The Army Department early this month denied John K. Fairbank '29 professor of History, a military perm to enter Japan, but the decision is nov under review. Fairbank had received a year's leave of absence from the University to teach in a Japanese university.
Officials in Washington, who are charged with issuing the military permits after security checks through five government agencies would only say that "under present policies and regulations, his application has been denied.
Fairbank, who was in San Francisco ready to embark, immediately wired Senator Pat McCarran (D-Nevada) asking for a chance to testify before his Internal Security Committee "to answer libelous ex-Communist accusations."
Expected to Teach
Now on his way back to Cambridge where he is due on September 24, Fairbank is expected to teach his regular courses this year. He has asked the University to postpone his leave for a year, and his classes were scheduled to be given by substitutes.
Denial of Fairbank's permit may have resulted from testimony this summer during the McCarran Committee's investigation of the Institute of Pacific Relations of which Fairbank is a trustee. Former Communist courier Elizabeth Bentley said on August 14 that Fairbank had once delivered a letter from China to a woman in an espionage ring. Ex-Daily Worker Managing Editor Louis Budenz testified on August 23 that Fairbank had been referred to as a Communist in party reports.
According to the State Department the professor filed an affidavit that he was not and never had been a Communist. This statement was made at the time he was applying for a passport; a military entry permit was needed before he could get it.
In his telegram to Washington, Fairbank said: "I believe this opportunity (to testify) is due to me in simple justice as a private citizen for whom no loyalty board proceeding is available."
"I observed the process of Nationalist decline and collapse at first-hand in China in 1942-43 and 1945-46 and can testify it was not--repeat not--an American plot..." He has been very critical of Chiang regime for many years.
At an earlier time, Fairbank sent a letter to Senator Leverett Saltonstall '14 (R.-Mass.) to ask if there was any way he could be given a "thorough" F.B.I. investigation.
The professor said that his principal concern is the effect the denial may have on relations of government departments with the University. "I feel we have a job to do at Harvard that's important to the government."