WASHINGTON (Mar. 19)
The American Embassy in Moscow reported to the State Department that no matzoth at all have so far been baked on the premises which the Soviet authorities had said are being used for the baking of matzoth, it was made known here today by Assistant Secretary of State Frederic Dutton.
The American Embassy also reported that, although the Soviet authorities said that the sending of matzoth from abroad to Jews in the Soviet Union would be allowed, this would not by far solve the problem. At the same time, the Embassy emphasized that the matzoh issue is “a Soviet domestic policy” problem.
Assistant Secretary Dutton transmitted the contents of U.S. Embassy report to Senator Kenneth B. Keating, New York Republican, who is interested in helping the Soviet Jews secure matzoh for Passover, which starts the evening of Friday, March 27. Mr. Dutton indicated that there appears to be no useful action which the State Department could take to remedy the situation. The Senator urged that a “direct appeal” by the U.S. Government leaders be made to the Soviet Union, and that action also be taken through the United Nations.
Meanwhile, urgent parliamentary efforts were undertaken in Congress all day today in a two-pronged strategy to gain speedy approval of a joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to use the full facilities of the U. S. to supply matzoth to Soviet Jews in time. The resolution was submitted in the House of Representatives yesterday by Congressman Michael Feighan of Ohio. He was the moving force behind today’s efforts to smoothen the procedural complications of the legislative process lacing the resolution.
On the House side, efforts were aimed to have the resolution referred to committee without debate, to speed up action. On the Senate side Congressman Feighan discussed with several Senators his suggestion that an identical resolution be submitted there, thus avoiding the need for any joint action by committees of both Houses to coordinate the final worting It was expected late this afternoon that the resolution will be submitted in the Senate later tonight.