British Trade Council for Middle East Says It Accedes to Arab Boycott

Lord Inchcape, chairman of the Government-sponsored Council for Middle East Trade, made plain today his belief that the Council had no choice but to accede to the Arab boycott of Israel. He told a press conference that the Council “might as well pack up” if it tried to encourage trade with Israel.

The Council was formed to promote British trade in the Middle East, not excluding Israel. Lord Inchcape insisted that the Council was “not trying to do Israel down,” but “it would kill the whole thing stone dead” if the Council included Israel in its program. The Council is supported by the Government, the Federation of British Industries, and individual firms.

In a related development, Lord Mancroft, the British Jewish business leader, said today he did not wish to be renominated for the presidency of the London Chamber of Commerce. The latest controversy over British reaction to the Arab boycott developed earlier this month when Lord Mancroft confirmed reports that he had withdrawn his candidacy in response to Arab boycott pressures on members of the Chamber.

Lord Mancroft said that a large number of Chamber members wanted him to renew his candidacy but “this would merely add to a controversy which is not of my choosing and which I very much regret. It was disclosed that a member of the Chamber wrote to it that “if you give way to blackmail, you will have to give into more blackmail later. There are quite a number of firms with Jewish directors trading with both the Arab countries and Israel.”

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