Manitoba History: The Jewish Community of Winnipeg and the Federal Election of 1935 in Winnipeg North

by Henry Trachtenberg
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Number 61, Fall 2009

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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As Canadian citizens, and as Canadian citizens only, the Jewish voters will go to the polls ... They will cast their ballots for whomever they see fit. One thing alone will prompt their decision ... no man can possibly hope to receive [their] vote who advocates or implies in any shape, manner or form the overthrow of established government by force or the establishment of a dictatorship that even remotely resembles Fascism, Nazism or isms of any other description. [1]

So commented Winnipeg’s Jewish English-language weekly newspaper, The Jewish Post, about Tim Buck, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) as he ran for a seat in Parliament in the constituency of Winnipeg North—a bastion of left-wing political support—during the federal election campaign of 1935. This election was a major test of strength for the newly revived and increasingly popular CPC, for the more moderate, social democratic Independent Labour Party-Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (ILP-CCF), and for the Liberals who hoped to sweep back into national power after five years in the political wilderness. It was also an election of crucial importance for the Winnipeg Jewish community, which was heavily concentrated in the multi-ethnic riding. This article examines the support of that community for the Social Democratic, Liberal, and Communist candidates in Winnipeg North during the campaign of 1935. [2]

A little more than a decade ago, historian Franca Iacovetta contended that historians had tended to avoid researching and writing about Jewish-Gentile splits and relations between various ethnic communities because of the difficulties that they confronted, including “criticism or a studied neglect from colleagues on the other side of the divide.” About the same time, two historians from Manitoba advanced the proposition that historical writing about immigrant groups on the Prairies had evolved from pluralism to “postmodern cultural analysis”, with social identity being perceived as “more ephemeral, more ambiguous, more individual than it was in earlier generations.” While there is certainly much to recommend these perspectives, it is also the case that a return to political history—written within a broadly construed social history of ethnic communities—can tell the scholar much about how ethnic identity was constructed and utilized at certain key moments. [3] This article attempts to provide exactly this type of analysis.

Constituency boundaries in Winnipeg, 1935.
Source: Adapted from Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 11 October 1935.

In 1935, Winnipeg’s Jewish population was approximately 17,000, about 90% of whom lived in the working-class North End, which comprised most of Winnipeg North. Although at the national level in the 1930s Canadian Jews were “few and powerless” with little political or economic clout, their concentration in specific geographic areas such as Montreal’s St. Louis and Laurier wards, Toronto’s Wards 4 and 5, and Winnipeg’s North End, did give them limited political influence, if not strength. [4]

At this time the Winnipeg Jewish community was composed largely of immigrants or their children. It was still a marginal socio-economic group, only partially acculturated to and barely tolerated by, the host society. [5] If it was marginalized, though, it was not without internal resources. With more than twenty institutional buildings and fifty landsmanshaften (free loan, sick and mutual benefit organizations composed of people from the same locality in Europe) and several women’s groups, such as the pro-Zionist Hadassah and Pioneer Women, the various components of the Jewish community enjoyed a rich associational life. More to the point, many of these institutions were housed within walking distance of the geographical centre of the Winnipeg Jewish community, near the intersection of Aberdeen Avenue and Salter Street, leading one commentator to observe that “the vibrancy [of the Jews’] cultural, educational, political, and social life made the North End a unique place and culturally rich, a veritable Jerusalem or Vilna, the latter a lively Lithuanian city of unparalleled Jewish intellectual life.” [6]

Winnipeg Jewry, nonetheless, did not live in isolation from either its ethnic neighbours or the dominant society. One of the most important ways in which the community sought to define and to defend itself within Winnipeg and Canada was in the political realm. Thus, ever since the early 1890s, Winnipeg Jews had participated in electoral politics both to ward off external hostility and contempt from the host society and to seek the acceptance and respect of that society. Their political consciousness had been growing in the years since then, but it reached a crescendo in the 1930s, when “[t]he Depression and the German refugee question ... expanded Jewish political awareness and involvement.” Given the “similarities between American and Canadian Jewish historical experiences”, an explanation of Jews’ “hyperactivity” in politics is a relevant context for Winnipeg Jews’ involvement in the 1935 federal election: [7]

Fear undoubtedly is the greatest single factor accounting for Jews’ high level of political activity ... The Jews of America are a product of the psychic ravages of the western world’s deeply entrenched pattern of Jew-hating ... The fear is pandemic and whether that fear is at the surface of those Jews who involved themselves in politics or buried deep within them, it ... is the prevailing motive for a great part of their activity. [8]

Over the years, the Jews of the North End—who comprised about one in five residents in Winnipeg North, third only to individuals of Anglo-Celtic and Ukrainian ancestry—and probably a higher percentage of actual voters, had gained political experience in nominating, running, campaigning for, and electing Jews to municipal, provincial, and federal office. Indeed, as Howard Palmer commented, “[a]lthough the attention of many [Canadian ethnic] groups was focused [in the 1930s] on events abroad, there also was a growing interest in Canadian politics among groups that had been in Canada for a generation or more. This coincided on the prairies with the emergence of protest parties that were more open to non-Anglo-Saxons than the mainline parties.” [9]

Most Jews living in the North End of Winnipeg supported the political left throughout the inter-war period. Social Democrats voted for the Labour Election Committee (LEC) in 1919, the Manitoba ILP after 1920, and the ILP’s successor, the CCF, after 1933, although the ILP, which was affiliated to the CCF, maintained its name and a separate existence for the next few years, including during the 1935 federal election. Marxists supported the CPC, originally named the Workers’ Party of Canada. While it is important to note that only a minority of Winnipeg Jews actively belonged to any left wing parties, nevertheless, as Gerald Tulchinsky observed of the 1920s and 1930s, the “strongest of Winnipeg’s Jewish political organizations, though not necessarily the most numerous, were leftist... [M]any young Jews were drawn to the radical and moderate left during the 1930s ....” [10] Indeed, as Harry and Mildred Gutkin, Winnipeg Jews who grew up in the North End in the 1930s, observed:

... [P]olitics became a way of life in the North End, where a multitude of factors contributed to make political sensitivity inevitable [and Winnipeg Jews] were directly exposed to social disparities and to the hardships of inequitable economic conditions, and their radicalism grew directly out of their personal experiences. [11]

The 1935 election campaign in Winnipeg North was extremely partisan and passionate, perhaps most notable for the ongoing “bitter” struggle between the two opposing forces of the political left in Canada, the CPC, still an “unlawful association”, represented by Buck, who was 44, and the ILP-CCF in the person of the 49-year-old Jewish incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), Abraham Albert Heaps. Indeed, according to Heaps’ son Leo, the electoral battle was the “most tumultuous” that his father was ever involved in, and the “rancour and bitterness generated by the Communists did not die down ... until long after [e]lection [d]ay”. Similarly, Dos Yiddishe Vort (The Israelite Press), Winnipeg’s Yiddish-language newspaper published twice weekly, described the electoral campaign as “one of the most heated ... in the history of the North End which sent thousands of voters to the ballot box.” Perhaps not without a little humour, former Manitoba Attorney-General and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, Roland Penner, recalled an example of the passion generated during the campaign. The home of his parents, City of Winnipeg Communist alderman Jacob Penner and Rose Penner, at 347 Lansdowne Avenue, served as Buck’s “election central”: [12]

... Across [our]front veranda, a huge banner called upon the electorate to ‘Vote Tim Buck, Communist—The People’s Choice!’ .... The anti-[C]ommunist sentiment of many people in Winnipeg North was expressed in surplus tomatoes from what surely must have been the largest harvest on record, most of them used to ‘decorate’ our... banner and, regrettably, a considerable number going astray to decorate our neighbour’s veranda. They [sic] were not amused. [13]

In addition to Buck and Heaps, the election was contested by Liberal Charles Stephen Booth, 38, a Winnipeg lawyer and president of the Winnipeg North Liberal Association, and on behalf of the Douglas Social Credit League of Winnipeg, by Fred J. Welwood, a manufacturer and president of the League ( it was not yet formally called a political party). The Conservative Party, perhaps realizing that its unpopularity in the constituency would make any nomination futile, did not run a candidate, the official reason being that it did not wish to splinter the vote and thereby allow Buck to be elected. [14]

Election advertisement by C. S. Booth in The Jewish Post, 26 September 1935.
Source: Manitoba Legislative Library

Heaps, who was born in Leeds, England, arrived in Winnipeg in 1911 and obtained employment as an upholsterer with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He soon became active in the local labour movement, serving as the Winnipeg Trades and Labour Council statistician and secretary of the Labour Representation Committee, the trades unionists’ political organization. He was elected as a City of Winnipeg alderman for the North End’s municipal Ward 5 and then consolidated Ward 3, and was arrested in 1919 as a leader of the Winnipeg General Strike. Long before the federal election of 1935, therefore, Heaps had become a formidable political force. As Dos Yiddishe Vort commented that year, Heaps had an “outstanding reputation” and was “very popular in labour circles and in the community at large and even in the general non-Jewish circles he [was] regarded as very strong.” Elected to Parliament in 1925 as the ILP candidate for Winnipeg North, and re-elected in 1926 and 1930, Heaps had made “tireless efforts as the most credible economic critic in the [House of] Commons” during the 1920s and early 1930s. He had been a member of the “Ginger Group” led by James Shaver Woodsworth, the ILP, then CCF leader and MP for Winnipeg North Centre, and with Woodsworth, had been, and remained, a forceful and “impressive” spokesman for working class interests and a champion of social welfare measures such as unemployment and sickness insurance. The two men had been instrumental in bringing about the introduction of old age pensions in 1927. [15]

In the House of Commons, Heaps spoke on dozens of subjects, introduced motions or amendments to motions about reducing hours of work, and, in 1933, successfully had opposed a bill to amalgamate the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways, claiming that thousands of railway workers would lose their jobs if the merger occurred. By 1935, Heaps, who politely refused an appointment offered by Conservative Prime Minister Richard Bedford Bennett to the Senate, was able “to move with some assurance among a variety of people: statesmen, union activists, newspaper reporters, and his own ethnic constituents”, was the “nemesis of any member of the House who rose to speak without adequate preparation”, and had an “almost infallible capacity to produce the appropriate information on demand.” [16]

Communist candidate Tim Buck addresses the crowd at a Dominion Day rally in Winnipeg, 1935.
Source: W. Beeching and P. Clarke (editors), Yours in the Struggle: Reminiscences of Tim Buck, Toronto: NC Press Limited, 1977, p. 192.

The fact that Heaps was not an observant Jew had not damaged his standing with his Jewish constituents. For instance, during the 1935 campaign, he was one of the invited speakers at a community banquet honouring the services of an Orthodox rabbi who was leaving Winnipeg, and he addressed the Young Women of the Knesseth Israel Synagogue Sisterhood. Of greater importance to Jewish electors, though, was the fact that Heaps had been a vocal spokesperson for much more lenient Canadian immigration and refugee policies, especially in the matter of allowing Jewish refugees from Germany into Canada. Although Heaps, an honourary president of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society of Canada (JIAS), met with little success in this regard, he was one of the few MP’s who sounded the alarm concerning anti-Semitism in Europe and Canada from public platforms. [17]

During the election campaign, direct appeals were made by all four candidates to the North End’s Jewish electors. Dos Yiddishe Vort may have exaggerated their number when it claimed there were between 8,000 and 9,000 Jewish voters, but without doubt they constituted an important part of the North End’s electorate—a grouping which no politician could ignore if he hoped to win the riding. Heaps certainly had the upper hand in this regard. Not only was he Jewish, but he benefited from the existence of a strong ILP organization at the municipal and provincial levels that not only assisted him in his election campaign, but was instrumental in the election of several of his closest friends and political colleagues, all of whom were very popular in significant parts of the Winnipeg Jewish community. These included John Queen, former arrested Winnipeg General Strike leader and City of Winnipeg alderman for Ward 3, now Manitoba Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Provincial ILP leader, and Mayor of Winnipeg; two British-born Jews, lawyer, former Winnipeg school trustee, and now MLA, Marcus Hyman, author of the Manitoba Anti-Defamation Act (sometimes called the Hyman Act), and John (Jack) Blumberg, a former street railway man, who was a City of Winnipeg alderman for Ward 3 and Winnipeg’s acting mayor during the time of the election; and Morris Abraham Gray (Gurarie), a Jew originally from Russia. Gray was the manager of a steamship line agency and honourary secretary of the JIAS, both of which positions brought him into regular contact with Jewish immigrants in and coming to Winnipeg. He was also a City of Winnipeg alderman for Ward 3 and during the federal election campaign was elected by his fellow aldermen as chairman of the City of Winnipeg’s Special Committee on Unemployment Relief. Indeed, Heaps’ nomination papers were signed by Gray and Blumberg among others. Beyond this, Heaps’ campaign in the Jewish community benefited from the active involvement of at least three other well-known Jewish communal leaders: Joseph Alter Cherniack, a lawyer, former treasurer of the Manitoba ILP and unsuccessful ILP aldermanic candidate in Ward 3 in 1927 and 1928; Samuel Green, a leader of the Poale Zion, a Labour Zionist organization formally known as the United Jewish Socialist Labour Party, affiliated to the ILP in Manitoba and, internationally, to the British Labour Party; and Meyer Averbach, a lawyer, Talmud Torah (Hebrew Free School) teacher and principal, Winnipeg school trustee for Ward 3, and executive secretary of the Western Division, Canadian Jewish Congress. All worked actively for Heaps’ re-election and appeared on the campaign platform with him. Moreover, extrapolating ILP support at the municipal level, 6,000 votes, to the federal, Dos Yiddishe Vort asserted that Heaps had a base vote of 9,000. [18]

The Jewish Post, 10 October 1935.
Source: Manitoba Legislative Library

A general election committee to co-ordinate Heaps’ campaign was established, as was a Heaps Young People’s Election Club, and the North Winnipeg Women’s Labour Group held a social and dance, at which Heaps spoke, to raise funds for the ILP-CCF candidate. Heaps was the beneficiary, not only of provincial ILP support, but of the organizational and financial participation over several years of ILP women members and followers in Winnipeg North. As Joan Sangster noted, in Winnipeg “women’s neighbourhood ILP groups had been active for some time and since 1932 were federated into a city-wide Women’s Labour Conference. Within the neighbourhood groups, fundraising and political education were the key activities. Besides holding euchres and bazaars, women examined the important questions of the day.” As well, a Jewish Committee for Heaps, with its own campaign office, was formed, including many leaders of the Winnipeg Jewish community and representing a cross-section of occupations and socio-economic classes. The committee advertised Heaps’ candidacy in Dos Yiddishe Vort, advising Jewish voters that it would be an “odious crime” for them to oppose a candidate who was their co-religionist, especially an honourable and devoted public servant like Heaps who had served Winnipeg Jewry for twenty years. [19] The committee’s advertising reflected, and to some degree, played upon, the fears of Winnipeg’s Jews about anti-Semitism:

... [F]or a time [William] Whittaker [leader of Winnipeg’s neo-Nazi Canadian Nationalist Party, was] quiet thanks to the work of our Jewish representatives; it is, however, misleading to think that Whittaker and people like him have disappeared completely. And they may, God forbid, crawl out from their holes and further spread the poison of scorn and hatred against us—WHO WILL HAVE US IN MIND IF NOT OUR OWN, OUR JEWISH REPRESENTATIVE? [20]

Heaps, who campaigned on radio, as did Booth and Buck, also was endorsed by many Jewish and Gentile communal leaders who appeared at meetings with him, including J. B. Graham, secretary of the Winnipeg and District Trades and Labour Council, and other labour leaders; the Reverend Evan M. Whidden, pastor of the North End’s Baptist Tabernacle Church; as noted, Samuel Green of the Poale Zion, which had endorsed Heaps and requested its members and friends to work actively for his reelection; Simon Belkin, a vice-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress and director for Canada of the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA); and Louis Rosenberg, manager for Western Canada of Jewish farm settlements for the JCA. Indeed, at his opening campaign event on 11 September, The Winnipeg Evening Tribune reported that Heaps had “an imposing array of supporting speakers” from the ILP, the CCF, the CCF youth movement, the Trades and Labour Council, and others active in the labour movement who had endorsed him. [21]

Heaps sharply attacked his political opponents, for example, condemning Social Credit for its alleged similarities to National Socialism and suggesting that some Social Credit leaders in Winnipeg were anti-Semites. He criticized Liberal Opposition Leader William Lyon Mackenzie King for taking credit for the introduction and passage of old age pension legislation, contended that Booth was “marching hand in hand” with Buck to defeat him, and scornfully reprimanded some Liberal candidates for attempting to win support by holding “entertainments at which pop, cigars, and cigarettes were provided.” In this regard, an advertisement from Heaps’ Jewish committee alleged: “Come into [the Liberal] committee rooms and you will be rewarded. This is the way some North End Jewish Liberal untershtippers [underhanded corrupt manipulators] are appealing to Jewish voters.” [22]

Heaps’ most animated attacks, however, were directed at the Communists. At his first campaign meeting, described by The Winnipeg Evening Tribune as “enthusiastic”, before an audience of 400 at St. John’s High School, Heaps alleged that the CPC wanted change “by force and ultimate dictatorship”, and displayed two Winnipeg North Communist election pamphlets, one in Yiddish, the other in English, which vehemently attacked the ILP, but whose authorship was denied by the Communists. Heaps also claimed that the Communists were engaged in “misrepresentation and slander, both on the platform and in personal canvassing”. He continued: “I don’t know why these people who have had no experience with responsible government should try to force Communism on us ... I say to the Russian people, ‘hands off Canada’.” At the end of the campaign, Heaps stated that for the Communists, “no methods [had] been too low, and no means too unscrupulous for them to adopt in their efforts to discredit” him. At “considerable personal risk”, Heaps attended several CPC meetings where he asked for the platform and attempted to answer the various charges made against him by Buck and other CPC speakers. Indeed, on one occasion, a Jewish women’s election meeting, with Mrs. Goldie Steinberg of Heaps’ Jewish committee as chairperson, and Heaps and Beatrice Brigden, the CCF candidate in Brandon, as speakers, was held at the Freiheit [Liberty or Jewish Friends’] Temple, the political, cultural, educational, and social headquarters of Winnipeg’s Jewish Communists. The Comintern, and hence the CPC, regarded Zionism as “a deviation incompatible with bolshevization”. The CPC, opposed to a partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish sections by “British Imperialists”, accused Zionist leaders of being responsible for “the present deplorable situation” by conducting a policy of “replacing the Arab population” and a campaign of “discriminations against the Arab people”. The Communists condemned “acts of terrorism against the Arab population perpetrated by the small but dangerous Fascist group amongst Palestinian Jewry.” It was not surprising, therefore, that Heaps took the Communists to task on their positions respecting Palestine: [23]

Firefighters against anti-Semitism—the same Jewish [C]ommunists who in 1929 supported the Arab pogroms in Israel, and work with the Arab effendis to inflame the Arabs against the Jews ... They are against anti-Semitism only when it is the Communist line. They are ready to go with the worst pogromchiks [pogrom participants]. [24]

Heaps had visited Palestine in 1933, and learned of the difficulty that the Palestine Citrus Exchange was encountering in exporting oranges and grapefruit to Canada because of its high tariffs. As a result, he made representations to the Bennett government and, after protracted negotiations, was successful in having the citrus products enter Canada duty free. Appealing to the majority of Winnipeg Jewry who were Zionists, and reinforcing his position with his Poale Zion supporters during the campaign, Heaps reminded Jewish electors of his efforts. [25]

While it is difficult to quantify the impact of Winnipeg’s two daily newspapers on Jewish voters’ intentions, Heaps benefited from an endorsement—“some support” as the newspaper termed it after the election—by The Winnipeg Evening Tribune, which, during the election campaign, reprinted Heaps’ remarks in the House of Commons on 25 April 1934, defending the Natural Products Marketing Act from the charge of undue interference with the rights of the individual. Moreover, in the course of the campaign the newspaper published an editorial on the topic, asserting that Heaps had proved to be “an able defender” of the legislation when he delivered the “notable speech affirming not only the merits of the Marketing Act but showing by simple illustration that Parliament had not in any way abandoned functions it has been in the habit of exercising.” Also during the campaign, the newspaper criticized King for stating in Winnipeg that, based on voting in the House of Commons, the CCF members did not “know their own minds”. On the contrary, claimed The Tribune, Heaps, Woodsworth, and other CCF MP’s were “men of independent minds, so far as questions which interest[ed] other political parties [were] concerned. Their votes in [P]arliament [were] evidence of that.” According to the Winnipeg daily, the electors of Winnipeg North would be “voting for or against Communism.” Although Booth was a “good citizen”, his cause was “a forlorn hope” and Buck, the choice of a militant minority, was “repugnant to 75 per cent” of Winnipeg North electors. In order to defeat Buck, therefore, constituency residents were urged to vote for Heaps who had “rendered creditable service” in Parliament. Indeed, after the election, The Tribune made clear its endorsement of Heaps in the editorial “North Winnipeg Aftermath”: “Not only as the alternative to a Communist but on his own merits, The Tribune feels that North Winnipeg will have an able and useful member in A. A. Heaps.” [26]

The Winnipeg Free Press, which supported Booth and the Liberal Party, described Heaps as an “admirable candidate with a good parliamentary record” for people who agreed with his views, and with other CCF MPs, as one of a group of “men of independent minds” who voted accordingly regardless of “the crack of the party whip to which members of other parties so regularly submit”. Nevertheless, in the newspaper’s estimation, Heaps was an “undesirable candidate”. [27]

Perhaps not surprisingly, however, there was not even muted support for Heaps from The North-Ender, the anti-Labour, anti-Communist weekly community newspaper, which suggested that voters should support Booth, if only because there was no Conservative candidate. As it had done during the federal election campaign of 1930, The North-Ender launched a vitriolic attack on Heaps. The newspaper condemned him for alleged decreased attendance in the House of Commons and on parliamentary committees, and claimed that he was no longer “enthusiastic” in advancing working class causes and had been one of the “most active enemies the reorganizer [Sir Henry Thornton] of the Canadian government railways had to meet”, whose votes had “put the finishing touches to the harassed railway-builder.” The paper also contended that the residents of Winnipeg North had not received any benefits from their “impotent” representative who belonged to a “small and isolated coterie”. Shockingly, The North-Ender, which was full of news about Jewish organizations and individuals, and which carried advertisements from Jewish business and professional people, referred to Heaps as “Abie”, “the aristocrat”, [28] and openly crossed into anti-Semitic territory when it asserted:

That [Heaps’ election as an MP] has been of considerable benefit to ‘Abe’ goes without question. He is no longer a poor man, nor yet dependent upon the indemnity given members of parliament. That was to be expected seeing Abe Heaps is a Jew and given opportunity the inherent acquisitiveness of his race was bound to bring about a state of affability, enabling him to use his position to advantage. [29]

The article set off a firestorm in the North End, particularly in the Jewish community. The Jewish Post, for instance, accused The North-Ender of engaging in a “moral crime” through the “disgusting spectacle of an insipid attempt at Jew-baiting” “unashamedly and in language more befitting a publication of perverted Nazis [Julius] Streicher or [Josef] Goebbels.” [30] In a Yiddish editorial, the newspaper took The North- Ender to task:

... [W]hen [The North-Ender] seeks through false attacks to discredit an MP on the ground that he is a Jew, and it attacks at the same time all Jewish citizens, this is ugly and cheap politics. The North-Ender must know that over 15,000 Jews live in North Winnipeg, and about 8,000 of them are registered on the election lists for the coming election ... With its attack it sought to give a slap in the face to eight thousand Jewish voters who are truly loyal citizens ... [31]

In a well considered political move, Booth also protested The North- Ender’s scurrilous reference to Jews, stating that the article had “the effect of stirring up racial prejudices and antagonisms among the people of North Winnipeg”. [32] In the end, as in 1930, under threat of legal action, The North-Ender apologized to Heaps, admitting that its allegations were “without foundation”. The newspaper also expressed regret about the reference to Jews, stating that the article was written by a staff member and had “slipped through” in the editor’s absence, and there had been no intention to cast “any reflection whatever upon the Jewish people”, with whom the newspaper had a “friendly spirit”. There is little question, however, that the attack on Heaps and Jews strengthened Heaps’ candidacy among many Jewish voters, who responded defensively to the perceived danger. [33]

Fred Welwood was not the original nominee of the Douglas Social Credit League in Winnipeg North. The visits to Winnipeg, and their mass meetings during the election campaign, of the recently elected Social Credit Premier of Alberta, William Aberhart, and of the Very Reverend Hewlett Johnson, the Dean of Canterbury, a “flaming evangelist of Social Credit”, reinforced interest in Social Credit, and its organization in Winnipeg seems to have occurred at a rapid pace. The initial and rather tumultuous nomination meeting in Winnipeg North consisting of 38 accredited representatives of groups supporting Social Credit and 200 other attendees was split into two groups, one of which did not wish to nominate a candidate, fearing that it would strengthen Buck’s candidacy by further dividing the vote. After several ballots, however, Joseph Bellan, a 23-year-old third-year Jewish law student at the Manitoba Law School, was nominated. Undoubtedly, he was aware of the anti-Semitism of Social Credit’s founder, Major Clifford Hugh Douglas, who had visited Winnipeg in 1934 to expound his theories. Although this probably was not known to the majority of nominators, it may help to explain why, as he later told members of his family, he had no interest in Social Credit theories, political philosophy, or party organization. It also may help to explain why, perhaps wishing to undermine the Social Credit cause, with several of his friends in attendance at the nomination meeting, Bellan entered his name in nomination only as a joke. Both the Winnipeg Free Press and The Winnipeg Evening Tribune were surprised by the nomination, thinking that Welwood, chairman of the nomination meeting and, as mentioned earlier, Douglas Social Credit League of Winnipeg president, or his chief organizer for the past three years, would be nominated. Indeed, shortly before the nomination deadline, Bellan withdrew and his place was taken by Welwood. [34]

Welwood, a resident of Winnipeg for more than forty years who had once been active in Socialist circles, was the President of F. J. Welwood and Company Limited, a manufacturing concern in Elmwood, a part of the constituency east of the Red River where few Jews lived. He had been promoting the “Douglas Theory” of Social Credit for two to three years. There is no evidence that Welwood was anti-Semitic, and he probably saw no incompatibility between his promotion of Social Credit and his solicitation of Jewish voters’ support. He sent New Year’s greetings to the Jewish community through The Jewish Post, and, when the Social Credit nomination meeting was called for Friday night, 4 October, the Jewish Sabbath, he held a “special” assembly for Jewish voters the previous evening at the Talmud Torah. Welwood held public meetings in North End schools, and through The Jewish Post, advertised his candidacy and “Douglas Social Credit and the National Dividend” and an explanation of Social Credit as a “scientific system” in Dos Yiddishe Vort and The Jewish Post. [35]

King had not wanted the Winnipeg North Liberal Association to oppose Heaps in the federal elections of 1926 and 1930, probably because of Heaps’ and Woodsworth’s crucial support for the Liberals in the House of Commons, and it had agreed. However, in 1935 and the years immediately preceding, King gave no such indication. In the fall of 1934, therefore, the Winnipeg North Liberal Association re-constituted itself. According to Booth, the executive and members of the association had been “particularly successful” in co-ordinating “the efforts of all racial [sic] groups [in Winnipeg North] for the common good” and members of the executive “composed of the five major racial [sic] groups (Anglo-Saxon, German, Jewish, Polish and Ukrainian) ha[d] worked together amicably and effectively.…” At a nomination meeting at St. John’s High School, which The Jewish Post reported would be attended by a “substantial number of Jews”, Booth, with 119 votes, defeated Dr. Henry Yonker, who received 80 votes, and J. F. Davidson, with 31. King extended his congratulations, and later Booth was one of the Liberal candidates who met him in Winnipeg as he headed to Brandon and a Western Canadian campaign tour. As well, Booth was a platform member at King’s mass meeting at the Winnipeg Auditorium, and spoke at the same location to a crowd of 3,500 at a Liberal meeting where the featured speaker was Mitchell Hepburn, Premier of Ontario. [36] Born in Malvern, England, where he received his early education, Booth came to Winnipeg in 1912 and resided in the North End for the next 23 years. He attended public schools in Winnipeg North, the University of Manitoba, and the Manitoba Law School. During World War I, he served with the Western Universities Battalion for four years and later the Royal Air Force as a pilot in northern Russia. A member of the Royal Canadian Legion, he was a major in the non-permanent force, as officer commanding “B” Company, Winnipeg Light Infantry. He was past president of the Better Business Bureau and the Young Men’s Section of the Winnipeg Board of Trade, and, when nominated, as noted previously, was president of the Winnipeg North Liberal Association, and had been active for a decade in Liberal politics and federal campaigns. An official or director of several fraternal, charitable, and sporting organizations, Booth, whose election committee opened its campaign office on north Main Street, was described by the Winnipeg Free Press as “[a]mbitious and enterprising” and by The Jewish Post as “well known to the Jewish community of Winnipeg”. The Liberal candidate claimed that as a “product of the North End”, who had attended local schools “with your children”, with his “wide interests” he had been in “constant association with the Jewish people”. [37]

Although the Liberal Party campaigned under the slogan “King or Chaos”, and on their party platform of 1933, Booth ran on the theme that it was time the constituency was represented on the government side of the House of Commons. During his campaign, he “maintain[ed] a vigorous offensive” against the “Communistic and Socialistic programmes” of the CPC and CCF, respectively. [38] In an attempt to remind voters that Heaps and Woodsworth had been arrested during the Winnipeg General Strike, Booth contended that Heaps should admit that the CCF’s purpose was to establish a Soviet Bolshevik regime in Winnipeg. According to Booth, although Buck stood for Socialism of the “imported or Russian” “revolutionary” kind and Heaps represented the “home-manufactured” “constitutional” version, and their means were considerably different, the objective of both was the same. Communist voters supported the CPC, according to the Liberal candidate, because of their “unhappy personal circumstances”. The Communist leaders, however, were “wolves in sheep’s clothing who were welcome to return to their chosen lands as soon as they wished.” As for the CCF, Booth stated that the party was split between doctrinaires who wanted complete state ownership and reformers willing to allow firms to remain privately owned. Moreover, he asserted that the CCF’s “stupid nationalism” would rob consumers and keep the cost of living up, wages down, and workers unemployed, whereas the Liberal platform would cut the cost of living 25%, increase wages, and provide employment for all workers. For Booth, the choice facing electors was between dictatorship under Socialism and personal liberty under Liberalism. Similarly, S. (Solomon) Hart Green, a Jewish lawyer, former Manitoba Liberal MLA for the North End from 1910-14, and Booth’s predecessor and successor as president of the Winnipeg North Liberal Association, who, along with others, had signed Booth’s nomination papers, urged voters to reject Heaps because he was a Socialist. [39]

Certainly, Booth’s campaign was aided by some high-profile members of the Jewish community such as Green, who gave a radio address endorsing Booth’s candidacy, and Reubin J. Kimmel, an insurance agent who was treasurer of the Winnipeg North Liberal Association. Despite his lack of fluency in Yiddish, Green was well-known to Winnipeg Jews and his endorsement clearly carried some weight. [40] The North Winnipeg Junior Liberal Association, which had a Jewish vice-president, lawyer Harry G. Goodman, and a number of young Jewish business and professional members, also endorsed Booth, who argued that the Liberal Party was more concerned about the problems of young people than any other. The association established a committee to canvas the constituency home by home. Its members did not want to be represented by a Social Democrat, and certainly not by a Communist, and were attracted to the Liberal promises of individual political and economic freedom. [41]

Candidates in the 1935 election were summed up by this notice in The Jewish Post, 10 October 1935.
Source: Manitoba Legislative Library

At his opening campaign meeting at St. John’s High School on 23 September, described by the Winnipeg Free Press as “largely attended”, Booth appeared on the platform with the following individuals who also spoke: Green, who presided; Jewish lawyer and journalist Hyman Sokolov and other vice-presidents/chairmen of “ethnic group” sub-committees; and two individuals popular with Winnipeg Jewry, the Honourable William J. Major, Manitoba’s Attorney-General who had supported and ensured passage of the Manitoba Anti-Defamation Bill, and lawyer Edward J. McMurray, the former Liberal MP for the constituency and Solicitor-General in the first King government, both proponents of open immigration. Booth claimed that King’s administration had enacted old age pensions and an open-door immigration policy which was, at best, only partially correct. He also asserted that the King government had given equal rights to women and that if the Liberals formed the next government, they would adopt “low tariff principles to bring down the cost of living”. [42]

Booth and the Manitoba Liberal and Progressive Election Committee advertised in The Jewish Post, Dos Yiddishe Vort, The North-Ender, The Winnipeg Evening Tribune, and the Winnipeg Free Press. Keenly aware of the anxiety of Winnipeg Jews, Booth’s advertising included a statement made by King saying that “We Don’t Want Any Hitlerism or Fascism in Canada”. Booth claimed that the Liberal Party had “performed a leading part in the building up of British institutions and traditions”, including political and religious freedom, free speech, and the equal franchise, whereas the “growth and encouragement” of a multiplicity of political parties had led to dictatorship in continental Europe. His message was clear: in Canada, “new and factional parties should not be encouraged” and governmental problems could be solved by voting for “an established party with traditions to maintain”. [43]

Jewish and other North End electors were informed that a vote for Buck would “add strength to subversive anti-Canadian forces” seeking to destroy democratic self- government, while a ballot for Heaps was support for a “rigid program of socialism of your business and state control of your life”. A vote for Booth, however, would be an endorsement of “an effort to re-open channels of trade and commerce for Canada”, “a revival of actual government by Parliament”, and “real control of the people’s finances by the people’s elected representatives.” Booth also claimed that the Liberal Party was the first to nominate Jewish candidates for Parliament, the first to have a Jewish Cabinet Minister, and the first to help elect a Jew to the Manitoba Legislature. [44]

In an effort to persuade Jewish voters to support Booth, Winnipeg North Liberals invited David Croll, the Ontario Minister of Public Welfare and Municipal Affairs, who was advertised as “the first Jewish member of the Legislature to hold a cabinet position”, and who had become known nationally as the guardian of the Dionne Quintuplets, to speak in Winnipeg on 9 October. The arrangements were made after a meeting of about fifty Jewish women at the home of S. Hart Green, who was chosen as chairman of the reception committee. As well, a Jewish women’s Liberal campaign committee to support Booth was formed. The predominantly Jewish audience, assembled in the Olympic Rink, heard Green, who presided, urge them to vote according to the principles advocated by a candidate and not on the grounds that he was a co-religionist or neighbour. Booth spoke briefly and Croll was introduced by Attorney-General Major, who stated that Croll was “the sterling example of a Canadian citizen who strictly through ability and application rose to his present position of importance in Canada” where “equality without regard to race or religion is observed as in no other country in the world.” In turn, Croll “regaled” the assembly with “humorous anecdotes” and a “keen analysis” of conditions in Canada, particularly regarding the Bank of Canada and the Bennett government’s restrictive immigration policy. Although Croll’s comments in a newspaper interview about the positive necessity and inevitability of “state medicine” which would help “those people who are unable to pay a doctor”, may have appealed to many Jewish electors, Croll’s appearance most likely was not a factor in the election outcome. The Liberals unsuccessfully attempted to have the presidents and congregations of all Winnipeg synagogues arrange a reception for Croll. Furthermore, “only” 400-500 people came to hear him speak, apparently he “did not want to undertake [the] trip” but was “forced to do it by the party”, and in his speech, he almost entirely omitted any attack on Heaps. [45]

Source: The Jewish Post, 10 October 1935. Manitoba Legislative Library

Booth may have benefited a little more from Liberal leader King’s mass meeting in Winnipeg where King emphasized economic solutions to the Depression which appealed to many Jewish voters, as well as electors in general. Moreover, if Bennett and his government were not regarded sympathetically by Canadian Jews who wanted Canada’s immigration doors opened to German Jewish refugees and European Jews in general, in 1935, King’s public position on the matter was not known. [46]

While Booth and the Liberals posed an important electoral threat to Heaps, even if the CCF’s Manitoba Commonwealth claimed that Booth was “simply a stumbling block in the way of teaching the Communists that North Winnipeg ... had enough of them,” and that his candidacy was an “interference” in the “fight against the forces of revolution and dictatorship”, it was the candidacy of Tim Buck which garnered the most attention in the hotly contested constituency of Winnipeg North. Born in Beccles, Suffolk County, England, Buck received a common school education, was apprenticed to the machinists’ trade at age 14, and joined the Amalgamated Society of Engineers during his third year of apprenticeship. After immigrating to Canada in 1910, he worked as a machinist in automobile, tool, and steam-engine building factories. Buck then lived in the United States for a number of years and became increasingly involved in Marxist political parties. After the formation of the CPC in 1921, he became one of the party’s district organizers and then its industrial director, heading the Canadian section of the Trade Union Educational League. After winning a particularly vicious series of internal party struggles against Jack Macdonald and his supporters in 1928-29, Buck emerged as General Secretary of the CPC in 1929. [47]

Both Buck’s candidacy and the CPC’s standing and growth were strengthened by the national publicity he gained when, as one of the “Toronto Eight” in 1931, he was sentenced to five years, subsequently serving two years, nine months (1931-34), in Kingston Penitentiary after being convicted of being a member and an officer of an “unlawful association” under the infamous Section 98 of the Criminal Code. An attempt on his life by penitentiary guards during a prison riot in October, 1932, only helped to confirm his role as an embattled underdog. Buck emerged from prison in November 1934, with the status of “a public figure”. He then ran unsuccessfully as a Communist candidate for the Board of Control in Toronto. In September, 1935, the Winnipeg Free Press claimed that he “glorie[d] in the title of ‘red agitator’.” A “dedicated hard-working party member of pleasant, amiable personality who ... could be trusted by Moscow”, his strength was his ability to “divine what policies or practices were acceptable to the party, to the Comintern, and ... to Stalin.” [48]

Buck entered the 1935 electoral contest after the CCF rebuffed Communist efforts to establish a united political front, an arrangement the ILP also had rejected in Winnipeg North a decade earlier before the 1925 federal election. Buck later claimed credit for conceptualizing the popular front in Canada idea. However, as one historian of the Communist Party has noted, “Buck had a strange conception of what constituted bridge-building: the CCF failed to see any comradeliness in his decision to contest A. A. Heaps’ North Winnipeg seat ...” Even before, and then again as a result of the CCF rejection, there were bitter words between candidates of the ILP-CCF and the CPC at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels with both sides claiming to be the legitimate representative of North End electors. Indeed, the founding of the CCF in 1933 had “brought about a torrent of abuse by the Communist Party, the most virulent it had ever directed at social democracy.” At least until the autumn of 1934, for example, when, prompted by the Comintern, in theory they dropped the terms, Buck and other Communists referred to ILP-CCF candidates as “labour fascists” and “social fascists”. As a historian of Canadian Jewry observed, the “struggle between Jewish Communists and non-Communists for leadership of the Jewish working class was a hallmark of the immigrant community in the inter-war period.” [49] The 1935 federal election campaign was no different.

The animosity between Buck, and Woodsworth and Heaps, was extraordinarily deep. According to the Communists, Woodsworth and Heaps, the “right wing” “old guard” of the CCF, were “rock-ribbed reactionaries who refuse[d] to admit that only a united front ... can hurl over the attacks of the capitalists on the standard of living of the working class” and who engaged in “ruthless expulsions and disruptions” to prevent unity even if it meant “smashing” the CCF. It was the duty of the CPC to “unmask” the CCF leaders opposed to the united front concept who were “invariably found acting in the interests of the capitalists.” For the Communists, there was “no neutral ground.” At a meeting at Woodsworth’s home in Winnipeg in 1935, Woodsworth asked Buck if he was going to run in “Heaps’ constituency”. Buck replied in the affirmative, informing Woodsworth that although he preferred to run in a constituency in Toronto where he lived, his CPC colleagues wanted him to run in a high profile seat in the geographical centre of Canada where national attention could be focused. When Buck expressed interest in CPC candidates running in constituencies approved by the CCF to avoid a CPC-CCF conflict, the united front concept, he offered to run instead in the Winnipeg South constituency if an “arrangement” could be made. Woodsworth ordered Buck to leave and never spoke to him again. Woodsworth’s position was endorsed by the Manitoba Commonweath, which stated that “these United Front chaps should change their motto to ‘Chaos’ for the workers and glory for the troublemakers hired by Russia.”

Regardless of this development, during the 1935 election campaign Woodsworth, Heaps, and other CCF candidates continually assured voters that the CCF had “no link with the Communist Party” and “believed the new economic system could be brought about by constitutional means.” Because he would not stand aside for Buck, the CPC specifically labeled Heaps a “reactionary” and its attention became centred on Winnipeg North. Nor was the CCF sparing in its criticism of Buck, whom it referred to incessantly throughout the campaign, and even months earlier, as “Carpetbagger No. 1” and “the Toronto carpetbagger”. [50]

Buck’s status as a “parachute candidate” from Toronto hurt his candidacy—and it was a point that the Heaps campaign brought up frequently. Mayor Queen, speaking at a Heaps meeting, noted that he found it strange that a party appealing for a “united front” would bring from Toronto “its strongest candidate” to contest the seat against a man who had “served Labour well in the House for the last decade.” Nevertheless, Buck had visited Winnipeg earlier in the summer, making an open-air public address on Dominion (Canada) Day, visiting with fellow comrades, and “spending a relatively leisurely three weeks laying the basis of his candidacy in the forthcoming federal election.” In the early 1930s, in many urban centres, Communists, forced to operate through front groups, put down roots that would enable them to play fuller community roles throughout the next dozen years. Such was the case in Winnipeg North. What one historian has written about the CPC nationally applied to the Manitoba constituency: “[T]he Communist Party reached its peak among immigrant workers during the [D]epression. It welcomed foreign- language affiliates, used foreign-language organizers, and established newspapers to reach ... Jewish [and other Eastern and Central European workers] in their own languages. It remained strongest among the Ukrainians, Finns, and Jews who had been radicalized before the war.” [51]

Buck’s candidacy undoubtedly was strengthened because the Depression had hit Manitoba “early and hard” and Winnipeg was a “large and volatile metropolis” with a “large and vociferous group of unemployed.” Certainly, there were many unemployed Jewish Winnipeggers. The Friendly Hebrew Unemployed Association, for example, held meetings at the Zionist Hall in Winnipeg North during the election campaign. Moreover, Buck had the advantage of running in a constituency described by an historian of the CPC as a “Communist stronghold”, where estimates of the Communist base were between 4,000 and 7,500 electors. In Winnipeg North, “the Communist challenge consisted mainly of radicals of East European origin” who “provided much of the support for Communist candidates in elections to various layers of government”, and the CPC “could count on a large number of eastern European immigrants to support its ideological mixture of Marxism and nationalism.” According to Ivan Avakumovic, “[h]atred of Nazism ... and the Jewish tendency to take a prominent part in public affairs in democratic societies enabled the CPC to recruit many Jews in... Winnipeg, and, thanks to the party’s opposition to anti-[S]emitism in Canada and abroad, to gain the sympathies of many Jews who did not go so far as to join the CPC.” [52]

Election advertisement by C. S. Booth in The Jewish Post, 10 October 1935.
Source: Manitoba Legislative Library

Also, in the North End, the CPC had gained very valuable political experience and acumen running candidates at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels in the 1920s and early 1930s. Included was Joseph Kahana, an unsuccessful Jewish candidate for school trustee in 1927. Winnipeg Communists had tasted victory with the election in 1926, and re-election in 1928 of William Kolisnyk, then the general manager of the Workers and Farmers Cooperative Association (later renamed the People’s Cooperative Limited), as alderman for Ward 3. In 1933, Jacob Penner, who had run unsuccessfully for mayor of Winnipeg in 1931 and 1932 and whose wife Rose, was Jewish, was elected as an alderman for Ward 3 heading the aldermanic poll in the North End, and Andrew Bileski (Bilecki), Kolisnyk’s successor as general manager at the Co-op, was elected in the same ward as a school trustee, both under the Workers’ Unity League (WUL, the radical and aggressive national union adjunct of the CPC) banner. Martin J. Forkin, formerly of Brandon, who had unsuccessfully contested the mayoralty of Winnipeg in 1933, was elected as a Communist alderman for Ward 3 in 1934, also topping the aldermanic vote in north Winnipeg. Although Leslie Morris, the CPC candidate in Winnipeg North in the federal election of 1930 had not been elected, he had run a vigorous campaign and obtained more than 2,000 votes, which energized North End Communists. His unsuccessful runs for an aldermanic seat in Ward 3 in 1931, and 1932, when he lost by 32 votes, paved the way for Penner’s and Forkin’s subsequent elections. Penner, who was fluent in German, but given its proximity toYiddish easily made himself understood to a Jewish audience, signed Buck’s nomination papers, along with Kolisnyk and others. Forkin and Penner often appeared on the platform with Buck and spoke at his election campaign meetings in school gyms, assembly rooms, and ethno-cultural group and sports halls throughout the Winnipeg North constituency. Another Communist connection to the Jewish community was through Buck’s campaign manager, James Litterick, who was head of the WUL in Manitoba, Provincial Secretary of the Communist Party in Manitoba and provincial Communist election campaign manager. Litterick’s wife, the former Molly Bassin, was Jewish. And from Moscow, where he was undergoing medical treatment, William Z. Foster, the Chairman of the Communist Party of the United States, sent Buck best wishes for his electoral success, noting that in past years on visits to Canada he had spoken to “ the workers of North Winnipeg” and expressing the hope that they would elect Buck as “their champion”. [53]

Jews were “largely responsible for the introduction and development of the dressing, dyeing and finishing of furs and the manufacture of fur clothing, men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and hats and caps in Winnipeg.” The early 1930s had seen a number of lengthy, vicious strikes and lockouts in Winnipeg’s garment industry with its hundreds of Jewish workers as well as several Jewish employers. Indeed, during the election campaign, a threatened strike of 600 to 700 cloakmakers, men and women, was narrowly averted only with the active involvement of the Manitoba government. The numerical strength of Jews in the union was reflected in the fact that a mass meeting to discuss strike action based on demands for higher wages and shorter hours was held at the I. L. Peretz (Yiddish) Folk School auditorium at the corner of Salter Street and Aberdeen Avenue in the geographic heart of the Jewish community. The cloakmakers earlier had been organized under the Industrial Union of the Needle Trades and the WUL, but, during the election campaign, were reorganized as part of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and a collective agreement was signed with employers. [54]

At the same time, fur workers in Winnipeg were organized by the International Fur and Leather Workers’ Union, and 80% of the cap manufacturers in Winnipeg signed agreements with the Cap and Millinery Workers International Union. The organizers and local officials of all three unions were Jewish. Although many of the three unions’ members, such as Max Panitch, a member of the Fur Workers’ Union and the Poale Zion who joined the CCF in 1934, supported Heaps, other Jewish workers such as the employees of the kosher City Bread Company, affiliated with the WUL, reinforced a class political consciousness within the Jewish community and provided Buck with a very dedicated and enthusiastic nucleus of campaign workers. So strong did the Communist cause appear that a few months before the election, Edward J. McMurray had observed that the “fight” was “so close” that he could “estimate that the Communist would be elected.” [55]

Buck and the Communist Party certainly had an appreciation of the importance to his campaign of the Jewish electors in Winnipeg North. On 14 September, the Communist election committee held a banquet and dance in the auditorium of the Talmud Torah. Buck also benefited from being the only candidate to appear at the Hebrew Sick Benefit Association (HSBA) Hall on 4 October, to speak on the topic “My Stand on War” before a standing room only crowd attending a symposium of the North End First Voters Club, founded the previous April to “interest young people in the [f]ederal election campaign”, to encourage them “to cast their ballots and [to acquaint] them with the platform and issues involved.” Buck and Booth accepted the invitation, but Booth withdrew, probably because Heaps would not participate. Heaps replied with regret that his re-election committee objected to the “trickery of this camouflaged Communist group calling itself a first voters club with a handful of [C]ommunist supporters” and to the flyers announcing that Heaps would be in attendance. The First Voters denied Heaps’ allegation, and expressed its appreciation to Buck, who spoke about his opposition to war. [56]

Buck, who advertised in Dos Yiddishe Vort, under the auspices of the Communist Jewish Election Committee, held a meeting in the I. L. Peretz Folk School auditorium on 26 September, where other speakers included Forkin, and Sam Carr (born Shloime or Schmil Kogan or Cohen) in Yiddish. Buck also made a direct appeal to Jewish women voters at a meeting called by the muter farein (mother’s society) of the Freiheit Temple on 1 October. At the same assembly, Carr, the highest-ranking Jew in the CPC and another of the “Toronto Eight”, “whose intelligence and commitment were such that he became a national organizer in 1930” at age 25, six years after he arrived in Canada, spoke. Carr, who was the Communist Party’s federal election national campaign manager and Buck’s right-hand man, and who had earlier in 1935 helped to organize the famous “On-to-Ottawa” March of the Unemployed, was “generally considered to be the real brains of the Party”. Carr, who was also fluent in Ukrainian, spoke to an assembly in the Ukrainian Labour Temple, and addressed in Yiddish the Daughters of Peace at the small Talmud Torah on the topic “War and Fascism”. Buck, with Carr and Alderman Jacob Penner and other Yiddish-speaking Communists, spoke at other Jewish mass meetings at the Talmud Torah and HSBA Hall, appealing to Jewish electors on the theme that “A Vote for Buck is a vote against Fascism and anti-Semitism and for a secure existence in the battle against exploitation and for a Socialist world”, a theme advanced by Carr in an address on a Winnipeg radio station on 12 October. [57]

In addition to holding campaign meetings and mass assemblies, banquets and dances, the Communists “mobilized brigades of workers in car squads, held parties and attacked Heaps with barrages of newspaper articles”, distributed leaflets, and engaged in “large scale door-to-door canvassing.” According to Donald Avery, “[a]ll available manpower and financial resources were mobilized in this attempt to send the CPC national leader to the House of Commons.” During the election campaign, the Winnipeg Free Press commented that every political party gave Buck “credit for conducting an aggressive campaign”, and Dos Yiddishe Vort observed that Buck, “a good speaker” who made a “sympathetic impression”, had “perhaps the best-organized election machine in town” with “a large number of very energetic ‘campaigners’.” After the election, the Manitoba Commonwealth claimed that Buck had “put up a strenuous fight” and the candidate stated that he was “overwhelmed with invitations to supper to Ukrainian and Jewish comrades to meet other Ukrainian and Jewish comrades.” [58]

Nevertheless, in addition to opposition from The Jewish Post, The North-Ender, and both of Winnipeg’s daily newspapers, Buck’s campaign was weakened by the demand of the station manager of CKY radio for pre-approval of the Communist candidate’s speeches and by a common view expressed by the Winnipeg Free Press that the “Communist strength in North Winnipeg ... does not exceed 25 per cent of the vote ... and this is not enough to elect [Buck].” Moreover, Buck’s comments during the election campaign that “anti-Semitism was not a racial [sic] problem, but a class problem” and that it was “used by rich Jews, as well as by rich Gentiles, when it suits their purposes”, most likely did not help Buck to gain the support of Jewish electors who were not Communists or Communist sympathizers. [59]

For the first time since it was founded in 1910, Dos Yiddishe Vort openly endorsed a candidate in a federal election, Heaps, and urged its readers to vote for him because of his “tremendous efforts for the electorate and for the Jewish community who appreciate the importance of Jewish representation in Ottawa.” On the other hand, The Jewish Post hinted at support for Booth and in keeping with its pre-election editorial position reflecting its anti-Communist outlook, when Buck was not elected, the newspaper expressed satisfaction that voters “were determined to prevent a Communist who represented less than twenty-five percent [sic] of the votes from capturing the seat.” [60]

While on election day, 14 October, the Liberals were the “principal beneficiary of the distemper of depression” winning a large majority (171 seats, two Liberal Progressives also were elected) in all provinces except British Columbia and Alberta, on a bright and warm day in Winnipeg, in a heavy turnout in Winnipeg North with 29,321 out of a possible 37,764 electors casting their ballots, Heaps was re-elected. He was one of only two—the other was Woodsworth—CCF candidates elected in Manitoba, and one of only seven elected throughout Canada. Heaps was able to hold off the Liberal wave which swept Manitoba, winning 14 of 17 seats. Although he may not have been as “easy” a “winner” as stated by the Winnipeg Free Press, which claimed that he and Woodsworth had “stag[ed] great fights to retain their seats”, Heaps was victorious at 60 of 99 polls (including the advance) and received the largest number of votes of any candidate running in Manitoba. Heaps obtained 12,093 votes to 8,412 and 19 polls for Booth, who benefited from the national and provincial swing to the Liberals and from the absence of a Conservative candidate, which one source stated was worth between 1,000-2,000 votes. Rather surprisingly, given Buck’s energetic campaign and some pundits’ prognostications—The Winnipeg Evening Tribune commented, for example, that Buck “was thought to be” Heaps’ “chief opposition”—the CPC leader received only 7,276 votes and was victorious at 20 polls. Welwood received 905 votes and lost his deposit. [61]

Heaps thanked his volunteer workers and the voters who had elected him, deploring the return of “dirty politics” and asserting that the candidates opposing him had been supplied by their respective parties with “almost unlimited funds” to defeat him “at any cost”, claims also advanced by the Manitoba Commonwealth. He contended that his campaign had put up a “clean fight”, unlike the Communists of whom he could not “say the same” and whom, he alleged, had engaged in impersonation at the polls. Booth, on the other hand, asserted that Heaps had received a majority of votes from Anglo-Celtic electors who had been “stampeded” by the “somewhat slimy tactics” of Conservative Party strategists and The Winnipeg Evening Tribune, a collusion denied by the newspaper, to vote for Heaps in order to ensure Buck’s defeat. According to Booth, “Buck was never a threat”, only a “red herring” and Winnipeg North was “not even slightly pink”, let alone “red”. Booth also claimed, and there is evidence to support his contention, that he had received the majority of votes from electors of Ukrainian, Polish, German, and other non- Anglo-Celtic ancestries, “the so-called ‘foreign voters’ of North Winnipeg”. Indeed, on 26 September at a meeting at Prosvita Hall at Flora Avenue and McKenzie Street, all the non-Communist Ukrainian organizations pledged their support to Booth because they believed the Liberal platform would “serve our present day ills and improve conditions in Canada and especially solve the problem of unemployment.” In this northwestern part of the constituency, where there few Jewish electors, of 25 polls, Booth won 15, Buck nine, and Heaps only one. Heaps, furthermore, finished third at 22 of the 25 polls, often trailing Booth and Buck by considerable margins. If, however, Booth included Jews in his claim, he was wrong. [62]

An historian of the CPC in Winnipeg has commented that Buck was the only Communist candidate of 13 to save his deposit, and that the election “showed that the political fortunes of the Communist Party were on the upswing; the great improvement in its organizational structure was of considerable importance in its success.” Nevertheless, running third, let alone not winning, must have been, as the triumphalist Manitoba Commonwealth put it, “the shock of his life” for Buck, “whom the Communists thought was another Stalin”. According to this interpretation, “outside that section of the Ukrainian population who [we]re being led by the Communists,” the electors of Winnipeg North “did not want anything to do with that class of ideas and ... said so in no uncertain voice.” Buck had received “a stinging defeat”, and amid the “wailing and gnashing of teeth” at Communist headquarters, a planned victory demonstration and dinner for Buck were cancelled, and the lights were shut off and the office closed shortly after the returns came in. [63]

One interpretation of the election result in Winnipeg North suggests that the “labour vote ... continued to elect” Heaps—and the CCF candidate did exceedingly well in the Anglo-Celtic working class areas in the northern part of the North End, sweeping all 23 polls on streets such as Atlantic, Bannerman, and Cathedral, and in Elmwood, an outcome recognized by Buck, who claimed that “the English” elected Heaps. While The Jewish Post was not incorrect in stating that “Jewish citizens voted as individuals, definitely destroying the myth that there existed a ‘Jewish vote’”, it was the support of Jewish voters that was critical to Heaps’ triumph. As Ivan Avakumovic has noted, “Buck gained fewer Jewish votes” than did Heaps. Indeed, Heaps won, frequently by margins of two or three or more to one, 25 of the 27 polls closest to the centre of the Jewish community, on streets such as Aberdeen and Redwood, and was second to Buck at the two polls won by the Communist candidate. Booth did not win any of the 27 polls, coming in second at 15 and third at 12, while Buck was second at 10 and third at 15. The importance of the votes of Jewish electors to Heaps’ success was illustrated by a commentary on the editorial page of The Winnipeg Evening Tribune which, referring to Heaps as “Abie”, ironically touched on a Jewish, perhaps anti-Semitic, linguistic stereotype: “Mr. Heaps’ rooms had spilled their contents onto the sidewalk. Babble, babble, babble. ‘I tell you yet Mr. Fingelstraum a triumph it is and I can prove it.’ ‘Am I so pleased too I want you to know’.” As Dos Yiddishe Vort, which expressed happiness with Heaps’ electoral success, commented, Heaps obtained his largest majorities from the “dedicated English working class population” in Elmwood and from the “devoted Jewish quarters”, noting that “the Jewish districts have again given [Heaps] their confidence.” [64]

Heaps’ re-election demonstrated both ethnic and class voting by the Jewish community of Winnipeg North. For some Winnipeg Jews, Heaps’ ethnicity and religion, and therefore, the supposition that he would have a particular sensitivity to and understanding of Jewish concerns, were of greatest significance in how they cast their ballots—for one of “their own”. For others, however, the social democratic principles represented by Heaps and the CCF determined their vote and perhaps for a majority of Jewish electors, both factors combined resulted in their support for Heaps. Of paramount importance to his Jewish supporters, however, Heaps’ victory ensured that he would continue to represent their interests and concerns in Parliament for the next five years.


This article is an abbreviated version of a paper presented to the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association, Nineteenth Biennial Conference, “Ethnicity, Civil Society, and Public Policy: Engaging Cultures in a Globalizing World”, held at the Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, 28 September 2007. I wish to thank Professor James Mochoruk, Department of History, University of North Dakota, for his herculean efforts in helping to shorten the original paper and for his constructive comments and suggestions; Bob Coutts, Editor in Chief, and Professor Nolan Reilly, Associate and Reviews Editor, Manitoba History, for their constructive comments and suggestions; Professor L. Gordon Goldsborough, Gazette and Photo Editor, Manitoba History, for his photography and graphics; Samuel Trachtenberg, my father, for translating relevant sections of Dos Yiddishe Vort and The Jewish Post from Yiddish to English and for his comments on the larger version of this article; my friend, Randy Rostecki, for his analysis of the polls closest to the geographic centre of the Winnipeg Jewish community and for his comments on the larger version of this article; the staff of the Legislative Library of Manitoba for the many research liberties granted me; and my son, Michael Trachtenberg, for typing the original paper.

1. The Jewish Post (hereafter JP), 10 October 1935. See also The Canadian Jewish Chronicle (Montreal) (hereafter CJC), 11 October 1935.

2. Ivan Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada: A History (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1975), p. 94; Norman Penner, Canadian Communism: The Stalin Years and Beyond (Toronto: Methuen Pubs., 1988), p. 149. In 1935, The Jewish Post also published two pages in Yiddish per issue.

3. Franca Iacovetta, The Writing of English Canadian Immigrant History, Canada’s Ethnic Group Series, Booklet No. 22 (Ottawa: The Canadian Historical Association, 1997), p. 2; Gerald Friesen and Royden Loewen, “Romantics, Pluralists, Postmodernists: Writing Ethnic History in Prairie Canada”, in Gerald Friesen, River Road: Essays on Manitoba and Prairie History (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1996), p. 183.

4. Canada, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Seventh Census of Canada 1931, vol. II, Population by Areas, vol. III, Ages of the People (Ottawa: Dept. of Trade and Commerce, 1933, 1935), pp. 704-05, and 306, 442, Census of the Prairie Provinces 1936, vol. I, Population and Agriculture (Ottawa: Dept. of Trade and Commerce, 1938), pp. 64-65, 106-107; Louis Rosenberg, Canada’s Jews: A Social and Economic Study of the Jews in Canada and The Jewish Community of Winnipeg: A Statistical Study (Montreal: Bureau of Social and Economic Research, Canadian Jewish Congress, 1939, 1946), pp. 34-47, 322, and17, 36-65, 76-78; Irving Abella, “Presidential Address: Jews, Human Rights, and the Making of a New Canada”, Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 2000, New Series, vol.11, pp. 4-5, and A Coat of Many Colours: Two Centuries of Jewish Life in Canada (Toronto: Key Porter Books Ltd., 1990, 1999), pp. 179-188; Winnipeg Free Press (hereafter WFP), 25 September 1935; Gerald Tulchinsky, Branching Out: The Transformation of the Canadian Jewish Community (Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 1998), pp. 1-2.

5. In 1931, 35.6% of Winnipeg’s Jews were engaged in the retail and wholesale trade, 23.4% in manufacturing, 12.3% in clerical positions, and 7.2% in the professions. More than 550 Jewish men and women—the numbers grew substantially in the next few years—more than 25% of the total, were employed as an urban proletariat in the garment industry. Others worked for the railways and in the building trades. See WFP, 21,26,27,28,30 September 1935; Winnipeg Evening Tribune (hereafter WET), 6,7,16,30 September 1935; Rosenberg, The Jewish Community of Winnipeg, pp. 17, 36-65, 76-78; Henry Trachtenberg, “The Winnipeg Jewish Community and Politics: The Inter-War Years, 1919-1939”, MHS Transactions, Series III, Nos. 34 and 35, 1977-78 and 1978-79, pp. 115-53.

6. Tulchinsky, Branching Out, pp. 7-8; Rosenberg, The Jewish Community of Winnipeg, pp. 11-27.

7. Arthur Chiel, The Jews in Manitoba: A Social History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press,1961). pp. 25-42, 133-34; Harry Gutkin, Journey into Our Heritage: The Story of the Jewish People in the Canadian West (Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1980), pp. 25-32, 39-48, 102, 199-201; Stephen Isaacs, Jews and American Politics (New York: Doubleday, 1974), pp. 15-16; Gerald Tulchinsky, “The Contours of Canadian Jewish History”, Journal of Canadian Studies Winter, 1982-83, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 46,52; Bernard L. Vigod, The Jews in Canada, Canada’s Ethnic Groups Series, Booklet No.7 (Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association, 1991), p. 12; Henry Trachtenberg, “Peddling, Politics, and Winnipeg’s Jews, 1891-1895: The Political Acculturation of an Urban Immigrant Community”, Social History, Mai-May, 1996, vol. XXIX, no. 57, pp. 159-86.

8. Isaacs, Jews and American Politics, pp. 15-16.

9. Rosenberg, The Jewish Community of Winnipeg, pp. 11, 17-18, 20; Trachtenberg “The Winnipeg Jewish Community and Politics: The Inter-War Years, 1919-1939”, MHS Transactions, 1978-79, pp. 115-53; Howard Palmer, Ethnicity and Politics in Canada Since Confederation, Canada’s Ethnic Groups Series, Booklet No. 17 (Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association, 1991), p. 11.

10. Trachtenberg, “The Winnipeg Jewish Community and Politics: The Inter-War Years, 1919-1939”, MHS Transactions, 1978-79, pp. 115-53; Tulchinsky, Branching Out, pp. 9,123; James Naylor, “Canadian Labour Politics and the British Model, 1920-50”, in Phillip Buckner and R. Douglas Francis, eds., Canada and the British World: Culture, Migration, and Identity (Vancouver, Toronto: UBC Press, 2006), p. 289.

11. Harry and Mildred Gutkin, The Worst of Times, The Best of Times: Growing up in Winnipeg’s North End (Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside,1987), p. 20.

12. John Herd Thompson and Allan Seager, Canada 1922-1939: Decades of Discord (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1985), pp. 227-29; Leo Heaps, The Rebel in the House: The Life and Times of A. A. Heaps, M.P., rev. and enl. ed. (Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1984), p. 149; Craig Heron, “Buck, Timothy”, and Allen Seager, “Heaps, Abraham Albert”, in James Marsh, ed., The Canadian Encyclopedia Year 2000 Edition (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1999), pp. 319,1056; Dos Yiddishe Vort (hereafter DYV), 15 October 1935; Penner, Canadian Communism, p. 149; Roland Penner, A Glowing Dream: A Memoir (Winnipeg: J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, 2007), p. 49.

13. Penner, A Glowing Dream, pp. 41,49-50.

14. JP, 8, 22 August 1935; The North-Ender (hereafter NE), 25 July, 8, 15, 22, 29 August, 19 September 1935; WFP, 25 September 1935. Although an H. H. Stevens Club organized by a Jewish dentist, A. C. Brotman, who became its treasurer, was formed in the North End, and received significant coverage in The Jewish Post and The North-Ender, the Reconstruction Party did not nominate a candidate in Winnipeg North. WET, 5, 7 October 1935; WFP, 5 October 1935; JP, 8 August 1935.

15. A. L. Normandin, ed., The Canadian Parliamentary Guide 1930, 1936 (Ottawa: Parliament of Canada and Provincial Legislatures, 1930, 1936),pp.168,185; Seager, “Heaps, Abraham Albert”, in Marsh, ed., The Canadian Encyclopedia Year 2000 Edition, p. 1056; Harry and Mildred Gutkin, Profiles in Dissent: The Shaping of Radical Thought in the Canadian West (Edmonton: NeWest Pubs. Ltd., 1996), pp.299-325; Kenneth McNaught, A Prophet in Politics: A Biography of J. S. Woodsworth (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1959), pp. 119-20,168-71,219-20; Susan Mann Trofimenkoff, Stanley Knowles: The Man from Winnipeg North Centre (Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1982), pp. 106-08; David Walden, “‘Following the Gleam’: The Political Philosophy of J. S. Woodsworth”, in J. William Brennan, ed., “Building the Co-operative Commonwealth”: Essays on the Democratic Socialist Tradition in Canada (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina, 1985), pp. 48-49; Allen Mills, Fool for Christ: The Political Thought of J. S. Woodsworth (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991), pp. 122-23; Grace MacInnis, J. S. Woodsworth: A Man to Remember (Toronto: The Macmillan Co. of Canada Ltd., 1953),pp.185-93; Robert Bothwell, Ian Drummond, and John English, Canada, 1900-1945 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press,1987), pp. 205-06,227; DYV, 8 October 1935; Dominion of Canada, Official Report of Debates House of Commons, 1935, vol.1 (Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1935), p. 151. At the national level, the electoral platform of Woodsworth and the CCF was based on the Regina Manifesto of 1933. Maclean’s, 15 September 1935, vol. 48, no. 18, pp.11, 31-32.

16. Heaps, The Rebel in the House, pp. 123-46; Gutkin, Profiles in Dissent, pp. 328-333; WET, 12 September, 10, 11 October 1935. Heaps’ importance to Woodsworth, who appeared with Heaps at a campaign meeting on 10 October, and to the CCF and its parliamentary group, was evident in 1935 when Woodsworth asked Heaps to take up the matter with Secretary of State Charles Cahan of the Reverend Stanley Knowles’ citizenship status. Heaps did so. Knowles, who was born in the United States, wished to seek the federal CCF nomination in the constituency of Winnipeg South Centre in the election of 1935. Knowles, who spoke on behalf of Heaps at the latter’s first campaign meeting, was naturalized, nominated, ran, and lost. Manitoba Commonwealth (hereafter MC), 13 September, 4 October 1935; Trofimenkoff, Stanley Knowles, pp. 179-80; Dominion of Canada, Official Report of Debates House of Commons, 1933 (Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1933), vol.III, pp. 2685-2686, 3262, vol. IV, pp. 3810, 3838-3840, 4013, 4047, 4103, 4329, vol.V, 4617, 4725; Official Report of Debates House of Commons, 1932-1933, Index Volume (Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1933), p. 75, 1934, Index Volume (Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1935), p. 84, 1935, Index Volume (Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1936), pp. 90-91.

17. Gutkin, Profiles in Dissent, p. 334; Irving Abella and Harold Troper, None is too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948 (Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1983), p. 10; Heaps, The Rebel in the House, pp. 130, 132; Simon Belkin, Through Narrow Gates: A Review of Jewish Immigration, Colonization and Immigrant Aid Work in Canada (1840-1940) (Montreal: Eagle Pub., 1966), pp. 170, 174, 221; Ivan Avakumovic, Socialism in Canada: A Study of the CCF-NDP in Federal and Provincial Politics (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1978), pp. 83-84; Michael Marrus, Mr. Sam: The Life and Times of Samuel Bronfman (Toronto: Viking, Penguin Books Canada,1991), p. 260; JP, 12, 19 September 1935; DYV, 4 October 1935.

18. Thomas Peterson, “Manitoba: Ethnic and Class Politics”, in Martin Robin, ed., Canadian Provincial Politics: The Party Systems of the Ten Provinces, second ed., (Scarborough: Prentice-Hall, 1978), p. 86; DYV, 8 October 1935, 27 February 1940; WFP, 24 September, 16 October 1935; WET, 16, 24, 25, 30 September, 7 October 1935; MC, 9 August 1935; NE, 12 September 1935; Archives of Manitoba (hereafter AM), Clara Fainstein Collection, MG14 C63, Blumberg and Gray interview files; Manitoba Legislative Library Biography Scrapbooks B11, pp. 25, 182, B12, p.231; A. L. Normandin, ed., The Canadian Parliamentary Guide 1933 and 1938, Pierre Normandin, ed., The Canadian Parliamentary Guide 1966 (Ottawa: Parliament of Canada and Provincial Legislatures, 1933,1938,1966), pp. 395, 447, 546-47; Henderson Directories Ltd., comp., Henderson’s Winnipeg Directory 1935, vol. LVII (Winnipeg: Henderson Directories Ltd., 1935), pp. 209, 589, 786, 1168; Naylor, “Canadian Labour Politics and the British Model, 1920-50”, in Buckner and Francis, eds., Canada and the British World: Culture, Migration, and Identity, pp. 289, 292, 296. During the election campaign, Hyman also spoke on behalf of Woodsworth, the Reverend Stanley Knowles, CCF candidate in Winnipeg South Centre, and the CCF candidate in the constituency of Springfield. WFP, 23 September 1935; WET, 28 September 1935; MC, 16 August 1935.

19. DYV, 24 September, 1, 4, 11 October 1935; JP, 22 August, 26 September 1935; NE, 10 October 1935; Joan Sangster, “Women and the New Era: The Role of Women in the Early CCF, 1933-1940”, in Brennan, ed., “Building the Co-operative Commonwealth”: Essays on the Democratic Socialist Tradition in Canada, pp. 86-87; MC, 5 April, 9, 23 August, 13 September, 4, 11 October 1935.

20. DYV, 1 October 1935.

21. Ibid., 24 September, 4, 8 October 1935; WET, 6 September, 12 October 1935; NE, 5 September 1935. Some clothing workers’ unions in Montreal and Toronto, with large numbers of Jewish members, contributed $10 each to Heaps’ campaign.

22. DYV, 1 October 1935; WFP, 12 October 1935; WET, 12 October 1935; NE, 12 September 1935.

23. Heaps, The Rebel in the House, p. 149; Norman Penner, Canadian Communism: The Stalin Years and Beyond, p. 102; DYV, 1, 4, 11 October 1935;WFP,12 October 1935; WET, 12,17 September 1935; MC, 13 September 1935; Communist Party of Canada, We Propose... Resolutions (Toronto: New Era Publishers,Ltd., December 1937), p.71.

24. DYV, 11 October 1935; see also Lita-Rose Betcherman, The Little Band: The Clashes Between the Communists and the Political and Legal Establishment of Canada, 1928-1932 (Ottawa: Deneau Pubs.,1982), p. 98, and Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada, pp. 13, 122.

25. DYV, 1,4,11 October 1935; Library and Archives Canada (hereafter LAC), Abraham Albert Heaps Papers, MG27 III C22, vol.1, Palestine file, Isaac Rokach, Tel Aviv, to Heaps, 24 April 1933, M. A. Marshall, Montreal, to Heaps, 5 May 1933, Heaps to J. Hestrin, New York City, 8 May 1933; Heaps, The Rebel in the House, p. 30.

26. WET, 3, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16 October 1935; Dominion of Canada, Official Report of Debates House of Commons, 1934 (Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1934), vol. III, pp. 2534-40, 3138-41, 3223, 3231, 3234, 3246-47, 3434-35, 3444.

27. WFP, 3, 9, 10, 11 October 1935.

28. NE, 15 August 1935; JP, 22 August 1935.

29. NE, 15 August 1935.

30. JP, 22 August 1935.

31. Ibid.

32. Ibid.

33. NE, 22 August 1935.

34. WET, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 18, 21, 22, 23 September, 5, 7, 9 October 1935; WFP, 14, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25 September, 5 October 1935; JP, 8 August 1935; DYV, 21, 23 August 1935; MC, 27 September 1935; conversation with Bernie Bellan, son of Joseph Bellan, Winnipeg, 24 July 2009.

35. JP, 26 September, 10 October 1935; DYV, 27 September, 1, 4, 8, 11 October 1935; NE, 19 September, 17 October 1935; WET, 10, 20, 24 September, 5, 7 October 1935; WFP, 21, 24, 26 September, 5 October 1935.

36. LAC, William Lyon Mackenzie King Papers, MG26 J1, vol. 200, S. Hart Green to King, 2 June 1934, and King to Green, 4 June 1934, pp. 170843-44; JP, 1,8,22,29 August, 5,12 September 1935; NE, 8 August, 26 September 1935; WET, 19,21 September 1935; WFP, 20, 25 September, 3 October 1935; Mills, Fool for Christ, pp. 101-102; Henderson Directories Ltd., comp., Henderson’s Winnipeg Directory 1935, pp. 687, 1295; Robert A. Wardhaugh, Mackenzie King and the Prairie West (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000), p. 177. Davidson’s first name and initials cannot be fully ascertained.

37. JP, 8, 29 August, 12 September, 3, 10 October 1935; WFP, 20, 25 September 1935.

38. Maclean’s, 15 September 1935, vol. 48, no. 18, pp. 10, 29, 30-31, and 15 October 1935,vol. 48, no. 20, pp. 40-41; H. Blair Neatby, “William Lyon Mackenzie King: The Conciliator in Politics”, in Neatby, The Politics of Chaos (Toronto: Macmillan, 1972), pp. 78-80, and William Lyon Mackenzie King 1932-1939: The Prism of Unity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976), pp. 33-39; J. L. Granatstein, Irving Abella, David Bercuson, R. Craig Brown, and Blair Neatby, Twentieth Century Canada (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 1983), p. 226; The Honourable Vincent Massey, ed., The Liberal Way: A Record of Opinion on Canadian Problems as Expressed and Discussed at the First Liberal Summer Conference, Port Hope, September 1933 (Toronto: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1933); JP, 22 August, 12, 19 September, 3 October 1935; NE,10 October 1935; WFP, 20, 23, 24, 26, 28 September, 11 October 1935; WET, 17, 24, 27 September, 7, 10 October 1935. Booth often advertised under the slogan “Vote Liberal—Get Action” in concert with the Liberal candidates for the other three federal constituencies in Winnipeg, and in this general advertising sponsored by the Joint Publicity Committee of the Winnipeg Liberal Candidates, Booth’s policies reflected those of the national Liberal party. WFP, 20 September, 10, 11 October 1935; WET, 21 September, 12 October 1935; DYV, 4 October 1935; NE, 26 September, 10 October 1935.

39. WET, 24 September, 7 October 1935; WFP, 24,26 September, 11 October 1935; JP, 8 August, 12,19 September 1935; NE, 10 October 1935.

40. JP, 12, 19 September, 3 October 1935; DYV, 1 October 1935; NE, 29 August, 12, 19, 26 September 1935; MC, 27 September 1935; WFP, 23, 24, 26 September 1935; Henderson Directories Ltd., comp., Henderson’s Winnipeg Directory 1935, pp. 741, 882, 891, 1029.

41. Henderson Directories Ltd., comp., Henderson’s Winnipeg Directory 1935, p. 777; WET, 12 September, 7 October 1935; JP, 12 September 1935.

42. JP, 12, 19, 26 September, 3, 10 October 1935; DYV, 24 September, 1 October 1935; NE, 12, 19, 26 September, 10 October 1935; WFP, 20, 23, 24, 27 September 1935; WET, 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30 September, 4, 5, 8, 10 October 1935; Henderson Directories Ltd., comp., Henderson’s Winnipeg Directory 1935, p.1180. See the full page Mackenzie King advertisements in WET, 11 October 1935, and DYV, 27 September 1935.

43. JP, 12, 26 September, 3, 10 October 1935; WFP, 20, 24, 27 September, 8, 10, 11 October 1935; WET, 21, 25, 28, 30 September, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12 October 1935; DYV, 24, 27 September, 4 October 1935; NE, 26 September, 10 October 1935.

44. WFP, 23, 25 September, 3, 10 October 1935; WET, 23 September, 8, 10 October 1935; JP, 12, 19 September, 3, 10 October 1935; DYV, 24 September, 4, 8, 11 October 1935.

45. JP, 19 September, 3, 10 October 1935; DYV, 24 September, 4, 8, 11 October 1935; WET, 23 September, 8, 10 October 1935; WFP, 23, 25 September, 10 October 1935.

46. Neatby, William Lyon Mackenzie King 1932-1939, p. 304; WFP, 3 October 1935; WET, 3 October 1935; Vigod, The Jews in Canada, p. 12; John Herd Thompson, Ethnic Minorities During Two World Wars, Canada’s Ethnic Groups Series, Booklet No. 19 (Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association, 1991), p. 11; Abella, A Coat of Many Colours, pp. 193, 199-200.

47. Heron, “Buck, Timothy”, in Marsh, ed., The Canadian Encyclopedia Year 2000 Edition, p. 319; William Rodney, Soldiers of the International (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968), pp. 148, 163; Penner, Canadian Communism, pp. 65,91,101; William Beeching and Phyllis Clarke, eds., Yours in the Struggle: Reminiscences of Tim Buck (Toronto: NC Press, 1977), pp. 19-149; Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada, p.11; Betcherman, The Little Band, p. 8; Communist Party of Canada, Canada’s Party of Socialism: History of the Communist Party of Canada 1921-1976 (Toronto: Progress Books, 1982), p. 23, footnote no. 43; MC, 11 October 1935.

48. Betcherman, The Little Band, pp. 211-215; Ian Angus, Canadian Bolsheviks: The Early Years of the Communist Party of Canada (Montreal: Vanguard Pubs., 1981), p. 327; Rodney, Soldiers of the International, pp. 158, 160, 163; Penner, Canadian Communism, pp. 118-22; Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada, pp. 87-90; Donald Avery, “Dangerous Foreigners”: European Immigrant Workers and Labour Radicalism in Canada, 1896-1932 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979), pp. 138-39; WFP, 19 September 1935; J. Petryshyn, “Class Conflict and Civil Liberties: The Origins and Activities of the Canadian Labour Defense League, 1925-1940”, Labour/Le Travailleur, Autumn, 1982, vol.10, pp. 46-61.

49. Walter D. Young, The Anatomy of a Party: The National CCF 1932-61, reprinted (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969, 1971), pp. 259-64; Nelson Wiseman, Social Democracy in Manitoba: A History of the CCF/NDP (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1983), pp. 18-19, 38-39; Aloysius Balawyder, Canadian-Soviet Relations between the World Wars (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972), pp. 188-90; Norman Penner, The Canadian Left: A Critical Analysis (Scarborough: Prentice-Hall of Canada Ltd., 1977), pp. 146-57, Canadian Communism, pp. 75, 113, and From Protest to Power: Social Democracy in Canada 1900-Present (Toronto: James Lorimer, 1992), p. 65; Neatby, “J. S. Woodsworth-Christian Socialist”, in Neatby, The Politics of Chaos: Canada in the Thirties, pp. 99-100; Avakumovic, Socialism in Canada, pp. 107-09, and The Communist Party in Canada: A History, p.68; Michael Horn, The League for Social Reconstruction: Intellectual Origins of the Democratic Left in Canada 1930-1942 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980), pp. 71-73, 102; Mills, Fool for Christ, pp. 132-137; CCF National Office, “Unity Through the CCF. CCF Rejects Communist Stalling Tactics” (pamphlet) (Ottawa: CCF National Office, 1943(?)), pp. 1-4; WFP, 19,21,28 September 1935; MC, 16 August 1935; WET, 24 September 1935; Dean McHenry, The Third Force in Canada: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 1932-1948 (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1950), p. 119; John Manley, “‘Audacity, audacity, still more audacity: Tim Buck, the Party, and the People, 1932-1939”, Labour/Le Travail, Spring, 2002, vol. 49, pp. 17, 25; Abella, A Coat of Many Colours, p. 177; Ian McKay, “For a New Kind of History: 100 Years of Canadian Socialism”, Labour/Le Travail, Fall, 2000, vol. 46, pp. 90, 94-96; LAC, Abraham Albert Heaps Papers, MG27 III C22, vol. 2, Communist election material, in Clippings File, 1921-41; Naylor, “Canadian Labour Politics and the British Model, 1920-50”, in Buckner and Francis, eds., Canada and the British World, pp. 293, 295.

50. Beeching and Clarke,eds., Yours in the Struggle, pp. 254-55; Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada, pp. 93-94; Rodney, Soldiers of the International, pp. 158, 160, 163; Penner, Canadian Communism, pp. 118-20, and “Communist Party of Canada”, in Marsh, ed., Canadian Encyclopedia Year 2000 Edition, p. 525; Erna Paris, “The Downhill Plunge”, in Jews: An Account of Their Experience in Canada (Toronto: Macmillan, 1980), pp. 178-79; Horn, The League for Social Reconstruction, pp. 13, 45, 59; Balawyder, Canadian-Soviet Relations between the World Wars, pp. 181-85; MC, 5 April, 28 June, 16,23 August, 13, 27 September, 11 October 1935; Communist Party of Canada, What the Communist Party Stands For: Plain Talks on Vital Problems (February 1934, first ed. pamphlet), third rev.ed. (Toronto: Communist Party of Canada, July 1936), pp. 46-48, 51-54, 88-92;WFP, 21 September 1935; Maclean’s, 15 September 1935, vol. 48, no. 18, p. 32. Woodsworth’s daughter, Grace MacInnis, recalled a disagreeable meeting between her father and Buck at Woodsworth’s house in the summer of 1937. She probably meant the 1935 meeting. MacInnis, J. S. Woodsworth: A Man to Remember, pp. 289-91.

51. MC, 16, 23 August, 13, 27 September, 11 October 1935; WET, 16 September 1935; John Manley, “‘Audacity, audacity, still more audacity”: Tim Buck, the Party, and the People, 1932-1939”, Labour/Le Travail, Spring, 2002, vol. 49, pp. 15-16; Palmer, Ethnicity and Politics in Canada Since Confederation, p.13.

52. Peterson, “Manitoba: Ethnic and Class Politics”, in Robin, ed., Canadian Provincial Politics, second ed., pp. 86-87; Bothwell, Drummond, English, Canada, 1900-1945, p. 264; WFP, 27 September 1935; WET, 15 October 1935; Avakumovic, Socialism in Canada, p. 109, and The Communist Party in Canada, p. 122; Mills, Fool for Christ, p. 132.

53. Betcherman, The Little Band, pp. 58, 98-103; A. B. McKillop,“The Communist as Conscience: Jacob Penner and Winnipeg Civic Politics, 1934-1935”, in A. R. McCormack and Ian Macpherson, eds., Cities in the West: Papers of the Western Canada Urban History Conference (Ottawa: National Museum of Canada, 1975), pp. 181-209; Penner, Canadian Communism, pp. 84, 122-23; Donald Avery, “Ethnic loyalties and the Proletarian Revolution: A Case Study of Communist Political Activity in Winnipeg, 1923-1936”, in Tissa Fernando and Jorgen Dahlie, eds., Ethnicity, Power and Politics in Canada (Toronto: Methuen Pub., 1981), pp. 68-73; Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada, pp. 60-63, and Socialism in Canada, p. 109; Rodney, Soldiers of the International, pp. 86, 136, 148, 167-68; Communist Party of Canada, Canada’s Party of Socialism, pp. 69, 114-16; Orest Martynowych, Ukrainians in Canada: The Formative Years 1891-1924 (Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, 1991), pp. 276, 428, 436, 507-08; Mochoruk, The People’s Co-op: The Life and Times of a North End Institution, pp. 9, 35, 65; Lloyd Stinson, Political Warriors: Recollections of a Social Democrat (Winnipeg: Queenston House Pub., 1975), pp. 254-56; WFP, 29 July 1930, 20,26 September 1935; WET, 29 July 1930, 12, 16, 20, 26, 30 September, 7, 15 October 1935; DYV, 24 September, 8 October 1935; MC, 18 October 1935; Mills, Fool for Christ, p. 132; John Kolasky, The Shattered Illusion: The History of Ukrainian Pro-Communist Organizations in Canada (Toronto: PMA Books, 1979), pp. 2-8, 14, 17-18; A. L. Normandin, ed., The Canadian Parliamentary Guide 1937 (Ottawa: Parliament of Canada and Legislatures of the various Provinces, 1937), p. 434; Irving Abella, Nationalism, Communism, and Canadian Labour: The C10, The Communist Party, and the Canadian Congress of Labour 1935-1956 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973), pp. 3-4; John Manley, “Moscow Rules? (Red) Unionism and ‘Class Against Class’ in Britain, Canada, and the United States, 1928-1935”, Labour/Le Travail, Fall 2005, vol. 56, pp. 9-49; Ken Coates and Fred McGuiness, Manitoba: The Province and the People (Edmonton: Hurtig Pubs. Ltd., 1987), p. 131: A. Grenke, “From Dreams of the Worker State to Fighting Hitler: The German-Canadian Left from the Depression to the end of World War II”, Labour/Le Travail, Spring 1995, vol. 35, p. 68.

54. Rosenberg, A Population Study of the Winnipeg Jewish Community: A Statistical Study, pp. 55, 58-59; Abella, A Coat of Many Colours, pp. 168-71, 177; James Gray, The Winter Years: The Depression on the Prairies (Toronto: Macmillan, 1966), pp. 132-40; Doug Smith, Let us Rise! A History of the Manitoba Labour Movement (Vancouver: New Star Books, 1985), pp. 63, 82-84, and Joe Zuken: Citizen and Socialist (Toronto: James Lorimer, 1990), pp. 48-49; Beeching and Clarke, eds., Yours in the Struggle, pp. 254-55; James Mochoruk and Donna Webber, “Women in the Winnipeg Garment Trade, 1929- 45”, in Mary Kinnear, ed., First Days, Fighting Days: Women in Manitoba History (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina, 1987), pp. 134-148; John Manley, “Canadian Communists, Revolutionary Unionism, and the ‘Third Period’: The Workers’ Unity League, 1929-1935”, Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 1994, New Series, vol. 5, pp.167-191; Bruce Donaldson, “Sam Herbst, the ILGWU, and Winnipeg” (unpublished research paper, University of Manitoba, Spring 1976); WFP,21, 25, 26, 28 September 1935; WET, 13, 21, 26, 30 September, 4 October 1935; MC, 2, 16, 23, 30 August, 13,20 September, 4, 11 October 1935; Mercedes Steedman,“The Promise: Communist Organizing in the Needle Trades, The Dressmakers’ Campaign”, Labour/Le Travail, Fall 1994, vol. 34, pp. 40, 53-54, 67-73.

55. LAC, Samuel W. Jacobs Papers, MG27 III C3, vol. 8, McMurray to Jacobs, 5 April 1935, p. 2909; DYV, 4, 8 October 1935; Leo Panitch, “Back to the Future: Contextualizing the Legacy”, in Daniel Stone, ed., Jewish Radicalism in Winnipeg, 1905-1960, Jewish Life and Times, vol. VIII (Winnipeg: Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, 2001), p. 11; WET, 6,25 September, 9 October 1935; MC, 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 August, 13, 20, 27 September 1935.

56. WET, 6 September 1935; DYV, 8 October 1935; NE, 10 October 1935.

57. Erna Paris, Jews: An Account of Their Experience in Canada, pp. 167-70; WFP, 26, 30 September 1935; DYV, 24 September, 11 October 1935; WET, 12, 16, 20, 30 September 1935.

58. Heaps, The Rebel in the House, p. 149; Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada, p. 94; WFP, 19, 20, 24 September, 10, 15, 16 October 1935; WET, 12, 16, 24 September, 10 October 1935; DYV, 24 September, 1, 8, 11 October 1935; Avery, “Ethnic Loyalties and the Proletarian Revolution: A Case Study of Communist Political Activity in Winnipeg, 1923-1936”, in Fernando and Dahlie, eds., Ethnicity, Power and Politics in Canada, p. 82; MC, 18 October 1935.

59. WFP, 10, 15, 16 October 1935; WET, 16 September, 8 October 1935; JP, 10 October 1935.

60. DYV, 11 October 1935; JP,10,17 October 1935. The Canadian Jewish Chronicle appears to have embraced the perspectives of both Winnipeg Jewish newspapers, as its editors expressed “a feeling of gratitude that the electorate ... maintained its poise and refused to be stampeded into the arms of political quacks”, and stated that with “our three Jewish” MP’s, Samuel W. Jacobs of Montreal, Sam Factor of Toronto (both Liberals), and Heaps, “our representation in Ottawa remains unchanged.” CJC,18 October 1935.

61. J. Murray Beck, Pendulum of Power: Canada’s Federal Elections (Scarborough: Prentice-Hall, 1 968), pp. 206-21; Granatstein, Abella, Bercuson, Brown, Neatby, Twentieth Century Canada, pp. 225-26; Thompson and Seager, Canada 1922- 1939, pp. 241, 274-76; Neatby, William Lyon Mackenzie King: The Prism of Unity, 1932- 1939, pp.110, 122-23, 125, and “William Lyon Mackenzie King: The Conciliator in Politics”, in Neatby, The Politics of Chaos, p. 80; C. P. Stacey, A Very Double Life: The Private World of Mackenzie King (Toronto: The Macmillan Co. of Canada Ltd.,1976), p. 26; Horn, The League for Social Reconstruction, pp. 54, 73-74; Bothwell, Drummond, English, Canada, 1900-1945, p. 267; Wardhaugh, Mackenzie King and the Prairie West, p. 190; J. E. Rea, T. A. Crerar: A Political Life (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997), p. 170; Avakumovic, Socialism in Canada, p. 93; James Jackson, The Centennial History of Manitoba (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1970), p. 228; Canada, Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Eighteenth General Election 1935 (Ottawa: King’s Printer, 1936), pp. 461-63; A. L. Normandin, ed., The Canadian Parliamentary Guide 1936 (Parliament of Canada and Provincial Legislatures, 1936), p. 355; WFP, 15, 16 October 1935; WET, 14, 15, 16 October 1935.

62. WFP, 28 September, 15,16 October 1935; WET, 28 September, 15, 16 October 1935; Heaps, The Rebel in the House, pp. 148-49; MC, 11, 18 October 1935.

63. WET, 15, 16 October 1935; WFP, 15, 16 October 1935; MC, 18 October 1935, Avery,“Ethnic Loyalties and the Proletarian Revolution: A Case Study of Communist Political Activity in Winnipeg, 1923-1936”, in Fernando and Dahlie, eds., Ethnicity, Power and Politics in Canada, p. 83.

64. Beck, Pendulum of Power: Canada’s Federal Elections, p. 216; Avakumovic, The Communist Party in Canada, pp. 94, 122; WFP, 15 October 1935; WET, 15 October 1935; DYV, 15 October 1935; JP, 17 October 1935.

Page revised: 21 March 2017