Norman Swayed Nasser’s Decision

[ Norman presents his diplomatic credentials to President Nasser ]

Norman presents his diplomatic credentials to President Nasser, Unknown, 1956-09, University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, BC2124-246

After three months’ assignment in the Middle East covering activities of Canadians in the United Nations Emergency Force, Jack Brayley, Canadian Press Bureau Chief in Halifax, has returned to Canada.


(Canadian Press Staff Writer)

E. Herbert Norman personally cleared the way for use of Canadian reconnaissance troops in UNEF by convincing Egyptian President Nasser that Egyptian opposition to them was unreasonable.

For a week the Canadians, requested by Maj.-Gen. E. L. M. Burns, UNEF commander, waited at a staging base near Naples, Italy, before being permitted into Egypt.

Clearing the way for entry of the reconnaissance force was one of Ambassador Norman’s last official acts before he committed suicide April 4, after the U.S. Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security renewed old charges he had been a Communist.


He went to his critical meeting with Nasser knowing the UNEF headquarters in Cairo had been told by an Egyptian military liaison officer that more Canadians would come into Egypt “only over my dead body.” The Egyptian press, government controlled, had been describing Canadian leaders as “imperialist stooges” of Britain.

Mr. Norman told Nasser he could not understand the Egyptian attitude in view of Canada’s record in the Middle East situation. During the conference, Nasser was convinced. He promised the Ambassador that the Canadians would not be hindered but asked that time be given for the anti-Canadian storm to die.

The first contingent of the additional Canadian troops entered Egypt March 18.

Source: Jack Brayley, "Norman Swayed Nasser's Decision," Montreal Gazette, April 29, 1957

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