LONDON (Jan. 25)
A statement of policy, calling for strengthening of the United Nations truce supervision machinery in Palestine, inclusion of the Soviet Union in a Great Power attempt to keep the Middle East from erupting into warfare and shoring up of the Tripartite Agreement as an “absolutely indispensable instrument” for peace in the region, was issued here today by the British Labor Party.
The statement came on the heels of yesterday’s heated debate in Commons over Britain’s Middle East policy and in connection with Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden’s sailing for the United States to confer with President Eisenhower. Expressing the gravest concern over the threat of war in the Middle East and hitting the British Government for its “weakness, confusion and vacillation” as well as its failure to “put forward a bold and comprehensive program, the national executive of the Labor Party proposed that at the forthcoming Washington conference the British Government:
1. Press for immediate strengthening of the UN supervisory organization, suggesting the formation of a small international force to assist the UN truce unit in preventing further bloodshed and tension.
2. Insist that the Tripartite Declaration remain an absolutely indispensible instrument for preventing war and that the three signatories–United States. France and Britain–make clear that they would immediately, and with all necessary forces, come to the aid of the attacked party.
3. Secure an arms balance between Israel and the Arab states and maintain it according to a strict interpretation of the obligations to be observed by the signatory powers.
4. Propose that the three powers formally and publicly request the Soviet Union join them in maintaining peace between Israel and the Arab states and in maintaining a balance of weapons.
5. Stress the urgent need for a real settlement of the Israel-Arab dispute, which must include border rectifications by both sides, recognition of Israel by the Arab states as well as their ending the economic blockade of Israel, and resettlement of the Arab refugees with assistance from without.
6. Propose setting up of a comprehensive plan for Middle East aid under UN auspices in order to provide funds needed for large-scale economic development and early settlement of the refugees, this aid to be available to all states willing to cooperate peacefully for the benefit of the region as a whole.
The Labor Party’s insistence on an appeal to the USSR to help keep the peace in the Middle East was rejected last night by Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd who, in the midst of the debate, replied to a similar point raised by Labor Party chairman Hugh Gaitskell. The British Government appealed to the USSR a number of times, on different levels, to halt the shipment of arms into the Middle East, but was brushed off, Mr. Lloyd stated as he turned down Mr. Gaitskell’s demand.