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Eisenhower Sees No Objection to Israel Sending a Ship Through Suez

President Eisenhower today told a press conference that he sees no objection if Israel “makes a peaceful test of just exactly where they stand” by sending a ship into the Suez Canal. “On the other hand,” the President added, “I believe to use force would be reprehensible.”

Mr. Eisenhower said that possibly the Israelis were “thinking if they have a peaceful rejection of their effort, they have got a case before the world court or some place else.”

The President stressed that in the withdrawal talks with Israel last winter “we always urged that it not be assumed in advance that Egypt would not be won around to allowing the passage of Israeli ships. But the one thing we did take a stand on, that we believed, that the Gulf of Akaba did comprehend and include international waters, and that we would be glad to see that one tested before the same kind of court or body.”

Mr. Eisenhower prefaced his statement that he saw no objection to a peaceful Israeli test of the canal by saying he had “always wanted to see these matters properly decided by the international bodies that have been set up, the United Nations and the World Court.”