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Voa Rejects Request to Include Yiddish-language Segment in Broadcasts to USSR

The Voice of America has rejected a Congressman’s request that it act promptly to include a Yiddish-language segment in its eight-hour-a-day broadcasts into the Soviet Union. Charles D. Ablard, general counsel of the U.S. Information Agency, which operates the VOA, advised Rep. John G. Dow, Republican of N.Y., that “a decision to add any amount of time on a regular basis in a new language would involve policy requiring approval at higher levels” –the USIA and the State Department. Ablard explained that “a Yiddish-language program could not be accommodated on our existing facilities simultaneously with other existing programs,” but would require adding new transmitting facilities that would cost $2-2 1/2 million. Another N.Y. Republican, Peter A. Payser, told the House yesterday that the programing change “would fill a need which exists and…provide psychological support” to the three million Soviet Jews. Dow and Payser have written to USIA director Frank Shakespeare and to President Nixon to press their case.