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Morrison Urges Formation of Joint Economic Board for Middle East

A joint economic and social board for the Middle East was proposed today by Herbert Stanley Morrison, former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, on his arrival at Idlewild Airport from London. Mr. Morrison is in this country at the invitation of the State of Israel Bond Organization.

The board proposed by Mr. Morrison would, he said, include representatives of the various Middle Eastern countries, together with Britain, France and the United States. “In this way, ” Mr. Morrison said, “social and economic progress, including proper use of the oil revenues, might help to bring greater general prosperity in agriculture, education, social services, and industry. To all of this, the technical ability of Israel, with its knowledge of industry and intensive agricultural cultivation, could make a decisive contribution.

Referring to Arab protests against the construction of that portion of the Jordan hydro-electric scheme which is in a demilitarized zone, Mr. Morrison said: “It is somewhat difficult for me to understand why a peaceful electrification scheme should be regarded as a military operation.” Mr. Morrison, who visited Israel during June 1954, indicated that he was deeply impressed by the country’s economic achievements. His last previous visit to Israel had taken place in 1935.

In discussing these economic advances by Israel, Mr. Morrison referred to the importance of aid from Jews overseas, which “has helped to make possible extensive factory development, and the employment of modern methods to stimulate productivity. Investments in State of Israel Bonds have played a significant part in this achievement.” Mr. Morrison will be officially received by Mayor Robert F. Wagner at New York’s City Hall tomorrow.

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