LONDON (Feb. 2)
The deputy leader of the British Labor Party called on Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart in the House of Commons today to “drop this nonsense” about Four Power and Two Power Mideast talks and work for reactivation of the peace mission of special United Nations envoy Gunnar V. Jarring. George Brown, a former Foreign Secretary who just returned from a tour of Middle East capitals, declared that “there is nobody in Israel or the Arab countries who has any regard for or faith in the Four Power discussions.” “Go back to the (Nov. 22.1967) Security Council resolution and get Dr. Jarring back in business again,” Mr. Brown said.
Mr. Stewart replied, “That is exactly what we want to do.” He maintained, however, that the four Big Powers–United States, Soviet Russia, Britain and France–as permanent members of the Security Council, have a special responsibility with regard to the Council’s Mideast resolution. “We have all been disappointed by the slow progress made by Dr. Jarring earlier,” he said. “Our present task is to maintain the Four Power discussions and, with the help of Dr. Jarring, to try to turn the Security Council resolution into a practical program of action which all parties would be prepared to implement.” Mr. Stewart said he could not accept Mr. Brown’s view that no nation in the Middle East has any regard for the Four Power deliberations. “I hope that out of the Four Power talks will come such a measure of agreement as will enable Dr. Jarring to resume his work between the parties concerned.” Mr. Stewart said.
The Foreign Secretary refused to confirm or deny that Britain was negotiating the sale of Chieftain tanks to Libya. Replying to a question on the subject by Jones Scott Hopkins, a Conservative MP, Mr. Stewart said “We are at present discussing with the Libyan Government all aspects of relationships between our two countries.” Asked about Britain’s refusal to sell Chieftains to Israel. Mr. Stewart said, “We shall not act in a manner which puts either side in a position to think it can achieve an easy victory over its enemies. This seems to me a sensible, humane policy and we shall stick to it.”