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Dulles “explains” Refusal to See Congressmen on Arab-israel Issue

June 18, 1956
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The State Department “explained” today a refusal by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to receive a group of 16 New York Democratic members of Congress who wanted to see him other Arab-Israel issue. Rep. Emanuel Celler, dean of the delegation, said the group “questioned Secretary Dulles motives” in refusing to see them.

Explaining the refusal, State Department spokesman Lincoln White, said that Secretary Dulles feels that reception of New York Democratic Congressmen on the Israel issue might establish a precedent by which he would have to see delegations from the other 47 states. Secretary Dulles made it clear that because of lack of time he could not see individual state delegations, but was ready to see any group of Republicans or Democrats selected on a nation-wide basis, Mr. White said.

Accusing Secretary Dulles of “discourtesy,” the 16 Congressmen said in a statement that he had given no reason but had arbitrarily refused to grant the requested appointment. The statement held that Mr. Dulles “cannot face the challenge of meeting 16 members face to face, most particularly when he is well aware that this delegation is thoroughly cognizant of the issues at stake and their relation to the maintenance of peace between Israel and the Arab states.

“The 16 members of this Congressional unit have together explored this problem and have unanimously arrived at the central conclusion that the most concrete step that can be taken for the maintenance of peace is an equilibrium of arms between the opposing factions. It is of course, this unanimity of approach that has frightened Mr. Dulles in view of the inconclusive, wavering, timid public appraisal the Department of State has made relative to this crucial situation,” the statement said.

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