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Senate Body May Fold Hearings on U.S. Support of Palestine Refugees

The Senate Subcommittee on Refugees may hold hearings on issues arising from American support of Palestine Arab refugees, the subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, disclosed today. The Senator’s comments followed reports that the Palestine Liberation Organization would send soldiers to Vietnam to gain guerilla experience by fighting United States forces.

Sen. Kennedy confirmed that his subcommittee has just completed an inspection of United Nations relief activities in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Among the problems considered was the question of U.N. relief and utilization of supplies and funds by members of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The subcommittee is mindful of “the need for rectification of refugee relief rolls and questions relating to utilization of United Nations Relief and Works Agency funds for education and other rehabilitation projects.”

The Senator made known that the subcommittee has been investigating the Arab refugee problem for several months. He disclosed that George S. Abrams, general counsel and staff director of his subcommittee, and Dale Deahan, a staff member, returned to Washington today from a field investigation that covered UNRWA activities in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

“I have gone over the results with Mr. Abrams, the staff director, and am presently considering whether to hold hearings,” Sen. Kennedy said. He added that the staff submitted full reports to the State Department in each country visited, and intends to participate in further consultations with State Department officials.

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