A chronology of key moments in the history of the Gouzenko Affair.
The following chronology covers events associated with the defection of Igor Gouzenko and the subsequent royal commission on espionage.
Japan surrenders and the war in Asia ends. The War Measures Act is expected to expire on 31 December 1945.
Igor Gouzenko defects.
The Cold War begins.
Mackenzie King learns of the defection. On 7 September, Gouzenko begins his debriefing at RCMP headquarters.
Drew Pearson, a popular American radio talk-show host, reveals that the Canadian government is holding a defector who has provided information on a spy ring in Canada and the United States.
The commission begins debriefing Gouzenko.
First series of arrests by the RCMP. Eleven people are detained in the RCMP’s Rockcliffe Barracks in Ottawa (another two were arrested on 16 February).
Mackenzie King makes his first public admission about the existence of a spy ring and a defector, although he refuses to name either the defector or his country of origin.
The Government of the USSR admits to spying on Canada.
Lawyers for the wives of incarcerated suspects write to the press, complaining that both they and the wives are not allowed to see the detainees.
The commission completes its first interim report.
Winston Churchill delivers his “iron curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri.
The wife of one of the men whom the commission is still holding makes a public statement, accusing it of mistreating her husband.
The commission’s third interim report is released.
Alan Nunn May is sentenced by the British courts to ten years in prison for espionage.
Fred Rose is sentenced to six years in prison.
The commission’s final report is released.
Sam Carr is convicted, and the last of the spy trials is completed.
Igor Gouzenko, under police protection since 1945, dies near Toronto.
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