WASHINGTON (Jun. 16)
The United States has notified Egypt and Syria that their replies to U.S. protests against a maritime blockade proclaimed by the two Arab governments over Palestine coastal waters are unsatisfactory and will proceed accordingly, Secretary of State George C. Marshall told a press conference today.
A Department spokesman said immediately after the conference that, while no actual communications have been sent to the two governments by the U.S. in reply to notes received from the Egyptian and Syrian Governments, American diplomatic representatives in both countries have told the Egyptians and Syrians that the U.S. informed both governments on May 23 that it would refuse to recognize the blockade. Secretary Marshall was asked if arrangements which the U.S. has made to have 41 American citizens interned in Lebanon returned on the Mariner Carp meant that the U.S accepts the Lebanese terms. He replied only that the 41 were to be picked up by the Marine Carp which is on its way to Haifa and which will stop at Beirut on its return trip to the U.S. He said the American and Lebanese governments are still negotiating the matter.
Asked about a report from London yesterday quoting a British Foreign Office spokesman as saying that the U.S. And Great Britain have arrived at a “tacit agreement” to keep each other informed of impending policy decisions concerning the Middle East, Secretary Marshall replied that had been the case for some time. Informed that the British spokesman also said that the U.S. did not give prior notice to the British before recognizing Israel, Secretary Marshall added that may have been the case in that particular instance.