Washington Mum on British Proposal to Press Peace on Arabs and Israel
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Washington Mum on British Proposal to Press Peace on Arabs and Israel

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The State Department refused today to say what the attitude of the United States Government would be if British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden proposes to President Eisenhower on–January 30 that the United States join Britain in pressuring Israel and the Arabs to settle the Palestine dispute within six months.

Reports from London today indicated that the Prime Minister will bring such a proposal to Washington. The reports said that following the two-day meeting of British Middle Eastern diplomats last week in London, the British Government came to the conclusion that the Arab countries and Israel are incapable of reaching agreement among themselves, but that a determined and coordinated joint effort by the United States and Britain on both sides of the Palestine armistice line can bring about a peace treaty soon.

(The New York Times reported today from London that a Foreign Office spokesman there said no ultimatum to Israel and the Arab countries was being considered although it is believed that six months is the limit for any Arab readiness to consider a compromise. The report added that it is felt in British Government circles that Washington’s cooperation is required “because the United States is the only power capable of inducing Mr. Ben Gurion and the Israeli Government to consider a compromise”).

A report received in this country on the two-day meeting of the British envoys who had been summoned from their posts in the Middle East to London for an exchange of views, said that the British diplomats expressed the belief that despite border clashes fullscale warfare between the Arab states and Israel was unlikely. These envoys were reported to have advanced a view that Israel would make concessions to get peace provided the ultimate settlement were guaranteed by the United States and the United Kingdom.


Evelyn Shuckburgh, chief policy adviser on Middle Eastern affairs in the British Foreign Office, will arrive in Washington this week with a preliminary outline for Anglo-American action on an Arab-Israel peace and other Middle East problems. A spokesman for the British Embassy here refused today to confirm or deny or report that Mr. Shuckburgh will outline an “extensive program,” as reported by official sources in London.

The report says that the proposals drawn up in London at the two-day parley of the British diplomats–which will probably be presented by Mr. Shuckburg in Washington call for American membership in the Baghdad Pact, a coordinated system of financial, economic and technical aid grants to Middle East countries, a strong warning against aggression and a pledge of assistance to the attacked party. This would amount to a reaffirmation of the 1950 Tripartite Declaration but with possible additional safeguards against aggression.

The plan was said to envision also a complete review of the present arms supply program to the Middle East, including safeguards against an arms race. Plans were also formulated to end current Israel-Arab border strife. American suggestions will be considered along with the British proposals at the forthcoming top level conference of President Eisenhower with Prime Minister Eden.


State Department sources today indicated that Secretary of State John Foster Dulles may visit Israel and Egypt in the first half of March. Speculation on this possibility followed an official announcement by the Department that Mr. Dulles will leave Washington by air March 2–probably via the Middle East–to attend a meeting at Karachi, Pakistan, of the Foreign Ministers of nations linked to the Southeast Asia collective defense organization. The meeting will take place from March 6 to 8.

If the Arab-Israel crisis does not abate in intensity, government sources indicated a “possibility” that Mr. Dulles would stop off on his way to or from Pakistan to see Israeli and Egyptian leaders. The discussions with such-leaders might come as a “follow through” of important policy decisions on the Arab-Israel situation expected to emerge from the Eisenhower-Eden talks.

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