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Knesset Body Forms ‘parliamentary Authority’ on Nuclear Energy

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The Foreign Affairs Committee of Israel’s Parliament established today a committee of coalition and opposition members to serve as a “special Parliamentary authority” on matters of nuclear research for peaceful purposes.

Creation of the Knesset committee represented a settlement of vigorous complaints by opposition parties against the Government over formation of a company to develop and exploit atomic energy for peaceful uses. The dispute erupted in charges in the Knesset last week and a defense by Finance Minister Levi Eshkol.

The Finance Minister rejected allegations that the project was designed to bypass Parliamentary control and that it had been kept secret until the company’s formation was announced on December 9. He said the company had been created to relieve the Government of the heavy burden of financing such development and he assured the critics that the company’s activities would come under Parliamentary control.

The announcement of the formation of the Knesset committee was taken as an indication that the objective was to ensure Parliamentary control of all phases of the development of nuclear energy.

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