Washington (Jun. 16)
Two New York Congressmen today rejected the negative response by Voice of America director Frank Shakespeare to a letter signed by 73 House members supporting the addition of Yiddish language programs to VOA broadcasts to the Soviet Union. Rep. William F. Ryan, Democrat-Liberal of New York, sponsor of a resolution in the House favoring the Yiddish language programs, said Shakespeare’s reply was “no response at all,” adding, “he misses our point.” Shakespear wrote that “Even assuming it were technically feasible to inaugurate a Yiddish service, we would be, in effect, increasing our costs without materially increasing our audience.” Rep. John Dow, Republican of N.Y. told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he disagreed with Shakespeare’s implication that there were relatively few Jews in the USSR who understood Yiddish. He said, “I don’t believe that the American people feel that increased support for the Soviet Jews through specific Yiddish broadcasts is inconsistent with our country’s national interests.” Dow said he was still waiting for a reply to a letter he sent President Nixon on the issue May 27.
Shakespeare stated in his letter, “Although at this time we are not prepared to inaugurate the service which you propose, we shall continue to stress in our broadcasts the deep concern of the U.S….and