WASHINGTON, D. C (Mar. 9)
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was welcomed at the Washington airport this afternoon by Undersecretary of State Livingston Merchant as scores of Arab students picketed the airport.
A military cordon, special police and State Department security officers formed a guard of honor for the Prime Minister. Heavy security precautions were taken. In the welcoming committee with Mr. Merchant were G. Louis Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and State Department Protocol Chief Wiley Buchanan.
The Prime Minister declined to comment on the purpose of his visit to Washington, saying only that he was going to spend a little time in Washington to see the Lincoln Monument and other monuments. However, it was announced earlier by the White House that President Eisehhower will receive Mr. Ben-Gurion tomorrow morning.
Secretary of State Christian Herter, who will receive the Israel Prime Minister tomorrow, told a press conference today that he sees nothing wrong with the protest which the ambassadors of ten Arab countries made to him this week in connection with Mr. Ben-Gurion’s arrival to this country.
He said the question raised an issue of the whole unhappy relationship between Israel and the Arab states, a problem that America long hoped to be in a position to ameliorate. He added that he did not want to say anything to make the situation worse. Declaring that he had nothing new to say on the Suez Canal blockade of Israeli shipping and cargoes, Mr. Herter said this matter was not discussed yesterday when he met with United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.