House Drops Reference to Jews in Voting on Soviet Oppression

The House of Representatives today unexpectedly voted approval of a controversial resolution advocated by Chairman Edna Kelly, of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, which is considered by opponents of Soviet anti-Semitism to weaken and distort a stronger Senate resolution previously adopted.

Efforts were made to persuade Rep. Kelly, New York Democrat, to accept the Senate wording, aimed specifically at alleviation of the plight of Jews in the Soviet Union, as differentiated from the situation of other religious minorities. But she insisted on dropping the reference to Jews in the resolving clause of the House version, and changed it to a call for consideration for “all persons.”

Rep. Kelly also eliminated the Senate’s pinpointed reference to the Soviet Union, and broadened it to include, along with the USSR, “the governments of other Eastern European countries.” The inclusion of other Eastern European countries disturbed those concerned with alleviating the plight of Jews in Russia because such nations as Poland and Hungary follow policies toward Jews far different from the Soviet policy.

A Senate-House Conference, in which Rep. Kelly will participate, will debate the differences in the House and Senate versions. The House resolution, which altered the Senate wording, was called up unexpectedly on the House floor without giving advocates of more effective wording an opportunity to alter the phrasing sought by Rep. Kelly.

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