Posts Tagged ‘maurice duplessis’

“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.

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“Reforms Planned for Bordeaux, Premier Duplessis Announces; Public Help Premier’s Request,” Montreal Gazette. August 9, 1952. Page 01.

“Reforms will be made at Montreal’s Bordeaux jail, scene of two riots in the last three months, Premier Duplessis indicated today.

Mr. Duplessis, who deplored ‘wide’ newspaper publicity given last Friday’s demonstration at the sprawling jail, said separation of hardened criminals from first offenders is one ‘necessary reform.’

Damage was described by Mr. Duplessis as ‘very considerable’ but he did not elaborate although as attorney-general, he has over-all direction of Quebec’s jails.

He spoke at length of the Government’s views on the disturbance at his regular press conference today.

Prisoners were reported to have rioted over the poor quality of food, on which Mr. Duplessis did not comment.

He said his government considered the welfare of honest people more important than ‘the comfort of criminals.’

He said newspaper reports of the riot was the kind of thing that ‘might constitute an encouragement for the rebellious criminal.’

An investigation to determine the causes of the riots and the best methods to avoid repetition is nearly finished, he said, adding that ‘the co-operation of all who can contribute something to re-establishment and maintenance of order’ was needed.

‘We want to make all the most appropriate reforms gradually, a spirit of justice and common sense, but without forgetting that our first duty is to ensure the welfare of honest people,’ he said.

Jail riots stem from an epidemic of disorders ‘throughout the world, but especially in the United States and Canada,’ Mr. Duplessis said.

‘The causes were numerous,’ and ‘in some measure are beyond the power of governments.’ He did not elaborate on this statement.

Not a Hotel
Bordeaux is not and cannot be a fashionable hotel,’ he said. ‘It is not a place where honest people hold meetings.’

‘It is certainly not by giving wide publicity to evil and the evil-doer that one can succeed in doing good. Some newspapers even exaggerated and that is regrettable, not so much as concerns government, but insofar as it concerns public interest and respect for order.

‘Many criminals seek publicity and take glory in it.  It seems to us that public interest and respect for order are vitally concerned in this matter and that wide publicity is not the kind of thing that safeguards them.’

‘We have made many helpful reforms at Bordeaux and we will continue…there are inveterate and incurable criminals in our jails and penitentiaries, and there are others who can be cured.’

Segregation Needed
‘The proximity of inveterate repeaters with those who are not is a situation that can stand improvement…’

‘It is evident that the first duty of the Government is to look after the welfare and progress of honest people instead of the comfort of the criminals.’

Problems raised by jail disturbances ‘affect deeply the welfare of the province in general,’ Mr. Duplessis said.

‘It seems to me they must be considered, not in the spirit of party partisanship but in the light of the higher interests of the province and its people,’ he said.

“Prisoners All Back In Jail,” Montreal Gazette. August 9, 1952. Page 01.

“The last prisoners removed from Bordeaux Jail for safekeeping during last week’s rioting were returned to death-watch cells in the northend prison yesterday.

Transfer of the inmates, revealed by a provincial police official at Montreal headquarters, meant that conditions are back at pre-riot normal in the jail.

Returned to the cells under the five main cell-blocks were five men awaiting execution, five others awaiting trial for murder and one awaiting deportation.

‘These men, while they did not take part in the riot, can be classed as dangerous,’ police said.

‘During Friday’s riot, we removed them from the death-watch cells when water from firemen’s hoses began to flood the cells.’

Another indication that everything was quiet at Bordeaux came when Provincial Police advised all Quebec prisons that a state of emergency brought about by the wild smashing spree by 700 convicts a week ago had ended. 

When the prisoners went on their rampage, police headquarters instructed all prisons to stand by to receive additional prisoners in case the Montreal jail was wrecked and a wholesale transfer was necessary.

The rioters won control of the jail at one time but tear gas forced most of them back into the wrecked cell-blocks.”

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“Nos hommes forts – L’Hon M. Duplessis, premier ministre de Québec,” La Patrie. January 26, 1937. Page 05. Art by La Palme.

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