PIERRE SEVIGNY: "Yhis is what really happened"
In this exclusive interview with Susan Dexter, the former cabinet minister whose activities touched off a nationwide sensation talks freely for the first time about his part in the Munsinger affair ߞ and the shattering aftermath
COL. THE HON. PIERRE SÉVIGNY, as he is Montreal telephone book, sounds as though he might be a man who rides to hounds, lounges in a smoking jacket over after-dinner port, who leads a comfortable, uncluttered, unmemorable and unpublicized life. Instead, as anyone knows who read a Canadian paper during the months of March and April, or who heard a radio or watched a television newscast, Pierre Sevignv is at the very vortex of Canada’s first sex-and-security investigation. He has denied to a judicial inquiry that he became a security risk through having an affair with a German girl named Gerda Munsinger. who is alleged to have been a spy.
In June. Pierre Sevignv was awaiting the inquiry's verdict in his tastefully decorated home at 33 Rosemount Avenue, a red-brick mansion with paneled dining room, high ceilings and ornate mirrors.
It was the first time he had spoken freely without the clutter of television equipment and the confusion of gang press conferences, about the Munsinger episode.
Sevignv, aged 48. who works in a Montreal stockbroker's office now that he has left politics, talked for hours, his white shirt open at the neck, the sleeves casually rolled up. A chime clock rang off the hours as he earnestly explained what had happened seven years ago and since. His children — Pierrette, 19, a student at Loyola College, Albert, 15, who attends a classical college in Quebec City, and Robert. 12. a pupil at St. Leo's Pligh School in Montreal — strolled in and out as though I were simply a friend who had come for an evening's chat.
Mrs. Sévigny, who is a real-estate executive in Montreal, sat much of the time by her husband's side. She left only to answer the ringing telephones, to attend briefly to some pressing domestic chore, and once to discuss business with an associate.
Their bookshelves are crowded with titles in English and French, many of them on politics and military history. One recent volume on World War II. The Battle Of Falaise Clap, mentions Sévigny's role in holding a hill despite heavy attack, and includes a picture of Ft.-Col. Sevigny's Jeep. The book sits on a side table, a mute reminder that Pierre Sévigny lost a leg and received 72 shrapnel wounds over much of his body during that war.
A number of large volumes on the stock market sat on his desk, reminders of the Investment Dealers' Association correspondence course in Canadian securities that Sévigny had taken last winter, and of the examination he had written — tit the height of the Munsinger crisis — and passed.
The following is ti partial transcript of our talk :
Dexter: What made you decide to talk to Maclean’s?
Sévigny: What changed my mind about talking was that I found it so confoundedly ridiculous to have it implied there was spying and a security risk — to have it said that a man with my military background, my family background, could ever be a security risk. It had to be stopped. I had to protest in the strongest fashion. The implications that I once knew a woman — I couldn’t care less about that... Indeed, if every cabinet minister and every member of parliament had a bell around his neck for every woman he knew, there would be an awful din in the House of Commons.
Secondly, I knew this was a frameup. planned long in advance. Dexter: Who told you?
Sévigny: Four different persons. I was called during the 1965 election campaign by a close friend who happens to be a Liberal MP. He said. "Look, I consider you a regular guy, and that you've done absolutely
nothing wrong, and I want to tell you that members of the Liberal Party are talking of implicating you and two other ministers in a socalled sccurity-and-sex scandal involving some woman. Actually, they don't want to get at you so much as at Diefenbaker, but at the same time to destroy you and George Hees."
The next person who spoke to me in the strictest confidence is also a Liberal — he's connected with the press — and he repeated exactly what the first person had told me. Another man went further; he just telephoned me and told me bluntly. "We're going to get you with the story' of this woman." That was also in the midst of the campaign.
After the election, a chap who has no political party made a point of seeing me. He said. "Pierre, the Liberals arc very dissatisfied with the results. I hey feel nothing has changed and they’ll have Diefenbaker on their back again; if Diefenbaker gets on their back they’re going to come right back at him wdth this Mun-
singer affair, to imply she was a spy. They're going to say that when Dietenhaker discovered you knew her. he didn't consult the officials of his department. Furthermore, that she was connected with the underworld so that the underworld could get to you — the underworld had found its way to the cabinet just as it had to Pearson's cabinet.
"Their definite plan is to get Diefenbaker, shut him up once and for all. Secondly, to get George Hees. the heir apparent, and destroy him in the minds of the public. Thirdly, to get you. because they dislike you and consider you are a threat in Quebec. They're going to try to implicate George Nowlan. I hey figure he's dead and can't defend himself, and this will just add one for good measure. They've airead) approached certain journalists to break the story and it's going to come out first as innuendos and eventually, if necessary, it's all going to come out."
1 said, "That's impossible."
He said. "Just watch."
Dexter: Did Nowlan know this
Sévigny: He nevei saw her in his life.
Dexter: Did you consider making a public statement at that time? Sévigny: No. I found the w hole thing absolutely ridiculous. Then, a few days later a Montreal newspaper dropped the first hint that there would he a scandal involving three ministers who had known a woman called Olga, who had been a Russian spy.
Dexter: If the first name that came out was Olga, then it couldn't have come from Pearson, because he already knew her name. He had the file. ’
Sévigny: I've never implied it came from Pearson. It came from a group of Liberals hell-bent to get Diefenbaker at all costs. It's only too obvious to me that one of the group was Favreau. [G//.v Favreau resigned as justice minister in the Pearson government after being criticized in
the Dorion report on the Rivard affair. | Favreau came out two w eeks prior to Justice Minister Cardin's mention of the Munsinger name [in parliament] and said to Davie hulton. who repeated it to the House of Commons. "Look, if you don't drop this Spencer spy case we're going to get you with the Munsinger business." Fulton considered this sheer old-fashioned blackmail. Fulton was justice minister in the Diefenbaker government at the lime Sévigny knew Cerda.]
Favreau was overheard saying to Cardin when the latter was fighting with Diefenbaker across the floor ot the House. "Bring out the Munsinger affair." I'm sure that Cardin was just a tool.
Dexter: Let's go back to that first day in the House of Commons when Cardin described it as the "Monsignor" case. Did you know you were in for it then?
Sévigny: 1 immediately suspected
this would start something. And in fact there was no time wasted. 1 be-
gan getting calls from people who asked what I knew about this thing. At the time I said nothing.
Dexter: When had Mr. Diefenbaker discussed the Munsinger matter with \ ou?
Sévigny: He called me December la, IP(i(). He said. "Actually, it seems that you've known a certain woman, and the RCMP is concerned about this woman." 1 was so stunned. Diefenbaker gave me a chance to explain myself. I said. "Look, 1 don't deny knowing this person. Other people also knew her. and as far as I'm concerned, she’s just a person that I haven't seen except on various occasions." He said. "It's obvious that you never see her again.” I said. "1 have no intention of seeing her again. The last time I saw her was to help her on the request of a friend. Really. I can assure you there is nothing to worry about.” He said. "Look, if we find out that there has been any kind of security risk with such a person, you're out." / continued overleaf
continued / I said, “You can check, that's s our privilege. I here certainly will he nothing of the kind."
Lventually he came to the conclusion that there had heen no security involved, so the thing ended there. Mind you, he didn't give me any compliments — i didn't expect them — but he realized there was nothing to this thing.
Dexter: Does a cabinet minister J
have a right to a private life?
Sévigny: A cabinet .minister has to be more careful than most people. But cabinet ministers in every government all over the world have had private lives of their own — Sir W ilfrid Laurier did. Lloyd George did. They should not be judged for their i private conduct, but by the way they | perform their duties. I certainly did ! nothing that could impair the good ! order and discipline of government. | affect the nation, or be a source of scandal. It's obvious that out of a i House of 265 members you can't expect all to be simón pure, not to have somewhere in their life some
sort of an incident which concerns only themselves but should not be brought out in public. The worst thing about this affair w;as not what was brought out. but the fact that it wuis brought out at all.
Dexter: Was there a rule in the old days about public lives being separate from private lives?
Sévigny: It has always been the rule in the House that private lives are never discussed. That’s one thing C ardin will never live down — he broke the silence rule that gentlemen don’t break. It's been said that parliament is like a club — and there's a silent rule among club members to be discreet about what you see or hear, otherwise no club could function. People could not live together if they started spreading tales about what was going on. There are things I know about certain politicians in the limelight at present — their girl friends, their affairs, their weaknesses — but I would hide my head in shame if anyone thought that I would tell these things in order to
secure some political gain.
Dexter: Were you surprised that a recent Gallup Poll showed that Prime Minister Pearson’s popularity had declined after the M unsinger case?
Sévigny: No. it's not surprising. The people are ashamed. They deserve better than all this mud-throwing to have some small men satisfy a political vengeance. Nothing got done prior to the election of 1965, and certainly nothing has been done since the election. All they do is talk, debate, fight and argue. Let’s suppose the l ories were wrong in pushing this [the Spencer spy affair] a little too far; this is no excuse for the Liberals to come out with a story which has no bearing on the welfare of Canada, which can bring good to no one.
Dexter: How long did you know Gerda and how' many times did you see her?
Sévigny: From September 1959 to January I960. I saw her maybe twuce a month. In I960 I don’t think
1 saw her more than five or : ix times.
Dexter: Did you know anything
about the rumors that she was a spy? You have said you knew' the RCMP had interviewed her.
Sévigny: I didn't know about this question of her being a spy. I knew' that she had applied for Canadian citizenship when a friend of hers [ Jacqueline Delorme, a woman
known in Montreal as “The Duchess"] called me up and said. “Gerda has applied for citizenship and I think she mentioned your name as a reference. Gerda has told me that the RCMP has been to visit her. I thought you should know and that j maybe you should see her and find out what she has said.”
Dexter: And did you discuss this the night that the RCMP reported you spent in her apartment?
Sévigny: That’s true, that’s why I ji went to see her.
Dexter: Was your affair over at this point?
**# rrrtainh/ did nothin!/ that ronldimpair thr f/oorf ardrr and disriplinr aí i/orrrnmrnt. affert the Italian. or hr a sourer of srandal"
** What arr thr dointj apart from haeini/ thrir mnsiral rides and minini/ proplr's lires?"
over for almost a year.
Dexter: Had you known that she 1 was working as a prostitute?
Sévigny: No. She never told me that. J From the moment 1 met her in Sepj tember 1959 until when 1 stopped j seeing her in January 1960. and | from what her friend tells me, until very late in the summer of I960, f she certainly was not a prostitute, j She had always to my knowledge f worked as a secretary for the people I who owned the building where she | was. 1 know for a fact that she was ?: modeling and doing fairly well at ¡ modeling.
The time before the last when I saw her she was sick. She had lost a great deal of weight, she didn't feel good. 1 was stunned when 1 saw her . . . she really looked awful. I knew * that she wanted to become a Canaj dian citizen but 1 knew also that she I wanted to go back to Germany, so I said, "Why don’t you go back home j and reorganize your life so that j maybe you will be happier than you are here?" It was just a discussion, it
She asked me, "What should 1 do? How can I get a job?" 1 told her that the fact she could speak English well might be extremely useful and we might introduce her to our Canadian services over there. "We can’t do more than introduce you," 1 told her. "The rest is up to them.” 1 never did make any representations or introduce her. To be perfectly honest, as far as 1 was concerned whether she went back to Germany or stayed here was all the same to me. The only reason 1 saw her these last two times was on the request of this friend of hers. Miss Delorme, who said. "Look, for old times' sake, this girl needs help, and 1 think if you could possibly give her some advice it would be a good thing.” So I agreed to do it. The last time 1 saw her was on the night of the 26th or 27th of November I960. I never communicated with her again after that and she never communicated with me."
Dexter: When you testified before Mr. Justice Spence and denied that
Gerda was ever your mistress, were you using the old definition of mistress?
Sévigny: A mistress, as far as Em concerned, is a woman who is kept b\ a man out of wedlock. He pays her bills and he lives with her in matrimonial fashion. But this was never the case. The best proof of that is that the RCMP came out and said that they had tapped her telephone from November 20. 1960, to February 5. 1961. During that long j period they could find only one 1 telephone call from me and one visit.
I never kept her. 1 never gave her any money. She never asked me for j money. I liked her like everybody j else did. She was a friendly type, j When she came to me for help. I tried to help her. like 1 tried to help ¡ so many people. When people come j to us for help, we can’t say. "Look, j I'm just a great big h igh-falut in ' j legislator and 1 don’t have time for the people at large." You listen to i them and if it is within your capaÍ bility to help, then you do.
Dexter: You don’t think whether you had relations with Gerda is pertinent to whether you were a security risk? Sévigny: If every man who served in parliament and the nations' cabinets would be deemed a security risk because of what happens in his personal life, there would be a helluva lot of people who would be security risks. A person is a security risk if he is willing to be blackmailed. Look at my background. I come out of one of the most respected and most respectable families of French Canada. M\ father was chief justice of the Supreme Court of Quebec. He was a member of the Borden cabinet during World War I. He impressed everyone by his great dignity, by his dedication to duty. My mother's family has been serving Canada for generations. I was brought up in the very best schools. During my World War II career as a soldier 1 was not better or worse than anyone else. Some people have even credited me with serving the country possibly at times beyond / continued on pape 39
**# be hm y to tbost social oh'dos in Montrent. in Ottawa unit elsewhere. I nerer nssoointoil with anythiny but best. Why suspect that n person like mo oonhl possibly be n security risk?”
"If # brony ht ont ntt I hn on. it ironlil not be eery pretty, but I'm not yoiny to— I’m not bitter”
PIERRE SEVI G NY continued from page 17
“I’m too dumb to be a spy, you know that,” said Gerda
the call of duty. And what did 1 do with my life? I worked very hard in business. Eventually I went into politics. 1 believe I served my country well when I was in public life: that’s what everybody seems to think, anyway. Look at the people I associate with. I belong to the best social circles in Montreal, in Ottawa and elsewhere. 1 never associated with anything but the best. Why suspect that a person like me could possibly be a security risk?
I don’t submit to blackmail in any way. shape or form. 1 never have and 1 never will. Remember the scandals about the tolls on the Jacques Cartier bridge and the Victoria bridge? The people of my riding, Longueuil, were being taken for an abominable ride. The toll money they paid was going into certain people's pockets. Soon after 1 was elected I gave all the tacts to the officials of the Department of Transport, and after investigation they installed automatic tolls. The fellows who had this nice racket going — it was a one-million-dollar-avear racket — started threatening me. They actually came at me with a gun. right here in my backyard. They said. “Look, if you don't have this investigation stopped, we'll do this and that . . .’’ I called up the Quebec Provincial Police immediately and reported it. That's what police forces are for. Dexter: Suppose, though, you knew that the Russians had pictures and tape recordings which implicated you, surely you would be vulnerable? Sévigny: Even if I knew that they did. the first thing 1 would do would be to call the RCMP. And I would have told my wife what the situation was. My wife is a sensible person. The fact that I may have known some people was something that she knew because 1 had told her. 1 never mentioned the name Gerda. Why should I? Gerda was just a very casual acquaintance that came into my life and disappeared quickly. My wife and I have been married for 20 years. We have a very happy marriage. Few couples could be closer than we arc.
As far as 1 was concerned. Gerda was dead — she wrote letters to friends saying she was very sick, actually dying. When they heard nothing from her, they figured she had passed away. So what was the use of my waking up the dead and starting a big story and explaining nothing?
But then, out of the clear blue sky she gives me a call and says, “It’s Gerda speaking.”
"What happened to you?” I said. “I thought you were dead.”
“Well, I'm very much alive.” she said. “And I'm very annoyed. For the last couple of days I've had people all around me and the fact that I'm alive is creating quite a storm in Canada. Pierre, believe it or not, now they arc telling me that I was spying.”
I said, “You don't have to say 'believe it or not,’ because I bloody well know that they are saying that you were a spy — it’s all over the press.”
“I'm too dumb to be a spy, you know that,” she said, “and if I were a spy it certainly doesn’t pay very
much, because I'm working as a waitress at present.”
“But look, Gerda,” I said, “I'm very pleased to hear that you're alive —I didn't wish anybody to be dead— but there is a storm brewing around you and I've got to get the facts from you. Were you any time connected, directly or indirectly with the Rus-
sians, or the Commies, or any subversive movements?”
She said. “Never. Not at any time. This is simply ridiculous.”
1 said. “Were you connected with them before you came to Canada?” “No!" She said immediately after the war she met a few' of them — everybody did. But. she said. “I never
had anything to do with that. The best proof is that I worked with the Americans before 1 came to Canada, and when I came back here they gave my job back to me and I worked with them until 1 got sick. 1 was very, very sick. I had to be in convalescence for over seven months and after that 1 just carried on and right now I’m leading a very quiet, peaceful life. Now they come to me and they tell me that I am a spy and are offering continued on page 40
PIERRE SEVIGNY continued
“I’m not bitter—I’m not going to hide my head in shame”
me money right and lelt lor all kinds of things. What should I do? What should I say?”
I told her. “There's only one thing to do and that's tell the truth. And if you’ve got that many people around you I suggest you get yourself a lawyer and be careful of what you say.”
She said. "They’re asking me till kinds of questions about you. they're asking me questions about what 1 did in Canada, and they're asking me questions about George Hees. I hey re asking me questions about all kinds of things. I just don't understand.”
I said, "Look, if you’re alive that changes a great many things. It's my duty now to warn interested people that you are alive.”
Dexter: What has been the cost of the Munsinger affair to you?
Sévigny: Incalculable — in terms cd' dollars and cents, in terms of suffering, tension, worry and apprehension.
It has disrupted what was a peaceful, orderly life, a very close and very pleasant family life, treasured relationships with friends. We had just begun to reorganize our lives alter I withdrew' from politics, and in no time flat we're in a whirlpool. The children especially were affected; it made their lives miserable. Friends try to help you, to give advice, but they just became another force acting on you. another pressure on you.
All of a sudden I had to face the public with a story which is lurid, which is grim, which is the result of machination and fraud. Suddenly I was the centre of public attention, and I had to give details and explanations and look back into the forgotten past. Mrs. Sévigny: Some mornings, when 1 saw what w'as in the paper, I was literally sick to my stomach. The gossip had us leaving the country, had me divorcing Pierre — you know', all the coffee-table gossip.
Dexter: Some people have questioned the taste involved in subjecting your wife and daughter to television appearances immediately after the discovery of Gerda.
Mrs. Sévigny: Why not? After all. the only charge that could have been made against Pierre was the one which could have been laid by me. 1 here was no security in this, it could only have been of private concern, and since I was prepared to stand up beside him surely that should have ended the case right there.
Sévigny: 1 know perfectly well that at every social gathering — every type of gathering — this Munsinger affair is the topic of conversation; that all kinds of people are relating their own versions. I'm not naïve enough not to believe that some people have not severely condemned me.
But it's so unfair, so cruel. It is unbearable to see my wife suffer, my mother suffer, my children suffer, who after all have nothing to do with this thing.
Sometimes I looked at myself in the mirror and said. “My God. how can you take it?” One of the things I have had to fight is that awful feeling of being sorry for myself. It gets me actually feeling old.
From the business point of view,
from the public-relations point of view', this is not good. This is something that hits where it hurts most. I'm not naïve enough not to know that the opinion of certain people about me has changed. Ask any politician —when they’re on top, they've got the world around them, all the parasites under the sun come to them, compliment them and laugh with them. All of a sudden, defeat or trouble strikes. They find themselves alone. Well, this is what happened to me.
I've received letters and phone calls — all the things people usually do when something like this happens. But that's nothing. What is bad is to see the people around you suffer. If only the people who perpetrated this thing knew the pain and the tears they’ve caused, they would probably die of shame. I pray God every day that those who’ve perpetrated this machination be found out, condemned—and even sentenced as they deserve to be. Dexter: When you go out in public, meet people at gatherings, how do you feel?
Sévigny: As far as I'm concerned, I face the people, carry on as I've always done. Of course I know that they know. I also know eventually it will pass, because everything passes, but it’s so unnecessary. Why? Why? That’s a good question that should be asked of the Canadian people.
I'm not bitter — I’m not going to hide my head in shame. I'm going to carry on. There's only one thing I won't accept and that’s to be condemned for something that wasn’t done. There may be one thing that’s good that may come out of this.
When eventually the full details come out, then it may serve as a lesson to all politicians — never, never to start a similar thing again. If it accomplishes that, all this pain and suffering and torture and aggravation may have served a purpose. How many people in Canada would like to have done unto them what has been done unto me? There were times when 1 really felt like hitting back, I know what it's like to feel like killing. 1 never knew what it was to be afraid . . . that terrible sensation of fear.
Dexter: You felt no fear in the war? Sévigny: I felt then a physical fear, the fear of a soldier trained to do a job. But this is the fear of the unknown. You say to yourself, "Where is the next blow coming from? Why? Can it get worse?” This fear is a terrible sensation. You wake up at night, and even if you’re in a temperate room you're sweating.
Mrs. Sévigny: This is a terrible feeling — I felt people were looking in the windows at night. 1 kept closing all the curtains — I felt that I was being followed or watched.
Dexter: I'm surprised you never
thought of running away, of getting away from it all.
Sévigny: I’m not saying I never
thought of going away. But I chased those thoughts from my mind. You can’t run away from anything in life. A thing like this is enough for people to commit suicide.
Dexter: Did you ever consider
Sévigny: No, I didn’t. But I worried about the people who could. Your digestion goes wrong. You can't eat anymore, so you get sick. You can’t
sleep anymore, so you’re dead tired. Mrs. Sévigny: You can't think. Sévigny: It’s like walking naked on the street. Your every element of pride, of feeling, gets torn apart. It makes you feel that whatever you've done is useless, wasted -— it's despair, really. And your other problems, your business problems and your family problems don’t stop.
This thing will die eventually, hut for us it will never die.
Dexter: What has been the financial cost to you?
Sévigny: 1 can’t tell you how many thousands of dollars, but the cost is going to be staggering. This is most unfair. It's all very nice for the government to have a commission of inquiry and pay $400 a day for this lawyer and $250 for that lawyer. In my case, 1 have to bear the cost all by myself.
All this could have been threshed out in private, without a court of inquiry, by simply coming to see me and asking me in private or asking other people concerned.
Dexter: If you thought the inquiry was preposterous, why did you appear before it?
Sévigny: Truly, if I had known from the start what I have learned since. I would not have said one word until it was absolutely necessary that I do so. I agreed to testify in front of this court of inquiry because I felt it would be just that — an inquiry and not a prosecution.
Dexter: Mr. Diefenbaker and Mr. Fulton repudiated the inquiry in advance of Mr. Justice Spence’s report of his findings. Why did you not do the same thing?
Sévigny: I strongly disapproved of the way the commission counsel and the solicitor for Cardin \Justice Minister Cardin] performed. But I still believe the judge of the Supreme Court is going to be fair about this thing. 1 testified because I felt that what I had to say under oath might help to clear the air about this thing, would bring out the facts that this was an insignificant relationship, and not a continuous romance as it had been described by the press and others.
1 never imagined that O'Brien John O’Brien, counsel for the commission\ and Campbell \A. J. Camphell, counsel for Justice Minister Cardin would go at me as if they were prosecuting. Never did it cross my mind.
Was I right or wrong in appearing? I kind of wonder now. Everything has been distorted so much out of proportion that I really can't be the judge any more.
Dexter: There is some indication that Mr. Justice Spence thought your answers to certain questions at the inquiry were evasive. Were they? Sévigny: The answers were not evasive. Actually at times I did not understand the questions. So I answered as w'di as I knew how. But the lawyers seemed to want to make of this affair the sex story of the century. Dexter: Mr. Justice Spence appeared to be critical of you not answering O’Brien's questions about intercourse. Why did you not answer?
Sévigny: I did not think that was any of their business, or had anything to do with the purpose of the inquiry, which was to determine whether or not there had been a breach of secur-
PIERRE SEVIGNY continued
“I’m not saying that I’m not going to sue a few people”
ity. These men should be ashamed of themselves. No, this was terrible — whether a man or woman has intercourse w'ith one person or another is their owm business. The judge actually permitted the journalists to bring out some very lurid stories.
Dexter: Well, if the journalists did bring out lurid stories, why did you not sue them?
Sevigny: I’m not saying that I’m not going to sue a few people. This will be decided in due course and upon further advice. But I had the definite impression during this inquiry that it was not an inquiry but a show — a deliberate effort on the part of the solicitors to make it a page out ot Playboy magazine. Why bring out the story? It was a private affair that concerned my private life, and which normally should have been discussed with only one person, as it was a very long time ago — and that is my wife.
I just don’t understand why the RCMP report was released by the commission. All the facts in this report were just hearsay, not proven facts. The fact that she had seen three men the last time I saw her, and God knows how many men besides that, what bearing has this got on what was supposed to be a security case?
And that fantastic story told by Cierda to an RCMP constable, a story that is sheer fantasy — that Mr. Diefenbaker himself had met her in Ottawa and paid her great compliments because she was supposedly taking care of me. How can anyone possibly believe such a fantastic tale? And the story she was a spy — Gerda might have known that there were men in the army and that the navy sailed ships, but that’s about all.
What are the RCMP doing apart from having their musical rides and ruining people’s lives? If the man they describe as a Russian agent in Gerda’s Montreal apartment building actually was spying, why wasn't he deported?
Even the RCMP eventually said, after they followed the woman for two months, “Look, there's no security in this thing, let's drop it.” The Liberals learned about this thing years ago but didn’t find it serious enough to bring it out then and have the security investigation they're having now. Why did it suddenly become a security risk in March 1966? They waited, they kept this thing in the cold storage of their hearts, until they felt they needed revenge, needed it to serve their aims, and then they brought it out, and they’ve made a monstrous calumny out of it.
Let’s look at the balance sheet of this. Who has gained one single little thing from this? Surely not the Canadian people. Surely not the people
concerned. Surely not the people who perpetrated this thing. Surely not the people who have suffered from it. Surely not George Hees. Surely not the others mixed up in this.
Dexter: Maybe Gerda has profited? Sevigny: Not even Gerda. Look at what her life is going to he. Maybe she made a few bucks out of it but
what chance has she got in life now? . . . Look at the loss of prestige for parliament, for government.
Think of the people who would he interested in going into politics, and who could do well and serve a purpose — but who will never go into politics for fear that what has happened to me will happen to them.
Dexter: Do you plan to return to politics — despite what has happened to you because of politics?
Sévigny: I happen to like politics — I’ve trained myself for politics. I'm still idealistic enough to believe there’s something higher and more constructive than this thing. I'll go back into politics and try to get a program across — I'm not going to try to vindicate myself. If I brought out all I know, it would not be very pretty, but I'm not going to — I'm not bitter. ★