HL Deb 02 May 1968 vol 291 cc1200-1

3.14 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations have been made to the Government of Israel regarding the intention to project a march through the city of Jerusalem.]


My Lords, Her Majesty's Government voted for the resolution unanimously adopted by the Security Council on April 27 calling on Israel: to refrain from holding the military parade in Jerusalem which is contemplated for May 2. The Government of Israel is aware of this.


My Lords, is my noble friend aware that I do not want to say a word that can go to exacerbate the feelings about the march, which is taking place to-day? In view of the fact that the Arab leaders in Jordania and Jerusalem have made an appeal to their populations to have a voluntary curfew, so that there shall not be clashes between the two races, could the Minister inform us whether there has been any United Nations' presence at this march in order to deter any incident?


My Lords, I am not aware of any United Nations' presence in Jerusalem for this purpose.


My Lords, would not the Minister agree that there is no real reason for many people having the "jitters" about this victory parade in Jerusalem at this moment, however tactless it might be of the Israelis, seeing that there has been absolutely no sign from the Arab countries of readiness to negotiate peace?


My Lords, there is much about world affairs that gives me the "jitters", as I am sure it does to many noble Lords on all sides of the House. We must seek to bring as much pacification as we can in this area. Any act that is provocative by either side is dangerous in the present situation, particularly when Mr. Jarring is working for the United Nations in seeking a peaceful settlement in the Middle East. I hope that none of the sides will take any action that could be regarded by the others as provocative.