Pearson Says Canada Will Cut Off Security Information to USA


Secretary of State for External Affairs to Ambassador in United States


Ottawa, April 8th, 1957

In view of the reaction in the House and in the press to Herbert Norman's death we have decided that it would be desirable to deliver a letter to the United States Secretary of State in the following terms. Text begins:

  1. In the light of the actions taken by the Internal Security Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the US Senate in publishing testimony taken in executive session concerning the late Mr. E.H. Norman, I am instructed by my Government to inform you with regret that the Canadian Government will be unable in future to supply any security information concerning a Canadian citizen to any US Government agency without an assurance from the US Government that no agency of that government will pass such information to the legislative branch of the US Government without the express consent of the Canadian Government. I am requested to express the hope that the US Government will be able without delay to give such an assurance to the Canadian Government. Text ends.
  2. Although I realize that most of the information which has been gathered by the Sub-Committee has come from witnesses called by the Committee who have no doubt repeated evidence already given to the FBI, nonetheless I believe it is desirable to have this on record. In passing this letter to the State Department will you please inform them that we have no desire to upset in any way the long standing and friendly relations between the FBI and the RCM Police. Nor do we wish to upset the new and satisfactory relations between the US Immigration and Naturalization Service and the RCM Police. I do feel however under compulsion to ensure that the maximum protection is given to any information on any Canadian which may be passed to the US Government for the mutual protection of our two countries.
  3. Would you please inform me of the time that you will deliver the letter to the State Department to enable Commissioner Nicholson to inform in advance both the FBI and the US Immigration Service of our intention of doing this and give them an assurance that we have no desire to upset the present good relations.
  4. Would you also inform the State Department at the same time that I intend to inform the House of Commons of the text of the letter before the House prorogues at the end of the week.

[marginal note] Sent as Draft instructions re: E.H. Norman; subsequently approved by P[rime] M[inister] [G.G. Crean]


Source: L.B. Pearson, "Pearson Says Canada Will Cut Off Security Information to USA," (: , April 8, 1957), 60

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