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State Department May Be Studying Arms Grant for Israel

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State Department press officer Lincoln White said today he thought Israel is among the Near Eastern states being considered as possible recipients of U.S. arms grants.

White, meanwhile, made known that while no recent changes have occurred in the U.S. arms policy in the Near East, this country is actively considering extending arms grants to various states in the area. He declined to specify which states were under consideration when asked to list them.

The danger of Soviet aggression in the Near East, White said, made it imperative to move forward to strengthen the region militarily. He cited a letter sent last month to Rep. Emanuel Celler as definitive of American arms policy. This letter, written August 11 by Assistant Secretary of State Thurston Morton, outlined America’s reasons for arming the Arabs. It said, “we fail to find evidence that any Arab State is desirous or capable of sustaining an aggressive move against Israel.”

White announced that the State Department had delivered a strongly-worded oral representation on the alleged Israel attack against a Jordan village last week to Israel Charge d’Affaires Reuven Shiloah, who was asked to come to the State Department for this purpose last Saturday. White said that the Israeli diplomat had been told that the United States viewed “the reported Israel military operations” with “great concern.” He said Israel was informed that the Department recognized that infiltration from Jordan constitutes a serious problem to Israel but that Israel’s “apparent policy of retaliation which has been condemned in the past.” brought about increased rather than decreased tension.

Shiloah was informed that the United States believes peace can best be achieved in that region through measures to decrease tension. The belief was expressed by the State Department that retaliatory raids do not accomplish those objectives. Hope was expressed that Israel and Jordan would cooperate peacefully.

SPANISH ARMS SHIPMENTS TO EGYPT TO INCREASE

Spanish arms shipments to Egypt will be increased, according to the September issue of “Iron Age.” The magazine said that Spain in now shipping $2,800,000 in arms to Egypt and, “contrary to some reports,” has proceeded to accept orders for another $3,100,000.

“Iron Age” said that the United States is extending financial aid for a Spanish aircraft industry under guidance of Prof. Heinkel, Nazi bomber expert, who is now in Spain.

American experts were quoted by “Iron Age” as stating that Spain’s newly-developed 30 mm. anti-aircraft guns and 105 mm. field guns are “among the best existing.” Spain is manufacturing artillery as heavy as 150 mm. and has already contracted to supply heavy shells for U.S. forces and probably to Egypt.

(The Belgian Government announced in Brussels last night that it had decided to lift its arms embargo against Egypt.)

It was reported here today that Egyptian Government leaders are disappointed in the extent of American economic assistance offers to Egypt. Although it is not known what the State Department has offered Cairo, best estimates here place the figure at a maximum of $25,000,000. Egyptian economic planners are known to be seeking some $140,000,000 for various development projects–more than the $115,000,000 which Congress allocated for the entire Near East.

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