LONDON (Jul. 9)
The question of why the British Government refuses to sell modern arms to Israel came up in the House of Commons today and received an evasive reply from Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd.
The question was raised by Arthur Henderson, Laborite, who also wanted to know what was being done by the British Government to prevent incidents on the Jordan-Israel frontier. While Mr. Henderson was speaking in Commons, a report arrived in London stating that two Israeli policemen had been wounded near the Jordan frontier when a mine exploded under their car last night. They were patrolling the armistice line inside Israel territory.
“Will not the situation in the Middle East become more and more dangerous so long as the Arab states are being supplied with great quantities of modern armaments while the Government of Israel is being denied comparable qualitative armament,” Mr. Henderson asked.
The Laborite MP asked the Foreign Secretary whether some action would be taken by Britain to adjust this inequality. Instead of giving him a direct reply, Foreign Secretary Lloyd said that it appeared that the situation on the Arab-Israel frontier “is quietening down again,” and he, therefore, hoped that nothing would be said in Commons this afternoon to hinder this development.
With regard to checking incidents on the Arab-Israel frontiers, the Foreign Secretary said that this must be left to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization “for the present.” The report on the two wounded Israeli policemen said that the Israel Government lodged a complaint with the Jordan-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission today and that UN truce observers were investigating the incident.