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Archival description
University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services Subseries
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Vietnam War

Subseries documents Dr. Franklin’s opposition to the Vietnam War, as an academic, a Quaker, a member of Voice of Women, and as a private citizen.

Records includes files documenting A Quaker Action Group (AQAG) and the Quaker Aid program to North Vietnam, including descriptions of the campaigns by U.S. Quakers to make bridges to the ‘enemy’ with the assistance of Canadian Quakers. These developments span 1963 to approximately 1968 and include the pilgrimages across the Peace Bridge from Buffalo to Toronto. Files include reports, lists of medical supplies, brochures, press releases, public education literature, news clippings, and a brief to the Committee on External Affairs re: the situation in Vietnam. Records also include internal Quaker correspondence, letters from the Hanoi Red Cross, and a letter from the U.S. Treasury Department, concerned about the movement of funds.

Subseries also includes records relating to the University of Toronto Teach-ins against the Vietnam War (Toronto International Teach-in). Records include programs, session descriptions, lists of seminar leaders, tickets, and newspaper clippings. Files also include background material, including U.S. government documents on the war, American Friends Service Committee public education literature, and a memo on Vietnam by The War Resisters League.

There is also a file on Dr. Vo Tranh Minh, a Vietnamese Buddhist, scholar and musician who wanted to attempt a reconciliation between the people of the North and South. According to Dr. Franklin, he was influenced by both Gandhi and the Quakers he had met, and spent a number of weeks in Canada to prepare himself to enter South Vietnam. He had planned to walk to the North trying to make contact with all those interested in working out a livable solution on the basis of non-violent conduct. He stayed in Toronto at Friends House where the Quakers tried to obtain press exposure for him, one of the few ways they could protect him in his mission. Unfortunately, not only did the mission fail, but to the best of everyone’s knowledge, Dr. Vo died in a South Vietnamese jail.

Voice of Women and Hydro Ontario

Subseries documents the Voice of Women’s participation in public hearings on the future demands of electricity for Ontario: The Ontario Hydro Demand/Supply Plan Hearings. VOW was the only women’s organization as well as the only peace organization asking for intervener status at the inquiry. Because VOW received funding as interveners, they were able to retain part-time legal counsel and raise a number of issues that would otherwise have not been discussed. Although the inquiry was prematurely discontinued, much of the evidence brought before the panel by the interveners became part of the revised strategy of the next Ontario government.

Subseries also includes more general files on Ontario Hydro, including publications, news clippings, records relating to the sale of tritium.

Voice of Women: Baby Teeth Study

Subseries consists of records documenting the work done by Dr. Franklin and VOW to test baby teeth for levels of Strontium-90, a radioactive isotope in fallout from nuclear weapons testing. From 1962-1964, women across the country collected milk teeth from their children which were submitted to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry, together with information on the family’s residence, diet, etc. in order to be collected and analyzed for ‘natural’ radioactivity. According to Dr. Franklin, with the increased radioactive pollution caused by atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, the composition of children’s bones and teeth would be drastically altered because of the presence of the new radioactive pollutants. The milk teeth of children born before the massive atomic testing would provide the last evidence of bone and teeth laid down under pre-radioactive pollution conditions. Unfortunately these teeth were never analyzed as promised. They were shipped to Chalk River, however, those in power decided not to proceed and in spite of many attempts, the teeth were either not analyzed or the results were not made public. Dr. Franklin believes the analyses were never carried out. This was a severe disappointment to Dr. Franklin and members of the Voice of Women who participated in the program. Nevertheless, the work of VOW was a major contribution to the cessation of atmospheric weapons testing.

Records in this subseries include background material on fallout and Strontium-90; the VOW fallout brief background, draft, and final brief; research data, notes, and graphs; public education material; news clippings; and correspondence.

Voice of Women: General

Subseries consists of records relating to Dr. Franklin’s work with Voice of Women, founded in 1960 by a group of women concerned about the threat of nuclear war. Their first mass meeting was in July 1960 at Toronto’s Massey Hall. The group organized an International Peace Conference in 1962 – the first of its kind. Working alongside Muriel Duckworth, Kay Macpherson, and other leading women in the Canadian peace movement, Franklin brought her scientific experience and knowledge to bear on the work done by VOW.

Records primarily document the activities of VOW in Toronto and Ottawa, but also include coverage of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Regina, and Victoria.

General background records on VOW include the 1968 VOW constitution, reports, papers, newsletters, public education literature, news coverage, research, correspondence and general publications on the Canadian peace movement.

VOW submitted numerous briefs to the House of Commons and various federal commissions and committees on a wide range of issues, including military trade agreements, chemical and biological weapons, Star Wars, Canadian-American military cooperation, arms exports, disarmament, energy policy, and bilingualism and biculturalism. Records relating to these briefs, including background material, correspondence, drafts, and the final briefs, can be found in this subseries.

Other activities documented include election advocacy, public education events, peace conferences, meetings, exhibits, and organizational matters. There are also several files document VOW’s work with the Cluff Lake community, in their opposition to a proposed uranium mining development in Northern Saskatchewan in the late 1970s. Records include correspondence, testimonies, background information and news clippings.

There is also significant documentation of tension in the organization in 1962-1963 around the purpose and priorities of VOW. Records here include results from a controversial opinion poll questionnaire sent to members to gather their opinions, and significant correspondence.

Xerox

Small set of records relating to the Department of Justice and Xerox Canada Inc

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