WASHINGTON (Jan. 14)
Vice Admiral David L. McDonald, Commander of the United States Sixth Fleet, said today that a recent canvass of individual Sixth Fleet ships, which he ordered, indicated that “there had been no restrictions placed on the shore liberty of Jewish personnel by individual ship commanding officers.”
Vice Admiral McDonald explained that “it is a well known fact that under normal circumstances a number of Arabic countries, including Lebanon, place restrictions upon the entry of (American) Jewish personnel. These restrictions are originated by the countries concerned just as the United States originates laws concerning entry there.”
“Service personnel in a leave status are subject to whatever entry regulations the country to be visited wishes to impose,” Vice Admiral McDonald stressed. “However, these restrictions do not apply to the crews of ships and aircraft of the Sixth Fleet when we enter port in cities for which diplomatic clearance for a visit has been granted.”
The Vice Admiral said: “We in the Navy are very proud of our reputation of respecting and valuing our shipmates, not by their race or creed, but by their character, personality and capabilities.” The controversy developed last year when officers and men of Jewish faith on Sixth Fleet duty revealed they had been informed they could not have leave at certain Arab ports because of the policy of Arab governments.