WASHINGTON (Nov. 8)
Arab countries should not expect the United States to supply them with food if they shut off American oil, Sen. Walter F. Mondale (D. Minn.) declared last night. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger should “make clear that blackmail can be a double-edged sword,” he said, and urged Kissinger to take positive action to break the Arab embargo on oil shipments to the U.S. Mondale made these statements in Detroit in addressing the 60th anniversary dinner of the Michigan Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and to accept an award on behalf of Sen. Philip A. Hart (D.Mich.), the scheduled speaker who was unable to appear due to illness. Mondale’s statement was made available in Washington by the Senator’s office.
“I hope that the Secretary of State will emphasize in talks with the Arab countries that the United States cannot be expected to produce agricultural products to feed their people if they withhold the petroleum needed to run our tractors,” Mondale said. “Already farmers in the Midwest are being forced to pay outrageous prices for scarce supplies of fuel,” he said.
Noting that the U.S. is supplying a growing share of food imported by the Arab nations, (see Daily News Bulletin Nov. 6, P.2) Mondale urged Kissinger to present these realities to the Arab states and also advocated a coalition of oil consuming nations to make clear the same point. Mondale warned that if the Arabs succeed in using oil blackmail to seize political advantages in the Middle East, monopoly suppliers of other raw materials may be inclined to follow this “dangerous precedent.”