GENEVA (Oct. 31)
Israel will submit to the United States a list of the defensive arms considered necessary for defense against aggression, it was learned here today. The list, it was learned, will include aircraft, anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns and similar weapons. It is understood that talks are going on with Britain and France for the supply of such weapons.
(In Washington, State Department spokesman Lincoln White said today that the United States has made no change in its existing attitude on the question of arms for Israel. He pointed out that Israel can purchase certain categories of arms on a “reimbursable” basis.)
Premier Moshe Sharett of Israel is understood to have pointed out to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles at their meeting here yesterday that Israel stands alone, without even one international guarantee to rely on in the present crisis despite the global and political issues involved. For Israel, he is said to have stressed, the stark and primary issue is the issue of survival. No other interests stand comparison on the plane of morality or history.
The Israel leader warned that without firm security guarantees, mere paper guarantees cannot compensate for a defense against immediate attack. He said Israel sought to reduce the arms disparity now because not only was she threatened, but she was also exposed to air attack and to a submarine plague in the Eastern Mediterranean. He is said to have asked Mr. Dulles what more cogent proof he could want of Egypt’s aggressive intentions than Egypt’s purchase of purely aggressive weapons and pointed out that submarines in the Mediterranean could strangle Israel’s lifeline.
Mr. Dulles is understood to have hinted yesterday that the United States would sympathetically consider a request for purely defensive arms, but made it clear that the United States was not interested in provoking an arms race. He is understood to have assured Mr. Sharett he did not consider the Middle East situation hopeless.
Mr. Sharett was to see the Soviet and British foreign ministers tonight before emplaning for Jerusalem to report to the Israel parliament.