UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 23)
Dag Hammarskjold, United Nations Secretary General, told a press conference today on his return from talks with President Nasser of the United Arab Republic on the Suez Canal blockade of Israel shipping that while he had made “suggestions,” he did not expect “black and white solutions” in the canal impasse but “liveable ones.”
Asked whether there had been any progress toward “liveable” solutions in his talks with President Nasser, the Secretary General replied that “the proper reply will have to be given by those who have to live with it. I am not a shipping nation.”
No direct reference was made at the press conference to the UAR detention since May 21 of the Danish freighter, the Inge Toft, carrying an Israel cargo of cement and potash, nor to the Egyptian confiscation and sale of an Israel cargo on the Liberian ship, Kapitan Manolis. Despite UAR confiscation orders, the captain of the Inge Toft has refused to unload his cargo.
Mr. Hammarskjold made it clear that the Nasser talks had not changed his opinion that the Suez Canal dispute was not between Israel and the UAR but between the United Nations and the UAR. He had made this point to diplomats before going to Cairo. He emphasized today “the difficulty of finding a proper balance” between Israel and the Arab nations, between the Arabs themselves and between the Arab nations and other nations, particularly shipping nations.
Asked the standard question put to him on his return from each Middle East trip as to whether he still found a “will to peace” in the area, he said today: “It is a slow process of political growth, national and international. There are growing pains but there is an approach to mature actions. I have never abandoned the feeling that wherever there is a will to peace, it will be found, although it is a slow process.”
Correspondents cited criticisms of his recent report on the Palestine Arab refugee problem, charging him with “blurring the problem” and making it appear that he was tackling the general Middle East issues, rather than that of the refugees alone. He reported that “those with whom I have talked show a very clear understanding of the report and insisted that the Arab refugee problem has not been blurred in the recommendations contained in his report.
Declaring that it was “impossible to take a stand on the Palestine refugee problem without reviewing all conditions before a solution is found,” he said: “Economic problems heretofore haven’t been given adequate consideration. I have attempted to correct this imbalance.”