London (Aug. 5)
Increased danger for Israel is seen here in Egypt’s seizure of the Suez-Canal and parliamentary circles today indicated that they will, therefore continue their fight in Commons and in the House of Lords that the British Government should embark on a policy of sending defensive arms to Israel.
The Arab-Israel problem appears to have been touched upon briefly during last week’s discussions among Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd and Foreign Minister Christian Pineau on the Suez situation. Nothing in the nature of a decision on any aspect of the Israel-Arab dispite was taken at the meeting.
The British Government cancelled today licenses for a consignment of munitions destined for Lebanon aboard the Egyptian freighter “Star of Lebanon.” However, a Foreign Office spokesman later said that the munitions would be shipped to Lebanon as soon as possible, but not in Egyptian bottoms.
Israel Ambassador Eliahu Elath had a 55 minute meeting yesterday with Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd. The meeting was held at Ambassador Elath’s request and it is thought that he conveyed the Israel Government’s views on the Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal Company.
During a debate in the House of Lords this week-end, Lord Attlee, Prime Minister of the late Labor Government, called for supplying Israel with more arms, insisting that the situation had changed as a result of the Suez Canal situation and that Israel should be in a position to defend itself from aggression by the Egyptian dictator. Lord Attlec said if the British Government had taken a stronger position on freedom of passage through the Suez Canal earlier, it might have been “spared this trouble.”
Lord Strabolgi, another Labor peer, warned that the “danger to Israel has increased very greatly” since the Egyptian Suez Canal coup. He also urged the British Government to send Israel arms, and disputed its assertions that Israel was in a favorable power position in relation to Egypt and the other Arab states. Israel wants sufficient arms to deter an attack by Nasser, Lord Strabolgi stressed.
During a parallel debate in Commons, Barnett Janner, Labor, cited the case of a Greek ship halted at the Suez Canal because it carried a cargo of cement for Israel. He underlined this as evidence of the stoppage of non-Israel vessels trading with Israel. Mr. Janner also warned against “blackmail” concessions to the Egyptian boycott of Jewish firms in Britain.