BONN (Feb. 16)
Former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, of West Germany, today surprised members of his own party–the Christian Democratic Party–by denying that, in 1960, he had worked out with Israel’s Premier David Ben-Gurion an agreement to provide military aid to Israel.
Addressing the Christian Democratic members of the West German Parliament, Dr. Adenauer said that such an agreement was concluded by him two years later, “owing to mediation of friendly nations.” His statement was made in connection with last week’s decision by his successor, Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, to suspend the sending of West German arms to Israel as a gesture to President Nasser of Egypt.
The suspension of the arms deliveries was criticized today by Fritz Erier, Social Democratic leader, at a meeting of his Parliamentary group. He also condemned the Government’s Middle East policy. He described the halting of the arms shipments as a case of leaving one hole wide open while filling another.
The West German Government was reported today to have been shocked by the negative worldwide reaction to the halting of the arms shipments to Israel. West German officials also were disturbed by Israel’s refusal to accept economic reparations of any kind in lieu of the canceled arms shipments. That refusal was bluntly stated yesterday by Premier Levi Eshkol in a debate in Israel’s Parliament, which preceded a vote in support of the Premier’s stand.