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CANADA: Mounties v. Sit-Downs

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Cocking a purposeful eye across the border at John L. Lewis (see p. 17), His Majesty’s diligent Crown Prosecutor Oscar Gagnon declared in Montreal last week: “Sitdown strikes are illegal in Canada. If one move is made to break any Canadian law, Lewis or anyone else will be taken into custody!”

At Ottawa the Dominion House of Commons resoundingly cheered Minister of Justice Ernest Lapointe, who has pledged on behalf of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, a lifelong Liberal, that the “entire resources” of the Dominion Government, including the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will be used to get any persons who foment a sit-down in Canada.

Riding the crest of his legislative popularity last week, Mr. Lapointe proposed to go the League Against War & Fascism one better by founding a League of All Canadian Citizens to Fight Communism, Fascism and All Other Subversive Movements. As the parliamentary overture to this project, Minister of Justice Lapointe keynoted in the House of Commons: “I am a strong believer in the British way of administering justice. I believe in the majesty and equality of the law and I believe Canadian citizens of all classes who believe in peace and order should join hands with a view to the preservation of Canada’s democratic institutions. I prefer to destroy the arguments of the communists by using better arguments; by showing that the doctrines of communists are false.” “I have received,” added Mr. Lapointe, “an avalanche of protests from Toronto communists against the expenditure of money to increase the Mounted Police force. They don’t want Canada to have a militia force of any kind—but they protest against our efforts to prevent Canadians from enlisting in either of the rival forces now fighting in Spain. They are in favor of their militia there!”

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