to concentrate against an e l a s t i c f o r e i n c u p o l i c y than against one which Is p r e c i s e .  This d e f i n i t i o n a p t l y describes Mackenzie K i n g ' s c a r e f u l course once he returned to power i n the autumn of 1935.  As the Prime M i n i s t e r  noted i n h i s d i a r y :  I would well a t t r i b u t e my being Prime M i n i s t e r of Canada, a f t e r 17 years of leadership of the p a r t y , to the f a c t that I had made as few speeches as p o s s i b l e . . . .1 had never suffered from anything I had not s a i d ; most p u b l i c men got i n t o d i f f i c u l t i e s over what they s a i d .  The Prime M i n i s t e r maintained t h i s dodging p o s i t i o n whenever p o s s i b l e , and n a t u r a l l y earned the wrath of the Opposition f o r i t .  J . S . Woodsworth,  leader of the C . C . F . , repeatedly threw up h i s hands in f r u s t r a t i o n and once remarked w i t h exasperation:  " A f t e r l i s t e n i n g c a r e f u l l y to what the  Prime M i n i s t e r s a i d , I confess I am s t i l l  at a l o s s to know j u s t what our  - 75 -  foreign policy i s . " "  The L i b e r a l s in Ottawa argued that Canadian  f o r e i g n p o l i c y need only be p r e c i s e when the pressure of events demanded i t .  Otherwise the Department of External A f f a i r s would seek Of.  refuge in "complacent, unctuous and empty r e c t i t u d e . "  Elasticity  was the watchword of the day. King r e a l i z e d that Canada, due to i t s geographical p o s i t i o n , was not obliged to take any f o r e i g n p o l i c y stance w i t h regard to Europe:  Canada i s not exposed to d i r e c t and imminent danger of attack and conquest by any country. We are fortunate both i n our neighbours and i n our lack of neighbours. . .one has only to be i n any European country a day to r e a l i z e how r e l a t i v e l y fortunate a p o s i t i o n i t i s , and what f o l l y i t would be to throw i t away. ?  Thus i t  could be suggested that Canada's natural choice would have been  a d e c l a r a t i o n of n e u t r a l i t y ,  but the Prime M i n i s t e r r e a l i z e d that such  a p o l i c y would only garner complete support in Quebec, and would l i k e l y a l i e n a t e his government from the i m p e r i a l i s t s and the many Canadians who f e l t at l e a s t token a l l e g i a n c e to Great B r i t a i n .  A p o l i c y of non-  commitment, on the other hand, offered Canada and the King government t h e i r best chance f o r s u r v i v a l .  The Prime M i n i s t e r described his  f o r e i g n p o l i c y as f o l l o w s :  There are no commitments at the present time, so f a r as Canada i s concerned, f o r Canada to p a r t i cipate i n any war, nor are there any commitments to remain n e u t r a l . But the p o s i t i o n of t h i s government i s that with respect to n e u t r a l i t y or p a r t i c i p a t i o n , Parliament w i l l decide.  - 76 -  Deeply aware of the f i c k l e nature of the Canadian e l e c t o r a t e , Mackenzie King knew that he would have to pay homage to i t s wishes i f he were to remain i n power and keep the country u n i t e d .  The conser-  v a t i v e Montreal Gazette exemplified h i s f e a r s when i t warned the government that " n e i t h e r King nor anybody e l s e in his p o s i t i o n w i l l decide 29  t h i s c o u n t r y ' s course in any c r i s i s .  P u b l i c opinion does t h a t . "  P u b l i c opinion had to be one of K i n g ' s paramount p o l i c y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . By e a r l y autumn 1936 the m a j o r i t y of Canadians were f r a n k l y nervous about the European s i t u a t i o n , and c e r t a i n l y did not wish to become embroiled i n another war.  So when, on September 26 1936, two  weeks a f t e r the outbreak, of the Spanish C i v i l War, King spoke to the League of Nations in Geneva, he c a r e f u l l y stated t h a t :  Canada does not propose to be dragged i n t o a war which she has no i n t e r e s t , and over the o r i g i n of whcih she has no r e s p o n s i b i l i t y or control through any automatic o b l i g a t i o n . This i s simple doctrine and s e n s i b l e .  This p o l i c y paid dividends in the form of e d i t o r i a l s l i k e the one that appeared i n the independent conservative Ottawa J o u r n a l : " M r . King spoke, we t h i n k , f o r the vast m a j o r i t y of Canadians when he s a i d emphasis on the League's p o l i c i e s should be placed upon c o n c i l i a t i o n 31 rather than c o e r c i o n . "  I t would have been p o l i t i c a l s u i c i d e had King  d i v i d e d p u b l i c opinion even f a r t h e r by committing Canada to a p r e c i s e f o r e i g n p o l i c y that might involve the country i n a European war.  The  Prime M i n i s t e r paid heed to his own a n a l y s i s that "there was i n Canada a great dread l e s t the country should be committed at the JJ937J Imperial  - 77 -  Conference to some o b l i g a t i o n a r i s i n g out of the European s i t u a t i o n . " ^ K i n g ' s guiding p r i n c i p l e In the formulation of Canadian foreign p o l i c y was therefore the maintenance of h i s power and Canadian u n i t y .  The  Prime M i n i s t e r achieved t h i s by remaining unlnvolved, and by not committ i n g Canada to any c o n t r o v e r s i a l and apparently useless f o r e i g n p o l i c y ventures.  As a former colony and as the. senior Dominion, Canada had a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Great B r i t a i n .  The country was given i t s  independence by the Statute of Westminster i n 1931, but many of the o l d o b l i g a t i o n s and f e e l i n g s of f e a l t y remained. the problem, f o r though Canada could not f a i l  This was the crux of  to acknowledge Great  B r i t a i n ' s l e a d e r s h i p , the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s f e e l i n g s of independence repeatedly l e d him i n an opposite d i r e c t i o n .  B r i t a i n ' s determined non-  i n t e r v e n t i o n stance i n the Spanish C i v i l War became one of the f i r s t t e s t s of the new r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two, a baptism by f i r e , as i t were, f o r the Infant Department of External A f f a i r s .  Mackenzie King a l s o h.ad personal f e e l i n g s of ambivalence toward Canada's former motherland.  On the one hand, Great B r i t a i n , with her  advanced c u l t u r e and t r a d i t i o n of democracy, represented a l l  those  q u a l i t i e s King found worth, emulating, while on the o t h e r , the country . a l s o stood f o r s t i f l i n g imperialism and attachments.  Furthermore,  the Prime M i n i s t e r , was f r a n k l y s u s p i c i o u s of Westminster's  intentions.  Canada in 1936 acted l i k e a r e b e l l i o u s adolescent who fiad to a f f i r m i t s independence but f e l t unsure of the proper d i r e c t i o n .  Big brother  to  - 78 -  the south, was consulted and sought o u t , hut as a voice of support rather than as a mate.  The Spanish C i v i l War merely exacerbated t h i s oedipal  dilemma.  As the war progressed, tfie hands-off p o l i c y of Westminster allowed King to f o l l o w the B r i t i s h l i n e without making an o f f i c i a l commitment to that e f f e c t .  Thus he garnered the support of Quebec, the  Canadian i m p e r i a l i s t s , and maintained that of the more independently minded Canadians.  An advocate of peace and n e g o t i a t i o n , King lauded  the government of Great B r i t a i n f o r i t s p o l i c y toward Spain.  When in  January 1937 Westminster outlawed r e c r u i t i n g of her n a t i o n a l s f o r the Spanish, crusade, King applauded the a c t i o n , . suggesting that i t was l a r g e l y because of B r i t a i n ' s stand tfiat the war had not spread across 33 the Pyrenees and i n t o the r e s t of Europe.  This c a r e f u l statement made  the Prime M i n i s t e r appear as a man of peace, and kept Canada as a nation uninvolved.  The Toronto Globe and Mai 1 v i n d i c a t e d K i n g ' s stance i n a  January 12 e d i t o r i a l which, expressed the sentiments of many Canadians: Great B r i t a i n ' s d e c i s i v e a c t i o n to prevent her n a t i o n a l s f i g h t i n g i n Spain i s but f u r t h e r evidence of her ceaseless e f f o r t s to i s o l a t e the r e v o l u t i o n and^prevent the d i s a s t e r of i n t e r n a t i o n a l war.  S t i l l more f l a t t e r i n g ,  another e d i t o r i a l ended:  " | U i s impossible  to imagine what would have happened] had t t not been f o r Great B r i t a i n ' s 35 backstage l e a d e r s h i p . "  There t s no doubt that Mackenzie King genuinely  advocated peace, but i t was f o r t u i t o u s  that i n the e a r l y months of the  war, his f o r e i g n p o l i c y a s p i r a t i o n s , and those of tfie m a j o r i t y of the  - 79 -  e l e c t o r a t e , were upheld by u n o f f i c i a l toward Spain.  support of Great B r i t a i n ' s stance  The new Department of External A f f a i r s therefore passed  i t s f i r s t t e s t s almost by d e f a u l t , any uncertainty n a t u r a l l y i t s e l f i n t o the non-commitment p o l i c y .  resolving  King had avoided aggravating  the schism between E n g l i s h Canada and Quebec, was as popular as e v e r , Canadian independence remained i n t a c t , and the country s t i l l  united.  As has been d i s c u s s e d , however, sentiments changed, and by e a r l y 1937 this  maneouvering  room had been  i r r e v o c a b l y eroded by  the p o l a r i z a -  t i o n of Canadian p u b l i c opinion over the Spanish C i v i l War.  Had the  c o n f l i c t not become an emotional crusade f o r so many Canadians, King and the Ottawa L i b e r a l s could have continued to avoid a Canadian commitment of any k i n d .  Luck a l s o came to play on the government's s i d e .  E a r l y in  August, j u s t when i t appeared that the i n c i d e n t of the murdered Germans would create a major c r i s i s i n Spain (page 18), and that B r i t a i n would have to declare her a l l e g i a n c e , tempers c o o l e d .  H i t l e r called off  German navy a f t e r r e c e i v i n g his desired apology from republican  the authori-  t i e s ; IT_Duce, w i t h the a l a c r i t y of a consumate a c t o r , promised not to i n t e r f e r e i n S p a i n ; Blum, the French Premier, believed M u s s o l i n i , and decided to push f o r a general non-intervention  pact; and B r i t i s h Prime  M i n i s t e r Stanley Baldwin could breathe a sigh of r e l i e f . War was again o f f i c i a l l y  blockaded  The C i v i l  behind the s h e l t e r of the Pyrenees  which so so well confined the dust and tragedy of the  conflict.  - 80 -  The temporary r e l a x a t i o n of tensions between the European nations allowed Mackenzie King to spend the autumn of 1936 weighing Canadian p u b l i c opinion and the c r i s i s i n Spain.  This l u l l  finally  broke down i n January 1937 as more and more Canadians involved themselves i n the war.  As d i s c u s s e d , E n g l i s h Canada tended to o f f e r  the  republicans material and manpower a s s i s t a n c e , while Quebec's sympathies were w i t h the r e b e l s .  King r e a l i z e d that his career and  Canadian u n i t y depended on his a b i l i t y to mediate between these d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed a l l e g i a n c e s .  The government's f o r e i g n p o l i c i e s  therefore came under s c r u t i n y , with eventual a l t e r a t i o n to accommodate the Foreign Enlistment A c t .  Spain not only played a much greater  part i n Canadian i n t e r n a l p o l i t i c s than the Prime M i n i s t e r would have d e s i r e d , but pushed the government from i t s perch on the fence of international  relations.  As shown p r e v i o u s l y , emotions about S p a i n , whether pro or a n t i - r e p u b l i c a n , became very strong by January 1937.  Newspaper  readers a v i d l y followed the deeds of the renowned Canadian surgeon Dr. Norman Bethune, as he raced from b a t t l e to bloody b a t t l e ,  fighting  36  to keep wounded republican s o l d i e r s a l i v e ;  trade unions championed  the cause of the Spanish l e f t ; a i d was c o l l e c t e d ; and Canadian men went to the Iberian Peninsula to f i g h t side by side with  Spanish  workers against what they saw as the tyranny of f a s c i s m .  The govern-  ment could not remain b l i t h e l y uncommitted when, on the one h a n d , < ? ^ ^  /  Quebec had a f r e s c o ^ of M u s s o l i n i on one of i t s church w a l l s , while on the o t h e r , the Trade and Labour Congress of Canada passed r e s o l u t i o n s l i k e the f o l l o w i n g :  - 81 -  This congress wishes to express to the workers of Spain our a p p r e c i a t i o n of t h e i r splendid f i g h t i n defence of t h e i r l i b e r t i e s . . .[and] places i t s e l f f u r t h e r on record i n the i n t e r e s t of national s o l i d a r i t y as expressing to the Spanish workers our sincere i n t e r e s t in t h e i r struggle and extends to them our whole hearted support i n the f i g h t f o r j u s t i c e , freedom and peace and our hopes f o r an e a r l y and v i c t o r i o u s finish/ 7  The "Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy" had been founded, and a c t i v e l y s o l i c i t e d a s s i s t a n c e f o r the republicans through mail drives and advertisements in Canadian magazines.  Whether p o s i t i v e l y  or n e g a t i v e l y , the Spanish C i v i l War had f i n a l l y become and i n t e r n a t i o n a l crusade.  Nor was i t d i f f i c u l t to be swept up by the enthusiasm.  The u s u a l l y conservative Toronto Globe and Mai 1, in a f u l l - p a g e s t o r y , spoke of "Volunteers pouring through France [to]  headline  rush to the a i d  of the L o y a l i s t s . •. .and e n t r a i n i n g f o r Barcelona to don the L o y a l i s t 39 uniform."  In another headline a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "50,000 Foreigners on  Spanish F r o n t , " the Globe wrote that "from a c o n f l i c t over purely domestic i s s u e s , the f i g h t has turned i n t o a general war, fought on Spanish t e r r i t o r y , over the fundamental issues of fascism versus 40 * communism." For the f i r s t time the paper a l s o mentioned Canadian Volunteers:  No longer i s the f a c t hidden or denied t h a t . . . even Canadians are engaged i n a war which o s t e n s i b l y concerns none but Spaniards. . . .One's f i r s t thought i s that they are inexperienced youths grown up since the catastrophe of 1914-1918 who s t i l l have delusions concerning the glamour and splendor of war.  - 82 -  I t would have been expedient f o r Canada to step o f f i c i a l l y aside from Spain i f the population were i n t o t a l agreement, but with one h i g h l y vocal group openly s i d i n g w i t h the r e p u b l i c a n s ,  and  another c a l l i n g f o r i s o l a t i o n and f r i e n d s h i p w i t h Franco, the r e s u l t i n g divided opinions were bound to reach Parliament H i l l . K i n g , the i n i t i a l  Luckily for  questions on the recruitment of volunteers were  s u f f i c i e n t l y muted to allow the Prime M i n i s t e r to answer that his government would make no d e c i s i o n e i t h e r way, but that "the question would  continue to be given c o n s i d e r a t i o n . " '  As passions i n c r e a s -  i n g l y f l a r e d up, however, the temperature in the House rose correspondingly.  While some M . P . ' s simply wanted to know why the government  allowed Canadians- to f i g h t i n a war on another c o n t i n e n t , o t h e r s , mainly from Quebec, made the serious accusation that Canadians were lured to Spain by communist a g i t a t o r s s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y working w i t h i n Canada. idle.  Nor, as the Prime M i n i s t e r was aware, was the accusation The R.C.M.P. had furnished King w i t h a s e c r e t report proving  c o n c l u s i v e l y that the Communist Party of Canada had r e c r u i t e d at l e a s t twenty volunteers from Port A r t h u r , twenty from the west, and "seven 43  or e i g h t " from Quebec.  Whether one supported or opposed the v o l u n t e e r s , remained that questions had reached parliament, the King government to take a stand.  the f a c t  which i n turn forced  Thus on January 29,  when again  asked f o r i t s p o s i t i o n regarding recruitment, the government hopped  - 83 -  o f f the f e n c e , d e c l a r i n g that " l e g i s l a t i o n banning recruitment  is  44  coming i n the near  future."  Mackenzie King had avoided commitment as long as p o s s i b l e , but by l a t e January had simply run out of time.  Nor d i d the powerful  Quebec voice alone clamour f o r a ban on recruitment.  The Foreign  O f f i c e i n London, having imposed i t s own updated version of the Foreign Enlistment A c t , press\^ed Ottawa to f o l l o w s u i t .  England was almost i n  s i g h t of the Spanish c o n f l i c t and, as discussed p r e v i o u s l y , was very nervous about i t s p o t e n t i a l  consequences.  Though there i s no evidence  to show t h a t i t helped sway K i n g , Malcolm MacDonald's Boxing Day telegram to the Prime M i n i s t e r was no doubt an attempt by the Secretary of State f o r Dominion A f f a i r s to c a j o l e Canada i n t o toeing the imperial  line:  It i s therefore v i t a l i f serious i n t e r n a t i o n a l complications are to be avoided, that steps should be taken without f u r t h e r delay to put a stop to the increasing flow of foreign nationals i n Spain.  Though rather n e g a t i v e , MacDonald's request was reasonable. Having n a t i o n a l s from a l l over i n the Spanish C i v i l War was  the world f i g h t i n g on an exceedingly  dangerous  e i t h e r side situation.  Considering t h e i r geographical l o c a t i o n , i t was small wonder that the democratic European nations did almost anything to ease the danger, even i f the m o r a l i t y of t h e i r actions could be questioned.  Britain  l o g i c a l l y saw the s o l u t i o n as a cordon s a n i t a i r e around the  Iberian  Peninsula.  Many believed that i f foreign men and equipment could not  - 84 -  enter S p a i n , the c i v i l war would not only lose i t s  international  f l a v o u r , but would peter out from a lack of s u p p l i e s . who s t i l l  Those nations  believed that the German and I t a l i a n leaders could be trusted  therefore p r a c t i c e d considerable r e s t r a i n t , and encouraged dialogue u n t i l Spain could be e f f e c t i v e l y quarantined. quite astounding.  Their na'ivety was r e a l l y  The Non-intervention Committee decided that the  B r i t i s h and French navies would patrol A t l a n t i c Spain while the Germans and I t a l i a n s would seal o f f the Mediterranean a r e a .  Baldwin and Blum,  both weak men and extremely nervous about the general European s i t u a t i o n , made every e f f o r t to implement t h e i r h a l f of the b a r g a i n , even with the i n c r e a s i n g h o s t i l i t y between B r i t a i n and the r e b e l s .  The d i c t a t o r s ,  rather than turning back a l l ships approaching Spain, methodically ignored those supplying Franco's l i n e s with men and equipment, while accosting a l l others.  Were i t not f o r the secret c o m p l i c i t y and sympathy  of the French border guards, new l o y a l i s t volunteers would have been hard pressed to reach the republican l i n e s .  Up u n t i l recently, most h i s t o r i a n s suggested that appeasement reached i t s blackest point over the Sudetenland c r i s i s , but i t has since been proven that Chamberlain had few choices by 1938.  B r i t a i n ' s appease-  ment i n the Spanish C i v i l War, of which i t s own Foreign Enlistment Act was an i n t e g r a l p a r t , i s l e s s easy to excuse.  The free world had manoeuvering  room i n e a r l y 1937, and could have challenged the German and I t a l i a n adventures.  Denying republican Spain while aware t h a t the f a s c i s t s  a c t i v e l y aided Franco, was indeed a very s h o r t s i g h t e d , and u l t i m a t e l y c o s t l y , b i t of appeasement.  •  - 85 -  Canada's o f f i c i a l to excuse.  Spanish p o l i c i e s are even more d i f f i c u l t  Mackenzie.King was asked to j o i n the twenty-seven member  Non-intervention Committee, but, true to his p o l i c y of  non-commitment,  47  had declined the i n v i t a t i o n .  The Canadian version of the Foreign  Enlistment Act was passed, not to ensure the s u r v i v a l of the country, but r a t h e r , as an added guarantee f o r the continued l i f e of the L i b e r a l government.  Banning recruitment was the best way of keeping Canadians  out of the l i m e l i g h t of i n t e r n a t i o n a l  trouble s p o t s , of making the Prime  M i n i s t e r appear as a man of peace, and most i m p o r t a n t l y , the French Canadian vote.  of  retaining  A n t i - r e p u b l i c a n i s m from w i t h i n French Canada  was simply louder, more v o c i f e r o u s , and c a r r i e d f a r  more"political  c l o u t " t h a n the p r o - l o y a l i s t voice from the r e s t of the country.  Had  the Act not passed, King could have l o s t some of the f i f t y - f i v e L i b e r a l seats from Quebec plus the a l l e g i a n c e of the p r o - B r i t i s h , the i s o l a t i o n i s t s , and p a c i f i s t s .  The successful passage of the B i l l  demonstrated  how conscious the Prime M i n i s t e r was of the importance of p u b l i c o p i n i o n , and i s a good example of his expeditious handling of a p o t e n t i a l ternal  in-  rift.  *  *  *  Any Canadian wishing to f i g h t in Spain had f i r s t to secure a v a l i d Canadian passport.  Though i t took time, money, and a voucher's  s i g n a t u r e , getting the document a c t u a l l y posed few problems f o r the potential volunteer.  The Foreiw ErrH^ tme4vfe-Aet-only authorized a _  j  stamp i n each new passport i n v a l i d a t i n g i t f o r t r a v e l to Spain or the Balearic Islands.  The simple beauty of t h i s , from Ottawa's point of  - 86 -  view, was that the Act obviously only had relevance i f one were a c t u a l l y standing at the Spanish f r o n t i e r , f a r removed from any Canadian j u r i s diction.  A volunteer knew he would have to enter Spain i l l e g a l l y , and  could therefore not turn to his government i f he got i n t o t r o u b l e .  49  A p p l i c a t i o n s f o r passports could only be refused with difficulty  since r e c r u i t s merely had to say that they wished to  visit  50 England, France, or any other nation save Spain.  Forty suspicious  passport a p p l i c a t i o n s from western Canada were under s c r u t i n y in January 1937, but Laurent Beaudry, A s s i s t a n t  Under Secretary of State f o r  External A f f a i r s , e v e n t u a l l y had to grant them as there was no way of proving that the men were i n f a c t on t h e i r way to the republican 51 trenches.  The Act was therefore very shrewd indeed.  I t allowed an  easy route f o r those i d e a l i s t s who i n s i s t e d on going to S p a i n , while at the same time s a t i s f y i n g that part of the Canadian e l e c t o r a t e which wanted Ottawa to clamp down on "communistic r e c r u i t i n g . "  The f a c t that  seven-hundred men, well over h a l f of the twelve-hundred man contingent, entered Spain a f t e r the Act was passed and t h e i r passports had been stamped with the new t r a v e l r e s t r i c t i o n s , shows how easy i t was f o r Canadian volunteers to spring to the a i d of the l o y a l i s t s . Passing the Foreign Enlistment Act was not simply a matter of d r a f t i n g a B i l l and having i t enacted through parliament.  Canada  already had an Enlistment Act—the United Kingdom Foreign Enlistment 53 Act of 1870.  Not only was t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n  badly outdated,  it  did not t r e a t c i v i l wars, and, being B r i t i s h , also flew in the face of  - 87 -  Canadian sovereignty.  By g i v i n g Canada i t s own A c t , King would i n  essence be c u t t i n g i n t o what remained of the u m b i l i c a l cord l i n k i n g Canada to Great B r i t a i n .  In keeping with h i s suspicions of England and  his d e s i r e f o r an autonomous foreign p o l i c y , however, the Prime M i n i s t e r thought independence the b e t t e r c o u r s e , and had h i s J u s t i c e M i n i s t e r , Ernest L a p o i n t e , introduce the Canadian version of the A c t . f i r s t reading on February 18 1937,  54  and a f t e r a three hour debate, passed 55  t h i r d and f i n a l reading the f o l l o w i n g day. parliamentary opposition to i t ,  I t passed  Though there had been l i t t l e  the C . C . F . urged a p r o v i s i o n making the  Act apply to insurgent forces in a f r i e n d l y s t a t e , thus making that p a r t y ' s 55  aversion to Franco's rebel forces rather obvious. The new Act not only p r o h i b i t e d m i l i t a r y assistance to the enemies of a f r i e n d l y s t a t e , but authorized the government by Order i n Council to apply i t  "with necessary m o d i f i c a t i o n s to any case i n  which there i s a s t a t e of armed c o n f l i c t c i v i l or otherwise, e i t h e r 57 w i t h i n a f o r e i g n country or between f o r e i g n c o u n t r i e s . " allowance was made f o r moral and a l t r u i s t i c p r i n c i p l e s .  One small Passports would  be issued to people going to Spain on humanitarian grounds under the c o n t r o l of the Red Cross "or other recognized Canadian humanitarian society."  C O  NOTES TO CHAPTER 3 1 James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada, p. 231. 2, •Ibid. Ibid. 4 3  King Papers, J2 s e r i e s , v o l . 342, S-500. 5  c  Ibid. J . L . Granatstein, and R. Bothwell, "A s e l f - E v i d e n t National Duty," Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth H i s t o r y , v o l . 3-4, 1974-76, p. 213. External A f f a i r s Records, v o l . 2, f i l e 66-2, "Central European Situation." :  7  q  King Papers, J4 s e r i e s , v o l . 212. 9  I b i d . , v o l . 223, document #192041.  ^Huyh Thomas, The Spanish C i v i l War, p. 335. ^ K i n g Papers, J l s e r i e s , v o l . 227. 12 J . A . Munro, e d . , Documents, p. 970. 13  King Papers, v o l . 230, document #197053. 14 J . A . Munro, Documents, p. 971. 1 5  Ibid.  K i n g Diary, 21 October 1936. G1obe and M a i l , 5 January 1937, p. 1. 18 J . A . Munro, Documents, p. 983. K i n g Diary, 13 October 1936.  16  l7  .  19  20 V i c t o r Hoar, The Mac-Paps, p. 13. K i n g Papers, v o l . 225, document #193880. 21  2 2  I b i d . , v o l . 224, document #192304.  23 Harold Nicol son, Curzon: The Last Phase, (Toronto: • C o . , L t d . , 1934), p. 394-5. "  Macmillan  King Diary, 1 December 1936. 25  House of Commons, Debates, 24 May 1938. H . Nicol son, Curzon, p. 394-5  2 6  27  House of Commons, Debates, 18 June 1936. 28  G l o b e and M a i l , 26 January 1937.  oq  Montreal Gazette, 30 September 1936. 30  0 t t a w a J o u r n a l , 30 September 1936. Ibid. C . Barnett, The Collapse of B r i t i s h Power, (London: 1970), p. 218-227.  3 1  3 2  Eyre Methuen,  33  J . A . Munro, Documentsj p. 973. 3ZL  Globe and M a i l , 12 January 1937, p. 6. 3 5  36  37  I b i d . , 11 January 1937, p. 6. s e e New Frontiers autumn 1936 editions for information on Dr. Bethune's e x p l o i t s .  New F r o n t i e r s , v o l . 1, #8, December 1936, p. 13.  3 8  I b i d . , p. 4.  3Q  Globe and M a i l , 7 January 1937, p. 1. 4 0  I b i d . , 8 January 1937, p. 1.  4 1  Ibid.  AO  House of Commons, Debates, 19 January 1937.  43  44  King Papers, J4 s e r i e s , v o l . 212. The l e t t e r contained the following statement: "The Mounted P o l i c e have j u s t furnished us with a report on r e c r u i t i n g by the Communist Party of volunteers for service in Spain." P e n c i l l e d in the margin was: "The Mounted Police never report on the actions of the other s i d e . " House of Commons, Debates, 29 January 1937.  AC  King Papers, J4 s e r i e s , v o l . 212.  - 90 -  46  Globe and M a i l , 5 January 1937, p. 1.  47  V i c t o r Hoar, The Mac-Paps, p. 13. 48 interview with former Mackenzie-Papineau B a t t a l i o n member, John Johnston, Vancouver, November 1981. According to Mr. Johnston, the volunteers l e f t procurement of a l l documentation in the hands of the r e c r u i t e r s who seem to have had l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y obtaining passports. This i s substantiated by other r e c r u i t s . 49 Those Canadian volunteers who were s t i l l in Spain when Franco's v i c t o r y was assured sent repeated l e t t e r s for help to the Department of External A f f a i r s in Ottawa. The Department answered that nothing would be done except in the case of minors. This response, though p e r f e c t l y j u s t i f i a b l e , seems rather harsh when i t i s considered that the safety of the foreign nationals who had fought for the Republic was f a r from assured. Incidents of b r u t a l i t y were common i n nationa l i s t j a i l s , and a Canadian passport would not exempt a volunteer from torture or death. 50 a popular excuse f o r t r a v e l l i n g to Europe was to see the world e x h i b i t i o n in P a r i s . 51  J . A . Munro, Documents, p. 974. V i c t o r Hoar, The Mac-Paps, p. 14.  5 2  53  J . A . Munro, Documents, p. 973. 54  House of Commons, Debates, 18 February 1937. 5 5  Ibid.,  19 March 1937.  Winnipeg Free Press, 20 March 1937, p. 5. 57  Canada, Statutes, 1937, Geo V I , c . 32, p. 163.  C O  J . A . Munro, Documents, p. 980. As Dr. Bethune was sent to Spain by the "Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy," and not by a recognized "humanitarian s o c i e t y , " i t i s u n l i k e l y that he would have q u a l i f i e d under the new Act.  - 91 -  CONCLUSION  Most p o l i t i c a l  l e a d e r s , whatever t h e i r i n s p i r a t i o n ,  strive  f o r power, which once a t t a i n e d , they do the utmost to c o n s o l i d a t e . Mackenzie K i n g , who was Prime M i n i s t e r longer than any other i n the h i s t o r y of the B r i t i s h Empire, was no e x c e p t i o n . impressive r e c o r d , the p o l i t i c a l  As a r e s u l t of h i s  and s o c i a l l i v e s of the enigmatic  King are s c r u t i n i z e d to t h i s day by h i s t o r i a n s t r y i n g to discover the key to his success.  It  i s popularly held that his amazing p o l i t i c a l  l o n g e v i t y was p a r t l y the r e s u l t of a r e l e n t l e s s need to please c e r t a i n ancestors or deceased men who had made a l a s t i n g impression on him, or that the Prime M i n i s t e r tended to be j u s t p l a i n l u c k y , that  situations  often resolved themselves before they could s e r i o u s l y hurt him. these i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s  Though  have some m e r i t , the Foreign Enlistment Act of  1937 shows them to be highly  inadequate.  S p i r i t u a l i s m and luck did play a part i n K i n g ' s long career, but they were secondary or i n c i d e n t a l .  The Prime M i n i s t e r owed most of  his success to h i s owr, shrewd, and often r u t h l e s s judgement.  An astute  p o l i t i c i a n , he never reacted more than necessary, and therefore had the unenviable task of r e t r a c t i n g  a p o l i c y or statement.  rarely  Above a l l ,  he was highly atuned to p u b l i c o p i n i o n , and knew that he courted d i s a s t e r were he to go against the wishes of the e l e c t o r a t e . War had exacerbated the t r a d i t i o n a l  The Spanish C i v i l  d i f f e r i n g a l l e g i a n c e s of E n g l i s h  and French Canada, but K i n g , concerned with the deepening d i v i s i o n s ,  - 92 -  s u c c e s s f u l l y eased them by introducing l e g i s l a t i o n that s a t i s f i e d as many as p o s s i b l e while keeping his government in power.  Suggesting that the p o l a r i z e d Canadian a l l e g i a n c e s in the Spanish C i v i l War would have toppled the government had King not acted would be an exaggeration.  The Prime M i n i s t e r r e a l i z e d , however, that  the c o n f l i c t in Spain did have tremendous emotional appeal, and that i t would i n t e n s i f y the d i s u n i t y in Canada i f steps were not taken to d/fuse the s i t u a t i o n .  More i m p o r t a n t l y ,  he r e a l i z e d that his govern-  ment could be caught i n the middle i f i t did not take some form of concrete stand.  The dilemma was how to s a t i s f y French Canada without  f u r t h e r antagonizing the r e s t of the country, and v i c e v e r s a .  K i n g ' s answer, the Foreign Enlistment A c t , shows him to have been an astute and shrewd p o l i t i c i a n .  He waited u n t i l  the  s i t u a t i o n was thoroughly analyzed, moved only when circumstances d i c t a t e d , and then passed l e g i s l a t i o n strong enough to placate his a l l i e s yet s u f f i c i e n t l y weak to reduce his a l i e n a t i o n from the r e s t . The Quebec e l e c t o r a t e simply had to receive s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n as  it  was the more vocal and provided the federal L i b e r a l s with t h i r t y - t w o percent of t h e i r seats (Beck, page 220-221).  King r e a l i z e d that the  Act would lose him few votes, whereas no a c t i o n or l e g i s l a t i o n in favour of the Spanish Republic would be very dangerous considering the reactionary mood i n Quebec.  I t could perhaps be suggested that the Foreign Enlistment Act was passed because King genuinely wanted to contribute to world  - 93 -  peace.  There i s , on the one hand, no doubt that he was a peace-  l o v i n g man, but there i s no evidence, on the other, to suggest that the Act was introduced out of a l t r u i s m or moral p r i n c i p l e s .  The Prime  M i n i s t e r was, a f t e r a l l , sympathetic to the l o y a l i s t s , found fascism abhorrent, and c e r t a i n l y did not approve of naked aggression against a l e g a l l y c o n s t i t u t e d democracy.  Furthermore, the Act was not enforced  to any strong degree, as the Canadian government could (and subsequently did) d i s c l a i m any r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the i l l e g a l adventuring of i d e a l i s t i c citizens.  F i n a l l y , and perhaps most simply, no document has  been found in which King defends the Act as an instrument of peace. Thus i t was passed, not out of any moral c o n v i c t i o n , but as a p o l i t i c a l l y expedient s o l u t i o n to a small but nagging dilemma.  - 94 -  APPENDIX I  1 GEORGE VI.  C H A P . 32. An Act respecting Foreign Enlistment. [Assented to 10th April, 1937.}  H  IS Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:—  1. This Act may be cited as Tlic Foreign. Enlistment Act,  short title.  1937.  2 . In this Act, and in any regulation or order made nofinitions. hereunder, unless the context otherwise requires:— (a) "Within Canada" includes Canadian waters as ^J'jij, defined for the purposes of the Customs Act; n.sTc%i. (b) "Armed forces" includes military, naval and air "Armed forces or services, combatant or non-combatant, but " shall not include surgical, medical, nursing and other services engaged solely in humanitarian work and which are under the control or supervision of the Canadian Red Cross or other recognized Canadian humanitarian society; (c) "Conveyance" includes ships, vessels, aircraft, trains, " C o n v e y and motor and other vehicles; "(d) "Illegally enlisted person" means a person who has ^|^} accepted or agreed to accept any commission or en- £en»n". gagement, or who is about to quit Canada with intent to accept any commission or engagement, or who has been induced to go on board a conveyance under a misapprehension or false representation of the service in which such person is to be engaged with the intention or in order that such person may accept or agree to accept any commission or engagement contrary to the provisions of this Act; (e) "Equips" in relation to a ship, includes the furnish- "Equips", ing of anything which is used for the purpose of fitting foroca  ;  anco  ly  PART i—11|  or  - 95 -  or adapting the ship for the sea, or for naval service, and all words relating to equipment shall be construed accordingly; (f) "Foreign State" includes any foreign prince, colony, province or part of any province or people, or any person or persons exercising or assuming to exercise the powers of government in or over any foreign country, colony, province, or part of any province or people.  "Foreign State".  offence to a foreign n  w f t h a  t h  3 . If any person, being a Canadian National, within or without Canada, voluntarily accepts or agrees to accept y commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly foreign state, or, whether a Canadian National or not, within Canada, induces any other person to accept or agree to accept any commisj g gement in any such armed forces, such persons shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.  a n t  w  a  r  friendly state,  peters mducement.  Offence t o quit or intend to quit Canada to enlist.  Offers inducement.  Offence to induce a person t o enlist and quit Canada by misrepresentation.  O w n e r of conveyance may be g u i l t y ofa n offence.  Detaining conveyance.  g  o n  Q r  en  a  4 . If any person, being a Canadian National, quits or goes on board any conveyance with a view of quitting Canada with intent to accept any commission or engage-, ment in the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly foreign state, or, whether a Canadian National or not, within Canada, induces any other person to quit or go on board any conveyance with a view of quitting Canada, with a like intent, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act. 5. If any person induces any other - person to quit Canada, or to go on board any conveyance within Canada under a misrepresentation or false representation of the service in which such person is to be engaged, with the intent or in order that such person may accept or agree to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state at war with a friendly state, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act. C. (1) If the person having the control or direction of, or being the owner of any conveyance,! knowingly either takes on board or engages to take on board or has on board such conveyance, within Canada, any illegally enlisted person, the person having such control or direction of, or being the owner of any such conveyance, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act. (2) Such conveyance shall be detained until the trial or conviction of such person or owner and until all fines or penalties imposed on such person or owner have been paid or security approved by the Court having jurisdiction in the matter has been given for the payment thereof. 164  7 .  - 96 -  1937.  Fore![irr Enlistment Act.  Chap. 3 2 .  3  7 . If any person, within Canada, does any of the follow- O f f e n d s , ing acts, that is to say, (a) builds or agrees to build or causes to be built, any B u i l d s s h i p , ship with intent or knowledge, or having reasonable cause to believe that the same shall or will be employed in or by the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly state; or (b) issues or delivers any commission for any ship with C o m m i s s i o n s intent or knowledge or having reasonable cause to ' believe that the same shall or will be employed in or by the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly state; or (c) equips any ship with intent or knowledge or having E q u i p s s h i p , reasonable cause to believe that the same shall or will be employed in or by the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly state; or (d) despatches or causes or allows to be despatched, any D e s p a t c h e s ship, with intent or knowledge or having reasonable " cause to believe that the same shall or will be employed in or by the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly state; such person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act. Provided that a person building, causing to be built, or rwiso. equipping a ship in any of the cases aforesaid, in pursuance of a contract made before the commencement of such war as aforesaid, shall not be deemed to have committed an offence under this Act, if, forthwith, upon a proclamation of neutrality or any other proclamation notifying or bringing into operation the provisions of this Act, he gives notice to the Secretary of State for External Affairs that he is so building, causing to be built, or equipping, such ship, and furnishes such particulars of the contract and of any matters relating to or done, or to be done under the contract, as may be required by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, and, if he give such security and takes and permits to be taken such other measures, if any, as the Secretary of State for External Affairs may prescribe for insuring that such ship shall not be despatched, delivered or removed, or otherwise dealt with, without the permission in writing of the Secretary of State for External Affairs, until the termination of such war as aforesaid. 8h,p  slllp9  S . When any ship is built by order of or on behalf of any ^, foreign state, when at war with a friendly state, or is ^rnietHorePs delivered to or to the order of such foreign state, or to any "^{jj^ person who to the knowledge of the person building is an t o h a v e b e e n agent of such foreign state, or is paid for by such foreign p " ^ ^ state or such agent, and is employed in or by the armed forces of such foreign state, such ship shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been built with a view v  11  d  S  165  to  U  l  U  - 97 -  to being so employed, and the burden shall lie on the builder of such ship of proving that he did not know that the ship was intended to be so employed in or by the armed forces of such foreign state. 9. If any person within Canada, by any addition to or substitution in the armament or equipment, increases or augments, or procures to be increased or augmented, or is knowingly concerned in increasing or augmenting the warlike force of any ship, which at the time of its being within Canada was a ship in or of the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly state, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.  Arming o r equipping ships for foreign state at war.  Offence.  Outfitting expedition  offence.  B t a t e  Recruiting.  Offence.  Proviso. Not applicable t o consular o r diplomatic officers.  Pri»eofwar.  Application for^Jtoration ofpriae.  lO. If any person, within Canada, prepares or fits . out — — — J X > ; V . " , any military, naval or air expedition, to proceed against the dominions of any friendly state, such person shall be guilty of an offence against this Act. _  against  '  11. If any person, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in such state, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act: Provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to the action of foreign consular or diplomatic officers or agents in enlisting persons who are nationals of the countries which they represent, and who are not Canadian Nationals, in conformity with the regulations of the Governor in Council.  12. If any ship, goods, or merchandise, captured as prize of war within Canada in violation of Canadian neutrality, or captured by any ship which may have been built, equipped, commissioned or despatched, or the force of which may have been augmented, contrary to the provisions of this Act, are brought within Canada by the captor, or by any agent of the captor, or by any person having come into possession thereof with a knowledge that the same was prize of war so captured as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the original owner of such prize or his agent, or for any person authorized in that behalf by the government of the Foreign State to which such owner belongs, or in which the ship captured as aforesaid may have been duly registered, to make application to the Exchequer Court of Canada for seizure and detention of such prize, and the Court shall, on due proof of the facts, order such prize to be restored. 166  13.  - 98 -  Foreign EnKdnw.nl Ad.  1937.  Chap. 3 2 .  '  13. Every order r e f e r r e d to in the preceding section shall be executed and carried into effect in the same manner. ''" '' '" and subject to the same right of appeal, as in case of any Appeal, order made in the exercise of the ordinary jurisdiction of such court; and in the meantime, and until a final order has been made, on such application the court shall have power to make all such provisional and other orders as to the care or custody of such captured ship, goods, or merchandise, and (if the same- be of perishable nature, or incurring risk of deterioration) for the sale thereof, and with respect to the deposit or investment of the proceeds of any such sale, as may be made by such court in the exercise of its ordinary jurisdiction. !  :rt  :;  14. Any person, who is guilty of an offence against this P e n a l t i e s . Act shall be deemed to be guilty of an indictable offence, i n d i c t a b l e and shall be punishable by fine not exceeding two thousand o f f e n c e , dollars, or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour, or by both fine and imprisonment; but such offence may, instead of being prosecuted as an indictable offence, be prosecuted summarily in manner provided by Part X V of the Criminal Code, and R.s. c. 3s. if so prosecuted, such offence shall be punishable by fine Summary not exceeding five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding twelve months, with or without hard labour, or by both fine and imprisonment. convlction  15. ( 1 ) Any ship in respect of which an offence under " f T e n d i n a section seven of this Act has been committed and the f n X i t e d u> equipment thereof, shall be forfeited to His Majesty. Hi? Majesty. (2) Any conveyance and the equipment thereof and all C o n v e y a n c e , arms, ammunition and implements of war used in or forming ™™rf " part of an expedition in respect of which an offence has been e x p e d i t i o n committed under the provisions of section ten of this Act. " " shall be forfeited to His Majesty. t0  f  rf  lt<;d  1 0 . For the purpose of giving jurisdiction in criminal L o c u s proceedings under this Act, every offence shall be deemed i to have been committed, every cause or complaint to have arisen either in the place in which the same was committed or' arose, or in any place in which the offender or person complained against may be.  nf  u r i s r i l c t , o a  17. Subject to the provisions of this Act, criminal proceedings arising hereunder shall be subject to and governed by the Criminal Code. 18.  !•  i  i i  r  ^ ^  r  ,  j ; : .  code,  R.s. . 38. c  All proceedings for forfeiture of conveyances, goods i  r  -  •  •  f  i i •  i  L  1  Process f°r forfeiture.  or merchandise, under the provisions of this Act, may be taken in the Excheauer Court of Canada, or in anv court '•'••w* of competent jurisdiction. 1G7 19.  - 99 -  Chap. 3 2 . Orders in Council. Regulations.  Orders and regulations to be published in Gazette.  Repeal.  Foreign Enlistment Act.  1  GEO. V I .  11). (1) The Governor in Council may, from time to time, by order or regulation, provide for any or all of the following matters:— (a) the application of the provisions of this Act, with necessary modifications, to any case in which there is a state of armed conflict, civil or otherwise, either within a foreign country or between foreign countries; (b ) the seizure, detention and disposition of conveyances, goods and merchandise; (c) the requirement of the consent of an authority or authorities to prosecutions, seizures, detentions and forfeiture proceedings; (d) the designation of officers or authorities who may execute any of the provisions of this Act; ( e ) the issue, restriction, cancellation and impounding of passports, whether within Canada or elsewhere, to the extent to which such action is deemed by him to be necessary or expedient for carrying out the general purposes of this Act. (2) Such orders and regulations shall be published in the Canada Gazette, and shall take effect from the date of such publication or from the date specified for such purpose in such order or regulation, and shall have the same force and effect as if enacted herein. 2 0 . The Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, chapter ninety of the Statutes of 1870 (33 & 34 Victoria) the short title of which is The Foreign Enlistment Act 1870, is hereby repealed in so far as it is part of the law of Canada. O T T A W A : Printed by JOSEPH OSCAR PATBNAOTIB, I.S.O., Law Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.  168  -  1 0 0 -  APPENDIX II Order in Council P.C. 1915  August 6, 1937  WHEREAS under Section 19( 1) (e) of "The Foreign Enlistment Act, 1937", it is provided that the Governor in Council may from time to-time, by order or regulation, provide for the issue, restriction, cancellation and impounding of passports, whether within Canada or elsewhere, to the extent to which such action is deemed by him to be necessary for carrying out the general purposes of the said Act; AND WIII-RUAS the Secretary of State for External Affairs reports that in view of the present armed conflict in Spain, it is not deemed desirable that passports be issued for travel in Spain unless it is clear that the applicants have no intention of enlisting in cither of the armed forces or otherwise taking part in the conflict; Now, THEREFORE, the Deputy of His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for External AITairs is pleased to order as follows: (1) Passports shall not be issued for travel in Spain, that is to say, the territories of the Peninsula, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, and towns and territories under Spanish sovereignty in Africa, unless applicants fall within the following categories: (a) Persons having urgent business reasons for such travel, and persons returning to resume employment there, together with members of their families. (b) Journalists representing reputable papers. (c) Persons forming part of surgical, medical, nursing or other services engaged solely in humanitarian work and which arc under the control or supervision of the Canadian Red Cross or other recognized Canadian humanitarian society. (2) Applicants for passports for Spain shall be required to subscribe to the following Declaration: In connection with my application for a passport to' travel in Spain I wish to state that I desire to proceed to  for the purpose  of  ; I undertake that nothing will take place in the course of my visit that could be considered as implying any intervention by me on behalf of cither side of the present dispute in Spain. I understand that 1 travel at my own risk and that His Majesty's Government in Canada undertake no responsibility for my protection or for my evacuation in case of need.  (3) A passport may be issued and endorsed "Valid for a single journey to (here insert name of the place or district in Spain and purpose of journey)" in the case of applications conforming with the above mentioned requirements. (4) New passports for travel in countries other than Spain and similar passports presented for renewal shall be marked "Not valid for travel in Spain, that is to say, the territories of the Peninsula, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, and towns and territories under Spanish sovereignty in Africa". (5) Passports issued for travel in Spain may be impounded or cancelled upon evidence of fraud or misrepresentation in the passport application or upon evidence that the holder has not faithfully carried out the undertaking set forth in the Declaration. (6) These regulations shall come into force on August 10th, 1937. H. W. LOTHROP  - 101 -  SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  Archival material and interviews Forsey, Senator Eugene.  Interviewed i n Ottawa, February 1982.  Johnston, John. Former member of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion interviewed in Vancouver, November 1981. Lapointe Papers.  Public Archives of Canada.  Mackenzie King Diary.  Public Archives of Canada.  Mackenzie King Papers.  Public Archives of Canada.  Newspapers and magazines The Canadian Forum.  July 1936 - A p r i l 1937.  The Daily C l a r i o n .  July 1936 - A p r i l 1937.  Montreal Le Devoir.  July 1936 - A p r i l 1937.  Toronto Globe and Mai 1. Montreal Gazette.  July 1936 - A p r i l 1937.  July 1936 - A p r i l 1937.  New Frontiers magazine.  J u l y 1936 - A p r i l 1937.  Ottawa C i t i z e n . July 1936 - A p r i l 1937. Ottawa Journal. July 1936 - A p r i l 1937. The Vancouver Sun. Winnipeg Free Press.  Government  July 1936 - A p r i l 1937. July 1936 - A p r i l 1937.  publications  Canada, Parliament, House of Commons. Queen's P r i n t e r , 1936-37.  Debates.  Ottawa:  Canada. Statutes.  Ottawa:  Munro, John A . , ed. Volume 6.  Queen's P r i n t e r , 1937. 1 Geo. VI, C. 32.  Documents on Canadian External Relations. Ottawa: Department of External A f f a i r s , 1972.  Books and journals  Aldgate, Anthony. Cinema and History: B r i t i s h Newsreels and the . Spanish C i v i l War. London: Scolar Press, 1979. Barnett, C. The Collapse of B r i t i s h Power. 1970.  London:  Eyre Methuen,  Beck, J . Murray. Pendulum of Power: Canada's Federal E l e c t i o n s . Scarborough: Prentice H a l l , 1968. Betcherman, Lita-Rose. The Swastika and the Mapleleaf. Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1975. Black, Conrad.  Duplessis.  Toronto:  Boyle, Andrew.  The Fourth Man.  Toronto:  McClelland & Stewart, 1977.  New York:  Bantam Books, 1980.  Dafoe, John W. "Canadian Foreign P o l i c y , " Conference on Canadian American A f f a i r s . Boston: Gin & C o . , L t d . , 1937. -  Eayrs, James. In Defence of Canada. Press, 1965. Volume 2.  Toronto:  University of Toronto  E n g l i s h , John, and Stubbs, J . O . , eds. Mackenzie King: Debate. Toronto: Macmillan, 1977.  Widening the  E r v i n , Randy. "Men of the Mackenzie-Papineau B a t t a l i o n . " Master's t h e s i s , University of Toronto.  Unpublished  Glazebrook, G.P. deT. A History of Canadian External Relations. Volume 2. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1966. Gouin, L.M. "The French-Canadians, Their Past and Their A s p i r a t i o n s , " World Currents and Canada's Course, ed. V.A. Anderson. Toronto: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1937. Graham, Frank. The Book of the XV Brigade. Graham, 1938.  Newcastle:  Frank  ^103~-  Granatstein, J . L . and Bothwell. "A Self-Evident National Duty," Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. V o l . 3-4, 1974-76. Gurney, Jason.  Crusade in Spain.  London:  Faber & Faber L t d . , 1974.  Hillmer, Norman. "O.D. Skelton: the Scholar Who Set a Future P a t t e r n , " International Perspectives. Sept. Oct. 1973. Hoar, V i c t o r . The Mackenzie-Papineau B a t t a l i o n . C l a r k , 1969. Johnston, Verle B. Legions of Babel., State U n i v e r s i t y , 1967.  Toronto:  Pennsylvania:  Copp  Pennsylvania  Liversedge, Ron, "Memoirs of a Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion Veteran," unpublished memoirs, Special C o l l e c t i o n s , University of B r i t i s h Columbia. MacLennan, Hugh. The Watch that Ends the Night. C o . , 1958. MacKay, R.A. and Rogers, E.B. Stewart, 1938.  Toronto:  Canada Looks Abroad.  Toronto:  Mansergh, Nicholas. A Survey of B r i t i s h Commonwealth Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952.  Nicolson, Harold. Curzon: Co. L t d . , 1934. Pearson, Lester B.  the Last Phase.  Mike. Volume 1.  Toronto: Toronto:  Scarborough:  McClelland  Affairs.  Monroe, John. " C h r i s t i e and Canadian External R e l a t i o n s , " of Canadian Studies. May 1972. Neatby, B l a i r . William Lyon Mackenzie King. of Toronto Press, 1976.  MacMillan  Journal  University MacMillan  Signet Books, 1973.  P i k e ; David W. Conjecture, Propaganda, and Deceit and the Spanish C i v i l War. Stanford: I n s t i t u t e of International Studies, 1968, Quinn, Herbert. The Union Nationale. Toronto Press, 1963.  Toronto:  University  of  R i d d e l ! , Walter A, ed. Documents on Canadian Foreign P o l i c y 1917-39. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962. Roberts, L e s l i e . The Chief: A P o l i t i c a l Biography of Maurice Duplessis. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Co. L t d . , 1963.  -104 -  Rosenstone, Robert A.  Crusade of the L e f t .  Stacey, C P . Canada and the Age of C o n f l i c t . University of Toronto Press, 1980.  New York:  Pegasus, 1969.  Volume 2.  Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish C i v i l War. Third e d i t i o n . Hazel 1 Watson & Viney, 1977.  Toronto:  Bucks:  Watkins, K. B r i t a i n Divided: the Effects of the Spanish C i v i l War on B r i t i s h Public Opinion. New York: Thomas Nelson, 1963.  

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