In reviewing my book, Peace With Freedom, (April/ May 1989), John Bacher says that I malign Stephen Lewis, Geoffrey Pearson, and Douglas Roche by "accusing them of being subject to Communist influence."
I did nothing of the sort. I expressed surprise that Stephen Lewis promoted peace education at the McGill conference in 1986. Because of his high profile as director of CIIPS, Geoffrey Pearson was quoted several times. I introduced him to readers as "the embodiment of the essentially optimistic, infinitely trusting culture that his father had begun to generate two decades earlier-" Of Douglas Roche I wrote: "A sincere and serious man whose dedication to the cause of peace cannot be questioned, Roche typifies all that is best in the apolitical, grassroots movement."
Bacher would have been on solid ground if he had taken me to task for accusing the Canadian peace movement of being subject to communist influence. My evidence is there to be read, and if more is wanted, it is available in the recent correspondence in Now Magazine. But to attack me on this score, Bacher would have had to choose between denying the communist influence that everyone knows exists, and taking sides with the Communists. He dodged this issue by inventing false allegations in order to discredit my book.
My book is a carefully researched, reasonably argued case for the preservation of peace with freedom. It bumps up against many of the beliefs held passionately by peace activists - not in order to antagonize, but to introduce some much-needed objectivity into a debate dominated by passion. I ask your readers to read it.
Maurice Tugwell, Toronto
I want to take issue with Sheena Lambert's comment (Feb./Mar. 1989) that the NDP is "the only party whose platform is compatible with ours."
The Liberal Party of Canada at its Ottawa National Convention in November, 1986, resolved that the Canadian Government adopt the following rigorous arms control policy:
John Turner failed to act on these initiatives until the Canadian Conference III in Vancouver, in February, 1988, when he gave priority to:
True, it took some time for Turner to acknowledge the Liberal Party resolutions, but both he and the Liberal Party now share the concerns of the Canadian Peace Movement. This situation may not continue if we concentrate only on supporting the NDP.
I urge activists to become involved in policy formulations in both the Liberal and Conservative Parties to build peace in Canada and the world.
Bruce Torrie, Vancouver
Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg's article on Japan (April/May) fails to mention the agreement by a U.S. consortium to ship plutonium from purification plants in France and Britain to Japan. The quantity will be enough to produce at least 5000 nuclear warheads. The rationale: Japan needs plutonium for breeder reactors. However, the quantity for this purpose would only be a small fraction of the amount shipped.
Arnold Simoni, Don Mills, Ont.
There was excellent material in your April/May issue, but John Bacher's review of the Maurice Tugwell book, Peace with Freedom, was not part of it. Although Bacher recognizes Tugwell's book as slanderous to the Canadian peace movement, he gets taken in by some of Tugwell's McCarthyite accusations.
I take strong exception to Bacher's assertion that my speech in November 1985 to the founding Canadian Peace Alliance convention was an "embarrassment" to the peace movement. I wonder whether either Tugwell or Bacher was there. I was there, and I know what I said. My speech emphasized the need for Canadians to stop viewing the Soviet Union as our "enemy." I did not deal with the question of human rights abuses in the USSR, although of course I was unhappy about them. I felt then, as I still feel now, that there is a very real danger of a nuclear holocaust, precipitated probably by accident or miscalculation. The way to prevent it is to work for an international halt to nuclear weapons testing and to the perfection of ever more deadly first-strike nuclear weapons. We need to stop the testing of the stealth cruise.
When peace people concentrate on Soviet human rights abuses, they are apt, perhaps unwittingly, to build hatred of the USSR, which has for years played right into the hands of militarists. If we get multilateral disarmament and convert to socially useful purposes, human rights will be improved in short order.
Thomas L. Perry (Sr.), M.D., Vancouver
Diana Chown's article on chemical and biological weapon (CBW) testing at Suffield contrasts with the Rt. Honorable Joe Clark's address to the Paris Conference on January 8, 1989. Mr. Clark said, "As a party to the 1925 Geneva Protocol, Canada has accepted fully its obligations on chemical weapons use. Our policy is clear: Canada does not intend at any time to initiate the use of chemical weapons; Canada does not intend to develop, produce, acquire, or stockpile such weapons, unless these weapons are used against the military forces of the civil population of Canada or its allies.
"Canada has moved beyond its obligations under the 1925 Geneva Protocol well before the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. In 1970 Canada declared that it never has had - and does not possess now - any biological or toxic weapons and does not intend to develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, or use such weapons at any time in the future."
These apparently frank and open statements are, of course, carefully worded. They do not specify what CBWs, if any, Canada has now, and there is no reference to testing. But it is hard to understand how CBWs can be tested without possessing some.
Does Mr. Clark suffer from misinformation, or has he been a party to disinformation?
David Stewart, Killarney, Manitoba
In the April/ May issue, Wayne Morel writes that the West Island, Québec clergy should not claim to be spiritual leaders for lack of speaking out on disarmament issues. Not so; I have heard strong sermons advocating disarmament. If but two of the 40 churches are Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, the blame lies with us. Only about two churches have been approached.
Joan Hadrill, Beaconsfield, Québec
The VANA chapter of Greater Victoria reports that The Department of National Defence sent 'Teacher Guide' kits to schools, giving an unbalanced viewpoint on peace and security. VANA wrote to the B.C. Federation of Teachers and to School Districts 61, 62, and 63, objecting to the antagonistic tone and to the reasons given for the need to acquire nuclear submarines.
"We asked that schools not teach in terms of 'Nuclear Retaliation Capability' to our children, because such a posture is forcing people to live under the threat of nuclear war.
"School District 63 responded by informing DND not to send materials for instructional use to schools; S.D. 62 is writing letters not allowing DND material to be used in schools. S.D. 61 has responded verbally in like vein and a written reply is being forwarded."
Isn't that great? Others can do so too.
Alan Phillips, Hamilton, Ont.