STOCKHOLM (Aug. 22)
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s official visit to the Scandinavian countries was marked tonight with a dinner in his honor given by the Swedish Foreign Office at which high praise was paid to his leadership by Premier Tage Erlander. Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister was a luncheon guest of the Stockholm Town Council.
The Swedish leader described Mr. Ben-Gurion as “the symbol of the courage and determination of the Israeli people in its successful struggle for independence and democracy.” He said that the Prime Minister was recognized all over the world as “the inspiring force for the efforts of the Jewish people to create under difficult circumstances a modern economically and socially advanced society and for the belief in the future which above all characterizes modern Israel.”
Premier Erlander expressed the hope that “we will be able to continue our conversations on the problems confronting our countries in a world that is growing more and more interdependent and in which small countries have a responsibility to participate actively in the work for peace and better understanding.”
In his reply, Mr. Ben-Gurion cited the work of two Swedish leaders–the late Supreme Court Judge Sandstrom, who served on the United Nations Commission for Palestine, and the late United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold–in aiding Israel’s re-birth and development. He added that “that which binds us to Sweden more than anything else is our community of social ideals.”
Prior to the banquet which was attended by some 120 dignitaries, the Prime Minister talked with Premier Erlander for 30 minutes and then visited Foreign Minister Oesten Unden. The conversations were reported general, with talks on concrete issues slated for subsequent meetings during the Prime Minister’s visit.
Mr. Ben-Gurion came with Mrs. Ben-Gurion, their daughter, and military aides, arriving at Arland airport last night. They received a warm airport reception from Premier Erlander and envoys of Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, the countries Mr. Ben-Gurion will visit.
Jewish children with small Israeli flags were among those who came to the airport to greet the Israeli visitors. A large Israeli flag stood at the entrance to the Dignitaries Room where an informal reception was held. A military orchestra played the Israeli and Swedish anthems, then a Swedish flag was presented to the Israeli leader.