John Kennett Starnes

John Kennett Starnes, public servant (b at Montréal, Qué 5 Feb 1918). A WWII veteran, Starnes was with the Dept of External Affairs 1944-70.

Starnes, John Kennett

John Kennett Starnes, public servant (b at Montréal, Qué 5 Feb 1918). A WWII veteran, Starnes was with the Dept of External Affairs 1944-70. He was ambassador to Germany 1962-66 and to the United Arab Republic and Sudan 1966-67, when he oversaw the withdrawal of the Canadian contingent of the UN Emergency Force set up after the SUEZ CRISIS.

The first civilian director general of the RCMP Security Service in the eventful years 1970-73, Starnes was criticized by the McDonald Commission (INQUIRY INTO CERTAIN ACTIVITIES OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE) for his acquiescence in unlawful undercover operations.

In Jan 1992, he created a media stir by obtaining the release of Oct 1970 cabinet committee minutes under the ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT which indicated that the RCMP had urged the TRUDEAU government to take a calmer approach to the FLQ kidnapping of British diplomat James Cross and Québec cabinet minister Pierre LAPORTE and not to resort immediately to extraordinary emergency powers.

He has written Deep Sleepers (1981), Scarab (1982), Orion's Belt (1983), The Cornish Hug (1985), and Latonya (1994).