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The grave men gathered in the Cabinet room at 10 Downing Street were confronted with a problem unique in the proud history of Britain: they were afraid that Egypt and Israel would stop fighting and peace would break out in the Middle East. All Monday afternoon, as British paratroops ground down on Port Said and a Franco-British fleet hovered off the canal's mouth, Britain's Cabinet debated tensely. One member pointed out that the man who stepped in to referee a fight would hardly be justified in attacking the boxers if they...

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