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Congress Gets Bill Asking for Commission to Survey Needs of Near Eastern Lands

A bill was introduced in the House and in the Senate today urging the establishment of a Hear East survey commission as the first step implement Point 4 of President Truman’s program to aid undeveloped countries. The Congressional commission, if appointed, will investigate development possibilities in Israel.

The commission, to be formed under the bill, would be composed of 15 members, Including five senators, five members of the House, and five persons appointed by the President. It would be authorized to draw on the executive departments and agencies of the government for personnel and information. The bill is sponsored in the House by 45 Congressmen, and is authored by Reps. Jacob K.Javits and Abraham J. Multer, both of Hew York. In the Senate, the sponsors are Sens. Paul H. Douglas of Illinois and Raymond E. Baldwin of Connecticut.

The bill stipulates that the Congressional commission only visit countries ‘on the invitation of the government or administration thereof.” It provides for a comprehensive inquiry with respect to action the U.S. should take, in cooperation with other nations or alone, to advance the economic development of the Near East. In addition to Israel, beneficiary countries would Include Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Trans-Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.

STATE DEPARTMENT CONSULTED; SPONSORS INTERESTED IN LOWDERMILK PLAN

Proponents of the bill said today that the State Department had been consulted and many of its recommendations are incorporated in the bill. Sen. Douglas heart-fly endorsed the measure at a press conference today. He declared that the development of the Jordan River irrigation project would bring about prosperity in that area and would thus reduce friction between Arabs and Jews.

The preliminary survey work done by Dr. Walter Clay Lowdermilk and by the British High Commission in this field was cited. The sponsors also recalled the international recommendations for Palestine economic development, Including the various plans for Palestine partition, the Grady-Morrison plan, and the plan adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 29 1947.

It is planned that the Commission make interim reports to Congress and maintain an office in Washington. The Commission would have the power to appoint and fix compensation of technical personnel and experts. Ninety days after submission of the final report to Congress the Commission would cease to exist.

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