Ben-Gurion Concludes Visit to Washington; Meets with Nixon and Herter
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Ben-Gurion Concludes Visit to Washington; Meets with Nixon and Herter

Israel Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion today concluded his visit to Washington evidently satisfied with the discussions which he held here with President Eisenhower and other top leaders of the American nation. It is understood that his views were met with understanding by American Government leaders.

Mr. Ben-Gurion is reaching New York tonight and will probably start his day tomorrow with a meeting with the West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. He will later be the guest of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold. The UN Secretary General will first have lunch with him and Mrs. Ben-Gurion at his private residence, and later confer with him at the headquarters of the United Nations. In the evening, Mr. Hammarskjold will tender a reception for the Israel Prime Minister attended by leading diplomats from many countries.

Prior to his leaving Washington, Mr. Ben-Gurion had lunch this afternoon with Vice President Richard M. Nixon at the latter’s home. Mr. Nixon had arranged the luncheon to be strictly kosher. Accompanying Mr. and Mrs. Ben-Gurion to the luncheon were Israel Ambassador Avraham Harman and Minister Plenipotentiary Yaacov Herzog. Other distinguished guests were in attendance.

Following the luncheon, Mr. Ben-Gurion went to the home of Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, in the fashionable Georgetown section here. Mr. Herter was forced to cancel a previous engagement with the Israeli Prime Minister because the Secretary of State was taken ill with a mild digestive upset. However, since Mr. Herter wanted to greet and talk with Mr. Ben-Gurion before the latter’s departure from Washington, the Secretary of State invited the Israeli statesman to visit his home.

After the talk with Mr. Herter, Mr. Ben-Gurion went to the Israeli Embassy, where a Purim party was in progress. Children of the Embassy staff were dressed, at the party, in the gay Purim costumes traditional of the festival. The Prime Minister then departed for New York by train early this evening.

Last night the Prime Minister paid a surprise visit to a Purim service in progress at Beth Sholom Synagogue, an Orthodox house of worship, to hear the reading of the "Megillah. " Mr. Ben-Gurion was called to the altar to accept the honor of reciting a portion of the service.


During his stay in Washington, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion appeared at a closed session of the Senate subcommittee dealing with Middle East affairs. Sixteen members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including Chairman J. W. Fulbright, attended the session.

After the meeting Mr. Ben-Gurion told newsmen that he discussed the situation in the Near East, the relations of Israel and her neighbors, the refugee problem, the Suez Canal, and the general world situation as it affects the Middle East. He said the world situation could not be discussed without mention of the summit conference. He thus indicated the Near East aspects of the coming Big Power meeting were talked about.

Commenting on Israel’s prospects, he revealed that he spoke of immigration, electrical and atomic power, desert development and expansion of industry and exports. He also discussed possibilities of development by Arab states of their resources. He pointed out that the Near East could again become an important world center. He saw "peace" as the ultimate solution of the Arab refugee problem.

Senator Fulbright told the press that the Israel Prime Minister, in addressing the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made no requests for American military aid, nor did he mention that matter. The issue pursued that the Senators found most interesting said Sen. Fulbright, was the prospect of a peace settlement. In a broad sense, the issue of "self-determination" for Egypt, Syria, and other states was stressed by Mr. Ben-Gurion, according to Sen. Fulbright.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee commended Mr. Ben-Gurion as a "fine leader of the free world." He termed the lengthy meeting "very interesting and educational. " He said the Israel Prime Minister was "a very able man" who expressed himself well. According to Sen. Fulbright, Mr. Ben-Gurion did not indicate anxiety over Israel’s defense situation, nor express apprehension of any immediate war danger. He said Mr. Ben-Gurion made a "slight discussion of the disturbing element of Russian arms shipments to the United Arab Republic. "

Senator Fulbright revealed that a Soviet-American accord on the Near East arms embargo might be sought at the coming summit conference. He indicated likelihood that the arms embargo would be discussed, but expressed doubt of agreement by President Nasser of the UAR, even if America and the Soviet Union agreed. Nevertheless, said Sen. Fulbright, America and the Soviet Union could try.

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