Norman Jaques

Last updated
Norman Jaques
Member of the Canadian House of Commons for Wetaskiwin
In office
1935–1949
Preceded by William Irvine
Succeeded by Ray Thomas
Personal details
Born(1880-06-29)June 29, 1880
London, England
DiedJanuary 31, 1949(1949-01-31) (aged 68)

Norman Jaques (June 29, 1880 January 31, 1949) was a Canadian farmer and federal politician. Jaques represented the electoral district of Wetaskiwin in the House of Commons of Canada from 1935 to 1949. Jaques was a member of the Social Credit Party.

Contents

Early life and career

Jaques was born in London, England, and attended Eastborne College in Sussex. He moved to Canada in 1901, and became a farmer in Mirror, Alberta. He sought to establish a horse-breeding farm at one stage, but later abandoned the project. [1] He had retired from farming before starting his political career. [2]

Member of Parliament

Jaques first ran for the Canadian House of Commons in the 1935 federal election, and defeated Cooperative Commonwealth Federation incumbent William Irvine amid a landslide victory for Social Credit candidates in Alberta. He was re-elected in the general elections of 1940 and 1945, receiving less than 40% of the vote on both occasions. Near the end of his career, he was a member of an external affairs committee that attended United Nations meetings at Lake Success. [3] He died in office in 1949, having been re-nominated as a Social Credit candidate for the 1949 federal election. Social Credit had little standing outside of Alberta during this period, and elected few legislators at the national level. Jaques spent his entire parliamentary career as an opposition member.

The Social Credit movement gained a reputation for anti-Semitism in its early years, and Jaques was widely regarded as the most anti-Semitic member of the party's parliamentary grouping. He promoted C.H. Douglas's belief in an international financial Jewish conspiracy, and attempted to read excerpts from Protocols of the Elders of Zion into the Canadian parliamentary record. [4] In private correspondence, he told a Saskatchewan resident that "the Jews control all means of gathering news and of propaganda". [5] Jaques also believed that an international Jewish conspiracy was responsible for both communism and Zionism. He opposed allowing Jewish refugees into Canada prior to World War II on the argument that they constituted a communist invasion force, and once dismissed the charge of anti-Semitism against him as a "communist smokescreen". [6] He was a vocal opponent of the creation of the State of Israel in 1947–48, and described Zionism as "a political movement ... to dominate the world". Janine Stingel has written that Jaques, in common with other ideologues in his party, "was either unwilling or unable to separate anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism". [7]

Jaques met with American anti-Semitic leader Gerald L. K. Smith in 1947, and was quoted by the Montreal Gazette as saying that "Gerald Smith is truly a great Christian gentleman who has been cruelly maligned. He stands for Christian nationalism. But, of course, the Communists have smeared him as anti-semitic... Smith believes in America for the Americans and in the American way of life... I have tried to do the same with the Canadian way of life and Canadian freedom and I will keep right on trying". Jaques later retracted his support for Smith, and said that most of the quotations attributed to him by the Gazette were fabrications. He did, however, describe Smith as having "done more to expose communist plots that any other public man in the United States of America", and said that he would try to do the same in Canada. The Anti-Defamation League described Jaques as a "notorious anti-semite who has abused the privilege of entry into the United States by stirring up misunderstanding and tensions among racial and religious groups." [8]

Jaques was also an opponent of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which he accused of promoting communism. [9]

Some other members of the Social Credit Party attempted to distance themselves from Jaques. Solon Earl Low, who became national party leader in 1944 and himself made anti-Semitic statements alleging a conspiracy of Jewish bankers, [10] nevertheless said in private correspondence that Jaques "considered himself above party discipline and [...] absent[ed] himself from all caucuses". [11] Toward the end of his life, Jaques's writings were banned from the official Social Credit party journal. [12]

Jaques died of a heart attack in early 1949. [13]

Electoral record

1945 Canadian federal election : Wetaskiwin
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Social Credit Norman Jaques 7,25539.80−0.15
Co-operative Commonwealth William Albert Stevens 3,96921.77+5.53
Progressive Conservative Alfred Berger Haarstad3,41918.76+3.05
Liberal Robert Henry C. Harrison 3,04016.68−11.42
Labor–Progressive Henry Lundgren 5463.00
Total valid votes18,229100.00
Total rejected ballots159
Turnout18,38871.99+13.37
Electors on the lists25,543
1940 Canadian federal election : Wetaskiwin
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Social Credit Norman Jaques 6,24539.95−17.75
Liberal Walter Stephen Campbell 4,39228.10+6.84
Co-operative Commonwealth Robert Henry Haskins 2,53916.24−4.80
National Government Charles Homer Russell 2,45615.71
Total valid votes15,632
Total rejected ballots132
Turnout15,76458.62−0.44
Electors on the lists26,890
1935 Canadian federal election : Wetaskiwin
PartyCandidateVotes%
Social Credit Norman Jaques 7,60157.70
Liberal Walter Stephen Campbell 2,80121.26
Co-operative Commonwealth William Irvine 2,77221.04
Total valid votes13,174
Total rejected ballots128
Turnout13,30259.06
Electors on the lists22,524

Notes

  1. Social Discredit: Anti-Semitism, Social Credit and the Jewish Response by Janine Stingel, page 200.
  2. History of Federal Ridings since 1867: WETASKIWIN, Alberta (1924 - ), Parliament of Canada, accessed 23 July 2009.
  3. "M.P. sees Palestine great danger spot", Toronto Star, 31 May 1947, p. 22.
  4. Stingel, p. 36; Richard Menkis, "Antisemitism in the Evolving Nation: From New France to 1950", B'nai Brith Canada, 1999 Archived 2007-11-20 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Stingel, p. 52.
  6. Stingel, pp. 64-66.
  7. Stingel, pp. 91-92. See also "M.P. sees Palestine great danger spot", Toronto Star, 31 May 1947, p. 22, wherein Jaques is quoted as saying "Political Zionists make common cause with the communists and you can't separate them."
  8. Stingel, p. 133.
  9. "M.P. says CBC, Film Board used to spread Communism", Toronto Star, 18 July 1946, 39.
  10. Howard Palmer, "Politics, Religion and Anti-Semitism in Alberta, 1880-1950" in Anti-Semitism in Canada, History and interpretation, Alan Davies, editor, 1992, p. 185
  11. Stingel, p. 113. Low made this statement to Saul Hayes of the Canadian Jewish Congress, who requested and was granted a meeting with national Social Credit leaders to address the issue of anti-Semitism within the party.
  12. Stingel, p. 162. See also "Social Credit newspaper cracks down on writings of Norman Jaques, MP", Lethbridge Herald, 15 December 1947, p. 2.
  13. Palmer, p. 181.

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