§ 12. Mr. A. Henderson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will instruct his representative at the United Nations Organisation to propose that the Security Council should consider the present situation on the Israel-United Arab Republic borders and the continued refusal of the Government of Egypt to allow Israeli ships and cargoes to pass through the Suez Canal.
§ 36. Mr. Janner
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the nature of the current action being taken by Her Majesty's Government within the United Nations to ensure for the ships of all nations the application of the right of free transit through the Suez Canal.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
In the last few days tension on the Israel-United Arab Republic borders seems to have diminished in spite of the incidents to which there has been reference today. In the circumstances, the action suggested by the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not seem to be necessary. As regards Suez Canal transit, this is still being handled by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
§ Mr. Henderson
Is it not time Chat the Security Council took some positive action to ensure that the Government of Egypt observe the provisions of the 1951 Resolution? Would it not be possible for United Nations observers to be placed on Israeli ships seeking to pass through the Suez Canal? Further, has not the time come for contingents of the United Nations Emergency Force to patrol the borders between Israel and the United Arab Republic?
§ Mr. Lloyd
The difficulty about what the right hon. and learned Member refers to as positive action by the United Nations is one of enforcement. One has to proceed in this matter by a process of consultation with all the people principally concerned, using the very great influence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in this matter. At 14 present, I do not think that a meeting of the Security Council, to which the Question refers, would advance the causes which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has in mind.
§ Mr. Janner
Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman also take into consideration the fact that the granting of moneys by the World Bank to a country which refuses absolutely to allow the Canal to be used for international purposes is entirely wrong and that some steps should be taken to prevent that money being utilised for the purpose of stopping international shipping from going through the Canal? Why cannot the Foreign Secretary do something in that direction in order to prevent instead of encouraging an abuse of the Canal facilities so far as international matters are concerned?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I do not want to relate an answer to a supplementary question to the events of some time ago. All I would say on the specific point of a loan by the International Bank is that I think the hon. Gentleman should reflect carefully on the wisdom or unwisdom of attaching political conditions to such a loan. I think that is a wider issue which I suggest the hon. Member should carefully consider.
§ Mr. A. Henderson
Will the Foreign Secretary do me the courtesy of saying whether he will consider the suggestion contained in my supplementary question, that United Nations observers might well be put on Israeli ships, and that the situation is such that United Nations observers should be put on the borders of Israel and the United Arab Republic? Will he consider that?