Eisenhower Confers with Top Congressional Leaders on Sanctions
Menu JTA Search

Eisenhower Confers with Top Congressional Leaders on Sanctions

Download PDF for this date

President Eisenhower conferred today with a bi-partisan group of 28 top Congressional leaders on the issue of whether or not to impose sanctions on Israel. Some of the members of Congress indicated after leaving the White House meeting that a free exchange of views took place, but that no firm decision on sanctions was taken.

It is understood that bi-partisan objections were entered with the President against sanctions, The President will present his views to the American people tonight in a national radio and television address. Vice President Nixon, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., American Ambassador to the United Nations, participated in the White House meeting.

Secretary Dulles said after the meeting that a full exchange of views with the Congressional leaders took place and admitted that there was no “unanimity.” Vice President Nixon declined all comment as he emerged from the White House. Ambassador Lodge said that he expects President Eisenhower to outline a “positive course” of action for the United States. He said that there would be no U.S. request for delay in tomorrow s meeting of the UN General Assembly. Mr. Lodge said the United States would be ready for action on the Israel question at that time.


House Republican Leader Rep. Joseph W. Martin of Massachusetts said “all kinds of sanctions” were discussed. It was hinted in other Congressional circles, meanwhile, that thought is being given by Secretary of State Dulles to “moral” rather than economic sanctions. It was the impression of Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, Texas Democrat, that no conclusion was reached at the meeting on the subject of sanctions.

Sen. John J. Fulbright, Arkansas Democrat, described the session as the “freest” exchange with the President in which he had participated. It was learned that Congressional leaders made a strong case against sanctions and meanwhile insisted on a more sympathetic look by the Administration at Israel’s case against Egypt on Egyptian blockade practices.

Sen. Thomas Hennings, Missouri Democrat, revealed that “the general purport” of the President’s remarks was that the Administration would support sanctions against Israel if the United Nations decides to apply them. Rep. Vorys (R., Ohio), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “I think there was a substantial agreement that in view of the assurances given Israel by the President and the Secretary of State that Israel should withdraw without waiting for future action in the United Nations Assembly.”

Rep. Halleck (R., Ind.), Assistant House Minority Leader, said that “so far as I know there has been no determination as to what we should do” if it comes to a UN vote for sanctions against Israel. He said there was a good deal of talk about sanctions. But, he added, “I think there was pretty general agreement that Israel should withdraw from Egyptian territory under assurances.


Senate Republican Leader Knowland said it was his impression the Administration has not yet decided whether to vote for an Arab-sponsored UN sanctions resolution against Israel. He thought the United States should vote against it. If the United States did vote against it, he said, the General Assembly situation was such that there would be difficulty getting the necessary two-thirds to pass the measure. But if the United States either abstains or votes affirmatively, he said, sanctions would be imposed.

Senator Knowland revealed he has submitted to President Eisenhower a proposal under which the UN would give violators of its resolutions 30 days to comply or face threats of sanctions. The California Republican described the proposal as an alternative to American support of any move to sanction Israel for failure to withdraw from positions in the Akaba and the Gaza areas.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund