Star Staff Correspondent

[ Memorial meeting for Norman in Japan following his death ]

Memorial meeting for Norman in Japan following his death, Unknown, 1957, University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, BC 1860-010

Hong Kong April 4 – Canadian Ambassador Herbert Norman, who killed himself in Cairo today, was already regarded as the victim of United States witch-hunters by Far East diplomats.

A brilliant Japanese scholar, who gave General MacArthur sage advice during his term as Canadian chief of mission in Tokyo, Mr. Norman was sent to New Zealand as Canadian high commissioner after his name was first smeared at Washington hearings of the internal security committee five years ago.

Western diplomats, who had high regard for Norman’s integrity and talent, regarded this as temporary banishment from more useful spheres and it was generally considered that Ottawa was shelving one of its best foreign service men in response to U.S. pressure.

Norman arrived in Cairo last August at the height of the Suez crisis and told me: “It’s just too easy for tempers to get lost in this atmosphere. Canada has a responsibility in the Middle East to hear both sides.”

He was above all, a humanist and his sympathies were with those peoples who through, natural calamity, national poverty or long periods of oppression, had lost the power forcefully to express their own aspirations.

He said of Egypt’s case; “You cannot dismiss men’s arguments just because they are shabbily dressed, eat with their fingers or think in an entirely strange manner to you.”


Source: William Stevenson, "Norman Seen Victim of U.S. Witch Hunters," Toronto Daily Star, April 4, 1957

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