Rare photographs of Adrien Arcand and his men during WWII internment

When a patriot can no more mention the enemies of his nation and faith without being arrested — as has happened in this city—it is time that people think of recovering their lost liberty.  And if you don’t work and fight for your liberty, as your forefathers did, with all the lawful means at your disposal, you will get death, without having to ask for it.”

—  Adrien Arcand, 1937 speech published in The Greatest War in History Now On!, International Jewish System Against Patriotism, page 15.


Arcand and his men on July 1st, 1938.
July 1st, 1940, they are in concentration camps.

First convention of the NUPC 1 July 1938

FIRST CONVENTION OF THE NATIONAL UNITY PARTY OF CANADA 1 JULY 1938.  First row, from left to right: Henri Arcand, Gaétan Racicot, Daniel O’Keefe, John Cole, Maurice Scott, Adrien Arcand, Joseph Farr, William Duncan, Stanley Chopp, C.S. Thomas, William McDuff. Second row: John S. Lynds, Marius Gatien, A.G. Smale, John Schio, Jean T. Ramacière, Orner E. Gobeille, Fortunat Bleau, François Padulo, Roméo Biaise, Jean Mercier.  Third row:  Dr. Massina, Hugues Clément, Blaise Lavoie, Louis Leroux, W. Sketcher (or Schecter), Donat Boulanger, E.C. Miller, Leo Brunet, J. Duncan, Gérard Lanctôt.
 
PREMIER CONGRÈS DU PARTI DE L’UNITÉ NATIONAL DU CANADA, 1er JUILLET 1938. Première rang, de gauche à droite:  Henri Arcand, Gaétan Racicot, Daniel O’Keefe, John Cole, Maurice Scott, Adrien Arcand, Joseph Farr, William Duncan, Stanley Chopp, C.S. Thomas, William McDuff.  Deuxième rang:  John S. Lynds, Marius Gatien, A.G. Smale, John Schio, Jean T. Ramacière, Orner E. Gobeille, Fortunat Bleau, François Padulo, Roméo Biaise, Jean Mercier. Troisième rang:  Dr. Massina, Hugues Clément, Blaise Lavoie, Louis Leroux, W. Sketcher (or Schecter), Donat Boulanger, E.C. Miller, Leo Brunet, J. Duncan, Gérard Lanctôt.
 
Source:  Library and Archives Canada, RG146, volume 3516, file “PUNC, Montréal”, pocket 2.  Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, RG146, volume 3516, dossier « PUNC, Montréal », pochette 2.

It’s my understanding that Library and Archives Canada may be negotiating to acquire these or photos similar to the ones below, but they don’t yet have them.  The images offered here today are enlargements of half-tones in Jean Côté’s 1994 book, Adrien Arcand, Une grande figure de notre temps (ISBN 2-9801677-3-8), scanned by archive.org.  In an effort to clear them up, I’ve done a little Photoshopping.

Adrien Arcand and his men in Fredericton concentration camp, WWII

While Ernest Lapointe was Minister of Justice in Ottawa, the French-Canadian detainees, deemed stateless, endured a thousand harassments.  If they refused to work, they wound up in a cell.

Major Maurice J. Scott.*  A strict disciplinarian, he drills his legions – without arms, but in military formations – to a major-general’s taste.


Major Maurice J. Scott*, or “Drillmaster Scott,” as Frederick Edwards dubbed him for Maclean’s on February 15th, 1938, was “Director General of the Fascist Legions” of the National Social Christian Party, which became the National Unity Party of Canada on July 1st, 1938 at Kingston.  Said Maclean’s:

“Major” Scott died during his internment.

“Major” Scott died during his internment.  The Canadian authorities — inhumanely — denied him the right to see his family before he died.

“Major Scott, in spite of his name, is French-Canadian too, descendant of an old Quebec family with mingled Scottish and French ancestry dating back several generations.  Before he started on his present business career as coal, coke, oil, and wood merchant, with a side line of automobile insurance, he was for many years a chief of the Quebec Liquor Com­mission’s private police force, ferreting out liquor smugglers and digging up illicit stills for the manufacture of ‘whiskey blanc’ in the remote backwoods.  Among the mountains of the Southern United States he would have been that much-hated individual, a ‘revenooer.’  The Major comes quite properly by his military title, for he served as recruiting officer and physical instructor with the Eighty-fifth Battalion, C.E.F.  In his youth he was an athlete of note and a member of several Canadian gymnastic squads touring in Europe.  He was on the Canadian Olympic teams of 1908 and 1912, and he claims that in the past twenty years he has trained more than 150,000 youngsters in the numerous French cadet corps in Montreal.

“Stocky and muscular and bald, with a stern mouth set in firm lines, Scott bears a faint resemblance to Mussolini, just as the slender, black eyebrow-mustached Arcand looks something like Sir Oswald Mosley.  The major has a supreme disdain for per­sonal popularity, since, both as a Liquor Commission copper and a C.E.F. recruit­ing agent among the French-Canadians, he never enjoyed any particular good will.  A strict disciplinarian, he drills his legions – without arms, but in military formations – to a major-general’s taste.  Powerful and fit, he is well able to take care of himself in a rough and tumble.  Under his instruction, Arcand’s followers have developed an exact and highly technical routine for chucking Communistic disturbers out of their meetings.  Major Scott acts as body­guard for his leader, who often moves abroad among hostile mobs.”  (The words “without arms” have been underlined because Arcand forbade them to carry weapons, even a small nightstick.)

Arcand's men -- political battle companions in arbitrary detention under the pro-Red Liberals.

Arcand’s men — political battle companions in arbitrary detention under the pro-Red Liberals.  They were Christian patriots and nationalists, with a constitutional right to be so.  Arcand and his men were interned at two locations in World War II, Petawawa camp in Ontario and Fredericton camp in New Brunswick.  The group in this photo spent the war in the Fredericton camp.  Photo from 1943.

Splitting or sawing wood was not a typical form of exercise for Adrien Arcand

Splitting or sawing wood was not a typical form of exercise for Adrien Arcand, whose constitution was rather frail.  “Chief,” said “Major” (Scott), “you’re going to collapse”.  Arcand was frail because he had been ill in his youth.  He spent nine months in bed when a Spanish influenza epidemic left 43,000 dead in Canada, 13,000 of whom were in Quebec, and of those, 3,000 were in Montreal where Arcand was born and lived.  Sources: Adrien Arcand, Une grande figure de notre temps (1994) by Jean Côté; A Short Biography of the Life of Adrien Arcand, NUPC, 1983.

Arcand splits a log in Fredericton concentration camp at New Brunswick.

Arcand splits a log in Fredericton concentration camp at New Brunswick.

Adrien Arcand liked a good game of checkers.

Adrien Arcand liked a good game of checkers.  Can you pick him out in here?

Gérard Lemieux, one of Arcand’s faithful.

Gérard Lemieux, one of Arcand’s faithful.

Two of Arcand's men while away the internment with a little culture.  Concert, anyone?

Two of Arcand’s men while away the internment with a little culture.  Concert, anyone?

Adrien Arcand, back to work

In the concentration camp, everyone has a corner all to himself.  Arcand built a little “home away from home” to sit and work.

Interned in this camp (Fredericton, in NB) for the whole of WWII

A view of the concentration camp at Fredericton where Arcand was interned, with its barbed wire, its hole, its watchtowers.  For the whole war, more than 400 detainees were kept under watch.  There was a group of German prisoners of war who were kept in a separate “compound” and a number of Italo-Canadians and the 80-some members of the National Unity Party … in their own little corner.

Shots of Petawawa Courtesy of Getty

Embed from Getty Images

__________
* Admin.:  I have corrected one man’s name.  Maclean’s had it wrong. It is not Major H.J. Scott, but Major Joseph Maurice Scott.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

2 thoughts on “Rare photographs of Adrien Arcand and his men during WWII internment

  1. Pingback: The July 3rd, 74th Anniversary celebration is already underway! | Down With Hate!

  2. Pingback: Welcome to “Down With Hate!” for the 74th Anniversary of Adrien Arcand’s release from Internment during WWII | Down With Hate!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s