Weizmann Pays Official Call on Truman; Urges Embargo Lifting; Seeks $100,000,000 Loan
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Weizmann Pays Official Call on Truman; Urges Embargo Lifting; Seeks $100,000,000 Loan

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Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel, today paid a visit to President Truman at the White House. This was the first official call that the head of the reborn Jewish state has paid on President Truman or the head of any other state.

During the historic meeting President Weizmann presented Truman with a Torah as symbol of friendship between the American and Israeli peoples. He also discussed with the Chief Executive the lifting of the arms embargo on Israel and a loan of $90,000,000-$100,000,000. Weizmann came away from the interview with the impression that his pleas had not been in vain, although some time would elapse before the United States Government would act on either matter.

President Weizann entered the White House this morning at 11:30 on the arm of Brig.-Gen. Charles T. Lanham, military aide to President Truman. He was accompanied by Stanley Woodward, State Department Chief of Protocol, and David Niles, executive assistant to President Truman. After a half-hour interview, Weizmann presented the American President with the Torah in a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House. A report that Brig.-Gen. Julius Klein, national commander of the Jewish War Veterans, will serve as Dr. Weizmann’s military aide during his stay in the U.S. was termed here today as baseless.

At a press conference at Blair Lee House later, Dr. Weizann spoke to newsmen of his visit. Referring to the major points discussed between the two Presidents, Dr. Weizmann said: “I tried to explain that it was essential to our safety to lift the arms embargo.” When asked if Truman had given him any indication when such a move might take place, the President of Israel replied that Truman had not, but that the impression he came away with was that the U.S. Government was studying the problem. “I am afraid that I cannot comment very much on the President’s reply, but I left with some sort of hope that we might achieve this at some later date,” he declared.

As for the loan, Dr. Weizmann said he had asked for “a medium-sized loan,” adding: “We have such a tiny country.” The loan, which he described as not large in the American concept of loans, would be used for military and reconstruction purposes, he revealed. Reporting Truman’s reaction to the loan request, he stated that the President had said: “There is no trouble about that because the Jews always pay their debts.”


Speaking of the reconstruction program under way in Israel, the Israeli President said that it was made more urgent by the necessity for bringing in the displaced Jews of Europe. He pointed out that it would require a huge organizing effort and large sums of money to transport, house and clothe the immigrants at the planned rate of 15,000 per month. The latest immigrants to Israel are practically destitute, a factor which makes their integration within the country’s life more difficult, he asserted.

“Now that the doors of Israel are open our duty is to bring them in dignity end honor and see that they live properly,” he emphasized.Asked how soon the movement of immigrants could be organized, he replied that it could “be done almost immediately. He stated that the Jews have some ships available for the purpose and that summer weather will he of assistance in the project.

Asked if he had raised the question of an exchange of diplomatic representatives between the two states, Dr. Weizmann declared that he had left a letter with Truman discussing this and other problems. He also reported that he had expressed his regrets at the death of American Consul-General Thomas’C. Wasson and U.S. Navy Engineman Herbert C. Walker in Jerusalem.

Questioned about the Jewish seizure of Jaffa and Acre, Dr. Weizmonn stated that the Israeli forces had captured the cities as protective measures and that the Jews would evacuate them if a truce was arranged.

Commenting on the Arab reaction to the U.N. cease-fire order, he said it was “extremely difficult” to tell whether the Arab League states would abide by the order, but that he thought some of them would. He sharply criticized the “vandalistic” Arab Legion for bombing and destroying hospitals, universities and cultural centers end in Jerusalem some of the Moslem shrines. “The hospitals, universities, concert halls and other such buildings now under attack by the Arabs have served up to 50 percent of Arab patients and patrons,” he said.

Rep. Donald L. O’Toole today sent wires to Senate President Arthur M. Vandenberg and House Speaker Joseph M. Martin suggesting that President Welzmann be invited to address a point session of Congress. Such an invitation would do much to “hearten the people of this young country,” O’Toole declared.

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