LONDON (Jan. 27)
British policy regarding the Israel-Arab conflict remains based on the principles of the Tripartite Declaration of 1950 and the government supports the territorial integrity of the Middle East states and their existing frontiers “where these may be considered as final and internationally accepted,” Alan Noble, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told Parliament today.
Replying to Laborite questions in Commons, Commander Noble said there had been no change in the government’s policy and protested what he called attempts to “twist” the Sir Anthony Eden’s Guildhall statement which called on Israel to surrender part of its territory in “border adjustments” as the price of a peace settlement. He also expressed the opinion that UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold’s recent visit to the Middle East had reduced tension “noticeably” in the region.
When, in reply to a query, the Minister said that the British Government would welcome disarmament in the Middle East, he was attacked by Aneurin Bevan who found this statement “astonishing” in view of Britain’s refusal to accept Russian offers to end the arms supply to the region. Commander Noble suggested Mr. Bevan wait for Prime Minister Macmillan’s reply to Premier Bulganin’s latest letter and subsequent discussions. He denied a charge by Mr. Bevan that Britain opposed disarmament because of its own obligations to Moslem states under the terms of the Bagdad Pact.