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Canada Makes Sale of Jets to Israel Dependent on Western Powers

July 13, 1956
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Canadian Government will not sell Israel jet fighter planes except in conjunction with sales by other Western Powers. Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent told the Canadian Parliament yesterday. He indicated his decision stemmed from conversations with United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold and UN truce chief, Maj. Gen. E.L.M. Burns, a Canadian national.

Replying to a question in the House of Commons concerning Israel’s three and-one-half-month-old request to buy 24 Canadian-made F-86 Sabre jets, Mr. St. Laurent said: “We would have been quite happy to join with other Western powers in doing something to restore a balance, but we do not feel that when other Western powers were not prepared to join in that responsibility it should be a responsibility left to the Government of Canada which has not the immediate interest in the area which other Western powers have.”

He explained that the Canadian Government would not want to do anything which “in the slightest way” would jeopardize the Arab-Israel-cease-fire agreement. “We gathered that it is still a very delicate situation which might be unfavorably influenced if a country like Canada were to attempt to take the lead in changing what is in my opinion an imbalance of armaments.”

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