Good Pentagon-israel Relations to Continue with Richardson’s Appointment

The appointment today of Elliot Lee Richardson as Secretary of Defense by President Nixon means a continuation of the good relations that have existed between the Pentagon and Israel’s military establishment under his predecessor, Melvin Laird, knowledgeable sources said here. The sources said the change of command at the Defense Department did not presage any change of policy toward Israel despite the different political backgrounds of Richardson and Laird.

Richardson, who is Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and a former Undersecretary of State, Is regarded as a liberal Republican with dovish views In foreign policy. Laird, a former Congressman from Wisconsin, Is considered a hawk and was identified with the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Richardson served as Undersecretary of State In 1969-70. He was a law clerk to the late Felix Frankfurter, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948-49. His appointment as Defense Secretary is subject to confirmation by the Senate. President Nixon appointed Caspar W. Weinberger to succeed Richardson as Secretary of HEW.

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