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John K. Fairbank '29, Professor of History, yesterday labeled as "unfounded speculations" the remarks of Colonel Laurence E. Bunker '26 on the suicide of Herbert Norman, Canadian ambassador to Egypt.
Bunker, a candidate by certificate for the Board of Overseers, told a meeting sponsored by the HYRC Wednesday night that Norman was a "man known to have close associations with men in Communist circles" and that "one doesn't commit suicide under those circumstances unless something is about to catch up with him."
In a letter to the CRIMSON, Fairbank pointed out that Norman had taken his doctorate at the University 20 years ago with a book, Japan's Emergence as a Modern State, "which is still a distinguished work of scholarship."
"I have watched the development of his career since then with admiration for his qualities as a scholar and a diplomat, and I know this view is shared by other faculty members who knew him and his work," Fairbank said.
He continued that '"suicide is seldom a simple matter and I consequently deplore as ill-considered the remarks" of Colonel Bunker.
Yesterday, in Washington, the Norman suicide continued to produce controversy within the Government and to cause strained relations between the United States and Canada.
State Dept. Denies Responsibility
The State Department, taking direct issue with the Senate Internal Security Committee, denied any responsibility for allegations of communism made against Norman.
Lincoln White, State Department Press Officer, denied the Subcommittee's statement that his department agreed to the publication of the allegations on which the Canadian government places partial blame for Norman's death.
Also yesterday, President Eisenhower expressed regret to the Canadian ambassador over Norman's death and the effects it has had on relations between the two countries.
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