LONDON (Nov. 24)
Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden was strongly criticized in Parliament today for the speech he made early this month suggesting Arab Israel border “compromises” and offering to act as mediator between Israel and the Arab states. He was accused by Labor M.P.’s of creating “profound depression” in Israel and of “playing into the hands” of some Arab countries.
The Prime Minister, in replying to the criticism, admitted that he had not consulted with the Israel or Egyptian Governments before he made his speech. He emphasized that he had not called in his speech for “very substantial concessions” of territory. Pressed by Members to clear up the matter and to say precisely what was on his mind when he spoke of territorial concessions, Sir Anthony refused to go into details and stressed that he would not withdraw “one single word” of the speech which he delivered at Guildhall on November 9.
Stressing the parallel approaches of the United States and British Governments on this issue, the Prime Minister said: “Although I do not want to bind our American friends to every word of what I said at the Guildhall, it is a fact that we and the United States Government are in very close agreement on this difficult business.” At another point during the question-and-answer session, the Prime Minister told a Laborite “certainly we adhere to the Tripartite Declaration” of 1950.
Although he refused to go into detail on his thoughts for an Arab-Israel settlement, Sir Anthony did note a number of problems that he expected would have to be solved in such a settlement. Among these he included the Arab refugee problem and the Arab blockade and non-recognition of Israel.
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of York has added his voice to urgings for boundary adjustment in Israel. Addressing the York diocesan conference, Dr. Cyril Garbett said that Palestine had once again become the center of world danger. He added that he came away from his last visit to the area more convinced that ever “that we cannot expect peace in the Middle East until there’s some alteration in the boundaries of Palestine and until the problem of the refugees is dealt with.” The Archbishop termed the present boundaries “absurd, unjust and irrational.”