WASHINGTON (Dec. 21)
Ambassador Avraham Harman last night conveyed to Secretary of State Christian A. Herter the requested information on Israel’s atomic research program, it was announced by the Israel Embassy here this morning.
The announcement did not elaborate on the character of the information relayed, but it is generally assumed that it was in line with the details given by Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in the Knesset at Jerusalem today.
The wording of the Israeli announcement on the Harman-Herter meeting strongly hinted Israel’s astonishment that the United States Government found it necessary to announce that information on this subject had been requested but not received. The Israeli announcement pointed out that Secretary of State Herter was absent from Washington most of the ten days which elapsed since the information was requested from Israel.
A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy said: “Following the return to Washington of Secretary of State Christian Herter, on December 19, the Ambassador of Israel asked, on December 20, for a meeting with him, for the purpose of conveying information to him on Israel’s research program, requested by the Secretary on December 9, before he left for Europe. Ambassador Harman was received by the Secretary last night.”
STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT RECEIVED ASSURANCES FROM ISRAEL
A State Department spokesman confirmed today that Ambassador Harman had given Secretary of State Herter the assurances of the Israeli Government that the new nuclear reactor, now in the early stages of construction, is for peaceful purposes.
The brief statement of the Department’s spokesman added that Israeli Premier Ben-Gurion this morning made a public statement in the Knesset on this same subject and that the text of his statement has not yet been received by the Department. The Department’s statement did not comment one way or the other on the United States attitude toward the Israeli information provided last night in the Harman-Herter meeting.
Press comments here were sparse on this issue today. However, the prominent political cartoonist Herblock, in the Washington Post, today pictured Khrushchev, Mao Tse Tung and Uncle Sam standing behind huge stockpiles of atomic bombs, looking at the tiny figure of Ben-Gurion holding a miniature A-bomb. The three are shown in the cartoon as crying out: “This is a terrible danger to the world.”