WASHINGTON (Jul. 9)
Secretary of State George C. Marshall, at his press conference today, said that it is deplorable that hostilities have broken out again in Palestine and indicated that the blame for breaking the peace rests with the Arabs.
Asked if the United States Government is giving any renewed thought to lifting the arms embargo, Marshall replied that this government is dealing with the question through the Security Council of the United Nations. Pressed to say whether that implied that the situation with regard to the embargo would remain unchanged until the Security Council changed its order on the subject, Marshall replied that this government is dealing through the Security Council on the whole Palestine question and does not contemplate taking any unilateral action in the matter.
Marshall declined to comment on the proposals for a Palestine settlement made a few days ago by U.N. mediator Count Folkd Bernadotte. He said the U.S. representative to the U.N., Philip Jessup, would make all public announcements on the subject and that he did not want to confuse the issue by making any statements. The U.S. hoped first of all for an end to immediate hostilities and then for an eventual peaceful settlement of the problem, he emphasized.
The U.S. had not made any approaches to the Arab states urging them to abandon their plans for continued warfare in Palestine within the last 24 hours, Marshall declared. But, he said, the U.S. exerted every effort through its representative at the U.N. and through the truce commission to assist Count Bernadotte and to secure and extension of the truce. The U.S. was taking measures to safeguard Americans in Palestine by sending ships there to evacuate them, he stated.
Asked if he saw any likelihood of a change in the restrictions against the entry of men of military age into Palestine, Secretary Marshall said the Department had received no information from Bernadotte on that subject.
Rep. Emanuel Celler today called on President Truman to lift the arms embargo only for Jewish forces in Palestine in order that they “can defend Israel” from Arab aggression. “Delay is fatal,” he said, “considerable blame will be attached to the President’s failure to act immediately.”