UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Jul. 24)
The Security Council sessions on Israel’s complaint against Egypt for her blockade of the Suez Canal will begin this Thursday, it was made known today by Sir Gladwyn Jebb of Great Britain, president of the Council for July.
The decision to schedule a meeting after two weeks of delay came shortly after Israel had protested the delay, but before Britain had been able to harmonize its outlook on the question with that of the United States. Lack of a like-minded approach by these two powers had been causing the delay.
The word from the American delegation today was that the United States would not pre-judge the issue and would wait to hear arguments in the Security Council before making up its mind what stand it will take in respect to the Egyptian blockade. This meant that the British, who are known to have prepared a bluntly-worded cease-and-desist resolution for Council consideration have still been unable to get U.S. backing for such a proposal. As a result the fate of this British draft remains uncertain.
UNITED STATES HOLDS KEY TO U.N. DECISION ON ACTION AGAINST BLOCKADE
Although General William E. Riley is still at U.N. headquarters holding discussions with U.N. officials on his staff problems in the truce supervision organization he has in Palestine, it was not clear whether he would participate in the Suez debate. General Riley himself told associates today that he was not sure whether he would be wanted or needed before the Council discussions and he was not sure whether he would remain here for them.
As of now, there is no question that a majority of the 11-member Council would like to see Egypt’s ban on Israeli-bound goods through the Canal ended, but most observers feel that a good deal depends on the attitude taken by the United States delegation so far as positive Council action against the ban is concerned.
The Israel protest over the delay in calling a Council session was made informally by Israel’s permanent U.N. delegate, Abba Eban, to Sir Gladwyn Jebb. Mr. Eban, it was reported, pointed out to the president of the Council that it was incumbent upon the Council to take up speedily the consideration of problems within its competence when they had been brought to the Council’s attention as a matter of urgency. Israel’s complaint had been filed on July 12.
(In Cairo, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Salah ed-Din told the parliament last night that Egypt was within its sovereign rights in stopping foreign ships bound for Israel. At the same time, he informed the parliament that the captain of the Egyptian corvette that stopped and searched the British freighter Empire Roach has been reprimanded.)