LONDON (Jul. 7)
British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin has invited King Abdullah of Transjordan to visit him in London, it was officially announced here tonight. The Transjordan ruler has accepted the invitation and will probably fly to London in the first week of August, the announcement said.
The Foreign Office refused to disclose the reason for the trip, but it was noted that the visit will coincide with the presence in London of the Prime Minister of Transjordan, Tewfik Pasha, who is arriving here next Wednesday for a three-week stay. The Regent of Iraq, Abdul Illah, is arriving in London on Sunday for a six week stay.
It is believed in well-informal quarters that Mr. Bevin will confer with the relent of Transjordan and Iraq on the situation in the Middle East in the light of the stabilization of the state of Israel. Prior to his talks with King Abdullah, the British Foreign Secretary will, at the end of this month, hold a conference with British diplomatic representatives stationed in the Middle East.
BRITISH UNDER-SECRETARY QUOTED AS SAYING “ISRAEL IS MENACE TO ARAB STATES”
On the eve of Britain’s all-embracing Middle Eastern conference, the Foreign Office has been greatly embarrassed by one of the worst cases of “leakages.” A week ago, Sir William Strang, permanent Undersecretary of the Foreign Office, called together a group of British diplomatic correspondents for a background talk on his recent tour and on the forthcoming conference. Also invited to the meeting was a representative of the British-owned and conducted Arab News Agency, which was closely linked to the Foreign Office during the war.
To the complete consternation of the Foreign Office, the Arab News Agency issued in full in “Al Ahram,” foremost newspaper in Egypt, on June 30. That report quoted Strang as saying that Israel “was a menace to the Arab states,” and that it would be necessary to keep Israel’s frontiers trimmed. It also summarized further the purported views of Sir William, which was certainly not intended for publication.
It now appears that there was considerable substance in the Arab News Agency report. The Foreign Office has not issued Amy convincing denials but has confined itself to the publication of a note to Arab editors, indicating that there were several inaccuracies in the Arab News Agency dispatch. When asked whether any specific statements were denied, the Foreign Office declined to indicate these and added that it considered the incident closed.
The Foreign Office’s lams denial seems to have convinced the Arabs that the News Agency report was essentially accurate and altogether encouraging, while Israeli circles in London new assume, on its basis, that the forthcoming conference will accordingly not lead to any material change in British policy.