Graham Spry’s Impressions of the USSR

[ Work for all in the USSR; mass unemployment in Canada ]

Work for all in the USSR; mass unemployment in Canada, Unknown, 1931-05, Canadian Labor Defender

May 21, 1936

Dear Anne and Alec [Macdonald]

It is too soon to be very bold in impressions of the Soviet Union, but certainly, the stories of lack of food, of clothes and necessities are ridiculous... The people, too, are amazingly lively, and the various social services, protecting the entire family from every hazard, illness, old age, accident, crop failures, or unemployment, have quite removed all fear, all feeling of insecurity. ... The propaganda for race equality is apparent everywhere, even in children’s nurseries (birth to 3 years) where wall-papers and illustrations of children invariably show whites, blacks, and almond eyes. The papers are full of race equality propaganda, so are the motion pictures... The significance of this may well be to give the Soviets the leadership of the continental yellow races, and to awaken altogether new aspirations throughout the empires of European powers. The Soviet brings many yellow and black Communists or sympathizers to Moscow and to other centres, and these people become agents all over the world, not officially, of course, but none the less really. This racial equality propaganda is now largely confined to the Soviet territories, but in a few years, when the Union is the most powerful country in the world, and when other countries are exhausted by unemployment or war, then, the drive will begin. This, of course, is sheer hypothesis, and by drive, the last thing I mean is aggression.


Source: Graham Spry, "Graham Spry's Impressions of the USSR" in Passion and Conviction: The Letters of Graham Spry, Rose Potrin (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 1992), 102

Return to parent page