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“Part 1: Interview with Harold Pritchett, Founding President of the International Woodworkers of America” by John Mountain, Digging into History, 2.8 (August, 2020)

This month it’s a story that speaks to the origins of the IWA from the mouth of its founding President Harold Pritchett. In the mid-1930s there had emerged forces and circumstances which were to change the outlook of the North American trade unions and aid in the formation of the IWA. The struggle between the craft unions and industrial unions had reached a showdown when at the 1935 American Federation of Labour (AFL) convention, a number of unions stormed out and established the Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) under the leadership of John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers. Subsequently the Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL) was formed as the Canadian counterpart of the CIO.

Harold Pritchett was born on May 9, 1904 in the city of Birmingham, England. At the age of eight, the Pritchett family emigrated from England to Canada and traveled to Port Moody in British Columbia where they settled. Pritchett received his first job at the Thurston-Flavelle sawmill in Port Moody, BC in 1919. He tended conveyors in a planer mill for eleven hours a day for ten cents an hour which was his first exposure to the industry. It did not take him long to begin campaigning for worker rights.

The rapidity with which Pritchett joined the labor movement was no doubt caused by the deplorable industry conditions – especially in logging camps. The forest industry consisted of two different types of occupations: mill workers and loggers. Though quite different, both involved miserable and dangerous conditions. In a situation where there was little opportunity to communicate with anyone outside of the worksites for extended periods of time, a strong bond was formed, a fraternity of men who understood each other’s situations. This brotherhood, in both the camps and the mills, contributed to the development of a strong labor movement that fought to improve the lives of woodworkers. And it was this labor movement that Harold Pritchett joined in 1924, signing up for the Vancouver local of the AFL Shingle Weavers Union and setting the course for the rest of his life.

Once Pritchett joined the labor movement, he rose quickly in its ranks. After his initial work in the saw mills, Pritchett went on to be employed with the shingle weavers, first as a shingle packer and then as a shingle sawyer. It did not take long for him to hold a position of leadership. A mere three years after joining the labor fight, Pritchett, now employed at the Fraser Mills, became an official in the Shingle Weavers’ Union in 1927.

Pritchett quickly became a leading figure in the Northwest’s union community and in 1931, he rose to prominence when he chaired the Fraser Mills Strike Committee. By 1933, at age twenty-nine, Pritchett was president of a Shingle Weavers local and had asserted himself as a dominant influence in the labor movement, a powerful organizer, and a charismatic leader. However, in what was perhaps the first move in a major battle that would rage for more than ten years, the American Federation of Labor expelled the Pritchett-led Shingle Weavers local and renounced their charter on the grounds that the Union was in the hands of Communists. These difficulties continued throughout the 1930s and in 1936 the poor relationship between the Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Jointers came to a conclusion.

In September 1936 representatives from ten District Councils of the LSWU met in Portland and formed the Federation of Woodworkers with Al Hartung as chairman and Harold Pritchett as president. Next year in July 1937 at its convention in Tacoma, the woodworkers voted to affiliate with the CIO and change the name of their organization to the International Woodworkers of America thus founding the IWA.

The 1936 strike at Boundary Road Shingle Mill on the Fraser River became what was considered at the time as important as the 1931 Fraser Mills strike, the 1934 Logger’s Strike, and the 1936 General Strike that preceded it, the Boundary Road Shingle Mill strike became noted as the catalyst which contributed greatly to the eventual establishment of the International Woodworkers of America.

I discovered this unfolding story in a file folder from the office of former IWA historian Clay Perry. In this folder rested the tape transcript of an interview that Clay recorded with Harold Pritchett in late October 1978 which was just a few years before Harold’s death in 1982. Harold Pritchett sat down with Clay Perry to talk about the AFL CIO split in 1936 and the resulting challenges that faced the new union called the International Woodworkers of America. This is the transcript of side one of the tape recording.


Clay Perry: This is an interview with Harold Pritchett, founding President, International President of the I.W.A. on October 31, 1978 and we’ve just been chatting about the 1936 strike and how it came about and some controversy that has arisen since about that strike.

Harold Pritchett: Right. Very good, Clay. Once again, I want to say that we had conducted, as you know, a vote after the visit of Abe Muir from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and joiners representing Big Bill Hutchison, the President.  We had agreed with him in conducting a referendum vote to leave the Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union League and affiliate to the A.F. of L. through the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.

In that process, of course, we had to elect the leadership and Abe Muir conducted the nominations and elections of officers. The officers were nominated and as a result of the election and the District Council meeting in which five Locals were represented, Mac MacKinnon was elected President, I was elected Vice President, Tom Bradly was elected Secretary. And it was decided then and there that we have to put on an intensive drive for membership. Our membership at that time wouldn’t exceed more than, oh, approximately 2000. And they consisted in the main in logging and shingles. Both of these workers were known to be the spearhead in militancy and working for the organization of the union.

In the process of this Council meeting in which we had established ourselves and been chartered by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, two of the camp Stewards were fired at Lake Cowichan camp owned by a gentleman from Bellingham by the name of, Oh, I can’t think of his name now, but anyway, the workers in that camp shut it down, demanded the reinstatement of their representatives, their camp Stewards.

Clay: And this was spontaneous. It wasn’t the result of any suggestions from the leadership in Vancouver?

Harold:  No. That’s right. Hjalmar Bergren and I was in to the camp and spoke to the workers and we aligned ourselves with them for their solidarity in fighting discrimination which was rampant in all the camps at the time. The period of that firing and the introduction of our program in which the representatives of the five Local Unions now affiliated with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners agreed to work to poll as many camps and mills and shingle mills as we possibly could and formulate tactics for a general strike. You must understand that the conditions in the camps and the mills and the wages were terrible and discrimination was rampant.

1934 Logger’s Strike on Vancouver Island

A blacklist existed, especially in logging and, of course, anyone that spoke out for the Union or read a Union paper either in the camps or in the mills was fired, and I was one of those who was blacklisted as also was Hjalmar Bergren and Ernie Dalskog and so on. Now, the organization started in Cowichan Lake where the discrimination existed in the camps. We had acquired a lot and built what was called the picket camp where any logger could be fed and housed. We also had rented the Community Hall from time to time to hold mass meetings of lodgers. So it was decided in that Local with the co-operation of all other Locals that a trek would be started of the striking loggers of Cowichan Lake up the Island to poll camps, which, of course, was an old IWW tactic but it worked. So the trek got under way and the trek was to go right up to Campbell River.

Unbeknown to me or any other Officers of the Union or the District Council, Mac MacKinnon, on the telephone, called off the trek. Said it was inadvisable. That was his mistake and it was entirely his personal mistake. He said to me, “I’ve been called to Cowichan Lake and I’m taking you with me”. And I said, “What’s the score? I didn’t know anything about it”. I knew that the trek was organized but I didn’t know it was called off. He says, “You’re going to Cowichan Lake with me Pritch”, and he said, “you be prepared to be carried out feet first”. I says, “No way!” I said, “I won’t be carried out”. He says, “Why not?” and I said, “because tell them the truth. I’ll tell the workers the truth”.

West Coast Shingle Mill – Shingle Weavers

So anyway, that so-called trek died as a result of the mistake of Mac MacKinnon. Now, this was not done from the top down. It was done as a result of an organized conference of the District Council which had been properly chartered and delegates coming in from the Local Unions. However, we were successful on the Mainland of pulling out two shingle mills and one sawmill, the sawmill on the waterfront. It was a joint sawmill and shingle mill. I can’t think of that name at the moment. Anyway, this was where we had the big ruckus at the Boundary Road Shingle Mill and that was then owned, I believe, by Bloedel before MacMillan and Bloedel joined to form the MacMillan Bloedel Corporation.

Clay: Bloedel, Stewart and Welch.

Harold: Yes, well. First of all the Boundary Road Shingle Mill was owned by Miss Shaw. I worked there in 1922 and she went bankrupt because she took the profits that we made for her. It was a profitable mill. It was one of the best in the country, and travelled the world and spent the money like a drunken sailor. So she went broke and the mill was shut down for approximately two years and then Bloedel came up from the states and bought it and that was the Bloedel Donavan of Bellingham. It’s still in existence.

However, Bloedel was the main shareholder in the new plant and he opened up and they started to operate again and, of course, they developed the fire logs and everything else and became quite an operation. And it could have been operating today. Anyway, that is the story of the 1936 strike which was considered an important forerunner with ’31 Fraser Mills Strike, ’34 Logger Strike, and the ’36 General Strike which didn’t completely fail, but it did contribute greatly to the establishment eventually of the International Woodworkers of America.

Clay: Mac MacKinnon, partly at least, as a consequence of this unilateral decision of his was later forced to resign as President or there was considerable pressure from the Executive and from the camps, I guess.

Harold: Right. Mac MacKinnon generated a lot of hate on himself and this is mainly because of his inability to work collectively with other leaders and consult and discuss problems before ending in a headlong action??

Clay: Kind of an impulsive guy.

Harold: Very impulsive.

Clay: I gather though Arnie Johnson felt somewhat the same about the ’36 strike, but I don’t know whether he agreed with Mac MacKinnon but…

Harold: Well, Arnie, you know, left the Mainland and went to live at the Finnish settlement at Sointula. So Arnie became more or less isolated from the main stream of events.

Clay: When did he…

Harold: Arnie and… I must say this about Arnie Johnson, he was a very sincere guy. Very patient and very working-class fond. And Mac MacKinnon was a sincere guy but a headstrong person.

Clay: When did Arnie leave active.

Harold: That, I’d have to check the records because I noticed in some of these Convention pictures, the one I’ve just shown you, Clay, he was a delegate. And 1 believe he was a delegate from 71. He hadn’t yet moved to Sointula where he felled timber until arthritis made it impossible for him to work.

Clay: Yeah, he fell until he was 60 or 65, I think, as did Hjalmar but he became less active at somewhere in the late 30’s.

Harold: Yes. He still remains in the union but he was less active in leadership and his health was a big factor. His two sons, I believe, are still working in the industry.

Clay: Is that so? I missed it. When did Ernie Dalskog appear on the scene? Do you recall that?

Harold: Well Ernie, as you know, and it should be on the record, worked as a coal miner in Nanaimo and as a result of that work he lost his eye through an accident.

Clay: That would probably be the critical event in his decision that he needed a union or one critical event.

Harold: I don’t know. You better ask Ernie that. I believe he was a member of the Miners’ Union at the time. Then he went to work in a logging camp and he became active in Local 1-71 and this kind of history you’ll get from Ernie. I know that I could tell you what camp he worked in and what job he held and how he became Secretary in Local 1-71 of the I.W.A. and eventually was elected Vice President of the District and when I was absent in the United States, he became President of the District.

Clay: I know that he has been identified in one of those pictures that you gave me of the 1934 strike in Campbell River. That he was active at that time.

Harold: Yes, he was on the Strike Committee in Campbell River and that was a picture of the strikers’ camp. And then you have another picture of the strikers’ cookhouse crew.

Clay: I guess having looked at the picture of the cookhouse crew I imagine there weren’t very many complaints about cooking.

Harold: No, I don’t imagine so and lodgers are quite stickers for good food and that I don’t blame them. They work hard.

Clay: There was one guy, I don’t know whether you met him or had anything to do with him, but there was one guy identified to me as somebody who came over from Britain. Apparently from an upper class background or at least a middle class background and he just volunteered to go to Campbell River and he just appeared and said, “I’ll help you anyway I can”.

Harold: Well, you have me stuck now, Clay. Can you give me a hint of who you mean?

Clay: No, we’ll go on. Later if I had the picture here I could. Harold, we were talking just before lunch about Nigel Morgan who played a very prominent role in the I.W.A. and wondered if you could tell us how you first met Nigel.

Harold: Well, it was on the occasion of the big mass rally in Cowichan Lake where Mac MacKinnon and I appeared before the membership in the Community Hall. The workers were very disturbed about Mac MacKinnon calling off the picket, eh, calling off the trek. The police were circulating the hall in their police cars. They were Provincial Police, you know. And after Mac MacKinnon had spoken and took his bumps, I spoke and proposed that we should consolidate and go back and come out with a further effort to build the Union.

The Secretary of the Local, Cowichan Lake Local, whose name at the moment can’t remember, was a prominent CCF’er and he got up and asked the chairman if it would be alright to introduce a young man from the youth movement of the CCF, and the President said, “Yes, by all means”. And that’s the first time I saw Nigel. He was speaking officially for the CCF and he urged the strikers to carry on and he would help them maintain support from the farmers and small merchants in the community. The next time I met Nigel, I was returning from the United States as International President, awaiting a new permit to return back to Seattle at the Headquarters.

Clay: This would have been 1939 or…

Harold: This would be approximately ’39, maybe ’38. I’m not sure of that date. I took a trip to Victoria. As I was saying, Clay, the next time I met Nigel Morgan was in Victoria as I said. I was up to get a new permit. So I went over to Victoria to visit the Local and they were struggling along trying to organize those big sawmills in Victoria and they had, I would say approximately on the books, maybe 100 or 150 members and Nigel was the Secretary full-time.

So I went up to the office where he was located in Victoria and he had a desk there which was the I.W.A. desk on one side of the room and he had another desk which was the CCF desk on the other side of the room. So he was not only Secretary of the I.W.A., he was also Secretary of the CCF branch in Victoria and he had a volunteer person, an elderly woman who was acting as his secretary in publishing all his leaflets, etc., whatever he put out. Nigel suggested to me at that time that we should have a meeting that night and I should speak.

Clay: A rally?

Harold: A rally, yes, and I said, “how do you propose to organize a meeting in that short time. It’s noon now”. “Oh,” he said, “I’ll put on a sandwich board and go down to some of these sawmills, and urge the workers to come to hear the International President”. I suggested to him that he should take more time and do a better job of organizing and arrange to have a couple of well-known speakers on the platform with me. He said, “Who?” I said, “Well, there’s the CCF MLA from Ladysmith”. Do you remember his name?

Clay: I’ve forgotten but we’ll find it.

Harold: An old coal miner was very popular and the Liberal MP in Victoria had been estimated by labour as not such a bad guy. “And if you invited those two and hired the biggest hall you could get and did a job on putting out leaflets and even a radio spot, then I would come back”. And we set a date, maybe a month hence and sure enough I got word from Nigel in the International Office in Seattle that plans were maturing so I journeyed back up to Victoria..

Clay: Driving I guess. You were driving?

Harold: Aye.

Clay: You drove back?

Harold: No, no. They wouldn’t let me bring the car over. I only brought the car over once, and that was the last time. So, sure, lo and behold, the Chamber of Commerce big auditorium was packed and the first speaker was the CCF, and the second speaker was the Liberal MP. Nigel was in the chair and concluded the meeting with a lengthy speech in favour of organization of the I.W.A. And the results were astounding. That was my first real experience with Nigel.

One thing I must say for Nigel, he was a hard worker. Next, we had a secretary by the name of Fred Lundstrom of the District and he had expressed his desire to resign and go back into industry. He was a logger and we were looking for a secretary and I suggested Nigel Morgan. So we accepted Fred Lundstrom’s resignation at the next District Council meeting and the District Council by unanimous vote elected Nigel pro tem, pending the Convention as District Secretary. So Nigel then moved to Vancouver and became very active in the Union. He was not only a hard working Secretary and also Editor of the Lumber Worker paper, and he worked for practically nothing. He wouldn’t take more than $15.00 a week and he lived in the West Hotel and ate in restaurants. It was nothing for Nigel to work till one and two o’clock in the morning; especially when it was the getting out of the paper.

Later on, he met and fell in love with a young lady by the name of Mona Bjarnson. And she was H.R. Macmillan’s private secretary and had worked for him for some time and when he found out that she was keeping company with Nigel Morgan, the Secretary of the District Council of the I.W.A., he called her in and fired her, gave her a month’s termination pay, and a month’s vacation pay, and her cheque with the balance that she had coming and told her to get out.

Later, she became my secretary of the Vancouver Labour Council which was organized by the Canadian Congress of Labour and I was the elected Secretary. Then, when they set up the B.C. Federation of Labour, I was elected Secretary in the B.C. Fed Convention, and Mona gave a lot of help in establishing that office. Now later, Nigel married Mona and had a son who is David, a very prominent lawyer in Vancouver.

I must say this for Nigel, he is one of the hardest working trade unionists I ever met and I think it contributed to his early demise. He never lived old enough to receive the old-age pension and he died at the early age of 64. I often said to Mona that Nigel worked himself into the grave. He was very hard working, conscientious trade unionist. He rose to become the delegate to the Convention of the Canadian Congress and was elected a member of the National Council of the Canadian Congress of Labour. He later was elected International Board Member of the I.W.A. and served on that body for a number of years.

Clay: Harold, when we were last talking about the international scene, you had gone on a tour of all of the District Council to urge the membership to accept the resolution of the Federation of Woodworkers which was to establish an independent I.W.A..

“Shall We Forsake Them?” – The Timber Worker, May 1937

Harold: Yes, as President of the Federation of Woodworkers within the confines of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, we were in the process of conducting a referendum vote whether we should stay in the Carpenters as B-Class members with voice or vote or any other benefits, or whether we should consider approaching the CIO for affiliation and set up our own autonomous international.

It necessitated that we should conduct a real campaign and I was the person, the only one on the payroll, which was $50.00 a week, and the plywood workers realizing how tremendous this job was, how big it was, put down the down payment on a brand new Plymouth car for me with the understanding that I would meet the payments and we bought that car in Aberdeen with the Business Agent and the Officers of the plywood Local of Aberdeen present.

So that give me a big lift because heretofore I’ve been travelling by, all up and down the Coast by bus, and it was out of the question to fly and flying wasn’t very popular at that time anyway. So with my new Plymouth I started out and I covered all of the District Council and as many Local Unions as possible. And I must say that when I entered the Columbia River District Council I had the warmest reception of any. In fact, they went overboard to give me a standing ovation every time I walked into a Local Union meeting or District Council meeting. The Officers were very cooperative, friendly, etc.

Clay: This was early 1937?

Harold: This would be prior to going to the C.I.O., the later part of ’36 and the early part of ’37. So, for example, Don Helmick who was Secretary of the Columbia River District Council invited me to his home – I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this Clay before – for dinner. So I went out to his home and during dinner I met his very fine wife and his new son, new baby. During the course of our supper, we leisurely ate and discussed world affairs.

Naturally, in discussing world affairs we had to discuss the situation as it related to the world picture; the two societies – the Socialist society and the Capitalist society. And, we had a very frank discussion and I expressed some of my own thoughts on the matter as he did. It was very interesting.

However, later in another situation and I believe it was the Seattle Convention in the I.W.A. where Don Helmick was conducting a real red-baiting campaign – even to the point I wondered at times if he wasn’t working for the F.B.I.. Don got up in the Convention and stated that I had, while a guest in his home, invited him to join the Communist Party. So the delegates, of course, waited for my rebuttal and I got up and said, “First of all, Brother Helmick statement that I had invited him to join the Communist Party, I had no right to sign him or anyone else up in the Communist Party”. Which was true. And furthermore, I didn’t believe the Communist Party would accept him even if his application was sent in. Anyway, that was that.

Now, this tour took me into a lot of Local Unions all over and accompanying me was Brother Helmick sometimes Brother Hartung. And I say, again, that the atmosphere was entirely different from later when the White Bloc got under way. So, I don’t know what I can add to that. I went as far as speaking to Locals from Bellingham right down to California, east to the, in the eastern part of Washington and Oregon.

Clay: What we’re particularly interested in, Harold, is that as you say Hartung and Helmick together with a lot of other people in the Columbia River District Council (CRDC) became the focus of an opposition to you and presumably worked closely and began to work closely at some stage with the developing White Bloc here in Region 1, in New Westminster in particular.

Harold: Clay, that was quite a bit later. Before that, you see, when the White Bloc started to function and raise its head, mainly upon the basis of anti-Communism, we attempted to unite all the forces in the I.W.A. When I was elected as President of the Woodworkers Federation, we asked the Columbia River District Council to nominate the Secretary, which they did, who was Webber.

I don’t know where he is now but he was of German extraction which didn’t make any difference but we caught him in a very embarrassed position of spending funds unnecessarily and doctoring the minutes of the Convention. And as a result, he resigned when we exposed him. So that was an attempt at that time, to get better agreement and it could have been followed right in to the Tacoma Convention where the International Woodworkers of America was born.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-4.png
“Throwing Sand In Our Eyes” – The Timber Worker, October 1936

Now the vote you have, that record, is a very expression of solidarity – a very hefty vote for C.I.O.. And it was understood when we held that founding Convention that in a short time, we would have a constitutional convention and that the Officers that were elected in the founding convention were pro tem pending a constitution being formed and a referendum vote being conducted for the new election of Officers.

In Tacoma, I had the experience of being called to a room by one of the leading officers of Columbia River District Council and they asked me if I could find Mick Ortun who has a very important question they’d like to discuss. I said, “Sure”. So I located the Vice President O.M. Ortun and we went to the room and there must have been 50 people in the room, a special room, big enough to hold them. And that was a hostile group and they proceeded to put me and Brother Orton on the spot in a number of very important questions that were coming up in the Convention.

The hostility was so great that I felt that there may be an attempt to use physical violence. However, my wife and O.M. Ortun’s wife knocked on the door and were outside listening, and knocked on the door again, and when they opened the door, the meeting subsided and we left with our wives. But that was a real experience and you could even say, a terrifying experience because we were in the process of building a new union and this kind of thing, unless it was by provocateurs, was very unethical to say the least.

Statement of the Executive Officers of the Federation of Wood Workers – July 9, 1937

We needed the greatest degree of unity if we were doing to defeat Hutchison, Dave Beck of the Teamsters, the bosses and even those in the Immigration and Governmental Departments who were opposed to leaving the Hutchison crowd. So we needed the greatest degree of unity and in glancing over the people in the room, the important thing was that there were people from various other Districts, not only in the Columbia River – selectees, as you were. They treated us even worse than we treated Hutchison.

In the famous Longview Convention where Big Bill Hutchison adjourned the meeting and we took over. That was the real beginning of the White Bloc. The White Bloc activities. It was extended into drafting the constitution which Don Helmick was part of the Constitutional Committee where they inserted the clause “barring Nazis, Fascists and Communists”. They linked the Communists together with the Nazis and Fascists even though the Communists in Russia and other socialist countries were in the process of eliminating Hitler and Fascism.

Clay: Do you recall whether there were people in that room from District 1? From New Westminster?

Harold: No. Oh no. They weren’t heard of yet. No, there was nobody from Canada. We had no difficulty in B.C. as regards the White Bloc. That came later and I’m sure it came with the influence of the White Blocers in the Columbia River. As a matter of fact, it was so stated on the Convention floor by one delegate who said that we got rid of Pritchett from the United States and we can help you get rid of him from Canada and all you have to do is holler and we’ll come up. So I don’t know what else you want to know about that but that was actually the corning to the surface of the White Bloc.

Clay: Harold, when did Carley Larson first appear on the scene?

Harold: Well, as you know, when I left the United States and was unable to return in July 1940, Carley was the District President of the I.W.A. District, Northern Washington District and he had played a very important role in that District and in my absence, after the Aberdeen Convention where Ortun presided as President in my absence there was a move to establish a united I.W.A. and a slate was agreed to.

Clay: A unity slate?

Harold: A unity slate was agreed to in which Carley was named by Northern Washington as the 1st Vice President. And if I remember correctly, and you can check this if you ever interview Carley Larson and he has something to contribute to the history, the slate consisted of Fadling as President, and Larson as 1st Vice President and I believe the big guy, what’s his name…

Clay: Ron Roley, Al Hartung?

Harold: No, no, was Secretary. A big husky guy came out of the Navy. Fadling was in the Navy too you know. So anyway, the Unity slate was agreed to and as a result, Carley Larson became the 1st Vice President, together with Fading and they worked that way for maybe almost two years in one period of their own two-year period.

Clay: Their first term.

Harold: But that collapsed I guess. When the Guise Committee really got under way and the red-baiting became nation-wide and extended over into Canada, the Guise Committee were putting people behind on the spot. Then there was a California Committee set up and they came to Seattle and with the evidence that came by the F.B.I. and Carley was called before the Committee.

And in my opinion, I watched him very carefully on TV all one day, and he was, he took a very weak position, to say the least. And, as a result of that hearing, he got off but Fadling expelled him as a Communist as provided by the Constitution which Helmick helped to establish, barring Communists. I understood that the F.B.I. had evidence, you can check this, on Carley on the question of income tax and on the question of the Mann Act. I won’t say anymore on that because you’ll be, no doubt, interviewing Carley Larson as a section of the book that’s important to history. But Carley Larson did play a very constructive and progressive role inside of the I.W. of A. first as District President and then as International Vice President.

In next month’s Deep Dig, I’ll continue to explore Clay Perry’s 1978 interview with founding International Woodworkers of America President Harold Pritchett.

As always, I’m so glad to be playing a part in preserving the history of the IWA. If you’re interested in my discoveries, I urge you to contact staff at the Kaatza Museum for more information. Next time in Digging Into History, I’ll take another deep dive into the archives and share some more interesting stories.

John Mountain is a retired United Steelworkers Canadian National Office Staff Representative and former IWA Local 1-80 Union Member. He lives in Chemainus and volunteers some of his time at the Kaatza Museum in Lake Cowichan.

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