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Israel Asks U.S. Govt. for $150,000,000 Grant-in-aid; Submits Request in Washington

The Israel Government today presented a formal request to the Government of the United States for a grant-in-aid of $150,000,000 for the period July 1, 1951 to June 30, 1952.

The request was submitted to Secretary of State Dean Acheson by Ambassador Abba Eban, in the presence of David Horowitz, Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Finance, who is now visiting the United States. The document emphasized that “after estimating its potential sources of foreign exchange” for that period and notwithstanding the sacrifices which the people of Israel are making towards the attainment of economic stability, the Government of Israel still faces the prospect of a considerable dollar deficiency.

“If this shortage cannot be made good, it will become impossible to maintain living standards even at their present reduced level, while Israel’s industrial and agricultural development is liable to become impeded, or even paralyzed, through lack of continuous supplies of raw materials and capital goods,” the memorandum points out. “On the other hand, the availability of adequate dollar exchange would enable Israel to advance rapidly towards increased productivity and economic equilibrium during the coming few years of heavy immigration.”

RECALLS AMERICAN FINANCIAL AID GIVEN TO OTHER FRIENDLY NATIONS

The memorandum recalls the aid given by the United States to many other friendly countries in similar emergencies. It also recalls with gratitude the many acts testifying to the special ties of friendship between the peoples of the United States and Israel. “In that spirit the Government of Israel now calls attention to its economic problems, many of which go far beyond the normal scope of national responsibility,” the document emphasizes.

Reviewing the conditions which govern the tremendous scale of immigration to Israel and pointing out that Israel considers its “primary mission” the absorption of the hundreds of thousands of Immigrants who have converged upon the Jewish state from all parts of the world, the memorandum stresses the fact that in receiving these immigrants, Israel has solved problems which would otherwise fall on international agencies and on other governments.

“For example, the admission to Israel of nearly all Jews from displaced persons camps in the American zone of Germany has directly liberated the United States Treasury from a considerable and continuous expenditure,” the memorandum declares. “For many years the European refugee problem had baffled the resources and capacity of the refugee organizations established under the auspices of the League of Nations and the United Nations. Israel has absorbed large numbers of refugees who were the objects of this international concern, without even having received any reparations from Germany for the wholesale spoliation and destruction of Jewish property in Europe.”

The Israeli note then points out that the difficulty of financing the absorption of the huge number of immigrants has been aggravated still further by Israel’s defense burdens. It emphasizes that a country which increases its population by 80 percent in two-and-a-half years, while simultaneously sustaining a heavy burden for defense and preparing to make a substantial financial contribution towards the solution of the Arab refugee problem, cannot obviously develop its productive resources to the extent required by these vast burdens “without massive outside assistance.”

The memorandum expresses Israel’s appreciation for credits of $135,000,000 received from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. It states that Israel hopes to receive a boost for its economic development through the forthcoming sale of Israeli bonds in the United States. However, it makes it clear that the grant-in-aid from the U.S. Government would lead to the achievement of economic equilibrium in Israel.

The document refers to the “notable support” which Israel has received “at every decisive stage” from the President and the Congress of the United States. “In seeking the support of the United States for its arduous task of economic development and consolidation, and for its unprecedented efforts in providing homes for so many within so short a time, the Government of Israel is advocating the maintenance and extension of a traditional relationship firmly established in the hearts of both peoples,” the memorandum concludes.

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