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Judicial inquiry ordered into the Munsinger affair

If Lucien Cardin had kept his mouth shut on March 4, 1966, the sensational political sex scandal may have never surfaced. But, fuelled by taunts, the Liberal minister implied that a German playgirl and alleged KGB spy had relationships with top ministers in Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's government. In the frenzied atmosphere of the Cold War, Cardin's allegations sent the country into a tizzy, sparking the first political sex scandal in Canadian history.

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After weeks of riotous debate in the House of Commons, Liberal Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson names Supreme Court Justice Wishart Spence to head the judicial inquiry into the Munsinger affair. Meanwhile, as shown in this clip, Gerda Munsinger remains in Munich, living the life of a middle class housefrau and preparing for her upcoming marriage. Due to the media flurry surrounding Munsinger, the couple decide to delay their marriage until after the Spence Report is released.
. The Munsinger affair led to a "crisis in parliament" with name-calling and antics reaching new lows.

. CBC reporter Tom Leach reported that in the House of Commons, "Tories were likened to a bunch of whipped dogs and the Minister of Justice Lucien Cardin likened to an animal with rabies who could think of nothing but to hide in a forest biting everything in sight."
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: Sept. 4, 1966
Guest(s):
Reporter: Stanley Burke
Duration: 1:36

Last updated: January 10, 2012

Page consulted on September 17, 2014

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