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Final Vote of Congress on Aid to Israel Expected Today

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Final Congressional agreement on the amount of aid to be given by the United States to Israel and the Arab countries is expected to be reached tomorrow, as conferees of the Senate and the House were meeting here today to iron out differences between the Senate and House versions of the Mutual Security Bill which includes an estimated amount of between $60,000,000 and $70,000,000 in economic aid for Israel.

The House version provides $120,000,000 for the Arab-Israel area. Presumably the Arabs and Israelis would share about equally in benefits. The Senate version approved early today included the amount of $140,000,000 for the same area.

The House provided $50,000,000 in military assistance potentially available, at the discretion of the Executive Branch, to Israel and the Arab states. This amount was cut in the Senate to $30,000,000 with the difference added to the figure for economic assistance. The argument used in the Senate Appropriations Committee in favor of reducing military rather than economic aid was that tension in the Near East would be more likely reduced by economic assistance than through the shipment of large quantities of guns and other munitions.

Today’s conference unit to put the bill in final form was constituted by 11 representatives and nine Senators. The group will seek to compromise differences between the Senate and House version, but may retain the Senate idea of cutting the $20,000,000 which must be slashed off the Near Eastern total from military rather than economic funds. Proponents of this idea are pointing out how it might advance hopes of Near Eastern peace.

If the Senate view prevails, Israel will share in an estimated half of the $140,000,000 which will become available for the Arab-Israel area. An exact specification of how much Israel is slated to receive in the breakdown of the total for the area has not been released for “security reasons.” However, State Department officials have indicated Israel will get about the same amount as she received in the last two years and that the Jewish State would share about equally with the Arabs in available funds.

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