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British Government Says It Can’t Intervene for Activists

The government today rejected a proposal that it lodge a formal protest with the Soviet Union over the arrest of Jewish activists on the eve of President Nixon’s visit to Moscow last month.

Joseph Godber, Minister of State in the Foreign Office, told Labor MP Greville Janner that the government had no standing to make a formal representation to the Soviet government about the treatment of Soviet citizens. The Russians already know the views of the British government on the arrests, he said. Pressed further on the matter, Godber said, “We cannot intervene in regard to individual citizens of the Soviet Union but I will be glad to look at any particular case to see if there is any way we can help.”