21 SEPTEMBER 1956, Page 14


SIR,—You have stressed that the Suez dispute must be settled by negotiation and not by force. That means, of course, that we have to negotiate with the Egyptians and not with the Munich-ridden British. Assuming the Govern- ment to be not so preoccupied with faulting President Nasser as to exclude negotiation, may I suggest that there is one course open to us which is both wise and humane? It is to take up President Nasser's offer to reaffirm or renew the 1888 Convention by agreeing to negotiate a new Convention through the United Nations. If this were done, any subse- quent breach would be a matter for appropriate international action—including in the last resort United Nations military action —with the backing instead of the opposition of world opinion. It would be impossible for Egypt to justify the exclusion of Israeli (or any other) shipping under a fresh Convention. The users' problem of efficient running of the Canal could be tackled in an atmosphere of practical goodwill, and is surely insoluble without it. At one stroke we should have achieved all we require.—Yours faithfully,

L. A. JACKSON Wootton Cottage, South Road, Weybridge, Surrey