The Gestapo At Work On A Canadian Train, Published 24 February 1948I have just been through Nazi Germany right here in Canada., and I didn't think much of what I saw. The scene was the evening train out of Hamilton for Buffalo, and the Gestapo were our own customs men and women. If this is what an austerity means to Canada, we'd better give austerity back to Abbott.
As soon as the train pulled into the TH and B station in Hamilton a swarm of officials clambered over the train, set up shop, and went to work. Until one part of the train was cleared, passengers could not move freely from one part of the train to the other.
Where I sat, in a day coach (No, 82). first came the American, who gave my baggage the quick once over. Much later came the American immigration man. I thought he gave two fine looking people from Kingston too long a going over, but that was his affair.
They were going to Florida, were very nice people and I thought the immigration man laid it on a little thick. Then came the Canadians: in fact, they never stopped coming.
One man comes through to check on the money you are taking. If he is not satisfied, he can institute a search. This may make Mackenzie King's government very happy, but it was not making Mackenzie King's citizens very happy.
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Then came the Canadian customs. This is a new one. They pry over your baggage to see if there is something you must not be exporting.
You must be smuggling out something to sell, they say, Finally came the customs woman. I thought this part most disgusting. Old ladies had to empty their purses, personal questions were directed at motherly old souls whose only sin was that they were going to the States.
The woman official was polite, as were the customs men, but they had to do the work. "Orders from Ottawa" they said. The train climbed the mountain and swung into Welland county. This is the riding of Hon. Humphrey Mitchell. As the Welland passengers, who had seen all this Gestapo stuff, watched the probing and prying and snooping, it is a safe guess that as far as Hon. Humphrey was concerned "there isn't a vote in a Carload."
"It makes me ashamed of being a Canadian" said one.
"What must Americans think?" another asked. The fact is that Americans were shocked with what they saw. The plain fact is the Hon. Douglas Abbott and Dave Sim. have gone too far and people are boiling mad.
If enough people who vote Liberal travel to the States, John Bracken won't need any campaign next time. He's piling up the votes on the border trains.
I'll see what they do to me coming back. I may try to sneak in a steamroller.
Maybe we are losing an "00 million dollars a month," but this Gestapo stuff is going to be the end of the Liberal government if they don't stop it soon.