WASHINGTON (Nov. 15)
The State Department today reaffirmed its endorsement of resolutions pending in the House which urge the Soviet government to ease conditions for Jews and permit them to emigrate. State Department spokesman Charles Bray said that was the intent of the testimony before the House subcommittee on Europe last Tuesday by Richard T. Davies. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. He promised at today’s news briefing that he would “clarify” later a portion of Davies’ testimony on the condition of Soviet Jews which has been challenged by Jewish spokesmen. Davies said he thought that “claims that Soviet Jews as a community are living in a state of terror seemed to be overdrawn.”
Davies also said there was no comparison of their situation with the Nazi holocaust or the Stalin blood purges of Jewish intellectuals. Bray said he “didn’t know the antecedents” of Davies’ statement, namely who made claims that Jews lived in terror or likened their condition to the holocaust and the Stalin purges. Bray referred to Davies’ statement as “not as apocalyptic” as the condition of Soviet Jews “is sometimes depicted.” He added, “I know the initial reaction was based in large measure on a very limited portion of his testimony which appeared in the newspapers and is part of the concern of the Jewish community.”
Bray noted that “Davies’ intent was to provide the subcommittee with a comprehensive and balanced statement as far as possible and to present the administration’s desirability to enact a resolution to help promote an easing of the situation.” The House subcommittee on Europe was reported today to be preparing to draft a resolution this week on the subject of Soviet Jews.