Posts Tagged ‘censorship of political literature’

“Charge of Complicity In Breaking ‘Padlock’,” Ottawa Citizen. July 25, 1938. Page 03.

Two Men Who Tried to Wire Constables Inside Their Own Car Escape But Man Who Helped Them Charged With ‘Complicity After the Fact.’

Canadian Press.
QUEBEC, July 25. – F. X. Lessard, self-styled ‘only living Communist to break open a Duplessis padlock for Communists.’ remained in the cells today while friends considered means of raising bail of $1,200 set Saturday by Judge Hugues Fortier when the 40-yer-old carpenter appeared before him on a charge of ‘willfully breaking a provincial law.’

Behind bars also was Henri Beaulieu, the man police charged with ‘complicity after the fact’ in the escape of two men who tried to imprison guards in their automobile Friday while Lessard entered the home authorities padlocked two days before because of the carpenters alleged Communistic activities.

When police went to the six-room Lessard dwelling last Tuesday to advise the family the flat would be locked up for a year under the special law aimed at halting the spread of Communism, it was the authorities’ third visit to homes occupied by the carpenter. Twice before they had seized literature from Lessard’s dwellings.

Away at work when police told Mrs. Lessard the family would have to evacuate the premises ‘within 24 hours,’ the carpenter again was absent when two detectives arrived the following day to execute the withdrawal order. His blue-eyed, middle aged wife and two children were marched from their home singing the ‘Internationale’ and the ‘Young Guard’ after refusing to remove their furniture. 

Two policemen immediately were detailed to guard the abandoned flat, located in to the top of a tall building below steep St. Sauveur cliff.

Curious lookers-on frequently engaged the two guarding officers in casual conversation and the police saw nothing to arouse their suspicions when two men approached their parked car Friday ostensibly for a chat.

But the officers were startled suddenly to notice their ‘callers’ slyly were binding the car’s doors with strong wire and when the guards attempted to seize the men the pair fled – just as Lessard walked along the sidewalk, pulled open a street door, and ran up three flights of stairs to his former home.

Drawing revolvers, the policemen followed and on reaching the top of the stairs they found the ‘padlocks’ (official seals of Quebec province) had been smashed. Lessard, calmly walking about the kitchen, made no resistance to arrest.

Read Full Post »

“Sent Money to Defend I.W.W. Prisoners,” Sudbury Star. January 15, 1919. Page 04.

Evidence Disclosed at Trial of Finns at Copper Cliff.

Victor Salo, Copper Cliff, $20.00 and costs or six months.

Henry Toivanan, Copper Cliff, $100.00 and costs or three months.

John Wurta, Creighton Mine, suspended sentence on payment of costs.

Evidence that Victor Salo, Copper Cliff, had in his possession when arrested on October 20th, 1918, receipts showing money paid for the defence of I.W.W. prisoners arrested in the United States, was an outstanding feature of the trial of three Finns in Copper Cliff this week on a charge of having in their possession objectionable literature which was banned by orders-in-Council. Salo was a member of the Marx Club of Copper Cliff, a Finnish organization, and a cash book belonging to that society was also found in his possession or under his control. Salo was convicted by Magistrate Stoddart and fined $200.00 and costs or six months. Henry Toivanan and John Wurta were found guilty of having banned books and literature in their possession, the former being fined $100.00 and costs or three months, while Wurta was given suspended sentence on payment of costs, the court taking into consideration the fact that he had given good evidence and appeared an honest witness.

Court Scores Disloyalty
Victor Salo was characterized by Magistrate Stoddart as being the worst offender of the three. His Worship strongly condemned the disloyalty and lack of sympathy and help of the accused for their own people. There were several Finnish families in Copper Cliff who last year received charity at the ends of the town while money was being sent out to the United States in defence of I. W. W. members who had been arrested for their disloyalty in the United States. Magistrate Stoddart stated that it was hard to understand how the accused had acted in this manner and he felt justified in imposing a heavier fine on Salo for his part in the transactions. He hoped that this would prove a lesson to him and those associated with him in violation of the law.

Made Lengthy Plea
For over an hour Tuesday afternoon A. D. Meldrum, counsel for Toivanen and Wurta, sought to convince the court that not one book or leaflet found in the possession of his clients was objectionable within the meaning of the orders-in-Council cited by the Crown. Mr. Meldrum argued that these books and papers were merely scientific and political, and were not objectionable in any sense. He also endeavored to point out that his clients had no desire to violate the law, and had made every effort to comply with the regulations prescribed in the orders-in-Council.

Magistrate Stoddart held that the literature in question was in his opinion objectionable and being found in the possession or under the control of the men, they were guilty of a violation of the law.

For the Crown G. M. Miller did not press for a severe sentence, but asked that a conviction be recorded.

Appealed for Client
J.A. Mulligan, counsel for Salo, asked the court to be lenient with his client in view of his past record as a good citizen, and because of the fact that he has a large family. His client admitted that he was in the wrong, but sought to have the matter disposed of as leniently as possible.

With this appeal Magistrate Stoddart was not in sympathy, remarking as already noted that Salo was the worst transgressor of the three.

The trial of the three men lasted two days, and the hearing of the arguments the greater part of Tuesday.

Case May Be Appealed
It is understood that the conviction against Henry Toivanen will be appealed to Judge Kehoe, to be heard in the Division Court along with other appeals from the decision of Magistrate Brodie.

Read Full Post »

“Evidence Heard in Trial of Finns,” Sudbury Star. January 11, 1919. Page 04.

Charges Against Three Men of Having Banned Literature Keep Police Court Busy.

The trial of Henry Toivonen, John Wurta, Copper Cliff, and Victor Salo, Creighton Mine, on charges of having in their possession objectionable literature, contrary to certain orders-in-council, engaged the attention of Magistrate Stoddart in police court on Thursday and Friday. The evidence in the three cases was completed last evening, and judgement reserved until the arguments for the Crown and the defence are heard on Tuesday next M. G. M. Miller acted for the Crown, J. A. Mulligan and A. D. Meldrum for the accused men, and George Holm, Toronto, as official translator for the Government.

Arrested In General Round-Up
The three men were arrested by Chief Clark on Sunday, October 20th, on which date arrests were made throughout the country by order of the Department of Justice at Ottawa. In the homes of accused were found a number of books, pamphlets, and periodicals in the Finnish language, paragraphs being found in these which were contrary to the orders-in-council passed at different times during 1918. The books, etc., were sent to Ottawa for translation.

Accused Admit Guilt
A feature of the trials of both days was the admission by the accused that they had some of the books and other literature in their possession, although ignorance of certain of the orders-in-council was claimed. The well-distributed book, ‘Bolsheviki and the World Peace,’ was found in the possession of one of the men, while the rest of the seizure included many books, calendars, and pamphlets in the Finnish language.

Aroused Much Interest.
As in Sudbury on three days this week, the trials aroused much interest among local Finns, the court room being crowded all the time. A number of prominent Finns from Sudbury and other parts of the districts were in attendance. 

Read Full Post »