WASHINGTON (Oct. 24)
State Department sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the Department supplies a “representation list” to the Soviet Union of Soviet citizens who wish to join their near relatives in the United States. The sources said, however, that it is not the purpose of the representation to exempt individuals from paying the new Soviet exit taxes.
This explanation was an effort to correct what the sources described as an “inaccurate” report yesterday in the Israeli newspaper, Maariv, that the Kremlin is using a secret list of names supplied by the State Department in selecting which Soviet Jews should be exempted from paying the taxes. According to Maariv, the list included the names of 110 prominent Jewish activists and was recently submitted to Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko by the State Department.
Department sources told the JTA that a list is given periodically to the Soviet government of prospective emigrants whose applications for departure to the US have been delayed. Last year about 200 persons named in the lists were allowed to leave for the US. In the first nine months of this year slightly more than 300 of the listed Soviet citizens were allowed to leave to join their relatives here, the sources said. A total of 330 Soviet citizens entered the US as immigrants last year. The JTA was informed that about 60 percent of Soviet immigrants arriving here are Jews.
According to the State Department the latest list presented to the Soviet government contains slightly more than 500 names. It was given to Gromyko by Secretary of State William P. Rogers at a dinner meeting last month in New York. While the names on the list are not made public, the fact that such lists are presented to the Soviet government has been common knowledge among newsmen covering the State Department for some time.