Security Council Defers Action on Resolution Urging Egypt to Lift Anti-israel Blockade
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Security Council Defers Action on Resolution Urging Egypt to Lift Anti-israel Blockade

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The United Nations Security Council today again deferred action on a three-power resolution calling on Egypt to lift its blockade at the Suez Canal against Israel-bound shipping, after two-and-a-half hours of debate.

The adjournment came after Mahmoud Fawji Bey, Egyptian delegate, concluded a bitter tirade against Israel, the United States and Great Britain by submitting a resolution asking the International Court at The Hague to rule whether the three powers sponsoring the resolution and The Netherlands and Turkey should not abstain from voting on the resolution since they were “parties to the dispute.”

Ambassador Warren Austin, president of the Council, ruled Fawji Bey’s resolution out of order since it was not sponsored by a Council member. The representative of Nationalist China thereupon proposed that reasonable time be given for examination of the Egyptian proposal. After some discussion, the Council adjourned for 48 hours and is to reconvene Wednesday.


During the discussion, the British delegate, Sir Gladwyn Jebb, announced that the representatives of the five countries which sponsored the resolution had consulted together and came to the conclusion that under the U.N. Charter they are not barred from voting on the resolution. He added that he spoke for the five.

The complaint against Egypt, Sir Gladwyn argued, had been brought before the Security Council by Israel. “The dispute — if there is a dispute — is between Israel and Egypt and nobody else,” he pointed out. He noted that the Security Council was not like a law court. It was an organ established under the U.N. Charter with the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. Its duty was to take any action which might be required to fulfill this task, he emphasized.

Sir Gladwyn thought it inevitable that on many questions coming before the Security Council a number of the members of the Council would be concerned to a greater or loss degree, even though they may not be parties to the dispute with which the Council is dealing.” But that was certainly no reason to bar them from voting. To accept the argument of the representative of Egypt would be to “paralyze” the Security Council in dealing with many of the matters brought before it, he stated.

The Egyptian argument would mean, he added, that any state against which a complaint was made in the Security Council could ensure that the Council would be unable to act. “All that is necessary,” Jebb said, “is that the state concerned should do sufficient damage to the interests of at least five members of the Council so that it could then claim that their interests were directly involved and that they should not therefore vote.”

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