Congressional Hearing May Be Requested on U.S. Arming of Arabs

A member of the Near Eastern subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs committee served notice today that he will request “full-scale hearings” on the new American arms shipments to Arab states unless the State Department immediately provides a satisfactory explanation.

The Congressman, Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, stated in a letter to Secretary of State Dean Rusk that “the Government’s actions run contrary not only to the expressed policy of the administration but also to the wishes manifest in countless resolutions and amendments to the foreign aid acts of the Congress.”

(It was learned meanwhile that Secretary Rusk may appear next week before the full Foreign Affairs committee, primarily to testify on Viet Nam, but may then also be asked about the provision of aid and arms to Arab states.)

Rep. Farbstein said in the letter to Mr. Rusk that he was “utterly mystified by the action of our Government in supplying Patton tanks as well as infantry arms to Jordan. “I can conceive of no use to which Jordan would seek to put these weapons but a war of aggression against Israel,” he stated.

The Congressman said this development weighted the balance of power against Israel and aggravated an already volatile situation. He asked the Secretary of State to explain how the arms shipments “concur with our professed policy of reducing the possibility of war in the Middle East.” He said he wanted to know whether the United States intended “to force Israel to divert more of its resources to restore the arms balance and assure its security.”

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