UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. (Dec. 23)
United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold arrived in Gaza today to visit the UN armed forces on the Egyptian-Israel frontier, it was announced here today. He was accompanied on a special plane by UNEF Commander Lt. Gen. E. L. M. Burns. They set out on a tour of units.
James J. Wadsworth, deputy United States representative to the United Nations, praised the work of the UN Emergency Force today. He declared: “A measure of UNEF’s success lies in the fact that during 1957 not one casualty was incurred along the borders where the Force is deployed. Previously, in the same areas, hundreds of lives were lost each year.”
Mr. Wadsworth made the statement after presenting to Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, Under Secretary of the UN, a check for $12,000,000 as a special contribution from the United States Government, to meet the deficit incurred by UNEF operations in 1957.
First Deputy Foreign Minister V. V. Kuznestov of the Soviet Union, who has been here since September, was reliably reported today to have suggested to the United Nations that Bulgarian and Czechoslovakian troops be added to the United Nations Emergency Force stationed on the Egyptian-Israel frontier.
At a secret meeting with topmost UN officials, Mr. Kuznetsov was understood to have been told that the Czechoslovak troops would certainly be unacceptable for duty with UNEF, especially since Czech arms were the first to have been shipped to Egypt under the Soviet-Egyptian arms agreement in 1955. Mr. Kuznetsov was said to have been told that Polish troops might be accepted, but he rejected that alternative.
Top members of the Secretariat in charge of UNEF activities were at the same time reported pleading with Colombia not to withdraw its contingent from UNEF. The Bogota Government is said to be planning to withdraw from UNEF because of the financial complications attendant upon participation in the force. Colombia is understood to have been told that if it withdraws its UNEF contingent the United Nations may be forced to ask the countries in the Soviet orbit for military personnel to keep UNEF at full strength.