State Department Urged to Act on Arab Boycott of New York Bank

Sen. Kenneth B. Keating, New York Republican, protested to Secretary of State Dean Rusk today against the Arab League’s announced boycott of the Chase Manhattan Bank in retaliation for the bank’s dealing with Israel. The Senator urged strongly that “appropriate steps be taken as promptly as possible to protest and rectify this completely unjustified Arab policy.”

Declaring that, in his Judgment, “this continuing series of affronts against American citizens should not be tolerated,” Sen. Keating told the Secretary of State: “The addition of the Chase Manhattan Bank to the Arab League blacklist is only the latest of many outrageous examples of Arab discrimination against American businessmen and individuals carrying on normal relations with the State of Israel.”

The Senator’s protest came as word was received here from Damascus, Syria, that Kuwait had “called off plans to deposit $200, 000, 000 in the Chase Manhattan Bank” as a result of the blacklisting of the bank announced by the Arab League’s office for the boycott of Israel.

“The Congress has made clear on repeated occasions,” Sen. Keating wired Mr. Rusk, “its objection to any United States aid to Nasser as long as he continues to divert his own resources for aggression, continues to violate the freedom of the seas with regard to the Suez Canal, and continues to discriminate against American citizens on the ground of race or religion. I would be most grateful for a report as to what steps the United States is taking to enforce these conditions and to terminate any further aid to Arab nations engaging in these unwarranted practices.”

Officials of the Chase Manhattan Bank here said that, although Kuwait was a customer of the bank, no particularly large deposit had been expected, especially as much as $200, 000, 000. The bank officials said the blacklisting of the institution by the Arab League’s boycott office was “a misunderstanding.” They said they were hopeful that the action would be rescinded soon.

The Arab League’s Commissioner-General for the anti-Israel boycott office was reported as saying in Damascus that the blacklisting of the Chase Manhattan Bank would not go into effect for six months, to give Arab firms dealing with the bank time to settle their financial affairs with it.

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