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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chapter Thirty-Four Continued: Wallace Klinck and the Bookstore Incident

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

Though Robert Thompson, then head of the national Social Credit Party had been able to quiet the press somewhat after the Carmichael affair, the stain of anti-Semitism remained: The Toronto Telegram stated: "Neil Carmichael's words are a reflection on the Social Credit Party that is capable of attracting such men." The Globe and Mail remarked: "If Mr. Thompson expects his good faith to be accepted, it is not enough to dismiss remarks like those of Mr. Carmichael as indiscreet." The paper subsequently added that "even if the Social Credit Party now expels Mr. Carmichael, the question will remain whether he is being fired for anti-Semitism or indiscretion." (1)

This method of handling these kinds of situations would continue with the Reform Party under Preston Manning and the Conservative Party under Stephen Harper, though Harper no longer apologizes, he just demands that we accept it.

Then in 1965, another incident would take place that would once again prove that antisemitism was alive and well and living in the Social Credit Party.
In January 1965 Wallace Klinck, a thirty-year old University of Alberta student and campus chairman for the Social Credit party, obtained the approval of Professor Grant Davy, head of the political science department, to make Social Credit literature available in the university bookstore. Klinck approached the manager of the bookstore, N.S. Howe, with a number of books and pamphlets on Social Credit, including six copies of the Protocols. He told Howe that "Social Credit had come under a lot of fire lately on campus and ... students should be given the opportunity to read explanations of exactly what it stands for." Howe accepted the literature.

Once it was discovered that the bookstore was selling anti-Semitic literature the provost of the university immediately ordered the withdrawal of the Protocols. Howe defended his actions by stating: "I didn't know what kind of a publication the Protocols of Zion was. And I didn't expect [the political science department] did either." In fact, Professor Davy was aware of the contents of the Protocols and vehemently disagreed with them. "Nevertheless," he argued, "it seemed to me that it would be useful for students to know the sort of background upon which the Social Credit Party developed. I understand that Premier Manning has disavowed the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' as a part of the philosophy of his government, but there is little doubt ... that Social Credit movements and parties in other areas still refer to it as a basis of their philosophy." (1)
Manning, Orvis Kennedy, the Alberta Social Credit League president, and Owen Anderson (leader of the campus Socreds) immediately cancelled Klinck's membership, and began doing damage control. Anderson declared that Klinck "violated Social Credit party principle" by distributing the Protocols. "We ... do not hold the Protocols' views, and we repudiate people who distribute racist literature." Kennedy declared that the Protocols were "scurrilous, anti-Semitic writing, a forgery" and (falsely) claimed that they had "never been part of the Social Credit literature."
Klinck denied that the Protocols were anti-Semitic but asserted, quite correctly, that they were an integral part of social credit theory originated by Douglas. "The book is a terrible outline for world conquest ... The events that have occurred in the world since it was written would make any thinking person incapable of dismissing it without serious consideration." As for accusations that he was antiSemitic, Klinck said he believed in the dangers of an international financial conspiracy which could lead to a Third World War, but stressed he was not racist or anti-Jewish. "The nucleus of international financiers has its share of Jews in it ... Many records suggest there are a substantial number of Jews involved but this does not in any way involve the entire Jewish people." He also believed that the Alberta Social Credit government "doesn't do enough to bring the truth of Douglas Social Credit philosophy to the people"; hence his decision to distribute the Protocols and other Social Credit literature. It seemed to have worked--by the time the university ordered the books removed the bookstore had sold all six copies of the Protocols.

Premier Manning seemed relatively unperturbed about Social Credit's recurring intolerance. When questioned about the campus bookstore incident on CBC television a year later, he responded only with "deft side-stepping and restrained answers." According to one critical observer: "It was interesting to watch the Premier repudiate the anti-Semitic past of the Social Credit movement ... The anti-Semitic line has now been quietly relegated to the inner circles of the Social Credit Party, where the conspiracy theory of history is far from dead." (1)
Wallace Klinck is still very much a disciple of Social Credit and appears to work tirelessly to promote monetary reform. Says Wallace:
Were consumers paid a measured dividend and retailers adhered to a measured markup there would be in each production cycle ample monetized demand for accountants to feel content that their measures were useful in our struggle to end poverty, recession and forced loss of wages.. (2)
He also continues to support the notion of a Jewish conspiracy theory, though his attacks are limited to the Jewish Lobby. I would hesitate to call that antiSemitism. I myself have often criticized the Israeli Apartheid, but not based on religion, only a country's foreign policy.

However, when notions of a Jewish Conspiracy surface, I'm not OK with that.


1. Beyond the Purge: Reviewing the social credit movement's legacy of intolerance, By Janine Stingel, Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal, Summer, 1999

2. Wallace Klinck's brief lesson, By John Gelles, February 2003

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