LONDON (Dec. 19)
In his first statement on foreign affairs since his election last week as leader of the Labor Party, Hugh Gaitskell sharply criticized the British Government’s policy in relation to the Middle East and charged that Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, in his speech of November 9, had created the impression that he was pro-Arab and therefore had disqualified himself as a mediator between the Arab states and Israel.
“I do not this we should take sides in this way, “Mr. Gaitskell said, referring to Prime Minister Eden’s speech. “We have guaranteed Israel’s existing frontiers and we have to stand by that guarantee.” He consisted upon an emphatic reaffirmation of the Tripartite Declaration of 1950, instead of reference to the 1947 partition borders as Eden did.
“Some of us at least feel that a people who have been hounded and persecuted and massacred throughout the ages, to the eternal shame of mankind, should now be allowed to live and flourish in peace, “he added. The Labor Party leader said that his party recognizes that a settlement of the dispute, which has been aggravated to a “new and dangerous” extent by Soviet supply of arms to the Middle East, “must involve a solution of the Arab refugee problem, the ending of the blockade of Israel and, no doubt, some minor frontier adjustments.”
He asserted that there is “no use in expecting that the parties to this dispute are going to be ready to make a settlement if either of them thinks they can get what they want by force.” Therefore, he insisted, it is “essential” that Britain, France and the United States reaffirm their readiness to resist aggression. “That is why.” he noted, “we have pressed in Parliament for a defensive pact with Israel similar to the pact we have with Jordan,”