Friday, July 17, 2009

Ernest Manning and Percy Young

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada
In Western Canada several groups publicly disseminated antisemitic vitriol. The most notable was the Social Credit Party, which had a political stranglehold on British Columbia and Alberta. Percy Young a delegate to the B.C. Socred convention in 1957, declared, "Zionism has completely destroyed Christianity ... and it will destroy Social Credit, too, unless the people have proper education."

B.C. premier W.A.C. Bennet did not disassociate himself from this comment. Writing in the Dawson Creek Star on 15 November 1957, Young denounced Zionists, not Jews" Ernest Manning the long time premier of Alberta, refused to act as honourary chairman for Brotherhood Week in 1957 "unless all Jews converted to Christianity." (1)
Young's comments were not unique within the party, given that it was founded on the notion of a Jewish conspiracy. The Canadian Jewish congress did lodge a complaint:
At the October 1957 convention of the British Columbia Social Credit League in Vancouver a delegate named Percy Young made a violent anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist attack in addressing the convention. The CJC immediatelyprotested to Solon Low, leader of the Social Credit party in theFederal Parliament, and to the premiers of the Social Credit governments in British Columbia and Alberta, adding that "in view of the past disavowals ofanti-Semitism by the Social Credit Movement, it was disheartening. . . ." Low issued a statement that "Mr. Young was not expressing the views of theSocial Credit Association of Canada, and I wish most strongly to disassociateour movement from the references he made to Zionism and the Jews. . . ." (2)
And according to Janine Stingel:
He [Young] defined Zionists as "people who call themselves Jews, but are really Russians from outer Mongolia who went to Israel in 952 BC." Delegates to the convention applauded loudly when he declared: "Christianity was thoroughly destroyed by improper education ... Zionism has a very underground way of getting destruction. You have to know your enemy to fight it." Young later told a reporter for the Victoria Daily Colonist that Zionism controlled communism, Nazism, socialism, labour unions, banks, the press and radio--"everything in fact except Social Credit." According to the Vancouver Sun, "no one [at the convention] spoke a gainst [Young's] comments, but later he received a private scolding from Noel Murphy, league president." The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix likewise noted that Young's remarks went unchallenged at the convention, even though national leader Solon Low and British Columbia premier Bennett addressed the delegates after Young. (3)
The anti-Semites had not been purged, but still clearly planted in the Social Credit movement.


1. Delayed Impact: The Holocaust and the Canadian Jewish Community, By Franklin Bialystok, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2000, ISBN-13: 978-0773520653, Pg. 75-76

2. Canada, By Louis Rosenberg, American Jewish Congress Archives

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

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