Ex-Red Courier Says He Originated Charges Against Norman in 1940

Source:  Washington Post and Times Herald, April 19th, 1957, at page A11.

Ex-Red Courier Says He Originated
Charges Against Norman in 1940

By Warren Unna, Staff Reporter

 
A former Canadian Commu­nist courier who said he also was an undercover agent for the Canadian Royal Mounted Police came forward yesterday as the man who pinned a Communist charge on Canada’s late Ambassador to Egypt, E. Herbert Norman.

He is Pat Walsh, 42, of Que­bec City, currently a security screener on a Province of Que­bec tunnel project at Labrievelle and general secretary of the Pan-Canadian Anti-Com­munist League.

In a telephone interview, Walsh said it was he who told the Mounties in 1940 that Norman was a Communist and is [sic] was he who a week ago gave a “recapitulation” of his find­ings to Robert Morris, coun­sel for the United States Sen­ate Internal Security Sub­committee.

Said Walsh:  “I met Norman personally in Toronto in the ‘thirties when I was with the Canadian League Against War and Fascism and he was sec­retary of the Canadian Friends of the Chinese People, a Com­mie front.

“He was introduced to me as ‘Comrad [sic] Norman,’ a chap by the name of A. A. McLeod who later become a Commun­ist Member of Parliament and editor of the Communist Cana­dian Tribune told me he had sponsored Norman as secre­tary.  In my 20 years experi­ence with Communist organiza­tions, I have never known anybody to sponsor a secre­tary unless he was a mem­ber of the Communist Party or a fellow traveler who didn’t have a card for a very good reason,” Walsh declared.

He also said he had seen Norman’s name “listed 22 times as a contributor to Amerasia,” a defunct leftwing magazine.

Walsh also accused Cana­dian External Affairs Minister Lester B. Pearson of person­ally “interceding” to cleanse Norman’s security record in 1950: 

“We were at war in Korea and naturally it would have been quite embarrassing for the government, which was fighting Communists on the battlefield, to admit having them within their own diplo­matic ranks.”

Walsh told a House Un-American Activities Subcom­mittee hearing in 1953 that he had been a Communist courier (during his undercover period) rather than an actual party member.

In that same year Walsh publicly announced he had quit being a “fellow traveler” be­cause of the Red campaign to save condemned atom spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Walsh said he is in frequent correspondence with “my good friend Bob Morris” and with Benjamin Mandel, another Subcommittee employe [sic].  “Anything that I find that may be of interest, I send on,” he said.

He made it clear, however, that he did not supply the Sub­committee with its original information about Norman.  He said that information came to them via the Mounties and United States Army Intelli­gence.

When queried, Morris de­clared:  “I’m making no com­ment on the whole Norman case.”

Ambassador Norman, 48, jumped to his death in Cairo April 4, three weeks after the Subcommittee published state­ments by Morris indicating Norman had been a Commu­nist.

Canada originally blamed the Subcommittee for trigger­ing Norman’s suicide.  More re­cently, Canadians have been criticizing their own officials for not going into more detail on Norman’s background.

Yesterday, Pearson, Canada’s equivalent of Secretary of State, indicated the original charge that Norman was a one-time Communist was con­tained in information for­warded by the Mounties to the FBI in October, 1950.  He said the charge was discredited and Norman’s record cleansed in a second Mountie inquiry two months later.

Last week, Pearson had de­clared the Subcommittee’s Communist charges against Norman had come from “other than Canadian sources.”

Pearson said Norman had had some “associations with Communists during his univer­sity days,” prior to his Govern­ment service, and “ideological beliefs which were close to some brand of Communism.”  But Pearson said Norman had “regretted” and “voluntarily abandoned” these associations.

Pearson said the charges against Norman were made to the Mounties by an “undercov­er agent” in February, 1940,. and forwarded to “appropriate agencies” in 1950.

“How this report became public I can only guess,” Pear­son declared.

He said a second Mountie check into Norman’s record, in December, 1950, declared: 

“We have made extensive enquiries concerning the information ori­ginally supplied by our secret agent and have arrived at the decision that the information given is one of either mistaken identity or unfounded rumor by an unidentified subsource.

“Of the numerous points sup­plied at the time, the majority have been absolutely deter­mined to be in error, the remaining few have not been confirmed, nor does there ap­pear to be any answer to them.  The source does not recall the matter.  We have therefore de­leted the reference in so far as Norman is concerned.”

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Afterword:

For more, read “L’Affaire Norman Revisited“.