John Watkins (Canadian diplomat)

John Clark Benjamin Watkins (* 1902 on the Norval station in Brampton, Ontario, † October 12, 1964 in Montreal) was a Canadian ambassador.


John Watkins was the first child of Jane Clark and John Watkins, who, lived on a farm near the small Grand Trunk railway depot of Norval station. His father died in 1906. Watkins studied at the University of Manitoba Scandinavian Pedagogy and entered the Foreign Service in 1946.

In 1948 he was sent to the embassy in Moscow. He won a large circle of friends, which made it possible for him to travel to places which other foreign diplomats were not accessible. For example, he visited September-October 1954 Central Asia and from 5 to 14 July 1955, the Crimea. In 1955 he organized as Chargé a state visit to the Canadian Foreign Minister Lester Pearson in Nikita Khrushchev.

Anatoly Mikhailovich Golitsyn reported in 1961 by a forced recruitment by the KGB Watkins. 1963 reported Yuri Vasilyevich Krotkow [ wp 1] for more details. 1964 Yuri Ivanovich Nosenko had [ wp 2] Watkins as an inverted ambassador. James Jesus Angleton was the suspicion notify the Canadian government authorities. Watkins remained, retired, sick in Paris. He was ordered out of retirement to London. In London, Watkins was arrested and charged with the help of the CIA in the Holiday Inn, 420 Sherbrooke St. West Downtown Montreal transferred. There Watkins was interrogated from mid-September 1965 by Leslie James Bennett and Harry Brandes of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Less than a month after his arrest died Watkins. The coroner who conducted the inquest had not been informed that it was a reactivated diplomats at Watkins. The official obituary stated that John Watkins died surrounded by his illustrious friends at a farewell party to a myocardial infarction.

Published in 1980, David Martin, the book Wilderness of Mirrors was in the claimed Watkins had been the target of Soviet blackmail, against the background of his homosexual orientation. In October 1981, called Jean -François Duchaine, a parliamentarian of the Parti Québécois, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to report the death of Watkins. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police report from 1964 showed meanwhile gaps.

In a hearing on the circumstances of death of Watkins has been claimed that the nearly month-long interrogation by Watkins in Canada was interrupted for ten days, in which Watkins visited his cousins ​​in Norval and the doctor Alec Capon, who introduced him to a hospital. The briefing came Watkins at your own risk not after. The recent police report admitted that Watkins died during a police interrogation in a hotel room in Montreal and found that he had not complied with extortion attempts by the Soviet Union.


  • Ian Adams, Agent of Influence: A True Story Toronto: General, 1999.