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Israel-Jordan Frontier (Security Council Discussion)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 21 June 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made in the discussions at the Security Council in regard to Israel-Jordan frontier tension: and if he will make a statement.

The Security Council debate on this matter was adjourned on 12th May. There is nothing I can usefully say about this matter at the present time, except to deny the reports that Her Majesty's Government have proposed the replacement of General Bennike.

In view of the provision of Article 2 of our 1948 Treaty with Transjordan, will my right hon. and learned Friend try to persuade that Govemnment to make full use of the machinery of the United Nations to settle their dispute with Israel?

I think it would be a very good thing if both sides would make full use of the existing machinery.

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that Israel, especially in relation to Jordan, is most anxious to sit down with the Arabs to settle their dispute? In view of the fact that hostilities were brought to an end partly at our request and at the request of the United Nations, is not there an obligation upon the United Nations, including ourselves, the United States and France, to persuade the Arabs to sit down round the table to settle the dispute: especially having regard to the fact that the so-called armistice has been going on for between five and six years?

Frankly I think that the difficulty about this problem is that the more that is said in public about it the more difficult it is to get the two sides together. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that we are seeking to do our best.

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that very little has been said in public about this so far as this House is concerned, and that the so-called armistice has been going on for five or six years? In these somewhat unprecedented conditions, is it not time that a peace was made? Shall we do any good by evading the issue?

We are trying to reduce the temperature and to get both sides into a condition where progress could be made. If I am asked to comment on the activities of one side with which I may not agree, in fairness I have to point out where I think that the other side have not been behaving as they should. I do not think that the public interest is advanced by that course of action.