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WASHINGTON, May 21 (AP)-The United States today demanded the release of 41 American citizens taken off the American steamship Marine Carp by Lebanese authorities under threat of force.

At the same time the State Department served notice, in effect, on the Arab world that this country will “view seriously” any discrimination against U. S. citizens on grounds of race, creed or color.

The 41 Americans, all Jews, were removed from the Marine Carp at Beirut on Wednesday, along with 28 passengers of other nationalities.

All 69 were of military age and were bound for Haifa in the new Jewish state of Israel. Lebanese officials took the position that they might join Jewish fighting forces there.

One hundred and five Jews, including 25 American citizens, refused today in Haifa to sail aboard the Marine Carp for the U. S. be-Editorial comment, page 10cause they were not guaranteed safe passage through Arab territory.

The ship sailed for Alexandria, Egypt. The 105 persons left behind asked to have the ship returned to Haifa after the call at Alexandria.


“If the ship comes back it can pick up Jewish passengers and then sail directly to the United States,” a spokesman for the provisional government of Israel said. Jewish officials had warned the Jews they would travel through Arab territory at their own risk.

Today’s sharp American protest was disclosed in the form of instructions to Lowell Pinkerton, U. S. Minister at Beirut.

State Department Press Officer Michael J. McDermott said the “whole purpose” of these instructions was to get the Americans released. They were last reported interned in former French barracks at Beka, Lebanon.

The State Department announcement said this country “considers that all bearers of American passports, irrespective of race, color or creed, are entitled to an equal extent to the protection of the Government of the United Status.”

Pinkerton also was instructed, the department said, to make clear to the Lobanese government that “the United States Government would be compelled to view seriously any such discrimination against American citizens by any government.”

The announcement added that this formation “has been telegraphed also to American missions in other Arab countries for their information.”


Pinkerton, officials said, objected in advance to the removal of the Americans. When Lebanese officials acted anyway, he advised the Americans not to resist, so as to avoid possible bloodshed, and they followed his advice.

The new Israel government announced meanwhile it is “lodging a strong protest” against the passengers’ removal as a “blatant infringement on international law.”

At Haifa, a U. S. consular official said the passengers at Beirut were removed by about 100 armed Arabs, most of them in Lebanese army uniforms.

Jewish officials said the non Americans taken off the ship included 23 Palestinians, three Canadians, a Pole and a Mexican.

(Officials studying legal aspects of the incident said, according to United Press, that it appeared to have no parallel in recent American history.

(Since the War of 1812, the United States has refused to sanction the removal of American citizens from American vessels unless a violation of the law was involved. British impressments of American sailors was one of the major factors leading to the War of 1812.

(The United States has an embargo on shipments of arms to the Middle East and refuses passports to any Americans who want to go to Palestine to fight. A passport issued to an American would become invalid if used for the purpose of pointing a foreign army.)