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Israel Cabinet Delays Action on Suez Crisis; Ben Gurion Absent

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The Israel Cabinet met today under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, and decided to defer its planned complaint to the United Nations Security Council against Egypt’s violations of free passage of ships and cargo through the Suez Canal.

Premier David Ben Gurion, who was expected to resume chairmanship at today’s Cabinet meeting, did not attend the session. He was still on leave of absence from his premiership duties. His absence may account for the decision to defer action on the Suez Canal issue.

There were also some reports here indicating that the Cabinet had second thoughts on the efficacy of a move before the Security Council, in view of the advice to Israel by the Western Powers and the United Nations Secretariat to wait at least until direct contact is established between the Israel delegation to the United Nations and UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold upon the latter’s return to New York.

At today’s Cabinet meeting a report on the developments since Mr. Hammarskjold’s talk with Egyptian President Nasser in Cairo was presented by Walter Eytan, Director General of the Foreign Ministry. (In London, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions expressed concern over seizure of Israeli cargoes from ships of various nations as they sought transit of the Suez Canal. It pointed out that freedom of the seas and international waterways was an “indispensable prerequisite” for international trade.)

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