Eban Presents List of Arms Requested by Israel to State Department

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban today presented to the State Department a list of arms which the Jewish State would like to receive from the United States under the reimbursable aid agreement. Mr. Eban described the military equipment asked as “markedly less in quantity” than the amounts supplied by the Soviet bloc to Egypt.

The Israel Ambassador presented the list to Acting Secretary of State Herbert Hoover, Jr., with whom he spent 75 minutes in what was described as “general discussion.” A State Department spokesman later said that Mr. Hoover told Mr. Eban that the list would receive consideration “by various agencies of the United States Government in the light of American policies, including the Tripartite Decoaration of 1950.”

Mr. Eban expressed hope that the United States would sell the requested arms to Israel at the most lenient of credit and price considerations. He was assured by Mr. Hoover that his plea would be carefully studied and his request would be discussed in detail and considered on an operational level. The Israel Ambassador expressed a sense of urgency, calling for quick delivery in the light of the Egyptian-Communist arms build-up.

Ambassador Eban portrayed to Hoover the “sense of alarming vulnerability bound to spread in Israel as a result of the Egyptian transaction which will insure them overwhelming preponderance by land, sea, and air.” Mr. Eban cited President Eisenhower’s November 9 reference to United States consideration of arms for “self-defense.” He said “the purpose, character, quantity, and dimension” of the arms asked conform with the concept of legitimate self-defense and not with an “arms-race” policy.

Mr. Eban was accompanied by Israel Minister Reuven Shiloah and chief military attache Katriel Salmon. George V. Allen, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, participated.

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