May 13, 1939

LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

For the moment I might refer to two or three of them. On January 1, 1915, there was an incendiary fire at the Roebling plant in Trenton; on January 3, 1915, a mysterious explosion on the SB. Orton in the Erie basin; February, 1915, an attempt to blow up the Vanceboro bridge on the Canadian Pacific railway between Maine and Canada. Werner Horn, a German reserve officer, was arrested and confessed.

On December 12, 1914, the following cipher telegram, No. 357, was sent from Berlin to von Bernstorff:

Secret: The transportation of Japanese troops through Canada must be prevented at all costs if necessary by blowing up Canadian railways. It would probably be advisable to employ Irish for this purpose in the first instance as it is almost impossible for Germans to enter Canada. You should discuss the matter with the military attache. The strictest secrecy is indispensable.

This was followed on January 3, 1915, by a second cipher telegram to the ambassador:

Secret: The general staff is anxious that vigorous measures should be taken to destroy the Canadian Pacific in several places for the purpose of causing a lengthy interruption of traffic. Captain Boehm who is well known in America and who will shortly return to that country is furnished with expert information on that subject. Acquaint the military attache with the above and furnish the sums required for the enterprise.

Werner Horn pleaded guilty to blowing up the international bridge at Vanceboro, Maine, and was sentenced to the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, Georgia.

Another bomb plot prepared against Canada in the United States at the instigation of the attache was an attempt to blow up the Peabody Overall Company's factory in Walker-ville, Ontario. The German-Washington authorities operated through an agent, Kaltschmidt, who was paid $25,000. They used a willing tool named Lefler, who planted dynamite and attached a time clock. At the same time they set another charge in the rear of the Windsor armouries in which Canadian troops were billeted. The factory bomb exploded; the one at the armouries failed to go off. Lefler was arrested and confessed.

The German-Washington authorities then switched their activities against Canada to the German consul-general in San Francisco, by name Franz von Bopp. This plan was to blow up the tunnel on the Canadian Pacific between Revelstoke and Vancouver, and $3,000 was paid to a tool, Koolbergen, for the job. The tunnel was too well guarded, and the plot failed, but Koolbergen confessed and went to prison.

[Mr. Slaght.l

Early in the fall of 1914 a plot to blow up the Welland canal was formulated by von Papen. The idea was to hold back Canadian supplies and troops destined for France. The scheme had to be abandoned, however, because the canal was too well guarded.

Following the German headquarters' instructions contained in the telegram of January 13, 1915, stating that the " General staff is anxious that vigorous measures should be taken to destroy the Canadian Pacific in several places " a scheme was devised to employ Hindu coolies in the Canadian northwest to dynamite Canadian bridges and tunnels, and von Papen personally paid Schulenberg $4,000 to buy a ton of dynamite and fifty rifles to shoot any Canadian guards in the way. Schulenberg bought the dynamite and arranged the plot, but learning of a leak he got cold feet and fled to Mexico City. Arrested later, in December, 1917, and broken down in health, Schulenberg confessed the details of the plot.

The Canadian Car and Foundry Company, Montreal, whose president at the time, since gone, was my good friend W. W. " Ben " Butler, well-known to many hon. members, well-known to the hon. member for St. Law-rence-St. George (Mr. Cahan)-

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

He was not the president; he was then an official.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

He had obtained a very large munitions contract from Russia, one of our allies, and established a shell-manufacturing plant near Kingsland, New Jersey. The contract was for 5,000,000 shells at a price of $83,000,000. On January 11, 1917, the plant was blown up, and for four hours a bombardment of high explosive shells rained down. The whole plant was ablaze. The entire plant was destroyed and the loss was $17,000,000. To that extent Russia and our allies were short of munitions. The hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George, one of the directors of the company-

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

No, I was not a director of that company. I was chairman of an executive committee that had supervision of manufacturing and assembling munitions in the United States.

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LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

I understood my hon. friend was, but my information from a reliable source is that the hon. member conducted an investigation and reported that the fire and explosion were incendiary and deliberate.

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CON
LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

January 10, 1916-Explosion in the DuPont powder plant at Carney's Point, N.J.

January 11, 1916-Explosion at DuPont plant in Wilmington, Del.

January 15, 1916-Explosion in DuPont plant at Gibbstown, N.J.

January 19, 1916-Mysterious fire on S.S. Sygna while at sea.

January 19, 1916-Bomb explosion occurred on S.S. Ryndam.

January 22, 1916-Two bombs discovered in cargo of S.S. Rosebank.

February 3, 1916-Bomb discovered in cargo of S.S. Hennington Court.

February 12, 1916-Bethlehem Projectile

plant destroyed.

February 16, 1916-Mysterious fire occurred in S.S. Dalton at sea.

February 19, 1916-Explosion in Union Metallic Cartridge Co. plant in Bridgeport, Conn.

February 20, 1916-Explosion in Middlesex Analine Co. plant at Bound Brook.

February 21, 1916-Bomb explosion occurred on S.S. Tennyson at sea.

February 26, 1916-Mysterious fire occurred on S.S. Livingston Court in Gravesend bay.

February, 1916-A mysterious and suspicious fire was started in houses of parliament, Ottawa.

February, 1916-S.S. Carlton caught fire at sea mysteriously.

April 4, 1916-Cargo of supplies for the allies on S.S. Marta was damaged.

April 13, 1916-DuPont plant at Bluefields, W. Va., wrecked by an explosion.

April 19, 1916-Eight men were arrested in New Jersey, principally employees of the North German Lloyd Company in connection with the placing of fire bombs upon cargoes of ships.

May 10, 1916-The Atlas powder mixing plant was destroyed.

May 11, 1916-A plot was discovered to destroy the Wm. Todd Company plant at Youngstown, Ohio.

May 14, 1916-The munitions cargo of S.S. California was mysteriously damaged.

May 14, 1916-A mysterious fire was discovered in the hold of S.S. Kandahar.

May 16, 1916-DuPont Powder Company plant at Gibbstown was mysteriously destroyed.

June 7, 1916-DuPont plant at Wayne, N.J. destroyed.

July 22, 1916

Explosion in Hercules powder works.

August 18, 1916-Two attempts were made to blow up the piers of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company.

October 2, 1916-Mysterious fire discovered in hold of S.S. Philadelphia.

October 8, 1916-Mysterious fire occurred on

5.5. Antilla.

_ October 28, 1916-Mysterious fire broke out in hold of S.S. Chicago, and she was taken into the Azores.

November 5, 1916-A fire broke out in the

5.5. Ponus and it was put ashore in Falmouth bay.

November 21, 1916-Twenty uuexploded bombs were found in the sugar cargo of the American

5.5. Sarnia. She was beached and flooded near Cherbourg.

November 27, 1916-The cargo of the S.S. Regina d'ltalia was partly destroyed by a mysterious fire.

December 9, 1916-Midvale Chemical Co. building at Bayway was destroyed by a fire and explosion.

December 27, 1916-Bethlehem Steel Co. gas plant was destroyed by an explosion.

January 11, 1917-The Kingsland assembling plant was destroyed.

[Mr. Slaght.l

April 6, 1917-United States declared war on Germany. Nearly all the German agents fled to Mexico as rapidly as possible. Destruction of factories, etc., ceased very quickly after this date.

I have spoken longer than I had intended; but let me expose my purpose in troubling this committee with these details. It is fourfold:

First, to expose the perfidy of double dealing by a nation who under international ethics were compelled to respect the confidence and honourable manner in which they were treated by the foreign country in. which they were situate, and used that international honour privilege as a means to destroy property and life, while at the same time dining at the White House and breaking bread1 and drinking wine with the leaders of the nation whose property and people they were destroying with dynamite and bombs.

Second, to warn the people of Canada that we may expect at the present moment to find within our midst a powerful, destructive force of secret service German agents, ready to operate against our property and the lives of our people should war with Great Britain become a fact.

Third, to bespeak the Canadian people to be alert, watchful, aggressive and communicative with headquarters against every suspicious subversive activity of which special knowledge may come to them.

Hon. members may have recently seen in Toronto and elsewhere agitations for a commission to investigate nazi activities and communism. In my view we might almost as well ring the bell and expect the secret service agents to come forward and surrender, as to hope to get anywhere by commissions of that kind with public sittings. We have a magnificent secret service force in Canada, but it is all too small-I say that with great respect for the Minister of Justice (Mr.. Lapointe)-at the present moment. His estimates for the upkeep of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will come before the committee ; they amount to six million dollars odd, and it is not my purpose to discuss-them at this moment. Our mounted police are the nucleus, in fact practically the head and front and entire body, under which our secret service operates. It is not desirable in parliament to discuss details of that type of operation. All hon. members having military knowledge know that attached to each military corps or regiment there is an officer-known as the intelligence officer. In this country he is placed in easy touch-

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Order. I regret to

interrupt the hon. member, but I must remind him that he has spoken for forty minutes.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go on.

Supply-National Defence

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

With the unanimous consent of the committee.

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LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

I thank the committee. I can conclude in less than five minutes.

Because we stinted our money contribution for a preventive service, we may have subversive elements in this country, who are able to go into Quebec or Ontario or anywhere else in Canada and destroy some of our great power plants, which could not be replaced in less than one or two or three years at best. That would paralyze the industry of this dominion. In my humble judgment we must take steps to provide our departments with sufficient money now to prevent those things happening, because the money required for such purpose would not be relatively great compared with even the .$63,000,000 that we are now voting. I believe that is the greatest insurance, the best protection both to ourselves and to the empire that we can possibly conceive at the present time.

I have given three of my purposes in introducing this subject at this time; I will conclude with the fourth. It is to arouse public opinion as to the character and tactics of the German high command, who are the product of a cruel and ruthless philosophy which I have described to the committee, and who in my opinion do not in that respect represent the real or true character of the better element of the great mass of the German people.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (St. Lawrence-St. George):

Mr. Chairman, I do not think we should be unduly aroused by the spirited speech of the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Slaght). I was in London in December, 1914, and as the old law firm of which I had been a member were the law agents of the war department and the admiralty in Canada and elsewhere in America, I was asked by the war office to undertake certain services in the United States. I was in their service until nearly the end of 1917, so that I personally saw a great deal of the work of the British secret service and the German secret service in the United States. I then returned to Canada, late in 1917, at the request of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice, and assumed a position which was called director of public safety in Canada. Then I was in close cooperation with Colonel Sir A. Percy Sherwood and the dominion police forces under his charge, and subsequently, after Sir Percy's retirement, with his successor. I have a store of copies of public documents and official reports and others which I obtained during that service. I may write it up some -day, when I have nothing else to do, in my autobiography.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Not while you are in the house.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I came back to Canada as director of public safety, and I must say, with firm conviction, that I found the dominion police force at that time thoroughly efficient and adequate to deal with all the alien conspiracies that were attempted in Canada. That force did splendid service, and there were no German conspiracies which were successful under the dominion police force in Canada. I have no doubt that, under the Minister of Justice, the dominion police, now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is quite as efficient to-day as it was then, so I doubt whether we should feel unduly alarmed by the statement of the hon. member for Parry Sound this afternoon. That statement may serve a useful purpose, but the people of Canada can rely upon this, that if the dominion police force, now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is as efficient now as it was in 1917 and 1918-and I believe it is even more efficient-it will be able to take care of the German secret service and control its manipulations in Canada in case another war arises. I am confident of that.

Some day I shall have to take from storage some of these documents which are now deposited in a large safe in Montreal, where I keep them safely, and amuse the public by publishing some real detective stories, dealing with my personal experiences in those years. I saw the British secret service at work in the United States for several years, as I was more or less counsel with them in some important matters. I will say, however, that I do not believe there was any police force in the British empire more efficient than the dominion police force during the later years of the war.

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LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to make it very clear that I intended to pay a tribute to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I know something of their work; I believe they are as highly efficient as any force in the world, and I think it would be most unfortunate if anything I said should be construed as indicating that I have any other view.

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CON
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni):

To

anyone coming from British Columbia, Mr. Chairman, the question of defence naturally suggests naval defence, the necessity of defending our shores against a naval attack. I had not intended to say anything during this debate, but some remarks made by the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil) suggested an opportunity once more to press upon the government a matter that is very close to my heart and that is increasingly, and

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EDITION

May 13, 1939