LONDON (Jul. 12)
Britain’s quarterly installment on its subsidy to the Trans Jordan Government for maintenance of the Arab Legion today became overdue, a Foreign Office spokesman revealed today. The British Government, he stated, has considered the question of the subsidy and “has temporarily held up” the $2,000,000 payment.
The “situation is obscure and the report from the U.N. Palestine mediator must be awaited,” the spokesman added. Asked about a Hew York press report that negotiations were being conducted for the payment of the sum in dollar currency or its equivalent, the Foreign Office representative said: “When Trans Jordan left the sterling bloc area, owing to circumstances against her own and our will, we undertook to pay this amount in hard currency for her requirements.”
The New York newspaper story, emanating from Lake Success, said that the British Government has been negotiating with Trans Jordan’s King Abdullah to make available to him $2,000,000 in hard currency for the rest of this year. According to the report, the Transjordan Government is said to have accepted the terms of the British Government’s proposal, but on condition that negotiations be reopened “if additional liabilities are incurred as a result of events in Palestine.”
The spokesman could not say whether or not this sum was part of the regular subsidy nor was he able to state whether this means that a part of the British subsidy to King Abdullah will be paid in dollars. At the same time, the spokesman warned against giving “very much credence” to reports that Transjordan’s and Egypt’s conflicting views on Palestine foreshadow a split within the Arab League. Reports from Arab sources, he said, do not seem to confirm this.
Referring to the “Government of Israel” for the first time, the spokesman Said it “would be surprising, indeed, if the Government of Israel at this time–when it is seeking recognition–should allow the occurrence of a so-called trial of Englishmen by a terrorist organization.” He apparently referred to an announcement by the Irgun Zvai Leumi in Jerusalem yesterday that the four Britons abducted by the group on charges of “intelligence with the enemy” would be tried shortly.
Regarding the question of the visaless Jews still detained on Cyprus, the spokesman declared that no decision will be made on this until U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte has submitted his report on the truce situation.