[ The Gouzenko Affair, Canada, 1945; start of Cold War ] Typed contemporary document titled 'The Story of Igor Gouzenko', with covering note referring to 'Mr. Birdwood'.

The Gouzenko Affair, Canada, 1945, and The Kellockā€“Taschereau Commission, 1946 [ Christopher Bromhead Birdwood (1899-1962), 2nd Baron Birdwood? ]
Publication details: 
Without place or date. [ London? Circa 1947. ]
SKU: 19312

[2] + 17pp, 8vo. Lacking the conclusion (one page). On seventeen leaves of paper stapled together, with covering typed note on slip, reading 'PLEASE RETURN TO MR. BIRDWOOD'. The covering leaf carries two sets of initials, one in pencil and one in ink, both ticked through. This may suggest official distribution, but the tone of the document makes it more likely to have been a personal statement, presumably by Birdwood. Aged and worn, with rusting to staples. The cover page reads: 'The Canadian Spy Trials | Summary of the Report of a Royal Commission | Appointed by | His Excellency the Governor General of Canada | To investigate the facts relating to and the circumstances surrounding the communication, by public officials and other persons in positions of trust, of secret and confidential information to agents of a foreign power.' The 'Introduction' indicates British origin, commenting on a report in the Manchester Guardian of a meeting of the Civil Service Clerical Association on 22 May 1947 at Prestatyn, North Wales, at which one member was ridiculed for alleging communist infiltration: 'That Mr. Johnson was wiser than those who laughed at him is shown by the report of the Royal Commission on the activities fo those members of the Communist Party in Canada who gave secret information to a foreign power, the U.S.S.R.' The seventeen-page account includes sections under the headings 'Gouzenko's Statement', 'The Royal Commission's Report', 'The Commission's Findings', 'Recruiting of Agents', 'Motivation of Agents', 'Money Payment to Agents', 'Ideological Motivation', 'Security from Detection', 'Summary of Reasons for Success' and 'Results of the Investigation'. The last section ends mid-sentence after six lines, indicating that the document is lacking its conclusion. 'Mr. Birdwood' may well be Christopher Bromhead Birdwood, who would become 2nd Baron Birdwood in 1951. His second wife, whom he married in 1954, was the notorious right-wing extremist 'Lady Birdwood', who was of Canadian extraction. The "Gouzenko Affair" is one of the events which triggered the Cold War. For historian Jack Granatstein 'Gouzenko was the beginning of the Cold War for public opinion', and Journalist Robert Fulford stated that he was 'absolutely certain the Cold War began in Ottawa'. No other copy traced, either on OCLC WorldCat or on COPAC.