LONDON (Dec. 19)
The British Government is in close contact with the United States and France–co-signatories of the Tripartite Declaration of 1950–on the Egyptian arms situation and other aspects of the Middle East problem. Anthony Nutting Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told Commons today in response to a query.
Mr. Nutting rejected criticism by Sidney Silverman, Laborite M.P., of a statement by the Foreign Office condemning Israel for the raid on four Syrian outposts in the Lake Tiberias area last week. Mr. Silverman hit the Foreign Office’s “prejudging of the merits of every frontier incident before the United Nations (truce supervision) commission could have time to investigate it or make a proper official report.”
In response to similar criticism from another MP., R.H. Turton, Foreign Undersecretary, wrote today that the Foreign Office statement was made on the basis of information available at the time, including reports from British diplomats, Subsequent information corroborated the statement that Israel’s attack on Syria was “unprovoked,” Mr. Turton insisted.
In another written reply to a question, Mr. Nutting reported that when Israel Ambassador Eliahu Elath was summoned to the Foreign Office last week he was told that the British Government “deplored the wanton Israel attack on Syria” and would support Syria’s protest to the United Nations. He also noted that the Security Council was still considering the Syrian complaint. In response to another question, Mr. Nutting wrote that the Soviet attitude toward supplying arms to the Middle East had not changed and was both “negative and unhelpful.”