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Hugh Gaitskell asked the United States to cooperate in forming a resolute U.N. policy on a Suez settlement in his final Godkin Lecture last night.
He insisted that the United States should support an early resumption of negotiations on canal ownership, an unquestioned right of Israeli and all other ships to use the canal without any discrimination. He also urged that Nasser should not be permitted to obstruct canal clearance to gain political advantage.
Speaking to an overflow crowd of about 1400 in Sanders Theatre, Gaitskell stressed the need for increased Anglo-American cooperation in this area of the world. He conceded that it might be necessary "for the United States to proceed without close and obvious cooperation with Britain and France," but asked for some consultation now with a gradual increase in the future.
On Arab-Israeli relations, he argued that the problem "at the moment is essentially psychological," and that the important thing is to "gain time, without armed conflict, so as to allow passions to subside." To facilitate this he proposed that the United Nations military force should occupy "not only the Gaza Strip but a corridor of territory running from Gaza to the Gulf of Akbar."
He also asked "serious consideration" for a U.N. force to patrol the borders between Israel and other Arab states as well.
If U.S. support were not given on these Suez demands, Gaitskell said, "there would develop in Europe a growing cynicism and indifference both towards the United Nations, and let me be frank, a growing irritation with the policies of the United States."
In response to a later question on what action Frace and Britain might take if the U.N. failed to achieve these ends, Gaitskell said this might indicate that the limit of U.N. effectiveness had been reached and said "diplomatic, economic and other methods" might be employed by the European powers.
'Colonialism is Dead'
He also emphasized that no "alleged disagreement about 'Colonialism'" should be allowed to split the Atlantic Alliance. He insisted that "as a policy for Britain, colonialism is dead and can never be revived."
While criticizing Anglo-French intervention in the Suez, Gaitskell insisted that it was only a "temporary affair, an aberration," which represented no return to colonialism. He pointed to independence granted to British colonies and dominions since the war, and efforts in that direction by France, as evidence that the two European powers were no longer pursuing colonialsim.
This was the Laborite leader's third lecture on the general topic of "Co-existence," and in it he dealt with the "uncommitted areas" of the world, and answered more than a half hour of questions on many subjects.
He adhered rather strictly to the British custom of not criticizing political opponents sharply while in a foreign country, but still his position as the leader of the Opposition to a newly-formed Conservative Government was significant throughout the evening. Gaitskell Wednesday demanded a general election in Great Britain upon the resignation of Prime Minister Anthony Eden, before Harold Macmillan had been named to succeed him.
Hit "Paper Pacts"
Gaitskell questioned the value of two of the alliances set up with uncommitted countries. While he approved the military implications of the so-called "northern tier" agreement, he criticized attempts to make it into an entire Middle Eastern policy by tying economic aid to it. He also hit the SEATO agreement as a "paper pact," without military effectiveness.
He expressed unhappiness that while Britain, France, and Holland had been giving independence to 600 million people in former colonial possessions, fierce anti-colonial feelings had been building up in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. He warned against steps that might be taken in these countries as imperialism, and was especially cautious about the forms foreign economic aid should take.
He felt that aid should be channeled through the United Nations, and that it should not be obviously competing with Russian efforts. He felt that the "right political attitude" combined with the "right kind of economic aid" was more important than direct competition with Soviet aid.
He felt that aid should have no "military strings attached," and that it should recognize that a large degree of government planning was essential to the economic growth of the underdeveloped areas, since no private enterprise seemed able or likely to do the job.
Gaitskell contended that neutralism should not be opposed in recently independent nations
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