Ben-gurion Reports to Cabinet on Visits Abroad; Details Remain Secret
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Ben-gurion Reports to Cabinet on Visits Abroad; Details Remain Secret

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Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, attending his first Cabinet meeting here today since his return from visits to Canada, the United States, Britain and France, reported on his conversations with Western leaders at the summit, but the Government enacted a complete black-out on his report.

The Cabinet session, lasting three hours, was attended also by Foreign Minister Golda Meir, who has just returned from visits to Scandinavia; Minister of Commerce and Industry Pinhas Sapir, who visited all of the Western countries where Mr. Ben-Gurion had stopped; and Deputy Defense Minister Shimon Peres.

But at the end of the unusually long Cabinet meeting, a Cabinet spokesman refused to reveal what Mr. Ben-Gurion had reported about his conversations with Canada’s Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Britain’s Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and the French President, General Charles de Gaulle.

The spokesman was asked specifically whether the Government has received explanations of contradictory reports concerning the Ben-Gurion–Kennedy talk about the Arab refugee problem. Mr. Ben-Gurion had been reported as indicating that President Kennedy had proposed a solution of the refugee problem, while the State Department at Washington had reportedly said there was no such solution offered by the American President. The spokesman replied “no comment” to this question.

The blanket of secrecy was wrapped also about Mrs. Meir’s Cabinet report, as a result of her tour. In addition to visiting Scandinavia, the Foreign Minister had also gone to Iceland and, later, to Paris.

Mrs. Meir did report publicly, upon her return from Europe, that she had found “strong feelings of friendship toward Israel” in the Scandinavian countries. In Paris, she said, she had discussed Israel’s position in the new economic framework of Europe, but she declined to comment on Israel’s chances of being accepted as a member of the European Common Market.

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