BONN (Jun. 18)
The opposition Social Democrats submitted to the West German Parliament today a bill designed to spur Government action to restrain the activities of West German rocket and missile experts now working on such weapons in Egypt. Israel has repeatedly denounced those activities and asked the West German Government to act against them.
The bill is an amendment to Article 26 of the West German federal constitution. The bill would amplify the second paragraph of the Article which reads that “weapons designed for warfare may be manufactured, transported or marketed only with the permission of the Federation Government.”
Chancellor Ludwig Erhard’s Christian Democratic party has been considering for months an amendment to the West German passport law permitting withdrawal of travel documents of nationals engaged in war production in sensitive overseas areas. The Cabinet, however, has not made a decision and Government spokesmen have referred several times to legal difficulties involving basic constitutional rights of West German citizens.
Representatives of West Germany’s major political parties met with the Chancellor Monday night to discuss the problem. Foreign Minister Gerhard Schroeder and Justice Minister Ewald Bucher participated. The Government was understood to be anxious to work out an agreement based on the consent of all parties. The Socialist amendment was the basis for the discussion at the meeting, at which the Christian Democrats reportedly expressed some misgivings. Social Democratic officials, however, contended that the amendment would not involve any restrictions of the basic rights of West Germans.