Israel-egyptian Tension Provokes Discussion in British Parliament

The British Government is doing everything possible to bring Egypt and Israel together, Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan announced in the course of a debate in the House of Commons today.

He was replying to a question by Herbert Morrison, Foreign Secretary in the last Labor government who asked whether the government would make every possible effort to bring the parties together to ease the Gaza situation. He also asked the government to consider “whether we shall not in our relations with Israel enter into similar understandings and pacts as we have entered into with the Arab states and which would help the situation#”

On the latter point, Mr. Macmillan suggested that it might come up during a foreign policy debate scheduled to take place in the House Wednesday. In response to a query by Emanuel Shinwell another former Labor minister whether the deteriorating situation in the Middle East did not call for action by the signatory powers of the Tripartite Declaration-the United States, Britain and France–the Foreign Secretary said. “That has been the effort of the governments of both our selves and our two allies and we are hopeful that it may be successful.”

To a question by a Conservative MP about the reactions of Israel and Egypt to the program proposed by Gen. E.L.M. Burns. United Nations truce supervisor for easing tension along the Gaza border, Mr. Macmillan said that Egypt had accepted in principle, all four proposals while Israel had accepted three of them Both sides he said are prepared to attend a meeting with Gen. Burns, “but there is some difference of opinion about the level of representation and the agenda.” He praised the efforts of Gen. Burns to pacify the border.

In Cairo British Ambassador Sir Ralph Stevenson said today that the British Government is concerned about the situation in the Gaza area. The Ambassador told a press conference that he advised the Egyptian Government to follow a course of moderation in dealing with the situation along the Egyptian-Israel border in order to avoid a major war.

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