LONDON (Dec. 16)
British Air Minister Arthur Henderson today told the House of Commons that Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin has asked the United Nations acting Palestine mediator, Dr. Ralph Eunche, to contact the Israeli Government in connection with a British report that an R.A.F. Mosquito was shot down near Tel Aviv on Nov. 20 by an Israeli fighter and crashed into the sea, killing two crew members.
Handerson stated that “if the mediator can establish the facts as we see them, we shall make strong representations to the Jewish authorities.” Earlier, Conservative leader Anthony Eden pressed Henderson for specific information concerning the alleged attack on the British craft.
Opposition leader Winston Churchill asked why it was necessary to undertake a flight “over this very dangerous and delicate area.” He later urged that the government pursue “this matter rigorously to ascertain whether gruel or outrageous measures had not been taken against our airmen.”
The British Air Ministry, in disclosing the alleged attack on the R.A.F. plane, Said last night that the craft was based in the Suez Canal zone and was on a high altitude training flight when it was fired on.
(Asked by correspondents in Tel Aviv today about the British report on the shooting down of an R.A.F. Mosquito, an Israeli Government spokesman refused to disclose the nationality of the downed plane. “Our fighter pilot spotted a Mosquito warplane that was not ours. Since we are at war, we had to assume it had hostile intentions and therefore it was shot down,” he said.)