OTTAWA (May. 11)
Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion will visit Canada, starting May 24, it was officially announced in the House of Commons here today by Canada’s Prime Minister John G, Diefenbaker.
It will be Mr, Ben-Gurion’s first visit to Canada. Mr. Diefenbaker told the Parliament that the Israel Premier will spend two days in Ottawa “and will, thereafter, spend a brief period privately in this country. ” The visit was immediately hailed by Lester B. Pearson, leader of the opposition Liberal Party; and by Hazen Argue, leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation.
The text of Mr. Diefenbaker’s announcement reads:
“It gives me great pleasure to inform the members of this House that the Prime Minister of Israel, the Honorable David Ben-Gurion, has accepted an invitation to visit this country for a few days later on this month. Mr. Ben-Gurion will arrive in Ottawa on May 24 for a two-day visit, and will thereafter spend a brief period privately in this country.
“Canada welcomes Mr. Ben-Gurion as the distinguished leader of a young and vigorous State, whose energy and guidance have been so important in the rapid and fruitful progress made by his country. It is the hope of the Government and people of Canada that the close and friendly relations which have existed between our countries since the founding of Israel will continue to grow. The visit of the Prime Minister is regarded as a further step in that direction.
“This will be Mr. Ben-Gurion’s first visit to Canada as Prime Minister of his country. During the visit, matters of common interest to our two countries will be discussed, and I feel sure both our countries will benefit by the exchange of views which will be made possible by the visit. “
Mr. Pearson told the House: “In recent years, Canada has received many very distinguished visitors, but none I am sure have been given a warmer welcome than will be given Premier Ben-Gurion, not only because of the distinction of his own achievements but because he represents a State which has achieved a vast amount of progressive democracy in the Middle East, and one which has very close and friendly relationships with our own country and our own people. We hope this visit of Premier Ben-Gurion will make even stronger those relationships. “
On behalf of the CCF, Mr. Argue said: “The announcement of the Prime Minister is most welcome. We are very pleased that the premier of Israel has agreed to come to Canada, We acknowledge his great efforts in building a democracy in Israel. We acknowledge the great social experiment that is being conducted there, and I am sure the ties between Canada and Israel will become even stronger because of this visit. “