LONDON (Dec. 3)
Israel should withdraw from all Egyptian territory and from the Gaza Strip and the strip should become a United Nations responsibility, Selwyn Lloyd, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, declared today in the House of Commons in the course, of a statement announcing plans for the withdrawal of British and French troops from Egypt.
Turning the Gaza Strip over to the UN, Secretary Lloyd said, “would be the best solution of a difficult problem. A just settlement for the refugees is an essential condition of a final settlement together with an agreement about frontiers, water schemes and other matters.” He noted that all this he had said before, but expressed the belief that the presence in the area of a substantial UN force charged with the duty of keeping the peace “will contribute to the final settlement which is the prerequisite of stability in the area.”
Later, replying to questions from the floor, the Foreign Secretary asserted that one of the functions of the United Nations Emergency Force “is keeping the peace between Israel and the Arab states.” He said that the withdrawal of Allied forces was being carried out with the understanding that Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold will promote as rapidly as possible negotiations for guaranteeing freedom of Suez Canal passage.
He reiterated the British Government’s position that France and Britain had intervened to prevent the spread of war throughout the Middle East and the belief that this is just what had been accomplished by the intervention.