WASHINGTON (Aug. 25)
President Kennedy and former Presidents Eisenhower and Truman expressed their deepest condolences today over the death this weekend of Eric A. Johnson, author of a proposal for comprehensive, Arab-Israeli development of the Jordan River valley. Mr. Johnston was 66.
Keenly interested in foreign affairs, although his business career was with the Motion Picture Association of America, of which he was president, Mr. Johnston was sent by President Eisenhower to the Middle East, in 1955, as a personal representative, to help resolve Middle East tensions over the use of the Jordan River waters. He drew a plan, known by his name, which would have established in the Jordan River valley a project similar to America’s TVA. Israel accepted the plan. The Arab states first approved the plan, then reneged. In their condolences, Mr. Kennedy and both Gen. Eisenhower and ex-President Truman expressed their warmest praise of Mr. Johnston.