LONDON (Apr. 8)
The British Government will exercise its right to use the Akaba waterway, W. D. Ormsby-Gore, Minister of State, said in the House of Commons today. In the course of a series of questions and answers. Mr. Ormsby-Gore agreed that it would be “intolerable” if Israel shipping were again interfered with.
The government spokesman refused a direct reply to questions of what the British Government would do if Egypt, as it has threatened, destroys an Israeli ship sent to test Israel’s right to use the Suez Canal. He did, however, reiterate that Britain insists Egypt live up to the Constantinople Convention and the Security Council’s six points which guarantee access to the canal to all nations without discrimination.
In reply to other questions, Mr. Ormsby-Gore said that Britain favored the United Nations Emergency Force remaining in the Gaza Strip as long as it is needed “and that’s for some considerable time.” The question of oil pipelines to by-pass the Suez Canal in the event of necessity has not yet become a matter of negotiation among Britain and various Middle East companies, he said. In the face of persistent questioning whether Britain would confer with Israel on such matters, the Minister of State said that at the proper time Britain would confer with all the governments concerned.