Norman Jaques

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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
Died January 31, 1949(1949-01-31) (aged 68)
Religion Church of England[1]

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

Early life and career[edit]

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.[2] He had retired from farming before starting his political career.[3]

Member of Parliament[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5] In private correspondence, he told a Saskatchewan resident that "the Jews control all means of gathering news and of propaganda".[6] 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".[7] 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".[8]

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." [9]

Jaques was also an opponent of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which he accused of promoting communism.[10]

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,[11] nevertheless said in private correspondence that Jaques "considered himself above party discipline and [...] absent[ed] himself from all caucuses".[12] Toward the end of his life, Jaques's writings were banned from the official Social Credit party journal.[13]

Jaques died of a heart attack in early 1949.[14]

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 1945: Wetaskiwin
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     Social Credit Norman Jaques 7,255 39.80 -0.15
     Cooperative Commonwealth William Albert Stevens 3,969 21.77 +5.53
     Progressive Conservative Alfred Berger Haarstad 3,419 18.76 +3.05
Liberal Robert Henry C. Harrison 3,040 16.68 -11.42
     Labour Progressive Henry Lundgren 546 3.00
Total valid votes 18,229 100.00
Total rejected ballots 159
Turnout 18,388 71.99 +13.37
Electors on the lists 25,543


Canadian federal election, 1940: Wetaskiwin
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
     Social Credit Norman Jaques 6,245 39.95 -17.75
Liberal Walter Stephen Campbell 4,392 28.10 +6.84
     Cooperative Commonwealth Robert Henry Haskins 2,539 16.24 -4.80
     National Government Charles Homer Russell 2,456 15.71
Total valid votes 15,632 100.00
Total rejected ballots 132
Turnout 15,764 58.62 -0.44
Electors on the lists 26,890


Canadian federal election, 1935: Wetaskiwin
Party Candidate Votes %
     Social Credit Norman Jaques 7,601 57.70
Liberal Walter Stephen Campbell 2,801 21.26
     Cooperative Commonwealth William Irvine 2,772 21.04
Total valid votes 13,174 100.00
Total rejected ballots 128
Turnout 13,302 59.06
Electors on the lists 22,524

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1949.
  2. ^ Social Discredit: Anti-Semitism, Social Credit and the Jewish Response by Janine Stingel, page 200.
  3. ^ History of Federal Ridings since 1867: WETASKIWIN, Alberta (1924 - ), Parliament of Canada, accessed 23 July 2009.
  4. ^ "M.P. sees Palestine great danger spot", Toronto Star, 31 May 1947, p. 22.
  5. ^ Stingel, p. 36; Richard Menkis, "Antisemitism in the Evolving Nation: From New France to 1950", B'nai Brith Canada, 1999
  6. ^ Stingel, p. 52.
  7. ^ Stingel, pp. 64-66.
  8. ^ 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."
  9. ^ Stingel, p. 133.
  10. ^ "M.P. says CBC, Film Board used to spread Communism", Toronto Star, 18 July 1946, 39.
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Stingel, p. 162. See also "Social Credit newspaper cracks down on writings of Norman Jaques, MP", Lethbridge Herald, 15 December 1947, p. 2.
  14. ^ Palmer, p. 181.

External links[edit]