Western Bloc's Unity on IsraelAsks France to Delay Any Action; English Officers to Stay in Arab Legion

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By Jack Tait From the Tait From the Herald Tribune Bureau Copyright, 1948, New York Herald Tribune Inc.

LONDON, May 26-Great Britain is seeking to “co-ordinate” the Palestine police- of the five-nation Western Union powers-Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg-a Foreign Office spokesman disclosed tonight, At the same time, the Foreign Office confirmed reports that the British Ambassador at Paris. Sir Oliver Harvey, has asked the French government not to take “any initiative” on the subject of Palestine for the time being.

While Britain sought support in western Europe for its Palestine policy, Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin made it clear in the House of Commons today that he is not going to take any immediate action regarding participation of British officers in the activities of though Trans-Jordan Arab Legion.

The government has adopted the line that the next move is up to the United Nations Security Council. This attitude seems to have been inspired in part by hope that the U. N. may take some action regarding Palestine which would give Britain the opportunity, under the U. N. Charter, to sidestep its treaty obligations to the Arab states.

There was no immediate Foreign Office reaction here to reports that the Arab states had rejected truce proposals. Official word of the Arab decision was still awaited in London.

Questioned in the House today, Mr. Bevin said there are at present thirty-seven British officers serving with the Arab Legion. He explained that they are with the Legion under the terms of the Anglo-Trans-Jordan treaty, and then said- “This obligation would only cease if its fulfillment became inconsistent with our obligations to the United Nations organization. In this connection I am still waiting to leaner the Arab response to the cease-fire resolution.”

Mr. Bevin said one or two British officers had been involved in the Jerusalem fighting, but have now been withdrawn from the area.

The temperature of the House began to rise when a pro-Zionist, Sidney Silverman, asked, “Is it fitting that a force paid for with British money, wearing uniforms provided by us and carrying equipment provided by us should be engaged in shelling the holy places in Jerusalem?”

Before Mr. Bevin could reply Richard Stokes, Laborite rose and said in a booming voice “Is the Foreign Secretary aware of the except of the American support given to the Jews?” (A labor member shouted, “The more the better!”)

The Foreign Secretary got up shrugged his shoulders and said to the entire House. “You can take your choice.” Then he went on-

“I am trying to pursue a policy to end hostilities, and I do not intend to be drawn into a controversy on this matter at this stage The British will do what they conceive to be right, and report to this House. At the same time I repeat what I said yesterday in answer to a question, that one of the difficulties in Jerusalem was the breaking of the truce by a section of the Jewish forces. I regret that, and I thing it would have been preferable if Jerusalem could have been kept out of this.” (Cheers).

When Mr. Bevin finished, seven or eight Labor members bobbed up to gain recognition from the Speaker, (Communist Willie Gallachor, who wanted to raise a point of order, got the floor and said “In view of the fact that the treaty with Trans-Jordan lays it down that no warlike action will be taken without consultation, is the Foreign Secretary not responsible for all that is taking place at present?” The Speaker ruled that Mr. Gallachor has not raised a point of order.

Then, amid cries of “Order, order!” Mr. Glacier stood up again and said, “I ask if it is permissible for a minister to say to this House that he is standing neutral when as a matter of fact he is fully responsible according to the treaty.”

The Speaker said, “We must get on with the business.”

But he permitted one more question. Seymour Cocks, Laborite, asked whether any British officers were directing the artillery bombardment of Jerusalem. Mr. Bevin said, “No.”

There was increasing criticism here today of yesterday’s report that President Truman was giving favorable consideration to an American loan to Israel and to the possibility of lifting the United States embargo on arms shipments to the Middle East.

One way to look at the report, a Foreign Office spokesman said, was to consider it “concretely designed” to bring about Arab rejection of truce proposals.

U. N. Association to Hear Welles

The American Association for the United Nations, 45 East Sixty-fith Street, announced yesterday that Summer Welles, former Under Secretary of State, will be the main speaker at an association meeting at 8-30 o’clock tonight in the Jade Room of the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria. He will discuss “Palestine and the United Nations.”

Poles Reject Israel Blockade

WARSAW, May 26 (AP).-The Polish government said today it refuses to recognize an Egyptian blockade of Palestine waters.