Arrival of Tankers is Test of Egypt’s Good Faith, London Times Says

The London Times, in a Tel Aviv dispatch published today regarding the approach to Israel shores of two oil tankers, says the arrival of the vessels is intended to “test the good faith of the Egyptian Government, which recently entered into an agreement with Britain to allow non-military cargoes destined for Israel to pass through the Suez Canal” without interference.

The Times report says further that it is not expected that the Haifa oil refineries will be reopened immediately. Apart from the need to build up a reserve of crude oil stocks, the dispatch adds, important questions concerning currency and labor arrangements must be ironed out between the Israel Government and the Consolidated Refineries, Ltd., before production can begin.

Although assurances have been received from the Egyptian Government on the passage of Israel-bound ships through the Suez Canal, it would be incorrect to refer to these assurances as an “agreement,” since this would imply that Britain recognizes Egypt’s right to stop any ships under any circumstances in the Canal, an authoritative source told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today.

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