Peter I. Hidas
The Hungarian Refugee Student Movement of 1956-57 and Canada
A country's brain drain usually benefits other countries. Such was Hungary's case in 1956. According to a contemporary report based on police records over 3,200 university and college students, 11.2% of the total, left Hungary permanently as a direct consequence of the Hungarian revolution of 1956. This report, however, is based on a count of 90% of the refugees and only on those refugees whose departure was reported to the police. If the proportion of students was the same in the unaccounted part of the refugee group, based on the quoted Hungarian Central Statistical Bureau (K.S.H.) report, about 3550 university students than the previous year may have reached the West. However, another publication of the K.S.H. paints a different picture. According to the K.S.H.'s 1958 Yearbook, 7,900 fewer students had registered at Hungarian universities in September 1957. Their numbers declined from 40,800 to 32,900. The day-student population declined by 4,900, from 28,900 to 24,000. This decline was not entirely due to emigration. Some students were arrested and imprisoned or expelled for revolutionary activities. The base was reduced when a large number of high school graduates emigrated and quite a few 18-year olds, many of them eager to avoid the draft, emigrated. The majority of those who did not appear on the 1957/58 university student roll in Hungary, however, left the country and hoped to continue their studies abroad. It is possible that 1,500 day students who stayed behind discontinued their studies. In that case these two K.S.H. reports do not contradict each other. On the other hand, in January 1957, the Coordinating Committee for International Help to Hungarian Refugee Students, received a report from the World University Service that 1,800 students had left Austria each with a scholarship or the prospect of a scholarship while 3,000 students were awaiting placement. The Canadian ambassador reported from Vienna that between November 1956 and April 1957 the World University Service registered approximately 6,800 Hungarian refugee students in Austria. In Yugoslavia an additional 1,326 students were enumerated. The total now was 8,126. The Congress of Free Hungarian Students in Paris compiled a catalogue of 7,948 registered Hungarian refugee university students who left Hungary in 1956 or 1957. The definition of the term "post-secondary student" accounts for the discrepancy between the K.S.H. and the Austrian data.
The refugee students were not all regular university students. Many were evening or correspondence university or college students, high school students, or postgraduates. A few were dropouts, expelled students, individuals who pretended to be students in order to get better treatment in the West, and young non-Hungarian refugees from other communist countries who escaped to Austria by way of Hungary. All were placed on the student university lists, if requested, in collusion with the enumerators. No papers were demanded. There were also a few unregistered students who were never listed because they left Austria quickly and emigrated with the help of friends or relatives and found jobs for themselves within or outside academia. I estimate the bona fide refugee university students to be around 5,000, that is, one sixth of the total post-secondary student population. The exact number of student refugees, however, cannot be established. Certainly, most Western democracies competed for the prized immigrants and promised aid to help complete their studies. Canada was one of these countries.
During the first eight years of their rule until 1956 the communists of Hungary provided free education while restricting the access to post-secondary education for the sons and daughters of the old elite and the business classes. The forced industrialization of Hungary placed a heavy burden on the country and, at the same time, created a new demand for post-secondary graduates. Many students who belonged to a restricted category managed to gain admittance to institutions of higher learning because of the new demands, the proper connections or the falsification of credentials concerning their "class origin". As a result, the social composition of the student bodies at the universities slowly changed.
Following the death of Stalin in 1953 a political thaw began in Eastern Europe. After Imre Nagy, a reform-communist, introduced a "New Course" in Hungary with the approval of Moscow, the intellectuals led a "revolt of the mind" for greater freedom. Most college students followed them enthusiastically. Although the students were the ones who started the Hungarian revolution, few participated in the actual fighting in October 1956. Nevertheless, the defeat of the revolution gave the students cause to fear retribution or, in particular, expulsion from their university. Hungary's western borders were left unguarded or lightly-patrolled for months, and the children of the former "restricted classes" along with those students who participated in the revolution together with other students who rejected the totalitarian society saw an opportunity for freedom and equal opportunity.
From November 1956 onward a large number of Hungarian students, began to arrive in Austria with other refugees. Steps were taken immediate to accomodate the situation. In Vienna the Coordinating Committee for International Student Relief was established to facilitate the student refugees. Three student bodies founded the C.C.I.S.R.: the World University Student Service (W.U.S., Geneva), the coordinating Secretariat of the National Union of Students and the Austrian National Union of Students (Osterreichische Hochschülerschaft). The International Red Cross, the Ministry of the Interior and by the Austrian branch of Caritas, and the International Confederation of Catholic Organizations for Charitable and Social Action provided funds for the students.
The largest group of university population came from Sopron, a Hungarian town located near the Austrian border, came . On November 4 about 450 members from the staff and students of the University of Sopron, of whom 220 were forestry students, crossed to Austria. A second group of Soproners also escaped from Hungary In late November. The latter group, frequently referred to in the correspondence of Canadian immigration officials as the Technical Group, consisted of students and professors from the mining, geophysics, oil engineering and geodesy faculties.
About eighty students from the Technical Group had been members of the revolutionary militia during the uprising. They carried fire arms with them when they crossed the border to Austria. As a result, the authorities arrested and interned them at the Klosterneuburg military camp. They were later released. The unarmed members of the Technical Group were sent to a refugee camp in Judenau, Austria. Meanwhile, the Austrian Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Education settled the forestry students and their professors along with their families either in Strobl am Wolfgangsee or St. Wolfgang. They soon attended classes at the college of Ferienhort on Lake Wolfgang. From Judenau, the technical students contacted Dean Kalman Roller of the Forestry Group who quickly arranged their transfer to Lake Ferinhort. Eventually, a number of Sopron students who crossed the Austro-Hungarian border at a later date, also found their way to Ferienhort.
Table No. 1.
Sopron Forestry Faculty and Student Dispersion after 1956
remained in arrived returned from Austria went
Sopron to Austria to Sopron to Canada elsewhere
Heads of Departments 16 8 3 4 1
Other faculty 49 21 4 10 7
Total faculty members 65 29 7 14 8
Students 390 356 60 200 70
GRAND TOTAL 455 385 67 214 78
The professors and the students maintained contects with their university in Sopron. Some of them smuggled textbooks across the border. By late November the two Sopron groups numbered 604. By now personal, political and professional differences have shattered the unity of the Soproners. On November 26 at a meeting held at Ferienhort they decided to separate into three faculties. Each faculty was to elect its own leader whose task was to find a host country. Letters were sent to heads of state, ministers of education and well-known educational institutions. Dean Roller wrote about the result of the many requests:
England was the first to reply, sending regrets that neither financial nor physical resources could be assured in Great Britain for a unit so large (there were about 300 of us). Italy offered us an ancient castle where the School of Forestry could continue educational activities, eventually with its own teaching staff, but financial provisions could not be assured. Furthermore, the students could not expect to be employed in Italy after graduation since Italy had a surplus of forest engineers. From West Germany came word that a West Berlin university would be willing to accept us as individuals -- professors and students -- but employment again could not be assured. The University of Vienna made it clear that the operation of Sopron University in Austria was not desirable and that the Sopron diploma would not be honoured by the Austrian forest industry. Similar answers were received from others countries...
German-speaking countries proved attractive to the refugee students. Few of the students spoke German but these countries offered generous scholarships, their culture was not unfamiliar and they were relatively close to Hungary. In Germany there were more scholarships available than applicants. Twelve-hundred state and 156 Ford scholarships were made available. Germany was familiar with the problem of refugees due to the steady flow of them from East Germany. A mechanism for their reception had long been in existence. The German representative at the United Nations in Geneva tried to convince his American and Australian counterparts about the greater difficulties refugee intellectuals face than native students. In Austria 534 scholarships were offered to the 705 registered students by Free Europe, the Maltese Cross, the Austrian National Committee and religious aid organizations, including 80 by the Rockefeller Foundation. A number of other European countries also treated the Hungarian refugee students generously but for various cultural or economic reasons few students took advantage of the opportunities presented. In Switzerland the Studenthilfe aided all the refugee students while the Ford Foundation and Free Europe provided a number of scholarships. Denmark offered scholarships to their 39 Hungarian student-refugees. In Holland the Universiter Asezl funds assured scholarships for five years for all the 117 applicants. Norway offered financial support up to January 1, 1958. After that date interest-free loans were made available to be repaid after completion of studies. The Swedish government provided scholarships until June 30, 1958 for 350 Hungarian students who wanted to study in Sweden. After 1958 interest-free state loans were offered.
Three other European countries, England, Italy and France, and two North American ones, the United States and Canada, also attracted Hungarian students-in-exile. These countries offered only limited financial aid to refugee students and few scholarships. Italy where economic conditions were particularly grave in 1957, offered a few grants to students, but most students eventually left the country and continued their studies in other countries. By October l957 in England 200 Hungarian students out of 550, in France about 400 out of 670, in Canada 476 out of 958 and in the USA 658 out of 1726 were still without financial means to continue their studies. The Report of the National Conference of Canadian Universities remains silent on the number of students constituting the proportion of Hungarians who settled in Australia (15,090) as well as in New Zealand and the Union of South Africa. The United States and Australia opposed the granting of scholarships to the Hungarian refugee students. At the United Nations Refugee Fund Executive Committee meeting at Geneva on 30 January 1957 the representatives of these countries suggested that it was useless to let these refugees study the arts, sociology and similar programs that will not lead to sought after employment. Australia's representative, Mr. Currie, declared that "Governments could not be expected to subscribe to the university education of refugee students when many of their own nationals were unable to obtain equivalent education." To avoid controversy, the Ford Foundation provided one million dollars for 530 scholarships for two-year study but only in Europe. The Rockefeller Foundation concentrated its scholarships inside Austria. Hungarian political émigrés, Free Europe, and the CIA also provided European scholarships perhaps hoping to keep the students politically active and in Europe. Neither Otto Habsburg nor Ferenc Marosi, a member of an obscure Hungarian government-in-exile in Spain, were able to dissuade refugee students from leaving for Canada. Most Hungarian refugee students, however, preferred to complete their studies and build a new life far from the turmoil of life in Eastern Europe.
Earlier, on December 25 the two members of the Forestry group returned to Austria from their visit to Vancouver and described their findings to the Soproners at Ferienhort. A few found their report discouraging and decided not to go to Canada. Two days later the camp was closed at Ferienhort. The Soproners were moved to the refugee camps at Hellbrunn and Rositten, near Salzburg, where they were reunited with the students who were released from internment once Canada guaranteed to accept them. Now they numbered 570 persons.
On 29 December 1956, a train with a party of 191 Hungarians left Vienna for Liverpool where they would embark for Canada. At Salzburg another 289 refugee joined the former staff and students of Sopron University already there. Before they left for Salzburg, Canadian immigration authorities took their fingerprints, immunized them against various diseases, and supplied them with temporary visas. When Canadian immigration authorities accidentally omitted twenty Soproners from the list of train passengers and gave their seats to other Hungarian refugees, all the Soproners refused to board the train until they were reassured that the small group would soon follow them. Local Red Cross officials met he train at Liverpool. While the New Year was being rung in, the Hungarians embarked for Canada on board the luxury liner, the Empress of Britain.
On December 28, 1956, the Technical Group, after accepting the invitation of the University of Toronto and the Canadian Mining Association, traveled from their camp near Lake Wolfgang to Salzburg. They arrived in Paris early in the new year on January 5 after a trip on the Orient Express and were taken immediately to Le Havre. The next day they embarked on the Columbia, an old Canadian troop carrier of World War Two vintage. For some reason the ship's captain denied passage to six students. The Hungarians protested but in vain. They had to set sail without them but their telegram to Cox in Vienna brought results. The six were later flown to Toronto, where eventually they reunited with the group. In the early morning of January 15, 1957, the troop carrier arrived in Canada, docking at the port in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They soon departed by train for Montreal.
The Canadian public, especially the university students, responded to the plight of the Hungarian refugees generously. When the student councils of the universities in Toronto and British Columbia ignored pleas to aid the refugee students their members forced them to "salute the students of Hungary" and launch relief drives. The College of Christ the King (London, Ontario) offered one complete scholarship to a male Catholic. The students of Acadian University raised $150 and their administrators offered one scholarship. Those of Queen's donated $1,600. Carleton students organized a walk-a-thone, the students' Council at Saskatchewan voted $1,000 for scholarships, McGill's Student Council offered $500, the University of Montreal students raised $650, and in Toronto the Student Council promised $1,200. The Imperial Oil company indicated that they would provide ten to fifteen thousand dollars for scholarships. By January 7, 1957, the World University Service of Canada secured 60 full scholarships at Canadian universities for the 1957/58 academic year. Hungarian refugee students on their way to Canada had reason to have faith in the generosity of the Canadian people.
On this sentiment did J.W. Pickersgill, Canada's Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration, built his policy concerning the movement
of Hungarian refugee students to Canada. During the autumn of
1956 the post-war Canadian economy was growing rapidly. The booming
economy created a demand for labour in most parts of the country.
Skilled labour was particularly in high demand. The universities
were expanding. Ottawa with its fiscal house in good order increased
its financial support of the universities and embarked upon a
major immigration program. The demographic consequences of the
Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Revolution became the solution to
Ottawa's labour shortage problem. The humanitarian and anti-communist
sentiment of most Canadians and Pickersgill's recognition of the
special value of highly educated immigrants made possible the
special emphasis that the minister could place on the bringing
of the Hungarian refugees, and in particular the university students
amongst them, to Canada.
* * *
The Canadian Embassy in Vienna showed a keen interest in these students at the very beginning of the Magyar exodus. In December 1957 it identified the Forestry Group as well as the Sopron Technical Group's 63 technical students (52 from geodetic, 29 oil mineralogy students, 10 from geology and 14 from geophysics) as promising candidates for immigration. The immigration officer on duty at the embassy was ready to brief his minister.
"I arrived in Vienna," recalled Pickersgill later, "on Saturday afternoon, December 1, 1956 for a visit which lasted three days. As soon as I arrived I met with the Canadian immigration officers and the officials of our embassy. . . .During my visit I received constant help from the late Gordon Cox, a senior officer in our embassy. Gordon Cox told me about the Sopron University of Forestry on the day I arrived in Vienna. Cox had received a visit from Dean Roller who had come to Vienna to explore the possibility of having the faculty move to Canada and settle in a University as a unit."
Pickersgill accepted the idea instantly. Through his wife in Ottawa he contacted James Sinclair, the federal Minister of Fisheries, who was at his home in Vancouver, and asked him to discuss the matter with their mutual friend, N.A.M. Mackenzie, head of the University of British Columbia. Sinclair, within hours after talking to Pickersgill, went to see MacKenzie at the President's House on the campus. Sinclair promised to do everything he could to assist these refugees but suggested that the forest industries be involved in the effort. The names of the Foley brothers came up. Later on Sunday, Sinclair returned to Mackenzie's home with Harold and Joe Foley of the Powell River Corporation. George Allen, Dean of Forestry at U.B.C., and one of Foleys' officers also participated in the renewed discussion. By Sunday evening Sinclair had a promise that the University of British Columbia would receive the Sopron forestry engineering faculty in the ensuing academic year and that the Powell River Paper Company would provide a home at Powell River lumber camp for the Hungarians until it was time to move to the university in the fall of 1957. At midnight Vienna time the Minister of Fisheries immediately telephoned the news to Pickersgill. Next morning Pickersgill, accompanied by Gordon Cox, motored to meet the forestry students and their professors at St. Wolfgang, Austria.
Pickersgill informed the Hungarians that the University of British Columbia was willing to accept them as a separate faculty and that a lumber camp would be their home until September. Dean Roller, leader of the Soproners recalled
Mr. Pickersgill informed us about the conditions we could expect: the Faculty of Forestry of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver had offered to "adopt" the Sopron University of Forestry en masse and to guarantee its maintenance for five years until the current students graduated.
The invitation was accepted. Pickersgill learned from the Forestry Group that there were other faculty members present at the camp from the University of Sopron, professors and students mainly from mining and oil engineering, the Technical Group. Pickersgill promised to embrace their cause as well. From The Hague he telephoned Sidney Hook, the President of the University of Toronto, with his request. "Sidney Hook took a deep breath and then answered without any qualifications, 'You can count on us.' " Then Pickersgill began to make practical arrangements. He arranged passage for the Forestry Group for mid-January and decided to send two professors and two students by the Canadian Pacific Airlines to prepare the groundwork. He asked James Sinclair to contact Hungarian Canadians in Vancouver and ask for cooperation. In addition, Pickersgill ordered his deputy, Laval Fortier, to get in touch with Victor Sifton, the Chancellor of the University of Manitoba, and tell him the following about the Soproners:
These young men are the kind of people we need in Canada to advance our mineral frontiers just as the earlier immigrants your father brought to Canada advanced our agricultural frontiers...great asset for Canada. . . .I am appealing to you personally to lend your active support to the establishment of the Sopron students and faculty in Canada. . . my department is ready and anxious to move them.
By the time this telegram was fired off, Pickersgill had already asked Paul Hellyer, minister without portfolio in the federal government, to explore the possibilities in Toronto for the Technical Group. Ambassador Macdonald reported from Vienna to External Affairs somewhat apologetically: Pickersgill wishes everything to be done immediately. Laval Fortier wanted to involve French Canada. He contacted the Rural Settlement Society in Quebec asking them to consult French Canadian universities in Quebec about the acceptance of the Sopron Technical Group. He warned Pickersgill that the University of Syracuse was also trying to settle the Soproners -- in the USA. Thirty of the Sopron group have already gone to the United Kingdom. George Allen, Dean of the Forestry Faculty at the U.B.C., and the director of Power River Company rushed to Vienna to expedite matters. Cox in Vienna brought them together with the Soproners. He arranged their return flight with the advance party. He also found room on the Empress of Britain for all the Soproners for a January departure from Liverpool. On December 10 the Canadian delegation could proudly tell the United Nations' General Assembly that the entire teaching staff and student body of a Hungarian school of forestry asked for asylum in Canada, and were being adopted by the University of British Columbia and that a further 250 students from the University of Sopron and many other students wish to move en masse to Canada.
While the students and professors were getting ready to move to Canada their reception was organized. Fortier continued his efforts to bring some of the students to a Quebec university. The Rector of Laval University informed him on December 10 that he had made tentative arrangements for housing the Hungarian group. He offered to send immediately his representatives to Austria adding: "English-speaking Canada has been given opportunity to do its share through U.B.C. French Canada would welcome similar opportunity." On the very same day Fortier sent three telegrams to his boss, who was now in London on his way back to Canada, informing him that the Prime Minister's office had received strong representations from Laval University. They wished to host the 175 students and staff from Sopron University and invited the Sopron delegation to visit their institution before they make up their minds about locating. Fortier pressed Pickersgill to act promptly. In his third communication he informed the minister how pleased Cardinal Leger was on learning that the Hungarian immigrants, including students, who will first go to France before leaving Europe for Canada will be learning French during the winter months. This was indirect pressure on behalf of Quebec. Pickersgill, however, was not ready to commit himself to Laval, although they had one of the best equipped mining schools in Canada. At Laval the lectures were given in French but the textbooks were in English -- an extra difficulty for any third-language immigrant. "Tell Laval," Pickersgill wired Fortier, "that their university will be considered by the visiting Hungarian delegation along with the offers of other institutions." It seemed that the matter had already been decided in favour of Manitoba. Very few of the Hungarian students could speak French and most of them wanted to learn English and continue their studies in English. Pickersgill's decision was a practical one.
Chancellor Victor Sifton of Winnipeg had responded promptly to Pickersgill's emotional appeal and invited the complete Sopron non--forestry faculty to Winnipeg where he said they could continue their studies uninterrupted. The Technical Group with some haughtiness accepted the Manitoba offer with this proviso: unless something even more enticing came from other Canadian universities. For Manitoba the problem was that this group of professors and students, unlike the Forestry School, did not represent a complete self-contained faculty. To solve the staffing problem, the group invited a number of North American professors of Hungarian origin to join them in Canada. Sifton agreed and suggested that the gap existing in the faculty be filled from other Hungarian refugees. He requested Fortier to have senior faculty members flown to Winnipeg while he established local liaison with Immigration. Victor Sifton must have been amazed when he received a letter from the Sopron Technical Group that estimated the cost of the balance of the students' education at one and a half million dollars including full scholarship for all students for the next five years. Then the Chancellor made a reasonable proposition. He offered to employ all twenty of the staff reported to be available at the regular salary for each grade. The University promised to keep all members of the faculty employed until May 1960. Instruction of students was to be in Hungarian and the students would receive a "special" degree from the University of Manitoba. Manitoba offered to provide room and board, text books and incidental expenses until December 31, 1957, with the exception of the summer vacation period. From the income of their summer jobs they could pay normal fees for the 1957-58 session and pay their living costs from January 1, 1958, until May 1958. In cases of hardship, Sifton also offered student loans and assistance to find suitable summer employment for a maximum number of 200 students. Then Manitoba suddenly had a change of heart. The University discovered that the Hungarians could not provide enough faculty. The University of Manitoba would not absorb the students as a group into regular classes. The Technical Group, however, was already on its way and expected to arrive on January 14. But where? Pickersgill had to find a solution.
Dean P.R. Gendron of the University of Ottawa expressed some interest in the Sopron mining and oil group. The president of the University of Alberta offered financial aid, assistance in finding employment, instruction in English and special welcoming courses. The Ontario towns of Niagara Falls, Hailbury and Timmins, the Nova Scotia Technical College, the University of Montreal, and McGill also wanted to have some of the Soproners. The most attractive offer came from the University of Toronto. There was, however, little time for negotiations and the Soproners accepted the latter's offer.
Imre Bernolak, a representative of Immigration, went to Toronto on December 26 where he had a strategy session with the advance party of the Technical Group. They all met with Pickersgill at the local Hungarian Engineers' Club to prepare the meeting with Dr. S. Smith. The president of the University of Toronto came with good news on the 28th. The industrialist R.A. Bryce, representing the mining industry, had agreed to provide funds to meet the costs involved in the settling of the Sopron Technical Group until June 1958. The students were to be quartered together for the next five months to take concentrated English instruction together. They would then be employed for three months during the summer by various mines and oil companies. The estimated cost was $200,000. After evaluating qualifications of the students, it was decided that the Hungarians were to study at least two additional years to compensate for language deficiency and differences between the Canadian and Hungarian educational systems. Staff members were to be judged on an individual basis and, if qualified, employed at their appropriate levels by the University of Toronto. In addition, Dr. Smith promised to take an additional 25 Hungarian refugee students who were not part of the Sopron Technical Group. He offered accommodations and bursaries for the Hungarians. Funds were already available for twenty students.
The petroleum engineering students were eventually shipped to Edmonton, the only university in Canada with an oil engineering faculty. In both Toronto and Edmonton the students and the faculty were to join their Canadian counterparts. Actually, it was the advance party of the Hungarians that opposed the continuation of their studies in Hungarian. Once all this was agreed, the University of Toronto arranged with the Ontario government the use of a small reception center at the Canadian Red Cross Society's hostel in Toronto. Later another hostel was found at another Toronto location, Chorley Park. This hostel was to be used until May 31 when the students were to be transferred to private accommodations.
Pickersgill remained at the center of action. He instructed Gordon Cox to arrange for the earliest possible movement to Canada of three or four professors and/or students of the mining and related departments of Sopron University elected by the professors and students as their spokesmen. He wired Fortier to arrange visits to the Universities of Toronto, Manitoba and Laval. He also asked Fortier to keep down the flow of other Hungarian refugees to British Columbia so that the families of the forestry professors can be looked after in Vancouver with the limited facilities available. Once back in Canada, Pickersgill kept up the pace. The National Conference of Canadian Universities was invited to participate in the processing of the students. Fortier was told to ask Dr. F. Stiling of the N.A.C.C.U. in London, Ontario, whether the National Conference would determine the qualifications of individual Hungarian students and direct them to the Canadian universities that were willing to admit them. Pickersgill urged his deputy to act quickly as there were 2,000 students in Vienna according to the Canadian embassy there and these students have had many offers from other countries. "The Minister [Pickersgill], just returned from Austria, gave instructions to our officials to encourage as many of them to come to Canada as possible," noted Fortier. Pickersgill meanwhile told his Director of Immigration, C.E.S. Smith, to advise Vienna to issue visas on sight to any student in Vienna or in camps who apply for a Canadian visa.
In Vienna, the most enthusiastic supporter of the Hungarian refugee movement program, Gordon Cox, was hard at work. He began booking flights for students for January. About a 100 engineering and mining students were assembled in a camp in Vienna for an early departure to Canada. Cox planned to put the Faculty of Forestry along with 850 Hungarian refugees destined for Toronto on the ship Arosa Star . Students in Vienna who wanted to go to Canada signed up with Charles Taylor of the Canadian branch of W.U.S., who then put them in touch with Cox. Taylor registered about 500 Hungarians in 1956. Cox hurriedly arranged transport. He was in "competition" with the provincial governments of Germany who were taking quite a few advance students offering them free tuition and $30 a month to cover room and board. Cox could only make vague promises -- which were unauthorized and without substance. Despite the efforts of Pickersgill, Cox and Taylor, Canada was not able to recruit many students. Canada received only 24 students per thousand Hungarian refugees while Austria took 129, Germany 90 and France 83 (see Table No. 2.). Canada started too late because the politicians could not see the opportunity offered in time. The first wave of refugees consisted of young men and women. Many of them were students. By the time Pickersgill arrived in Vienna families were pouring across the border and the students who arrived to Austria between November 4 and December 2 were offered scholarships by German and other recruiters.
Hungarian Refugees College Students
country Hungarian refugees students s/HR
1960 October 1957
Argentina 1,340 29 2.2%
Austria 9,510 1224 12.9%
Belgium 5,040 306 6.1%
Brazil 1,870 15-20 1.1%
Canada 39,650 958 2.4%
Denmark 950 39 4.1%
England 13,670 550 4.1%
France 8,110 670 8.3%
Germany 14,400 1,300 9.0%
Holland 2,760 117 4.2%
Italy* 120 103 85.8%
Norway 1,570 70 4.5%
Sweden 7,080 350 4.9%
Switzerland 10,480 480 4.6%
United States 44,070 1,726 3.9%
Venezuela 890 4-6 .7%
* Original number of Hungarian refugees arriving in Italy in
1956/57: 4,090. The 103 students taking university courses constitute
2.5% of this sum.
As a further setback, the processing of students for Canada was temporarily interrupted in early February 1957, as a result of a minor scandal in Vienna. The Austrian Hochschülerschaft withdrew from the Coordinating Committee for International Relief for Hungarian Students, taking with them the Committee files accusing the others, including Canadians, of corruption. However, at the request of the Canadian Ambassador, J.S. Macdonald, the files for students destined to leave for Canada were returned and processing could be resumed.
Throughout March, W.U.S. continued to present refugee students to the Canadian Embassy in Vienna. The local immigration officer was planning to process only 150 students for future flights to Montreal. Smith, the Director of Immigration, who apparently had not shared Pickersgill's enthusiasm for Hungarian refugee students, suggested to his immigration officer in Vienna that students who have just began their first year of university study at the time of the revolution, those who had already graduated, and high school graduates should not be included in the special flights. The flight of the 150 was authorized but the Department informed Vienna that it did not intend to visa any more refugee students as such because there was "little likelihood of their being assisted to continue their university studies" in Canada. Smith's views were the same as the American and the Australian representatives at the United Nations. His estimation of the likelihood of the Hungarians obtaining full scholarships in Canada was a correct one. Unfortunately, there was a major misunderstanding between the refugee students and various Canadian authorities whether the students were assured or not of obtaining scholarships when they were still in Europe.
The president of the N.C.C.U. Committee on Hungarian Refugee Students commented in 1958 on the question:
The brutal suppression of the uprising resulted in almost immediate outpourings of promises of succour for refugee "Freedom Fighters." Many of these young students, to whom I express the almost universally outspoken sentiment, to whom Western liberals felt was owed a great debt, a public sentiment that wanted perceptibly in the following months when payment was asked for. Most of these had interpreted vague statements about availability of free scholarships to mean that they would receive immediate assistance and almost immediate acceptance by Canadian Universities. Many were disappointed on their arrival to find that their expectations were baseless but accepted the realities of the situation when these were properly interpreted to them.
The Sopron groups received the most support but not according to their expectations and their understanding of verbal promises. According to the recollections of two of the Sopron professors and authors of the book Foresters in Exile, the Soproners were promised the following:
1. Students of the Sopron Faculty of Forestry could finish
their studies in Hungarian and would be acceptable as professional
foresters in Canada.
2. Canada would pay for transportation to Vancouver.
3. For the duration of their studies, both students and staff would receive financial assistance from the Canadian Government.
4. Professors and students could freely return to Hungary, when and if they wished.
These promises were never put in writing. They were made only verbally probably by Gordon Cox, First Secretary at the Canadian Embassy in Vienna but not by Pickersgill. They were fulfilled except for the first and the third points mentioned, which gave cause for controversy, confusion and bitterness among the Soproners. James Sinclair made one of the first unfulfilled pledges. He wired Vienna on 3 December 1956 promising secure employment to the members of the Forestry Group. The Chairman of the Board of Powell River Corporation qualified his own contribution within days. He had offered his lumber camp to the Soproners for up to one year, but immediately requested the federal government to underwrite the cost of food, clothing, living allowances and the salaries of the cookhouse staff. Sinclair, the Minister of Fisheries agreed. Paul Hellyer also showed caution. He wired Gordon Cox that all students and faculty will be evaluated individually before acceptance and that the University of Toronto will only provide a few bursaries. There were others who also had reservations about Pickersgill's policy. N.A.M. MacKenzie of U.B.C., who originally agreed to welcome the Sopron Forestry School, fired off a personal and confidential letter to his friend L.B. Pearson who immediately forwarded the note, without comment, to Pickersgill. He claimed that it was unrealistic to expect the forestry industry and his university "to look after these Hungarians without help." He figured that the Hungarians would go back to Hungary in due course. This affair, he wrote, is part of the cold war. Financing it is cheaper than purchasing war materiel. He asked for a special federal grant. Pickersgill was furious. In his "Dear Larry" note he assured N.A.M. MacKenzie, that the Sopron group would not go back to Hungary but, in time, they would become an asset to Canada. He reminded his friend that the federal government had recently doubled his university grant for the current year despite the fact that British Columbia was one of the two richest communities in Canada. The minister pointed at the healthier attitude of Manitoba, Toronto and Laval and asked his president-friend to make his contribution.
MacKenzie responded by stating that he could possibly take 200 students "if they came the normal way." The real problem for him was the Hungarian teaching staff whom he categorically refused to add to his faculty in a permanent way -- and he kept his word. He offered classes for the Hungarians from 3:30 in the afternoon until midnight. He felt he was doing his utmost, after all was not Laval doing little and did not Manitoba change its mind? Eventually $100,000 of the new grant were set aside to aid the Soproners. Most of that sum was used for salaries. But the University of British Columbia decided to pay the Hungarian professors and their dean only $3,000 per annum rather than the usual $8,000 that was paid to U.B.C. professors then. The university paid a salary of $2,600 a Hungarian associate professor instead of the regular scale pay of between $6,500 to $7,500. Assistant professors received an income of between $2,200 and $2,500 instead of $5,000 to $6,000; lecturers got $1,400 to $2,200 instead of 4 to 5,000. In addition they were offered group accommodation by Immigration, the "Sopron barracks", at the R.C.A.F. base on Sea Island. Some of the professors left in disgust while others stayed but preferred to live outside the Camp despite "the meager salary" they receive. As far as the students were concerned the University was "adamant." The local district superintendent of Immigration, reported that the University demanded that all the refugee students, regardless of summer employment, pay regular fees.
Once in Canada, the Soproners were told to look for a job for the summer of 1957 as this was customary and was done regularly by Canadian university students in need of funds for their education. Many of the needs of the Soproners were, however, provided and they were able to continue their education with limited funds. Furthermore, since the Soproners received instructions mainly in Hungarian, they were not as handicapped as students who wanted to continue their studies in English and would have needed the summer of 1957 to acquire necessary language skills. This latter group also counted on alleged promises made in Vienna. Were there such promises made?
The most controversial and misinterpreted statement was made at the Vienna Embassy and probably by Cox. Cox sent the following cable to Pickersgill on 19 December 1956: "I am proceeding with arrangements to send a group of students to Canada...intend only to assure them transportation to Canada and suitable arrangements for continuing their studies to those qualified." [Emphasis added, not in the original] Cox must have been aware of the fact that education in Hungary was free and scholarships were provided for those in need and that the refugee students honestly believed that Canada would provide the necessary scholarships. "Suitable arrangements" meant continuous support in Canada as far as the refugee students were concerned. There was no misunderstanding in the mind of Hungarian refugee students and professors who were interviewed in Austria. The fair number of students who were interviewed at the Embassy between November and February knew enough English to eliminate collective misunderstanding. Neither was the issue clouded in the minds of Ottawa civil servants in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship who wanted to treat the students as regular refugees.
Before meeting the newly formed National Conference of Canadian Universities' (NCCU) Committee on Hungarian Refugees Students, Smith, Director of Immigration, noted for himself:
Commitments made to refugee students -
(a) free transportation
(b) Put in touch with Canadian Committee; they will be expected to take employment
At the meeting the Chairman noted that the universities and the N.C.C.U. had made and were making no commitments on admission of students and suggested that the government slow down the flow of incoming students. Fortier, the Director's immediate superior, could not slow down the influx of students even if he wished to do so because of Pickersgill's instructions, but warned Cox that he should make no commitments to the students. Now even earlier assurances were reneged. Oszkár Ferenczi, the self-appointed leader of the Hungarian students arriving to Montreal, claimed that Cox promised full scholarships in Vienna and that this pledge was an important consideration for opting for Canada. The Hungarian refugee students who arrived in Montreal claimed that promises of scholarships were made to them by Canadian officials in Vienna. Stanley Hart, Secretary of the McGill Liberal Club, pressed Pickersgill to see Ferenczi to clear up the matter. While Pickersgill agreed to see Ferenczi, he remained unconvinced. The government maintained that no such promise had ever been made. The Director of Immigration, worrying about the political implications of "favouritism" wanted to distract Pickersgill from carrying through his policy of selective immigration, of bargain hunting. If we maintain the students until September we might be accused, wrote Smith, that "we are treating refugees better than other immigrants and, in fact, better than Canadians." The cost involved is $250,000. We should pay for them only until their academic qualifications are determined, then distribute them and find them employment. The Department should not maintain them until September 1. The International Rescue Committee in Montreal later accepted the students' version of the affair. "Mr. Pickersgill, in a generous mood, invited hundreds of Hungarian University students to Canada on a somewhat nebulous promise that they could continue their education here. Upon their arrival, however, many unforeseen difficulties cropped up and it appeared that the promises would be extremely difficult to implement for technical and even political reasons."
On January 8, 1957, the Soproners landed in Canada at St. John, New Brunswick. They spent eleven days there due to an unexpected delay caused by a railway strike. They left for Montreal on January 19 where they were joined by the twenty fellow-students who had missed the train in Salzburg and were transported to Montreal after the departure of the main group. The foresters, continued their travel on train, affectionately called the "Freedom Train," to British Columbia. There were formal receptions in Montreal and Ottawa. Many enthusiastic Canadians went to greet the refugees at various stops. On January 24 the Freedom Train pulled in to the train station at Matsqui. The group was bused to the nearby Air Force base in Abbotsford where they were settled temporarily until they could be moved to the Powell River workers' camp. During their stay in Abbotsford the professors formed an Advisory Board to organize the curriculum, assign teaching posts and to negotiate with the University of British Columbia concerning programs and degrees to be awarded. The students began English classes, visited Vancouver and relaxed after their long voyage. Four weeks after their arrival in Abbotsford the Soproners moved to the lumber camp of the Powell River company. The residents of Powell River at first were inimical to this movement but due to the exemplary conduct of the refugees, reported Laval Fortier to the Acting Minister of Immigration, were soon won over. The refugees made every effort to help themselves and accepted charity only when absolutely necessary. They organized a Hungarian Night at the Town Hall and took up a silver collection that they donated to the Powell River Athletic Club. As in Abbotsford, the major activity at the camp in Powell River was the daily eight-hour English language study program. The Soproners were encouraged to look for temporary work.
Both the students and the professors had a difficult time obtaining summer jobs. The hoped for assistance from the lumber industry never materialized. Economic slowdown during the summer of 1957 and labour union sentiments against providing the Soproners with jobs demoralized the group. Most of the students eventually accepted unwanted jobs which were hard to fill with Canadian labour. The term "choker-men" became a familiar term among the students, denoting the low-level forestry jobs where opportunities for advancement began and usually ended. Some of the more fortunate ones found better jobs in other places not related to forestry. In most cases, the wages were very low. The members of the staff fared even worse.
The lumber camp served the Soproners from February 20 to September 15, 1957. In September the students and the faculty with their families were offered temporary housing in the military barracks at the Sea Island Air Force base. The Dean of the Hungarians and his Advisory Committee began planning the their first academic year in Canada. The Committee hired additional staff members to fill positions required to complete the school's staff. Most of the instruction was to be given in Hungarian; an advantage at first but later, a steep price had to be paid. The isolation of the Forestry Group from the mainstream at the University of British Columbia also resulted in the downgrading of the diplomas to a Bachelor of Science in Forestry instead of an engineering diploma. The future, nevertheless, looked promising to the Sopron forestry students in September 1957 despite the fact that the new Conservative government of John Diefenbaker was not willing to provide the Sopron group "with the support promised by the previous administration. The promised aid was to consist of a government grant in case there were no other funds available to sustain the operation of the Sopron Division." The Conservative government went in search of funds to avoid direct federal support. In August 1957, David Fulton, the Acting Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, who in November 1956 said that Canada should offer "immediate and unrestricted asylum" to refugees forced to flee from Hungary because of Soviet aggression, planned a visit to Vancouver to make an appeal to some of the lumber interests in British Columbia for assistance. Jack Pickersgill, now in opposition, later appealed to Ellen Fairclough, the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for the continuation of government assistance for the students. Eventually, each student received $65 per month with assurances that this aid would continue until May 1958. In March 1959 the government was still paying. the Department of Citizenship sent a check for $84,000 to U.B.C. The dismantling of the Hungarian Forestry School, recently adopted by British Columbia with great domestic and international fanfare, would have tarnished the image of the new government at home and abroad.
The first year proved to be the most difficult both academically and socially for the Soproners. Fifty-one of the Forestry Group's 191 students abandoned their studies during the 1957/58 academic year. The Hungarian Forestry School was maintained for four years. In 1958 the staff was reduced to 20, to 13 a year later, and, finally, to seven during the last year of the school's existence. The Sopron Division's last official function was the graduation of the class of 1961, 23 students, and the School's closing ceremony.
In Montreal the Sopron mining and technical students ran into
a problem. The Technical Group comprised 124 persons instead of
the 110 for whom arrangements had been made in Toronto. Professor
Vecsey, spokesman for the group claimed that the extra 14 students
had been told by the Minister in Vienna that they could come to
Canada and join the group. The professor insisted that if the
entire group of 124 was not allowed to continue to Toronto from
Montreal to take advantage of the offer from the University of
Toronto, then none of the students would proceed. Pickersgill
denied that he had made any commitment to these students while
he was in Vienna and Dr. Smith stated that his university had
made an arrangement for 110 persons and it would be very difficult
to change the number. He threatened to reconsider the original
offer. Vecsey relented. The tempest in the teapot was over.
Class Distribution in 1957 and Number of Bachelor Degrees
Obtained by Registered Students until 1962
Class Enrollment Left for Degree B.S.F. Degree
in 1957 Private conferred conferred by
business by other Sopron Div.
V 28 1 - 27
IV 39 1 1 37
III 44 4 7 33
II 44 2 22 20
I 55 5 27 23
Total 210 13 57 140
* * * * * *
Eventually the Technical Group arrived in Toronto on January 21 and was housed temporarily in an old mansion on Jarvis Street. The Government of Ontario originally made the old Mulock House on Jarvis Street available but, much to the public dismay and private delight of Pickersgill, the refugees were soon told by Ontario authorities to vacate the premises. The federal liberals could now score against the Ontario conservatives. Chorley Park was made available by the federal government. "Every Canadian concerned for the future of this country should be pleased that we were able to attract these promising young people who are already well on the way to the completion of technical training so badly needed at this time for our national development...Every Liberal ought to be proud that when the provincial government turned out the students the feds fixed the situation," wrote the minister to a Liberal friend in Toronto. When one of his Immigration superintendent asked that the students' pocket money be increased from the weekly one dollar to two dollars to allow for carfare, the ministry wrote back that it has been decided that Immigration should not become involved in the provision of spending money to these refugee students. Civil servants had their own agenda; the safeguarding of the purse. Ignorant of the political bickering, the students attended their English language courses. On completion of the programme each took a proficiency test. The results determined whether or not they had mastered English sufficiently to continue with their studies at the University. The University of Toronto secured them summer employment and the admission procedures began. The Geodesy students were accepted in Civil-Engineering with a loss of one or two years, while the Geology and Mining students lost only one year respectively.
Language difficulties and the different Canadian teaching methods made immediate success impossible. For example, only one of the third year students in Civil Engineering was able to complete his academic year in 1957/58. The others failed but returned the next fall to graduate by 1961. Other Hungarian refugee students, that is those who were not from the University of Sopron, had similar experiences.
The majority of the non-Sopron Hungarian refugee students were brought at first to Montreal. These students numbered more than the Sopron Groups. They came from various faculties of Hungarian universities. Amongst them were a few without any post-secondary background. Most of them were eager to continue their studies, in contrast to the Soproners, in English, preferring English-language universities. They were counting on the perceived support of Canada but were willing to work until classes started. Meanwhile they wanted to learn English quickly. Some, mostly those who came from Budapest, had some basic knowledge of English. Pickersgill's office offered all of them prompt help.
The Department of Immigration planned to scatter these students to the university cities of Hamilton, Kingston, Guelph, Fredericton, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Quebec City and London. In no instance were more than twenty-five students were destined for any one location. Federal financial aid was to be of limited duration lasting to three to four months. As of May 31, 1957, these refugees were no longer eligible for special assistance, except for the regular assistance that was made available for all immigrants. During the period of maintenance i.e., until May 31, 1957, the universities were to provide the refugee students with intensive English language courses and lectures on Canada. Eventually, the Department of Immigration accepted the responsibility for placing these students in summer employment but was not able to keep their promise due to a downturn in the economy during the summer of 1957.
On February 1, 1957, the Hungarian Refugee Students' Center of the National Conference of Canadian Universities began to operate in Montreal. Eventually, 658 students registered with the Center. Two weeks earlier the first 50 of an anticipated total number of 400 students arrived at Dorval airport and were housed at the Immigration Hostel in St. Paul l'Hermite, 14 miles from Montreal. At the end of the month they were gradually moved to another Immigration building, a former jail, at 1162 St. Antoine Street in Montreal. The students received $5 at Dorval and another $5 from the Hungarian Relief Society which together with the International Rescue Committee and the Canadian Red Cross Society became supporters of the Center at St. Antoine St. The students were ill prepared for the Canadian winter. Few had any possessions when they arrived. A limited amount of new clothing was provided but most of the aid took the form of used clothing collected from the people of Montreal. The students began to attend English classes at the St James United Church and later at other church halls. More students arrived. They landed at Dorval on January 16 and 20, February 15, 21, 23, March 25 and 29 and May 14, in total 450. The "jail" became overcrowded. Some of the students left and found low-paying jobs and rented accommodations. The majority stayed. They received $2 weekly while the money lasted. The Department of Immigration then obtained from L'Aide aux Réfugiés Hongrois, additional accommodation at 2450 St. Antoine Street, where a group of about 50 students were sent. By June 1957 the Center had interviewed 540 students, completed their documentation, and entered into correspondence on their behalf with the Canadian universities. In February, McGill opened its own shelter, the Petöfi House, for Hungarian refugee students.
McGill made three houses on MacTavish Street, recently bought from the Red Cross, residences for Hungarian refugee students until August 15, 1957. The Board of Governors at McGill, acting in co-operation with the Government of Canada and the National Conference of Canadian Universities, made available the premises at 3416-20-26 MacTavish Street to serve as hostels for Hungarian student refugees. A small committee under the chairmanship of Senator Hartland Molson worked out the details. Petofi House, as the new residence was named after the famous Hungarian poet Sándor Petöfi, received furniture loaned by the Department of National Defence. Dr. E. Clifford Knowles, Chaplain and Student Counsellor, was placed in charge. Mrs. Frederick Smith, affectionately called the "countess", was appointed by an N.C.C.U. Liaison Officer. Intensive English courses organized by N.C.C.U. were partly financed by the International Refugee Committee. Additional accommodation for female students was found at the YWCA with the help of the Travellers Aid Society. By the middle of March, 68 students had been sent to Petöfi House. At the Petöfi House students attended language classes 24 hours a week and received $25 a month pocket money until May 31 when the government reduced the daily emergency allowance and issued it only to those students who were unable to obtain employment. During its period of operation, until mid-August 1957, Petöfi House hosted 204 residents. Unfortunately, some of the students were stranded at St. Paul l'Ermite, at least 100 in April, and a few at the St. Antoine Street reception center "for whom nothing has been done," commented Chaplain Knowles.
Various university delegations descended on Montreal to select Hungarian students. Dean Ian MacDonald, Chairman of the National Scholarship Committee of the World University Service of Canada chose twenty students to fill available places. By mid-March of 1957 the World University Service of Canada (W.U.S.C.) had processed a meagre sixty-eight applications from the 300 Hungarian student refugees in Montreal. Forty-four students were given assurances of full or partial scholarships immediately or in the near future provided they met the academic standards. The universities agreed to house the students, provide English instructions and aid in the finding of summer employment -- provided the federal government covered most of the expenses involved. McGill offered to take 140 students. The University of Montreal was ready to accommodate fifty-two Hungarians, the Universities of Western Ontario, Ontario Agricultural College, New Brunswick, McMaster, Alberta promised to take twenty-five each, Queen's invited twenty-eight. Laval University wished to host seven students.
Senator H. de M. Molson who had a wife of Hungarian origin, offered Pickersgill to help the students. The minister informed the senator what had been done to date by Vancouver and Toronto and how nice it would be if the same could be said about Montreal. He wrote:
I have been wondering whether you would consider trying to organize a Committee in Montreal with a view to raising privately some financial aid for these students....We need educated people as every industrialist knows, and here we have a chance to get some at almost bargain rates. But it is something the federal Government cannot tackle directly, and I am awfully afraid it is not going to be done very well if it is just left to the universities and to haphazard benevolence.
Molson promised to act promptly with the aid of his wife, Magda, to contact Dr. Cyril James of McGill, and pull all interested parties together. Together with Cyril James they made a general plan.
While Hungarian refugees as a group are important, and a great deal needs to be done in working out a satisfactory scheme for their reception, it is probable that the comparatively small group of students is among the most important element in the whole problem. These were selected individuals in Hungary, they have greater than average ability, and they are likely to be of greater importance to Canada, or to the future of Hungary, than the remainder of the refugee group. By the same token, since they are highly intelligent and sensitive, this group is apt to become more easily embittered if the present unsatisfactory situation continues very much longer.
The first job was, they suggested, to provide high quality English language classes. Humanities students should continue study during the first summer rather than waste time in low paying summer employment that would not prove beneficial to quick adjustment to Canadian life. They wanted the federal government to make a financial contribution. They also suggested that the Canadian universities remit tuition fees of qualified students while the N.C.C.U. should provide bursaries for each school year, until the completion of degrees. For the required 1/4 million dollars needed to support 500 Hungarian refugee students they suggested a nation-wide campaign. Senator Molson initiated a fund raising campaign. Orientation sessions were to be organized to provide information about other universities. Some students were eventually expected to seek summer employment, particularly the engineering and the technology students; others were to be given summer courses. The Molson-James plan, probably the ideal solution to the Hungarian student problem, was never realized. There was not enough private or public support. Not many people understood the visions of Pickersgill, Molson, and James.
The University of Western Ontario responded halfheartedly to Pickersgill's invitation to support the Hungarian refugee student movement. The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine asked for federal money but since education in Canada has been always a provincial responsibility Pickersgill suggested a partnership of university and industries to absorb costs for the majority of the Hungarian students. A committee (Joint University Committee) representing faculty and students at the university met with Mr. Vince of the Department of Immigration and Mrs. Poole of the Hungarian Refugee Committee in London to discuss the suggestion of bringing a number of Hungarian students to London, Ontario. The first committee promised to find accommodation for 25, the second pledged to find jobs. The Joint University Committee engaged to provide some social life, and the English Department language courses. Scholarships were promised for the best five students. The rest were to fend for themselves.
The University of Alberta agreed to take twenty-five Hungarian refugee students provided that Pickersgill paid $3 per diem for each of them. The university promised to find summer jobs for them but refused to commit itself to admitting a single one of the students in September. Soon they changed their minds and told federal authorities that students should find work for themselves. The Department of Education of Alberta refused to contribute a cent to the cost of English courses for the refugees. Laval Fortier complained to his minister: "Alberta's attitude to citizenship and language classes has not been very progressive." Eventually, Pickersgill sent $2,950 to cover half the cost of these courses.
Next, Pickersgill received a communication from McMaster University of Hamilton, Ontario, explaining what they planed to do for the twenty-five students they agreed to accommodate at federal expense. They promised to secure accommodation for them at private homes and organized English courses at a local high school as long as Ottawa paid for these expenses. Hamilton showed little generosity.
This University can make no present undertaking to receive any or all of this particular group next fall. This University is not at the moment prepared to promise waiver of fees for the coming year for any Hungarian students beyond the three already in our midst preparing for university entrance next autumn. Our undergraduates will not be in a situation or a mood to do very much for these Hungarian students at this time of year.
The University of New Brunswick offered to accept fifteen students on a temporary basis after they found a single volunteer, Dr. T.H. Weiner, who volunteered to tutor them. The University of Ottawa had found place for eleven students by May 1957. After the collapse of the plans for the Technical Group, the University of Manitoba offered space for eleven male students but, as others, the university also emphasized that it could make no commitment on their entry to regular classes in September.
By March 1957 Pickersgill realized that funds available for Hungarian refugee students were very limited and, as a result, a quarter to a half of the students invited to Canada to continue their studies would be unable to resume their studies in the fall of 1957. He decided to turn to the American Ford Foundation. He asked Pearson to request a scholarship of $500 for each of the 250 to 500 students. Pearson scribbled on the margin of Pickersgill's note: "they could give a 1/4 million." Pearson then wrote to the Ford Foundation pleading for aid for 250 Hungarian students who, he wrote, would not be able to continue their studies unless at least $125,000 could be found, preferably a 1/4 million. At this time the number of students without support stood at 380, according to the Canadian Director of Immigration. The Ford Foundation responded with regret telling Pearson that assistance of Hungarian students in Canada was not within the terms of the Trustees' action. Scholarships were destined to Hungarian students in Europe only. There was no financial reason for Pearson to go cap-in-hand to the Americans. The budget was balanced, the coffers of the government were full. Canadian politicians could not and would not override the public attitude of "rugged individualism." Canadian students received little aid themselves.
There was a general air of depression and consternation among the students when they arrived and when they were not met with expected scholarships and other aid. Public reaction had already set in; protests were being received by universities and governments against granting scholarships to foreign students before more scholarships were available for Canadian students. Consequently, Hungarian refugee students already in Canada were not able to devote the summer of 1957 to prepare themselves for university entry. Government funds ran out by June 1 and the students were forced to seek employment to support themselves. For most Canadians this arrangement seemed most natural because this was the way many Canadian students financed their way through college. The search for jobs and work deprived most of the refugee students from receiving intensive language training during the summer. Consequently, the majority of them, except for the Forestry Group that received instructions in Hungarian, were unsuccessful during the academic year 1957/58. The Forestry Group students were also obliged to work. Some of them were only able to find part-time work. Eighteen students were not able to find any work since the threat of a lumber strike had curtailed practically all logging operations in British Columbia and really remunerative employment was hard to find in that province. McGill found job for 156 student but forty-four were without employment in mid-June. Most of the students in Kingston, Hamilton, Ottawa and Winnipeg found some work.
Besides from the two Sopron groups, 280 refugee students were successful in registering at Canadian universities for the academic year 1957/58. Of this number 215 received some type of financial assistance. The refugees attended courses at thirty-four institutions of higher learning. Altogether there were 1030 Hungarian refugee students in Canada on January 1, 1958. Nine hundred and fifty-eight of them had been surveyed as previously attending schools in Hungary at the following faculties:
Engineering 575 60%
Science 85 8.87%
Arts 61 6.61%
Commerce 48 5.01%
Medicine 53 5.60%
Agriculture 37 3.86%
dental 24 2.50%
veterinary 13 1.35%
others 26 2.70%
Studies 10 1.04%
could not prove
standing 26 2.71%
Half of all the students, 499, were not able to attend school in 1957. The unfortunate unemployment situation in the winter of 1957/58 made it difficult for many of these students to earn money to attend school in 1958/59. The most generous schools were McGill and Sir George Williams Universities in Montreal. The first accepted 74 students and provided financial assistance for 70 of them while the second accepted 27 refugees and found aid for 22. The two Sopron groups were aided by Toronto and the University of British Columbia with generous contribution provided by the federal government and industry. Complete scholarship, including free tuition, board and lodging was offered to 40 students. For 64 the universities waved the tuition completely. Free tuition and some financial help were offered to 33 Hungarians, board and lodging and financial aid to seven students. Bursaries, loans, meals, textbooks and instruments and partial relief from tuition payment were offered to 312 of them. Sir George Williams waved 22 tuition fees, McMaster postponed deadlines and collected years later. London, Ottawa and McGill gave seven full scholarships each. Most of the others succeeded later on their own. Hardly any repatriated. One can find them on the faculty roster of almost all academic establishments. Numerically the Hungarian refugee students had some impact on the enrollment rostrum of Canadian post-secondary educational institutions. The increase in enrollment from 1955/56 to 1956/57 amounted to 5,271. The difference between the 1956/57 and 1957/58 figures is 8,400. The half thousand Hungarian students fell into this category. During the following two academic years the increases were 7,900 and 7,600.
In 1956 and early 1957 about 20% of the post-secondary population of Hungary left for the West because of the Hungarian revolution and the misrule in Hungary of the Muscovite communists. They were welcomed as freedom fighters, as refugees because they constituted an asset as highly educated individuals to any host country. European and overseas nations as well as the united Kingdom agreed on the importance of this migration movement but differed on the role the state should play in aiding the Hungarian refugee students in the completion of their studies. For example West Germany, The Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries offered the kind of support the Hungarians were accustomed to at home, that is free education plus room-and-board if needed. Overseas countries, including Canada, were willing to provide the same support as they gave to ordinary immigrants and their own student population, letting charitable institutions and generous individuals do the rest on an individual basis. In Austria and Yugoslavia this attitudinal difference was not known to the Hungarian refugee student refugees. Most of them preferred to continue their studies overseas but when European countries made tempting offers they responded. Canada welcomed the students but the invitation was a delayed one.
Most of the students left Hungary in the four weeks following the crushing of the Hungarian revolution. During the month of November 1956 the Canadian government showed little interest in the Hungarian refugee movement. Only after the arrival in Vienna in early December did the benefits of selecting highly educated refugees become obvious to Pickersgill. By that time many of the students were committed or were gone. The British were there early to pick the cream of the crop. Nevertheless, Pickersgill with great energy managed to "acquire" about 1,000 of the lot. The forestry students and faculty, as a result of Pickersgill's determined effort and despite local opposition, continued their studies and work as an institution, a unique achievement at the time in the world. Most of the other students had to fence for themselves because neither the federal government nor the provincial governments were willing to provide aid to the Hungarians that they would not provide to Canadian students. The had the financial means, healthy budgets and large surpluses, but not the political will override the views of the general public. There were a few generous universities, student and various organizations as well as individuals who provided partial or full scholarship to a few individuals but such support was always available to gifted Canadian students. Students were expected to work their way through college. During the summer of 1957 the Hungarian refugee students worked but the result was lack of proper language preparation for the 1957/58 academic year. Determination and hard work did get most of them into one or another Canadian institution of higher learning. In 1956/57 there were 78100 students enrolled at Canadian universities. The number grew to 86,500 by 1957/58. One sixteenth of the increase in the student population was due to the presence of the Hungarians who eventually made their mark on Canada's intellectual life.
HUNGARIAN REFUGEE STUDENTS AT CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES 1957
University accepted students accepted with
Acadia University 1 1
University of Alberta Table No.4.18 13
Assumption University 1 1
British Columbia 23 11
Sopron Forestry Group 193 193
Carleton 3 2
Dalhousie University 4 2
Laval University 2 2
University of Manitoba 21 4
McGill University 73 71
McMaster University 7 7
University of Montreal 6 6
Mount Allison University 1 1
University of New Brunswick 5 5
Nova Scotia Technical College 1 1
Ontario Agricultural College 1 -
University of Ottawa 9 8
Queen's University 12 12
St. Dunstan's College 2 2
St. Francis Xavier 4 4
St. Joseph's University 1 1
St. Mary's University 2 2
University of Saskatchewan 4 4
Sir George Williams College 27 22
University of Toronto 28 7
Sopron Technical Group 49 49
University of Western Ontario 16 12
National Research Council 2 -
Université Sacre Coeur 1 1
Ecole de Médicine Veterinaire 1 1
Ecole des Hautes Etudes 1 1
Ecole Polytechnique 8 8
Loyola College 1 -
Ontario Veterinary College 1 -
Alberta College 2 2
Alma College 2 2
Prince of Wales College 2 2
I used underlining and capitalization of words whenever they
appeared in the titles of the original documents
This project was made possible with financial assistance of Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada and the Research Institute for the Study of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Budapest.
(1 )"KSH-jelentés az 1956-os disszidálásról," [KSH Report about the 1956 Defections] Regio 2, No.4 (1991): 174-211; Gyula Várallyay, "Tanulmányúton" Az emigráns magyar diákmozgalom 1956 után [On a Study Trip; The Emigré Hungarian Student Movement after 1956] (Budapest: Századvég, 1956-os Intézet, 1992): 85.
(2)Magyar statisztikai zsebkönyv (XVIII. évfolyam) 1958 [Hungarian Statistical Pocket Book (volume 18) 1958] (Közgazdasági és Jogi Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 1958): 20.
The Problem of Hungarian Refugees in Austria, submitted by the High Commissioner, A/AC. 79/49, United Nations, General Assembly, Chief Executive Committee, Fourth Session, 17 January 1957.
J.S.Macdonald, Ambassador, Vienna, to the [L.B. Pearson] Secretary of State for External Affairs, Ottawa, 25 April 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.
M.H.Wershof, Permanent Representative, The Permanent Mission of Canada to the European Office of the United Nations, Geneva, to the Undersecretary of State, 5 July 1957, National Archives of Canada, Records of the Immigration Branch (RG 76), Box 862, File 555-54-565,Hungarian Refugee-policies, pt. 3.
Professor Charles Taylor, McGill University, the representative of the Canadian Students Organization in Vienna in 1956/57, interview, 16 November 1995, Montreal.
The exodus was greatest from Budapest (53%) and especially from its middle class districts. 10,5% of the age group 20 to 24 left Budapest (from the country less than 3%), ("KSH-jelentés az 1956-os disszidálásról," [KSH Report about the 1956 Defections] Regio 2, No.4 (1991): 191). The proportion of Jewish students was over ten per cent of all the refugee-students while Jews constituted about one per cent of the population of Hungary. Very few parents of the Jewish college students belonged to the peasantry or the industrial working class. Two-third of the Jews of Budapest survived the Holocaust but 80% who lived outside Budapest parished.(Tamás Stark, "Hungary's Casulties in World War II," Hungarian Economy and Society during World War II, ed. György Lengyel (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993): 195.
J.S. Macdonald, Ambassador, Vienna, to the [L.B. Pearson] Secretary of State for External Affairs, Ottawa, 16 November 1956, National Archives of Canada, Records of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (RG 26), Box 146, File 3-41-22.
Sopron Chronicle; Hungarian Foresters in the Western World 1919-1986 by Sopron Alumni U.B.C., Part One: Hungarian Foresters in Canada; A Successful Freedom Flight of a Forestry School from Sopron, Hungary to Vancouver, British Columbia, by Kalman J. Roller (Toronto: Rákóczi Foundation Inc., 1986): 50, 127.
Adamovich and Sziklai, 16.
The Problem of Hungarian Refugees, The Thirty-Nineth Meeting of the United Nations Refugee Fund Executive Committee, Fourth Session, Geneva, 1 February 1957, A/AC. 79/SR 39.
The Problem of Hungarian Refugees, The Twenty-Nineth Meeting of the United Nations Refugee Fund Executive Committee, Fourth Session, Geneva, 30 January 1957, A/AC. 79/SR 29.
The Sopron Chronicle, 60-61.
Hungarian Refugee Relief; Report on the relief for Hungarian refugees undertaken by the League and member National Societies in Austria, Yugoslavia and countries for transit and resettlement October 1956 - September 1957 (Geneva: League of Red Cross Societies, 1957): 61-62; The Sopron Chronicle, 63.
Ubyssey, 6 November 1956, 8 November 1956.
10 November 1956, RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22.
World University Service of Canada, News, 3 December 1956, ibid.
Memo for the Deputy Minister by J.S.C., 12 December 1956, ibid.
L.Perinbam to Laval Fortier, 7 January 1957, ibid.
Gordon Cox, First Secretary, Canadian Embassy, Vienna, for Laval Fortier, The Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration, Ottawa, 10 December 1956, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
"Forward" by J.W. Pickersgill [no date] in Sopron Chronicle; Hungarian Foresters in the Western World 1919-1986, 10; Dean Roller in his book does not mention this visit and recalls that his first knowledge of Canada's acceptance came through the morning broadcast on December 4, 1956. He writes that Miss Joyce Biddell, a social worker from England, working in Austria for the Inter-Chruch Aid program of Great Britain and the Reverend Ernö Nagy, who served as a minister of refugees in Austria, interceded on behalf of the Soproners at the Canadian embassy (The Sopron Chronicle, 57).
"Forward" by N.A.M. MacKenzie in Laszlo Adamovich and Oszkar Sziklai. Foresters in Exile; The Sopron Forestry School in Canada (Vancouver: The University of British Columbia, 1970.)
The Sopron Chronicle, 10.
Ibid., 58; Foresters in Exile, 2.
J.W. Pickersgill, My Years with Louis St Laurent; A Political Memoir (Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1975): 243.
J.W. Pickersgill to Laval Fortier and James Sinclair, Federal Department of Fisheries, Vancouver, 4 December 1956, National Archives of Canada, The Papers of J.W.Pickersgill (MG 32), B 34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, 1956-57, Hungarian Refugees. Student Group.
J.W. Pickersgill, The Hague, to Laval Fortier, Ottawa, 7 December 1956 and J.W. Pickersgill to Laval Fortier, repeat to Vienna, 7 December 1956, , ibid.
Canada's Ambassador J.S.Macdonald, Vienna, to External Affairs, 6 December 1956, ibid.
Laval Fortier to Paul Hellyer, 6 December 1956, RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41- 22.
Laval Fortier, Ottawa, to J.W.Pickersgill, The Hague, 7 December 1956, ibid; For Laval Fortier from Gordon E. Cox, 10 December 1956, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D 1956-57, Hungarian Refugees. Student Group.
Laval Fortier to the Canadian Embassy, Vienna, 7 December 1956 and Gordon E. Cox to Laval Fortier, 10 December 1956, ibid.
The Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, New York, to External Affairs: Roch Poinard at the UN General Assembly, 10 December 1956, G 25, 86/87/336, Box 160, File 5475-EA-4-40/2.
C. Ouellet, Dean Science Faculty, G. Letendre, Director School of Mines to Pickersgill, 10 December 1956 and J.W.Pickersgill to Gordon E. Cox, First Secretary, Canadian Ambassy, Vienna, 12 December 1956, MG 32, B34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, Hungarian students, 1957.
Laval Fortier to J.W.Pickersgill, 10 December 1956,ibid.
J.W.Pickersgill to Laval Fortier, 12 December 1956, ibid.
Victor Sifton, Winnipeg , to Laval Fortier, 10 December 1956, RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22.
Gordon E. Cox to Laval Fortier,11 December 1956, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
Laval Fortier to J.W.Pickersgill, sent to London, Office of the Canadian High Commissioner, 11 December 1956, ibid; President, University of Alberta to Pickersgill, 11 December 1956, MG 32, B 34, File I-2-5545D 1957, Hungarian Refugees. Students.
Message from the Secretary of State for External Affairs to the Canadian Ambassador, Vienna, 18 December 1956 [?], RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22, part 1.
A.R.Tucker, Chairman, University of Manitoba, to J.W.Pickersgill, 3 January 1957, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D 1956-57, Hungarian Refugees. Student Group.
Dean P.R.Gendron, U. of Ottawa to J.W.Pickersgill, 13 December 1956 and President of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta to J.W. Pickersgill, 27 December 1956 and Bill Houck, MP. to J.W. Pickersgill, 13 December 1956 and C.D.Howe to J.W. Pickersgill, 14 December 1956 and J.S.C. to Deputy Minister, 19 December 1956, ibid.
Imre Bernolak to Dr. S. Smith, President, University of Toronto, 8 January 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
Central District Superintendent Stirling to Chief, Operations Division, Att'n Mr. Manion, 16 January 1957 and Imre Bernolak's Memorandum for the Deputy Minister, Re: Detailed Report - Resettlement of Sopron University refugees - non-forestry group, 24 January 1957 and J.S.Cross, Executive Assistant, to Rev. M.Beauchamp, O.M.I., Chairman, NCCU Committee for Hungarian Refugee Students, University of Ottawa, 11 February 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
J.W. Pickersgill to Gordon E. Cox (for Laval Fortier too), 12 December 1956, ibid.
Laval Fortier, Ottawa, to Dr. F. Stirling, National Conference of Canadian Universities, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., 17 December 1956, Ibid.
C.E.S. Smith, Director, to J.L.Manion, 18 December 1956, RG 76, Vol.862, File 555-54-565 pt.1.
Gordon E. Cox to Pickersgill, 19 December 1956, RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22; also RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
20 December 1956, Canadian Jewish Congress, Montreal, Archives, JIAS, CA 00070 00636, Hungarian Refugees 1956, 02068, November-December 1956.
Gordon E. Cox to Col. Laval Fortier, 8 January 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
United Nations, General Assembly, Chief Executive Committee, Fourth Session, 17 January 1957, The Problem of Hungarian Refugees in Austria, A/AC.79/49.
Report of the Statistical Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees, National Archives of Canada, Records
of the Department of External Affairs (RG 25), 86-87/ 336, Box
Report of National Conference of Canadian Universities. Hungarian Refugee Students' Centre Covering Full-Time Period of Office, February 1st to September 30th 1957, RG 26, Int. 180, Box 863, File 555-54-565-2,Part 2.
Ambassador J.S. Macdonald, Vienna to The Secretary of State for External Affairs, Ottawa,"Trouble in the Selection of Students", 15 February 1957, ibid. I do not wish to name persons connected with this incidents since no judicial inquiry ever took place.
J.S.Cross' Memorandum for the Deputy Minister, 14 March 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
A/Chief, Administrative Division to Attache, Canadian Embassy, visa Section, Vienna, 22 March 1957, ibid.
See note 21.
Report of the N.C.C.U. Committee on Hungarian Refugee Students, 5 June 1958, ibid.
Laszlo Adamovich and Oszkar Sziklai, Foresters in Exile; The Sopron Forestry School in Canada (Vancouver: The University of British Columbia, 1970): 14.
James Sinclair to Macdonald, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, 1956-57, Hungarian Refugees. Student Group.
Chairman of the Board, Powell River Company Limited to James Sinclair, Minister of Fisheries, 7 December 1956 and J. Sinclair to Chairman of the Board, Powell River Company Limited, 18 December 1956, ibid.
10 December 1956, RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22.
L.B.Pearson to J.W. Pickersgill, 18 January 1957, MG 32, B34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, Hungarian student groups, 1957.
J.W. Pickersgill to N.A.M. MacKenzie, President, University of B.C., Vancouver, B.C., 1 February 1957, ibid.
N.A.M. MacKenzie, President, University of B.C., Vancouver, B.C. to J.W. Pickersgill, 12 February 1957 and N.A.M.MacKenzie to J.W. Pickersgill, Personal, 1 March 1957, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, University of British Columbia.
P.W.Bird, District Superintendent of Immigration, Pacific District, Vancouver, to Director of Immigration, Ottawa, 12 July 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.
RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22; also RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
9 January 1957, RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22.
Meeting at the University of Ottawa, NCCU Committee on Hungarian Refugee Students, 9 January 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
11 January 1957, ibid.
Morrie Shoet, President, Students' Executive Council of McGill University, to Lewis Perinbam, Toronto, 30 January 1957, RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22.
Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Ottawa to Ambassador Macdonald, Vienna, 12 February 1957; Gabriel Gagnon, National Federation of Canadian University Students, Carleton, Ottawa to J.W. Pickersgill, 13 February 1956, MG 32, B 34, File I-2-5545D 1956-57, Hungarian Refugees. Student Group.; James S. Cross, Acting Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for the Ambassador, Vienna, 12 February 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
11 February 1957, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D 1956-57, Hungarian Refugees. Student Group.
C.A.S.Smith, Acting Minister's Memorandum to the Minister, 15 February 1957, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I 2-5545D McGill; also RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
Robert Hill, President, International Rescue Committee, Montreal to T. H.Matthews, Chairman, Special NCCU Committee, McGill, 10 April 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
Laval Fortier's memorandum to the Acting Minister, 24 July 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.
The Sopron Chronicle, 75, 76, 79, 80, 82.
Ibid., 93., 95, 97, 102.
The Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 1956.
Acting Director to Pacific District Superintendent, 2 August 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.
The Sopron Chronicle, 102-6, 108, 114, 119-121.
J.L.Manion's Memorandum for file. Subject: Sopron University. Mining and Technical Students, 31 January 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
Sopron Chronicle, 125.
J.W. Pickersgill to Charles J. Henry, 4 March 1957, MG 32, B34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, 1957.
Acting Central District Superintendent [Stirling?] to The Director, 19 February 1957; To the Acting Central District Superintendent, Toronto, from the Chief, Administrative Division, Sopron University Mining Group, 7 March 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
Foresters in Exile, 130-132.
D.W.Sloan, Chief Administrative Division [to all superintendants plus town immigraton officers] 11 March 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
A/Chief, Operations Division to All District Superintendants, 24 April 1957, ibid.
REPORT OF NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES, HUNGARIAN REFUGEE STUDENTS' CENTRE, Covering Full-Time Period of Office, February 1st to September 30th, 1957 [no signature], 30 September 1957 [?], RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.; Report of the N.C.C.U. Committee on Hungarian Refugee Students, 5 June 1958, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.
REPORT OF NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES HUNGARIAN REFUGEE STUDENTS' CENTRE, Covering Full-Time Period of Office, February 1st to September 30th, 1957, ibid; HUNGARIAN STUDENT REFUGEES, Dictated by Senator Hartland Molson's Secretary in Montreal, 18 February 1957, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I 2-5545D, McGill.
J.S.Cross to Imre Bernolak, 19 March 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
E.Clifford Knowles, PETOFI HOUSE, 15 October 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.
E. Clifford Knowles, Warden, Petofi House to T.H. Matthews, Chairman NCCU Hungarian Refugee Committee, 10 April 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
WUSC REPORTS ON HUNGARIAN SCHOLARSHIP PLACEMENTS, 13 March 1957, RG 26, Box 146, File 3-41-22, part 1.
J.S.Cross' Memorandum for the Deputy Minister, 14 March 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
J.W. Pickersgill to Hon. H. de M. Molson, 1 February 1957, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I 2-5545D, McGill.
H. De M. Molson to J.W. Pickersgill, 6 February 1957, ibid.
HUNGARIAN STUDENT REFUGEES, general plan, 9 February 1957,ibid.
HUNGARIAN STUDENT REFUGEES, Dictated by Senator Hartland Molson to his Secretary in Montreal, 18 February 1957, ibid.
J.W. Pickersgill to J.B.Collip, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., 12 February 1957, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
C.E.S. Smith,Director to the Deputy Minister, 8 March 1957, MG 32, B 34, File I-2-5545D 1957, Hungarian Refugees. Students; also in RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
Laval Fortier's Memorandum to the Minister, 9 April 1957, MG 32, B34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, Hungarian student groups,1957.
Statement of Policy, University of Alberta, 14 March 1957, MG 32, B 34, File I-2-5545D 1957, Hungarian Refugees. Students.
G.P. Gilmour, McMaster to J.W. Pickersgill, 19 March 1957, MG 32, B34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, 1957, McMaster.
J.S.Cross' Memo for File, 1 April 1957 RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
R.A.Shields, Regional Liaison Office, Winipeg, to Mr. H.L.Voisey, 11 April 1957, ibid; G.l.Brodersen, Assistant Dean's Memorandum on Hungarian Students Coming to University of Manitoba, 12 April 1957, MG 32, B34, Box 56, File I-2-5545D, Hungarian student groups,1957.
J.W. Pickersgill to L.B. Pearson, 21 March 1957, NAC RG 25, 86-87/336, Box 152, File 5475-DW-51-40, part 3.
L.B.Pearson to Rowan Gaither, Jr., The Ford Foundation, RG 25, 86/87/336, Volume 160, File 5475-EA-4-40, part 4: April 1, 1957 to October 31, 1957.
J.S.Cross' Memo for File, 1 April 1957 RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 1.
H. Rowan Gaither, Jr., Ford Foundation, to L.B. Pearson, 3 April 1957, RG 25, 86/87/336, Volume 160, File 5475-EA-4-40, part 4: April 1, 1957 to October 31, 1957.
Report of the N.C.C.U. Committee on Hungarian Refugee Students, 5 June 1958, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.
P.W.Bird, District Superintendent of Immigration, Pacific District, Vancouver, to Director of Immigration, Ottawa, 12 July 1957, ibid.
James C. Cross,Executive Assistant' Memorandum to the Minister, 13 June 1957, MG 32, B 34, Box 56, File I 2-5545D, McGill.
HUNGARIAN REFUGEE STUDENTS File HR16 [unsigned],1 January 1958, RG 26, Int.180, Box 863, File 555-54-562-2, part 2.
REPORT OF NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES HUNGARIAN
REFUGEE STUDENTS' CENTRE, Covering Full-Time Period of Office,
February 1st to September 30th, 1957, ibid.