Saturday, March 17, 2012

National Conference of Toiling Farmers, Regina 1934

The following is from a report by RCMP infiltrators from 1934. - NYC

Ottawa, 25th July, 1934
Weekly Summary: Report on Revolutionary Organizations and Agitators in  Canada

The National Conference of Toiling Farmers held in Regina under the direction of the Farmers' Unity League was well attended and must be voted a success.

Sam Carr delivered a very outspoken address in Montreal on 17th July. His belligerent attitude affected the audience noticeably.

The F.U.L. National Conference of Toiling Farmers
225 delegates in Regina

L. E. Hill, W. H. Childress, J. P.
Bespalko, W. E. Wiggins,
Secretary of W.U.L.
Comrades Husa, Sawiak, Korol, Oleksey

1. The Farmers' Unity League

The National Conference of Toiling Farmers called by the Farmers' Unity League and held at Regina, Sask., on 4th, 5th and 6th July, was attended by approximately 225 delegates, the majority of whom came from Saskatchewan and Alberta. There were seven delegates from Manitoba, two from Ontario, five from British Columbia and two fraternal delegates from the United Farmers' League of the United States.

It is estimated that sixty per cent of the delegates were either members of the Communist Party of Canada or the Young Communist League. The convention took place in the City Hall Auditorium and the meals for the delegates were put up in a communal kitchen in the Ukrainian Labour Farmer Temple by the Workers' International Relief.

Following the election of L. E. Hill, W. H. Childress and J. P. Bespalko as Chairmen for alternate sessions and the election of the various committees, W. E. Wiggins, Secretary of the Farmers' Unity League, delivered the opening address in the course of which he reviewed the present economic status of the farmers, and in which he stressed the need for unity of the labouring farmers against their common oppressors.

The Ukrainian Labour Temple, Regina. 

Reports were given to the conference from the United Farmers' League, U.S.A., by Comrade Husa; from Ukrainian mass organizations by Comrade Sawiak; from the Young Communist League by Comrade Korol, Editor of the Young Worker: from the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District Beet Growers' Association by Comrade Childress; and from the Mymam strike by Comrade Oleksey.

 Greetings to the conference were extended from a Doukhobor colony in Alberta; from homesteaders in the Peace River; from a sports organization in Ontario; from the summer school at Two Hills, Alta., from the Hungarian Workers' Club, Toronto, Ont.; from the Canadian Labour Defence League, National Executive; from the Communist Party of Canada, National Executive; and from The Worker and The Furrow.

The fraternal delegates from the United States told of a similar United Front Conference being held there which was attended by 700 delegates representing 40 States and 58 different organizations.

The fraternal delegate from the Friends of the Soviet Union pointed out that such problems as were being discussed at the conference had long since disappeared from the Soviet Union.

Resolutions were adopted pledging support to The Furrow: against Capitalist war and the growing menace of Fascism; welcoming the work of the Canadian Labour Defence League in defending the rights of the toiling masses in their struggles against the Capitalist class; demanding free medical, dental and optical attention for all labouring farmers and workers, the money to come from taxing incomes over $3,000 per year; demanding that the age limit for old age pensions be reduced to 55 years; pledging support to The Worker in its campaign to become a daily paper and endorsing the work of the Friends of the Soviet Union and its plan to send a delegation to the U.S.S.R. this year.

The principal purpose of the conference is embodied or summarized in a resolution which was passed by the gathering and which reads as follows:-

"Whereas: This National Conference of Toiling Farmers believes that the struggle of the farmers for improving their living conditions must be co-ordinated nationally after the conference; and

"Whereas: It is not the intention of this conference to organize a new farmers' organization, the main intention being to get the widest possible unity of the rank and file farmers of all farm organizations as well as the un-organized farmers around the demands adopted at this National Conference;

"Therefore be it resolved: That this conference elects a committee of 17 members from various provinces and branches of farming who will have the task of meeting from time to time and developing the movement of the farmers on the basis of the decisions of this conference".

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