WHY DID WE LET TROTZKY GO?
Canada Lost an Opportunity to Shorten the War
LIEUT.-COLONEL J. B. MACLEAN
THE way things look at the moment, some Canadian politicians or officials were chiefly responsible for the prolongation of the war, for the great loss of life, the wounds and sufferings of the winter of 1917 and the great drives of 1918. And they are doing their very best to prevent Parliament and the country from getting at the facts. While our splendid armies were hanging on in France and our loyal leaders at Ottawa and throughout the country were straining every nerve to support them with more men, someone was betraying them at Ottawa and down at Halifax. When General Sir Sam Hughes asked some questions in the House of Commons, Hon. Mr. Burrell, Secretary of State, simply said there was no information on the subject; which was untrue. There is a lot of information obtainable, but the persons who know seem to be using every effort to hide the disagraceful part they may have played and prevent any effort to trace the episode to the persons higher up.
/"AFFICIAL reports such as Sir Douglas Haig’s review of the war and many speeches and other utterances of men who know, shew that but for the Russian breakdown the war would have been over a year earlier.
The man chiefly responsible for the defection of Russia was Trotzky. Trotzky—the real man now directing Russian affairs, acting under German in-, structions—was arrested and held in the internment camp at Amherst, N.S., on the very definite instructions of the British Secret Service, who knew’ exactly who he w’as and what he was proceeding to do. They protested strongly against our releasing him. Yet oui* authorities released him at the request of someone at theBritish Embassy, Washington, acting they say on the request of someone in Washington.
Let us look at the evidence as uncovered by the British Secret Service in Russia, and by the equally excellent U.S. Secret Service and passed to thé British. Originally the British found through Russian associates that Kerensky, Lenine, and some lesser leaders were practically in German pay as early as 1915 and they uncovered in 1916 the connections with Trotzky, then living in New’ York. From that time he was closely w’atched by the clever section of the Police Department known as the “Bomb Squad.” In the early part of 1916 a German official sailed for New York. British Intelligence officials accompanied him. He was held up at Halifax; but on their instruction he was passed on with profuse apologies for the necessary delay. After much manoeuvring he arrived in a dirty little newspaper office in the slums and there found Trotzky, to whom he bore important instructions. From June 1916, until they passed him on to the British, the N.Y. Bomb Squad never lost touch with Trotzky. They discovered that his real name was Braunstein and that he was a German, not a Russian.
The Career of Trotzky
A RUSSIAN acquaintance w’ho recently passed through Toronto told me he knew him very well, suspected him and once as a pretext asked him to translate, carefully, a document into German and Russian. Trotzky failed on the Russian, but his German was perfect.
The U.S. Intelligence Department further found that he had for years been in the German Secret Service in Russia. In August 1914, he had ostentatiously been expelled from Berlin. He went to Paris, where he was soon identified as a German. He had to get out. Then he went to Spain. The Allies protested and he moved to the States, w'here he became active in Russian circles there and in Canada. Russians in Western Canada say he was instrumental in getting over r>,000 foreigners to sail from Vancouver and other ports for Russia who were trained and instructed for propaganda purposes. They were largely Germans and Austrians traveling as Russians.
He organized those who remained behind into groups, and by this time enough was know'n to take him very seriously. Long before the Russian Revolution occurred he had announced it in New York. He was closely watched and all his speeches were recorded. He was identified and at a meeting on February 2, 1917, he W’as introduced as Mr. Bornstein. Just when the U.S. was severing relations with Germany and war was certain, he started the campaign against militarism and the doing away with the U.S. Government
once and forever. A typewritten copy of the speech was given to Colonel Biddle of the U.S. army, who that night read it over the phone to Colonel Van Deman in Washington. Another copy went to the British Secret Service.
On March 26, the night before he sailed, Trotzky addressed a large meeting organized by the German Federation to say farewell. The Bomb Squad took every word down thi’ough a dictaphone, and made a list of those present. In all 180 of them were to sail. Emma Goldman, who used to visit friends in Toi’onto, was on the platform. Trotzky explained quite frankly and clearly that “they were going to Russia to push the Revolution as it ought to be pushed.”
“You who stay here,” he cried, “must work hand in hand with the revolution in Russia, for only in that way can you accomplish revolution in the United States.”
/"AN the S.S. Christiania, on which he sailed, were several British Secret Service officers. On ai’rival at Halifax, on April 3, they reported Trotzky and four associates to Captain Making, R.N, These men were taken off the ship under the direction of Lieut. Jones, R.N.
It is an extraordinary fact, the police officials tell me, that these agitators, who are so bold and courageous on the platform when stirring up a mob to rebel against authority to seize anything they want, ax*e the most arrant cowards when they themselves have to face authority. Trotzky was no exception. He crouched and whined and cried in abject terror. When he found he was not to be shot his bluff returned and he protested violently. Later he assumed a religious air when he objected to the house in which, by chance, he was temporarily held. He was eventually turned over under armed guard to the Canadian authorities, who placed him in the internment camp at Amherst, where several hundred enemy aliens were in confinement, and are still there.
The British Secret Service handed over full details to the authorities at Halifax, including a copy of Trotzky’s speech. They knew he was a German, not a Russian. With his four companions he was held for some time. His wife and other persons, plentifully supplied w’ith money—which the x-ecords show came from German sources in New York—were in communication with Washington and New Yoi’k. The British Secret Service people, knowing they had a very important German prisoner, fought bittex-ly against the release. The minor Canadian officials, knowing the facts, were amazed when they were ordered to discharge the crew with honors.
/''GENERALLY the explanation is given that the re^ lease was done at the request of Kerensky, but months before this British officers and one Canadian, serving in Russia, who could speak the Russian language, reported to London and Washington that Kerensky was in German service. Finally it is said it was done at the request of the British Embassy at Washington over the head of the British and American Intelligence Department; and that the Embassy acted on the request of the U.S. State Department, who were acting for someone else. This is not the view’ of the U.S. Intelligence Department, for they were so astonished that they sent one of their trusted officiais to Ottawa to investigate. He visited among others the Secretary of State’s Department.
That the request came from the British Embassy at Washington is an explanation, but no excuse, for the release of Trotzky by Canadian authorities who knew the importance of their prisoner. The utter incompetence and helplessness of our Embassy w as well known. It was a joke in the U.S. until Lord Reading took charge. That the lesson of what the Empire has suffered in this war—because of its mistaken diplomatic and consular ideas, several times exposed in these columns—has not been learned is evident from a recent issue of the Daily Mirror, London, which favors the »npointment of Sir. J. W. Low'ther, Speaker of the House of Commons, as Ambassador at Washington,
because "it would give great satis tO faction to the American people, for Lowther possesses in an eminent degree all the qualities required to make a great ambassador-intellectual distinction, diplomatic ex~ perience, and the gift of cultivated oratory."
Yet Hon. Mr. Burx-ell tells Pai’liament that thex-e are no records. Who are they trying to protect or hide?
Trotzky Estranges British Labor '"pROTZKY is very noisy and talkative and unprincipled, and to this is due the very important change of attitude on the part of British Labor. Whether by prearrangement or not is unknown, but Trotzky, when waiting at Stockholm on his way to Russia, met cex-tain British Socialists and Labor Leaders w’ho w'ere then in entire sympathy with the Russian revolution. Trotzky’s pictui’es of the opportunities Bolshevism opened for its leaders—wealth untold and lavish luxuries to be enjoyed, the making ! erf maidens a public property—disgusted the-sturdy British workman and they told him so. Findinghe had made a mistake Trotzky sought to get them oüt of the way. Stockholm was full of German agents...: One British Labor leader was given a cup of coffee. .Being » suspicious he, unnoticed, exchanged it with, his eorqpanion, a German. The latter died in twenty minutes. The British Unionist was arrested, but it was proved that the dead man was a German spy, who had put the poison in the Englishman’s cup. This man exposed the Bolsheviki plans to British Unionism. Subsequent events confirmed in every detail the truth of his stories. •1
Finally Peter Wright brought first hand news from Petrograd to a large gathering and British labor changed completely. Peter himself had a narrow escape. Finding the Bolsheviki policies did not appeal to him Trotzky’s agents sought him. Warned by friends he escaped in a coffin brought to the hotel for a man who had died. He was being buried when he was released and got away in disguise by friendly members of the Russian Sailors’ Union. His arrival in England w-as most timely. Inspired by the misrepresentation of men like Henderson, Labor had, by a majority of over 30,000, adopted a Revolutionary policy. After hearing from Mr. Wxdght—himself a life-long labor agitator—the policy was revised by a larger majority the other way. One of the gi’eat Scotch leadex-s, who was a hot Revolutionist before the war, is now saying that the fearful experiences of Russia under Tx*otzky had caused him to drop the first letter of his watchword. He is now an “Evolutionist” and has been using his great influence successfully on the British workers to resist German Bolshevik propaganda and on the British employers to gi’ant without pi-essure every xeasonable demand from their employees.
At another time our officials were instructed to inform the press that Trotzky was an American citizen traveling on an American passport; that his release was specially demanded by the Washington State Department; that in view of the precarious international relations existing at that time it was necessary for Canada to release him. But Canadians knew enough of Trotzky’s history from American-British sources to make a fight against his release, by at least making the facts public. If this had been done no doubt the Americans would have insisted upon uncovering the influences working for Trotzky.
If the matter had ended in Canada with the release of Trotzky there would perhaps now be nothing but regret for the lack of backbone in our officialdom: nothing but another example of a case where politicians brought appalling losses upon us by refusing to be guided by our military experts, and this time confirmed by those of our Allies.
But it did not end there. On the other hand it began to show itself, particularly in Toronto, where flourished one of the most important groups of Anarchists organized by Trotzky to prepare for the Canadian Revolution. At one time there were over 1,600 members in this group and they did some sensational work with the local press and on the unsuspecting returned soldiers. When the leaders advocated the raid of stores and private homes the police took some of them in and they are now working in smaller groups.
At Ottawa Trotzky had, and continues to have, strong underground influence. There his power was so great that orders were issued that jhe must be given every consideration—issued when it was known at Ottawa who Trotzky was. Even after he went through the form of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, which took Russia out of the war, orders were given to Colonel Chambers, the Chief Censor, to foi’bid any but complimentary refer-
Continued on page 66A
Why Did We Let Trotzky Go ?
Continued front page 34A
enees in the Canadian Press to Trotzky and Ler.ine.
Notwithstanding all the statements to the contrary in the Toronto Trotzky press the Censor but once blue pencilled a word, a line, or an article of the many published in these columns and part of that was because it dealt unfavorably with Trotzky.
Trotzky agents here are appealing to the baser elements by showing the rich plums to be had by revolutionary methods. In scores of meetings across the continent audiences are being told that they, the proletariat, should rise and seize anything they want. As they have little they will lose nothing in the attempt. Stories of the big, fat, voluptuous opportunities that have come to their associates in Russia have been brought back to America, and have stirred the blood of the envious, until to-day over 8,000 organizers are at work urging Trotzky Revolution.
On the date set the people of the United States and Canada will, they expect, awaken in the morning to find all their possessions in the hand of members of the Revolutionary League—the homes, the shops, the factories, the farms, the banks, the women. The old foremen, superintendents, managers are to be removed and the organizers are to take their place and they must be implicitly obeyed. W. B. Wilson, a miner, for many years general secretary of the Miners’ Trade Union of America, and now head of the Labor Bureau at Washington. in a recent speech to a gathering of waist workers in New York said:
“The Bolsheviki leaders consider only themselves. Their only purpose is to rule as the czai’s and emperors of Europe have done. They even go further than that, for they propose to set up an obligatory and compulsory form of living. Men are not to be allowed to leave their jobs, under certain conditions, even if they want to.”
New York and Toronto are the chief Trotzky headquarters. One investigator, a Trade Unionist, who is fighting them strongly, told me they are using as much paper in one week in New York for disseminating their literature, as the leading daily in Canada uses in six months. At their depots a continuous st7-eam, young persons chiefly, is passing in to pui-chase the literature, a set of which costs $7 to $10. In the States they had arranged to inaugurate the Revolution in Seattle, but the prompt action of Mayor Olsen stopped them. In New York a manifesto from Mayor Hylan checked their ardor and made the leaders think. Now the word is going from group to group that July 4 has been set for the Revolution in the States.
The Trotzky power showed in another development in Ottawa. The persistent propaganda campaign carried on by his agents, through his groups in Canada, to hamper our war efforts and bring on labor, returned soldiers, and similar troubles in Canada was exposed by our own Intelligence Departments, and U.S. officials were continually finding their trails leading to Canada quite as much as to Mexico. Things became so bad that the Dominion Cabinet appointed C. H. Cahan, K.C., to take over the whole problem from our Department of Justice. In a short time he uncovered such a serious state of affairs that once more the Trotzky influences got busy and Mr. Cahan was 07'de7-ed to cease his inquiries and send in his resignation.
In thus exposing Trotzky and his influential friends in this country I am expressing no opposition to the aims of the Russian masses who rebelled against ocnditior.s. On the other hand, I, in common with all worth-while Canadians, were in general sympathy with them. As a matter of fact, Lenino and Trotzky had nothing whatever to do with the Russian Revolution. They neither inspired nor made it. When the Revolution was complete and the country was being i-eorganized to continue the war in conjunction with the Allies, these two men forced themselves on the Governing Committee and backed by ample money and aided by other German agents seized control. Nearly all of these agents were passed back to Russia via Canada. They were quickly placed in all the big strategic appointments. One group who sailed on a C.P.R. steamer from Vancouver had with them a large printing outfit. They confided to the sailors that the plant was to be used for printing Trotzky literature, and the entire outfit was soon after at the bottom of the Pacific. The sailors belonged to the British Union.
There was nothing new about the Trotzky grab in Russia. It is the old steam-roller method. It has been done hundreds of times in Canadian politics —the seizing of organizations and party conventions by the ward heelers to thwart the wishes of the people. But |n history there never was such a brilliant coup—the complete submission of a nation of 200,000,000 to two recently arrived enemy strangers. It was the cleverest of all the clever things the Germans did in the war. Though, as they look back on events, the Germans whose greatest sufferings were since then, must now curse Trotzky as we do. • Trotzky, at all his earlier gatherings in Russia, was well known as a German He never denied it. He was openly accused of being a German agent and spy. But he possesses such a marvellous capacity to control a mob that he quelled all opposition. Men who came to shoot remained to support him, which reminds •Tie of Bourassa. The late Hon. J. I.
W^° himself well understood the platform art and the management of men, told me Mr. Bourassa was such a clever orator that he sometimes made him believe right was wrong.
The British Foreign Office was warned long m advance, but, anyone who knows ward politics in Canada or in the States knows how useless, if not dangerous, one of.™r dignified intellectuals, with the added gift of brilliant oratory, would be
handling questions where the opinions of the masses is concerned.
There is genuine unrest in Canada, as elsewhere, but it is a legitimate development, which will lead to a better world. It was here before the war. But in no country in the world was there less cause for discontent. The advantages and opportunities have nowhere been better.
Practically no hereditary wealth. The men of means, the men at the head of industries, nearly all came riom the farm or the poor workman's ^ottage. They got there because they had a little more mental equipment, but mainly because they were willing to sacrifice many pleasures in their vounger days, and to work longer hours than the less successful.
Trotzky’s organizers are seeking to direct the unthinking masses of this discontent into their camp and through them to seize control here. Make Canada another Russia as it is to-day. They have ample funds. Experienced Trade Unionists are having no easy task •ombating the insidious propaganda. They, even the most radical of them, know what fakers the Bolshevist leaders are. But are they getting the support they should from employers, from managers, from superintendents? They are not. Too many of the latter are of narrow vision who resent any change in economic relations. In the past the trouble has been on the side of the Labor Unionist. He always regarded the employer as his national enemy—a profiteer. He refufeed to interest himself in the institution from which he drew his living. To-day he is demanding his share of the profits in his industry; more of the comforts of life, a voice in the control of the concern in which he is employed. Many of us welcome this development. It is what we have been wanting—the community spirit. Ignorance has kept employer and employee apart. The Unionist sees only his own section of work. Employers have not been successful in interesting him in their side—that is, the business as a whole.
The first step is to recognize bona-fide Trade Unions. Thirty-five years experience confirms my support of them. There are seven different unions with me here getting out this magazine. I have had many a fight with them—am likely to have more, but that has never changed my support of organized Unionism.