On the evening of 5 September, Igor Gouzenko, walked out of the Soviet embassy in Ottawa. Under his coat, he carried several documents relating to Soviet espionage activities in Canada and the United States. He strode into the offices of the Ottawa Journal newspaper, but the senior editor politely turned him away. Gouzenko then went to the RCMP and asked to see the Minister of Justice. He was told to return next morning, which he did, only to be informed that the Minister was unavailable.

Igor Gouzenko then went to the Crown Attorney's office, then another newspaper. Finally, he approached his neighbour, a Royal Canadian Air Force sergeant, and told him about the documents. The neighbour convinced the Ottawa police to investigate, and, later that night, two Soviet agents were arrested as they broke into Gouzenko's apartment. This convinced the RCMP that Igor Gouzenko was telling the truth, and they placed him and his wife into protective custody.

The Gouzenko documents revealed that Soviet agents had infiltrated the Canadian military, the National Research Council, the External Affairs Department, the Munitions Department, the British High Commission, and the Atomic Energy Research Program. These documents also contained a considerable amount of information regarding Soviet espionage in the United States.

Gouzenko's information clearly revealed that, as early as 1942, the Soviet government had regarded the Western allies as potential enemies. The documents also indicated that Soviets had infiltrated the Manhattan Project (the atomic bomb research and development program) as early as 1942 and that the Soviet Union was developing its own atomic weapons. The Gouzenko affair heralded the beginning of the "Cold War."

 

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