Frédéric DORION

DORION, Frédéric, Q.C., B.A., LL.L.

Parliamentary Career

November 30, 1942 - April 16, 1945
  Charlevoix--Saguenay (Quebec)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Charlevoix--Saguenay (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 65)

March 17, 1949

Mr. Frederic Dorion (Charlevoix-Saguenay):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Finance. Is it true that Sir Norman Brook is here in Ottawa for the purpose of requesting from the government the granting of another loan to Great Britain, or an extension to the credit already granted to that country?

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March 11, 1949

Mr. Dorion:

I was paired with the hon. member for Kamouraska (Mr. Marquis). Had I voted I would have voted against the motion.


Topic:   II, 1949
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March 11, 1949

Mr. Dorion:

Mr. Speaker, I was paired with the hon. member for Kamouraska (Mr. Marquis). Had I voted, I would have voted for the amendment.


Topic:   II, 1949
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February 24, 1949

Mr. Dorion:

On the same day, September 8, 1939, at page 47 of Hansard, Mr. Woodsworth said this:

We laud the courage of those who go to the front; yes, I have boys of my own, and I hope they are not cowards, but if any one of those boys, not from cowardice but really through belief, is willing to take his stand on this matter and, if necessary, to face a concentration camp or a firing squad, I shall be more proud of that boy than if he enlisted for the war.

Speaking of de Bernonville, the member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Stewart) said, at page 794 of Hansard:

-the Germans made him military commandant of the Lyons area, a post that would go only to one of the most tried and true supporters of the nazi cause.

Speaking especially of de Bernonville, the hon. member says, as reported at page 794 of Hansard:

This time the Germans made him military commandant of the Lyons area, a post that would go only to one of the most tried and true supporters of the nazi cause. His special task was to set up a counter-resistance police to combat the French maquis. In this he was concerned particularly with identifying British and other allied officers who dropped into France by parachute to aid the resistance movement. His work resulted in the death of many of these allied soldiers, it was said. This information came out during the Toulouse trial at which de Bernonville was convicted in absentia.

First, I must take exception to the statement made by the hon. member to the effect that de Bernonville was given military command by the Germans. Everyone knows that it was the Vichy government which ruled southern France after 1940; and we must not forget that nearly every country recognized the legality of the Vichy government. Our own country, like many others, even had an official representative there. But the part of the statement to which I wish to draw special attention is the one concerning the conviction of de Bernonville by a Toulouse tribunal. Here I wish to report a description of the kinds of tribunals that were supposed to administer justice in southern France, and particularly in Toulouse, after the liberation of France. To make that demonstration, I shall not depend upon unknown and unverified statements, but will quote from an article published in the American Mercury in April, 1946; it was written by Donald B. Robinson and is entitled, Blood Bath in France. The excerpts that I am about to quote will show the hon. member for Winnipeg North what was going on in that part of France when de Bernonville was condemned in absentia. Mr. Robinson writes as follows:

As a member of the civil affairs headquarters of the American seventh army, stationed in Marseilles during and after the liberation, I personally witnessed the communist terror which reigned in southern France after the defeat of the nazi armies . . .

[Mr. Speaker.)

Further on he says:

During those months in the summer and autumn of 1944, revolution almost engulfed the south of France, and the communists were doing everything in their power to foment it. . . Almost immediately, bitter factionalism broke out among the native population, and the watchword "unity" which had been an all lips at the hour of liberation was forgotten. Within ten days a reign of terror was in full swing all the way from Toulouse in the southwest to Nice and the Italian border. The streets of every city and town were thronged with toughlooking civilians carrying every variety of arms, from stilettos to rifles, hand grenades and tommy guns. They raced wildly down the boulevards in automobiles whose doors had been removed to permit the occupants to shoot easily on the move. They scoured all sections, looking not only for the hated Vichy militiamen but for anyone else who had incurred their political enmity. Even the liberating Americans were not immune. American soldiers were killed and wounded. I was shot at myself, more than a dozen times.

Further on he goes on to say this:

What happened in Marseilles was typical. The FFI-

FFI stands for Forces Franchises de l'lnterieur, French forces of the interior.

-totalled about 1,600 members when the city was liberated. Within two weeks, according to a report by American army intelligence officers, this number had swelled to 4,500 as "all the hoodlums and grudge-payers flocked to the colours after the fighting was over." The same report stated that soon thereafter the total membership "dropped to about 3,000 as the original members, mostly reliable citizens, returned to their normal pursuits, leaving the undesirable elements as the great bulk of the organization.

A little further on he says:

At least two allied officers who had been carrying on espionage in Vichy France were killed; their FFI captors refused even to inquire of the nearby American army concerning their claim that they belonged to the allied forces.

On the following page I read this:

In Toulouse-

Always Toulouse, where de Bernonville was condemned.

-where the communist element was very strong, the situation was so tense that residents urged American occupation of the city for a few weeks until "the armed communist element could be brought under control."

Further on I read:

Then American officers and men began to draw FFI fire. These "accidents" coincided with a change in the French communist party line towards the United States. For the first few weeks after the liberation, all Frenchmen were unanimous in fervent gratitude to the Americans. Then the communists, evidently fearing that France would turn against Russia, began sniping at our forces. Since most of the newspapers of southern France were communist-controlled, an almost unanimous tirade of unjustified complaints arose in the press against the American army. There was also a crescendo of word-of-mouth propaganda. Civil affairs officers noted an organized communist-inspired campaign to discredit America and Americans with the French.

I wish to read one more passage. Speaking of General Parkman, the author writes this:

He was soon forced to intervene in another connection. In all parts of the south the FFI established drumhead courts whose judges were usually persons acceptable to the communists. These courts-marital, which had no legal basis whatever, tried thousands of Frenchmen, most of whom were sentenced to death or to long terms of imprisonment. The most notorious of these courts were at Nimes, Perpignan, and Toulouse.

The place where de Bernonville was condemned. To continue:

Such a scandal resulted from their illegal and summary proceedings that General Parkman wrote to General de Gaulle's military delegate, General Henri Cochet, insisting that the courts-martial be discontinued and succeeded by ordinary processes of law.

Mr. Robinson finishes his article by saying:

Such is the fuel under the bubbling cauldron of hate that is France today.

This was written in April, 1946. To continue:

If it boils over into further bloodshed and death, the world should at least know who is responsible.

When I heard the hon. member for Winnipeg North vindicating the French maquis, I knew that he was not well acquainted with all the information that could enable him to have an exact idea of that organization.

Regarding the maquis, the hon. member is reported at page 793 of Hansard to have said:

A word about the maquis might be in order. The maquis are men who gave back to France her soul during the war. They are the men who gave back to France her honour after the betrayal of Vichy. They are the men who died, not only to free France from nazi persecution but also to enable us to live in Canada as free men and women. The men of the maquis are heroes whose names will be remembered wherever there are free men.

We know, Mr. Speaker, that the maquis could be classified under three headings, namely, the military maquis; the communist maquis; and the terrorist maquis. Skirmishes, and even pitched battles, took place among members of the various underground movements, although the communist underground and the terrorist underground, outnumbering all others, were practically amalgamated. In a press conference in October, 1948, Mr. Francisque Gay, the present ambassador of France here in Ottawa) admitted that at the outset the resistance movement in France was ninety per cent communist.

Several underground leaders in the maquis were Russians. Their title of soviet agent gave them prestige and a part as leader. May I mention Kadewz Kosinski, in the Pas-de-Calais; Captain Votcharemko, great torturer of the group known as "Captain Marius' gang", who operated in the department of Saone-et-Loire; Captain Alexandre and Lieu-

The Address-Mr. Dorion tenant Sabourov, of the red army, who played an important part in the Auvergne underground, and this band of Georgian killers who controlled the Dordogne underground, as was revealed in the course of a trial.

Sometimes they received orders from Moscow. No doubt this led to the apparently unexplainable assassination of leading personalities, such as General Debeney, army commanding officer during the first great war; or General Noel, former army commanding officer, Grand Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, kidnapped and assassinated with twelve other persons at Dorat, in the Haute-Vienne. There again, it happened that the victims were bona fide members of the resistance movement. Let me mention the case of Baron Henry Reille-Soult, hero of the first war, organizer of a military underground, who during the second world war invented a sighting gear, the plans of which he was able to forward to the allies.

Here is the evidence of Madame Reille-Soult, recently published in newspapers:

On July 21, 1944, Baron Henry Reille-Soult and his wife were arrested at Rancho and handed over to the group called "he Chouan". which controlled the maquis in the forest of Lussac-les-Chateaux. After twenty-six days of terrible agony, they were compelled, with numerous other Frenchmen, to travel by forced marches across the region, to be then tried by a mock tribunal and locked up in a pig-sty. At the same time, under pretext of requisition, their property was looted, their livestock stolen, and their chambermaid raped by their tormentors, and they were finally freed after handing over a cheque for 60,000 francs.

Raymond Daniel, New York Times correspondent, in September 1944, wrote about the reign of the F.F.I., French forces of the interior, of the snipers and the members of the underground or maquisards in Paris. He described these irregular formations composed mainly of young loafers-such is the expression used by him-using guns, grenades, and machine pistols in the streets of Paris. People were denouncing their neighbours, believed to be collaborationists, to these guttersnipes, not to the police. On a mere denunciation originating from the first comer, members of the resistance movement invaded a house, arresting or killing the occupants. There again it happened that they robbed and killed people who were far better resistants than they were themselves. Pierre Tattinger, president of the municipal council of Paris at the time of the liberation, said, "The liberation committee was a committee of arrest, nothing else".

Here is the opinion of the eminent sociologist Joseph Folliet who, in September last, wrote in Les Etudes, the great Jesuit review:

Repression has taken the aspect of political revenge, and not of serene and universal justice. How

The Address-Mr. Dorion can we believe in a purging justice? Depending upon the time and place, the same charge warrants a death sentence here, twenty years' hard labour there, five years of national indignity elsewhere. Under the same general label of "treason" were classified traitors in the technical sense of the word, all the spectrum of "collaboration", every shade of "Petainism" including, sometimes, those who refused the collaboration program.

Now that we know of the mock tribunals existing in Toulouse, France, and it was in Toulouse that Bernonville was condemned in absentia; now that we know of the entire control of the tribunals by the communist maquis; it is worth knowing the type of man Bernonville is. At the age of twenty, he was made Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur for his military exploits. At the age of twenty-three, he became Officer de la Legion d'Honneur for similar accomplishments. He later on was given seven citations and la Croix de Guerre 1918. He was wounded five times and bears the scars of thirty wounds. In 1940, he was singled out in the army orders of the day and awarded la Croix de Guerre 1940. This citation was published in the official journal of France. This is the record of a man whom the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Stewart) wants us to believe to be a traitor to his country.

When he gave evidence before the court in Montreal last fall, he made a sworn declaration which has never been denied, and cannot be denied by anyone, in which he related his actions and conduct during the war.

He accepted from Marshal Petain the functions of military governor of the district of Lyon. He was a full military commandant. He was entrusted with the security of people and supplies which was then in a precarious stage, having barely one day of food supply ahead. He also stated in the course of his sworn evidence that he had a secret mission with the purpose of preserving and saving all the military units and material under his command, to put them at the disposal of the allies at a moment to be decided by the chief of the French state. On August 20, 1944, his functions terminated and he met that day one of the principal leaders of the French underground and informed the latter of his military forces and material which he had salvaged from the Germans. One-half hour later, he was arrested by the gestapo and incarcerated in Nancy. He was released when the Americans reached that city.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

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February 24, 1949

Mr. Frederic Dorion (Charlevoix-Sague-nay):

Mr. Speaker, for the reasons I gave in the house a few days ago, I believe it is my duty to reply to the charges made by the member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Stewart) against some French persons who came to Canada a few years ago after having fled from France because of the persecutions which took place in that country after the war. The hon. member for Winnipeg North advised us that he wanted to take the opportunity afforded by the amendment to the address to make another speech on the same subject. He went so far as to say that if he did not have sufficient time to put all the information he had on the record in these two speeches, he would make a third speech on the main motion. I wish to state that, after answering his first speech, I intend to reply to any other speech the hon. member might contemplate making on the same subject.

If it were only a matter of discussing the fate of a few individuals, I would refrain from taking up the time of this house to correct the allegations made by the hon. member. Owing to the principle involved, however, all members must see that it is an important matter. It concerns the struggle between the communists on the one hand, and Christianity on the other. As everyone is aware, subversive ideologies are spreading throughout the countries under Russian control as well as other countries in the world. We know that the communists are at work in Canada, and particularly in large centres

such as Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg. It is most unfortunate that, even in this chamber, communists so easily find advocates for their cause. I do not hesitate to state that if the French citizens referred to by the member for Winnipeg North were communist Jews instead of French Catholics, we would not have heard about them in this house.

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