LONDON (Aug. 26)
Shimon Peress, director general of the Israel Defense Ministry, who is in London reportedly to discuss the type and quantities of arms Israel hoped to receive from Britain, called today on the First Lord of the Admiralty for what was officially described as “talks on technical and supply problems.” He was accompanied by Israel Ambassador Eliahu Elath.
The Admiralty sought to minimize the Peres call, describing it as a routine visit, one of the numerous calls Mr. Peress is making to the United Kingdom.” An Admiralty spokesman declined to elaborate on the official communique and refused even to confirm the two luncheon dates the Israel official has with Admiralty officials.
Observers here were increasingly convinced that Israel was seeking to acquire the types of weapons which could deal effectively with the new Egyptian submarine menace. It was noted that apart from the four Soviet submarines which last week passed through the English Channel bound for Alexandria, President Nasser has already received three smaller submarines from Poland and three Soviet submarines of the same class as the four now en route to Egypt.
While Israel has little to fear from the Egyptian surface fleet of five destroyers, three frigates, two corvettes and some minesweepers and torpedo-boats, Israel defense officials were understood to be concerned about the increased potential of Egyptian underwater striking power. Admiralty officials, it was believed, would show a better understanding of Israel’s security needs because of this submarine power expansion. Mr. Peress was scheduled to leave London Friday.