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Secretary of Commer Ce Satisfied with Amendment on Arab Boycott

Secretary of Commerce John T. Connor today testified before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee that an amendment aimed at the Arab boycott had been sufficiently weakened by the House that “we have no objection to the Senate s approval of the bill.”

In testimony on the Export Control Act, now before the Senate, Mr. Connor referred to the controversial amendment that the House envisaged as a law to prohibit the intrusion of the Arab anti-Israel boycott into American commerce. He cited the weakened wording that Rep. Abraham J. Multer, New York Democrat, persuaded the House to adopt. This he said, left sufficient discretion in the hands of the Commerce and State Departments to be acceptable.

Mr. Connor said the executive still thought that either the original mandatory measure or the compromise discretionary version were undesirable but that the weak discretionary substitute was preferable and could be accepted. The mood of Congress had indicated that most members of Congress were willing to legislate against the Arab intrusions into American commerce.

The Secretary of Commerce said that many firms prefer to do business with the Arab states if the must choose between the Arabs and Israel. He pointed out that no problem is involved in compliance by some companies with the Arab boycott because such companies do not trade with Israel.

Republicans and some Democrats complained in the House that the Multer compromise was premature and that adequate votes could have been mustered, in the absence of the “compromise,” to adopt a truly effective anti-boycott bill.

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