Eisenhower Says Israel, Britain, France Acted “in Error”

President Eisenhower tonight made known it is “the hope and intent” of the United States Government that the Israel, British, and French actions in Egypt be brought before the United Nations General Assembly.

“There,” said Mr. Eisenhower, “with no veto operating the opinion of the world can be brought to bear in our quest for a just end to this tormenting problem. In the past the United Nations has proved able to find a way to end bloodshed. We believe it can and will do so again.”

Speaking to a national radio-TV audience, the President said there would be no U.S. involvement in the present hostilities. “I therefore have no plan to call the Congress in special session,” Mr. Eisenhower said.

Mr. Eisenhower expressed belief that the Israel, British, and French actions “have been taken in error. For we do not accept the use of force as a wise or proper instrument for the settlement of international disputes. To say this–in this particular instance–is in no way to minimize our friendship with these nations–nor our determination to retain and to strengthen the bonds among us.”

“And,” he said, “we are fully aware of the grave anxieties of Israel, of Britain, and of France. We know that they have been subjected to grave and repeated provocations. The present fact, nonetheless, seems clear: the actions taken can scarcely be reconciled with the principles and purposes of the United Nations to which we have all subscribed. And, beyond this, we are forced to doubt even if resort to war will for long serve the permanent interests of the attacking nations.”

Mr. Eisenhower reviewed the actions by the three countries against Egypt and said “the United States was not consulted in any way about any phase of these actions. Nor were we informed of them in advance.”

In his review of events leading up to the present situation, Mr. Eisenhower said the Arab-Israel situation recently “was aggravated needlessly by an Egyptian policy including rearmament with Communist weapons. We for our part, felt this to be a misguided policy on the part of the government of Egypt.”

Mr. Eisenhower said “we have considered it a basic matter of United States policy to support the new State of Israel and–at the same time to strengthen our bonds with Israel and with the Arab countries. But, unfortunately, through all these years, passion in the area threatened to prevail over peaceful purpose, and in one form or another, there has been almost continuous fighting.”

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