WASHINGTON (May. 5)
The Administration today submitted a Mutual Security Bill which included requested allocations of $194,000,000 in economic aid for the Near East, including Israel, with the stipulation that the Arab states and Israel will be required to provide non-aggression assurances. This was made known today at a joint meeting of the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Affairs.
Included in the bill was a request for $475,000,000 in military aid for the region including Greece, Turkey, and Iran as well as the Israel-Arab area. These military funds will be available “to any organization created pursuant to a regional defense arrangement to which the United States shall have become a party, to any nation in the area participating in any such arrangement, or to any other nation in the Near East or Africa which the President determines to be of importance to the area and whose increased ability to defend itself the President determines to be important to the security of the United States.”
Such determinations, it is specified, must be reported to the combined Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees of the Senate and House. No specific breakdown was made of the exact amounts to go to the individual Near Eastern countries.
U.S. MILITARY AID MUST BE USED FOR INTERNAL SECURITY ONLY
No military assistance will be rendered the Arab states or Israel unless the “recipient has agreed that equipment, materiel, or services provided will be used solely to provide internal security, its legitimate self-defense, or to permit it to participate in the defense of the area or in the United Nations collective security arrangements and measures and that it would not undertake any act of aggression against any other nation and have complied with the conditions set forth in the Mutual Security Act and Mutual Defense Assistance Act as the President shall find to be essential.”
The amount of economic aid asked–$194,000,000–compared with the sum of $196,000,000 for the same area requested last year by the Truman Administration. Last year the sum was reduced by Congress to $181,000,000 in an across-the-board slash. A total of $499,000,000 in military assistance for the Near Eastern area, including Greece, Turkey and Iran, was voted last year, but Israel has not benefited from this as yet, because it has not been declared eligible for non-reimbursable arms aid.
It is specified in the bill that Near Eastern economic funds will include monies for “the relief and rehabilitation of refugees and other types of economic assistance to aid in maintaining economic and political stability in the area. There have been off-the-record assurances, meanwhile, that Administration leaders will provide Israel with its fair share.
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, in testimony today before the joint Congressional committees which received the Administration’s Mutual Security Bill, said the government sought to “undertake limited military aid programs to the countries of the Near East which contribute to their internal security and assist in programs which will bring about peace between Israel and the Arab nations and in establishing a regional defense organization.”
Mr. Dulles pointed out that “this area is subject to Soviet pressures attempting to take advantage of political unrest and economic distresses. Western and even American prestige,” he said, “has been deteriorating steadily and the situation requires urgent and decisive remedial measures.”
Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson testified that his discussion with NATO commanders concerning the Near East convinced him “there is real need for improving the situation.” Therefore, Mr. Wilson said, substantial funds were requested “to create strength where weakness may now be a temptation for further aggression.”