Egypt Fires First Ground-to-air Missile; May Orbit Space Satellite

Egypt may attempt to orbit a space satellite to coincide with the celebration next Tuesday of the 11th anniversary of the Nasser Egyptian revolution. This was made known in Cairo today following the firing yesterday of Egypt’s first missile built with German technical assistance. The rocket fired was of the ground-to-air type. President Nasser witnessed the demonstration.

In the House of Commons here, Edward Heath, Lord Privy Seal, was asked yesterday whether Britain would bring up the Middle East arms race at the Soviet-American-British talks, now taking place in Moscow, on the banning of nuclear tests. Mr. Heath answered “the proposals at the Moscow talks are already defined. We are trying,” he said, “with other countries, to limit the supply going to the Middle East. But, at the same time, there are indications that some were already there.”

Mr. Heath’s statement was, at first, believed to imply that nuclear weapons were already on hand in the Middle East. Later, however, it was explained officially by the Foreign Office that he meant only to say that there were now in the Middle East missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. “He certainly did not intend to imply that nuclear warheads are in the possession of any Middle Eastern country,” officials stressed.

Meanwhile, an unsuccessful effort to find out how many arms have been sold by Britain to countries in the Middle East in the last three years was made today by Stephen Swingler, a Labor member of Parliament.

Mr. Swingler asked the president of the Board of Trade to reveal which countries have been the principal purchasers of British arms in the last three years, and “what kind of arms have been principally involved.” Alan Green, Joint Minister of State of the Board of Trade, replied in writing: “It is not our policy to disclose the total value or details of the kind of arms exported to other countries.”

The London press is featuring today the reports from Cairo about yesterday’s launching there of Egypt’s first ground-to-air missile. No details of the capacities of the missile were disclosed in Cairo, but it is believed here that Egypt now has several types of missiles.

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