London (May. 15)
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said today Israel’s right of free passage through the Suez Canal “must be assured.” He pledged Britain will do everything possible to “see this happen”
The Prime Minister told Commons that Britain will act “through the United Nations and with our friends” to insure that Israeli ships are allowed by Egypt to pass Suez.
Labor Party leader Hugh Gaitskell told the House that in any future negotiations with Egypt, Israel’s right to use the Suez Canal must be the “starting point.”
The Egyptian press and radio today unleashed an attack on Secretary of State Dulles for saying the United States “would not oppose” any effort by Israel to test her rights by attempting to send a ship through the Suez Canal. Egyptian Government sources, meanwhile, emphasized that Egypt had no intention whatsoever of permitting an Israeli ship to transit the canal.
The newspaper “Al Shaab” said: “Thus Dulles begins to create trouble in the area.” The newspaper “Al Akhbar” suggested that Mr. Dulles meant the United States would continue its freeze of Egypt’s dollar holdings and “create further trouble” for Egypt unless Egypt permits passage of Israeli commerce.
Another attack on Secretary Dulles and the United States was featured in “Al Ahram.” This newspaper charged that “at a time when Britain permits ships to pass through the Suez Canal under Egypt’s terms, Dulles encourages Israel to fish in troubled waters by declaring he would not be opposed to Israel’s sending a test ship” through the Suez waterway.