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Commons Debates Arab Blackmailing of Firms Trading with Israel

The British Government was asked in Parliment today what it was doing about Arab states blackmail of British firms which do business with Israel and which have been boycotted or threatened with boycott by the Arabs.

A. D. Dodds-Parker, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in reply, pointed out that Britain was in touch with the United States and other countries similarly affected. He promised to look into the question of whether the Arab boycott actions had violated international trade and tariff treaties.

Mr. Dodds-Parker and Anthony Nutting, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told the House that Britain was in touch with the U.S. and France on arms to Israel and over the report by Dag Hammarskjold, United Nations Secretary General, to the Security Council, Mr. Nutting, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, admitted that the government knew about Czech arms shipments to Syria, but refused to go any further in discussing the matter.

Mr. Nutting insisted that the British Government, in keeping an eye on arms shipments to the Middle East, tried to maintain a qualitative balance between the parties as well as a quantitative one. Mr. Dodds-Parker expressed optimism about the possibility of making progress toward an Arab-Israel settlement in the wake of Mr. Hammarskjold’s achievements and as a “result of discussions with the Soviet Union in London.”