C. W. Harvison

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C.W. Harvison was a key player in the RCMP’s activities against communist subversives. He was the lead RCMP interrogator for the espionage commission hearings and was subsequently demonized by Gordon Lunan in two books. Harvison would later become the commissioner of the RCMP and write an autobiography.

In How the Cold War Began, Amy Knight records that “RCMP criminal investigators Harvison and Anthony, who had by now spent close to three months gathering evidence in the case, handled the interrogations. Harvison, described by one of the accused spies as ‘a tall, thin almost cadaverous man with a long bony face,’ whose ‘eyebrows and unshaven tufts on his cheekbones gave him somewhat the appearance of a racoon,’ rose to the occasion. He was tough and ruthless in the face of what he saw unambiguously as communist enemies.”


Further Reading

Harvison, C.W. The Horsemen. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967.

Knight, Amy. How the Cold War Began: The Gouzenko Affair and the Hunt for Soviet Spies. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2005.