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Harriman Hits Administration’s Policy of ‘indecision’ on Middle East

Gov. Averell Harriman charged tonight that the attitude of the present Administration toward Middle East problems was one of “indecision delay and failure to accept responsibility.” The Governor, addressing a dinner at which he received the Histadrut Humanitarian Award, said that it was no longer certain that security guarantees would “discourage further Soviet mischief-making” in that area of the world and urged that “firm and immediate action” be taken by the United States.

Alluding to the Tripartite Declaration of 1950, Mr. Harriman declared that “for some time it has been clear that the 1950 Declaration needed to be reaffirmed in some forceful way in order to ease tensions to make it clear that aggression by either side would not be tolerated, and thus bring about attitudes and an atmosphere conducive to negotiation. Some of us have considered this to be a matter of grave urgency for a long time, and have said so publicly. But all we have had from Washington is indecision, delay, and failure to accept responsibility.”

He expressed his fear that delay may have caused the situation to deteriorate beyond the point where Soviet influence could now be eliminated, saying, “Last week Secretary of State Dulles said publicly that the proposed Communist arms deal with Egypt makes it all the more urgent to strengthen stability by a treaty or treaties that will commit decisive power against any attempt to alter frontiers or demarcation lines by force. So now, at last, something may happen. Whether it will be too late to stop Communist meddling is another matter. It should be the aim of our diplomacy to prevent and head of dangerous situations. Nevertheless, the situation is as it is, and words will no longer suffice. What we need is action now.”

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