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State Department Denies Report Marines En Route to Palestine to Guard Consulate

The State Department tonight denied a London report that U.S. Marines were en route to Palestine with British approval. The report, carried by the Associated Press, said that the U.S. had asked and received permission from the Palestine Government to dispatch troops to Jerusalem to hard the U.S. Consulate, which is on Mamillah Road, in the enter of the area where sequent clashes have occurred in the past few weeks.

A STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAID:

“This government has never asked permission from either the Palestine Government or the British Government to send marines to Palestine. Reports from London probably arose from the fact that the consulate general in Jerusalem has discussed formally with the Palestine Government the necessity for taking measures to increase the security of the consulate general personnel and property.

“During the informal discussions discussion with the Palestine Government, the question the necessity for sending American guards arose. No decisions were reached and have not been reached. It trill be recalled in this connection that the consulate General in Jerusalem was s recently bombed”

A department spokesman pointed out that permission would be necessary to bring ?rines in to Palestine. So far as protection of American consulates and legations Arab countries, he added, the United States Government takes the general position ?at it Is the responsibility of the government concerned to guard the personnel and property of American missions. Since the situation in Palestine at the present time a slightly different, and would be more so when the British leave, informal talks here held to ascertain the necessity for security measures, he explained.

The Associated Press quoted a Colonial Office spokesman in London as declaring ?at “it would not be surprising, in view of the troubled situation in Palestine, if he U.S. proposed sending a small consular guard for protection of its consulate in case of trouble,” The AP added that a Foreign Office spokesman bad said that action to protect property of nationals” would not be unusual.

(A Reuter report from Jerusalem tonight quoted “usually reliable sources” as ?ating that 300 marines are expected to take over guard duty at the consulate and to ?scort American nationals on Palestine highways. The report said other consulates and asked for similar protection. Reuters added that a consulate spokesman stated ## had no information about the marines.)

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