MARCH 5, 1957
WASHINGTON—I was very much disturbed over the weekend to find that the plan for settlement of the Near East problem had been delayed because of a statement made to the United Nations Friday by Henry Cabot Lodge, the U.S. delegate.
Israel apparently felt that Mr. Lodge's statement did not fully cover the points of settlement as they had been agreed to by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. She was particularly concerned with Mr. Lodge's allusion to the future of the Gaza Strip.
Technically, it is true that no promises on this point have been made, no rewards given. But I think everyone realizes that Israel must have felt she had the firm backing of the United States, Great Britain and France in seeing that U.N. forces moved into the Gaza Strip and that the Gulf of Aqaba would be open to the navigation of her ships.
I still have hopes that the arrangements will go through. For while I think Israel is quite reasonable in asking for certain guarantees, I believe that a peaceful settlement of this question will strengthen the United Nations and make it easier to settle future questions in this area of the world.
I think the general feeling among the people of this country concerning economic sanctions against Israel was made fairly clear by the reaction in Congress. It is quite evident that when the people's feelings are clearly expressed through their representatives, any Administration is sure to be influenced.
This influence has been shown by the Administration, in its recent statements, in ignoring its previous support for sanctions against Israel.
The visit of Premier Guy Mollet of France to Washington has brought a satisfaction to all of us who have a warm affection for the French and have been grieved by the misunderstandings which were permitted to arise between our countries.
Of course, the main subjects of conversation were the economic situation in which France now finds herself and the Near East question, which has contributed to this economic situation.
But I hope there was some talk on how to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. We have been interested so much lately in areas outside of Europe that we have tended to forget the importance of keeping our Western alliance strong and giving to its visible armed strength the maximum efficiency.
The solidarity of this alliance is the most important factor in controlling aspirations of the Soviet Union in all of Europe and in making it more difficult for the Soviets to suppress the growing desire for greater freedom in some of the Communist satellite nations.