WASHINGTON (May. 9)
A personal report on the situation in Israel was given President Eisenhower yesterday by Edward B. Lawson, United States Ambassador to Israel, it was learned today. Mr. Lawson conferred with the President at the White House.
Government sources indicated that the Ambassador told President Eisenhower that basic problems remain in the Arab-Israel conflict despite the cease-fire pledges obtained from both sides by United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold. Ambassador Lawson outlined his views on these problems.
Asked at his press conference today to evaluate Mr. Hammarskjold’s accomplishments, President Eisenhower said the Western world is trying to find means of eradicating the basic problems preventing Arab-Israel peace. He added that Mr. Hammarskjold brought about a cease-fire agreement, but that there have been some border incidents since. The President described these incidents as “very minor.”
Mr. Eisenhower was asked at the press conference if anti-Jewish discrimination was being discussed in negotiations on the renewal of the lease of an air base in Saudi Arabia. He replied, at the outset, that he never heard that American Jews were being excluded. He referred the question to the State Department. When questioned further, he added that in connection with certain U.S. overseas bases the host, countries did have some rights. The status of a leased airbase differed from that of a U.S. Embassy on foreign territory, he declared.
Ivan B. White, counsellor of the U.S. Embassy in Israel, was accused yesterday of increasing the Middle East war danger by spreading the idea that Israel might start a “preventive war” against the Arabs. Rep. Abraham J. Multer, New York Democrat, named Mr. White in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The committee is holding hearings on the Foreign Aid Bill.
Rep. Multer asked the committee to write into the aid bill provisions barring State Department officials from acts disruptive to peace and banning U.S. aid to any country unwilling to negotiate a peace settlement. He also urged a statement that the United States will be against the aggressor in any Middle East conflict.