The Gouzenko Affair
In 1945, Igor Gouzenko was a cipher clerk in the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa. However, after making several small errors, his supervisors wanted to send him back to the Soviet Union, so in fear of this, Gouzenko fled the embassy on September 5, taking with him over 100 documents. These documents exposed Soviet spy ring activity not only in Canada, but also in the United States and the United Kingdom. (3) It wasn't until later, however, that his supervisors realized that he had taken the documents, and armed NKVD officers were sent to his apartment to retrieve the missing documents. (4) On September 6, 1945, Prime Minister Mackenzie King was informed of the Soviet cipher clerk's request for asylum. Then the affair officially began the day after, on September 7, 1945, when the RCMP put Gouzenko under their protection. Even though World War II had officially ended before Gouzenko's defection, wartime emergency powers had not yet lapsed which the Canadian government was able to take advantage of. This was then followed by a secret order-in-council which allowed the RCMP to detain and interrogate suspects and this order was only known by Mackenzie King and two other cabinet ministers, and this was carried out until February 16, 1946.
Then on February 5, a Royal Commission of Inquiry was created by the government and led by two Justices of the Supreme Court, R.L Kellock and Robert Taschereau and they began taking evidence in secret on February 13, 1946. The final report was officially made public on June 27, 1946 which focused on the Soviet espionage network which was discovered in their findings. In the end, there was a hearing of criminal charges following the findings of the Commission and it ended in 1949. (5)
In one of Judith's editorials, she mentions the Gouzenko Affair. In her writings she not only describes the events that occurred, but also shows sympathy for Igor Gouzenko. She states that he has 'sufferred in this spy case', and while retelling his story, she shows how he was consistently moved from department to department during this case, and also how he was trying to protect himself as well as his family. Examining the details of this event and specifically how Judith tells them is important because her commentary reveals what the Canadian Goverment was doing and how this affected Canadian citizens. (6)