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British Government Denies Israeli Threat to Confiscate Haifa Refineries

A Foreign Office spokesman today denied that the British Government had received any threats from the Israeli Government threatening to take over and operate the British-owned oil refineries in Haifa unless the British owners operate the plants, Reuters reported today. The news agency also quoted “usually well-informed quarters” as saying that the owners of the refineries had received a warning to this effect from the Israeli authorities.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported from London yesterday that faced by Israel’s decision to confiscate the refineries unless they are put into operation, the British Government has decided to open the plants and supply them with crude oil transported by tanker from the Persian Gulf. The tankers are expected to travel through the Suez Canal and not be molested by the Egyptian authorities.