British Minister Fails to Convince Israelis Sir Alec’s Views Not Bad

A visiting British Minister tried to no avail today to reassure angered Israeli officials that Sir Alec Douglas-Home’s statement of Britain’s Mideast policy at a Conservative Party meeting Saturday was not as bad as they thought it was. Joseph Godber, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said that whoever read Sir Alec’s statement carefully “would find that it is not so negative in its character” and was not a deviation from Britain’s support of the Security Council’s Resolution 242. Mr. Godber arrived here for a four-day visit to attend the annual Balfour Day dinner of the Anglo-Israel Association and to meet with Israeli government leaders. But he found his hosts in a bitter mood. Sir Alec’s speech was denounced as “unrealistic” and “an inaccurate interpretation which does not follow from the resolution itself.” A Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected a claim broadcast by BBC this morning that Israel had “over-reacted” to Sir Alec’s speech. They admitted however, that the speech contained nothing new.

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