LONDON (Aug. 5)
A proposal for a special, government-sponsored council to encourage trade between Britain and Israel has been turned down by the Government, it developed here today. Members of the Anglo-Israel Chamber of Commerce pointed to a statement made here last week by Lord Inchcapes, chairman of the Council for Middle East Trade, who said that his Council “might as well pack up” and go out of business if it tried to encourage trade with Israel.
At the same time, a statement by the Board of Trade reacted with coolness to a proposal that a new group, to be called the Middle East Trade Expansion Organization, be formed to facilitate increased Anglo-Israeli trade. The Board of Trade has taken the position that, while it is willing to help improve the sale of Israeli exports in this country, there is no reason for improving exports from Britain to Israel, since Israel is already “importing so much from the United Kingdom.”
According to the Board of Trade, Israel’s imports from Britain last year amounted to 40,000,000 pounds sterling ($112,000,000) “and are increasing at more than three times the rate of exports to the rest of the world.”