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Aid Director Tells Senate Committee That Nixon Opposes $40 Million for Desalting

The director of the Government’s Agency for International Development (AID) told the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday that the Nixon Administration is opposed to a $40 million appropriation voted by the House last week as the United States share for a water desalination plant in Israel. The funds were inserted into the foreign aid bill when it was before the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Rep. Benjamin S. Rosenthal, New York Democrat.

John A. Hannah, the AID head, appeared before the Senate committee with Secretary of State Aid William P. Rogers who urged it to restore the $466 million cut from the Administration’s foreign bill by the House last week. Mr. Rogers made no plea to retain the $144.5 million in special military aid money for Israel, Taiwan and South Korea that the House had inserted on its own.

Neither Secretary Rogers nor Mr. Hannah expressed any opinion on the $50 million ear marked for South Korea or the $54.5 million for Nationalist China to purchase jet fighters in the U.S. But it was learned from other sources that the Administration is as opposed to the jets for Taiwan as it is to the desalination plant in Israel,

(The Israeli Foreign Ministry said today that the apparent American unwillingness to go ahead with the desalination plant is based on legitimate technological reasons. Sources said that Israel had been informed of this decision some time ago and that many economists and engineers in Israel had opposed the plan as not being economical. However, cooperation between the two countries over Israel’s water problems will continue on other projects.)

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