WASHINGTON (Dec. 20)
The Senate this afternoon rejected three amendments by Foreign Relations Committee chairman J. William Fulbright to the authorization bill that would have placed strictures on the aid to Israel. By identical votes of 62-11, it defeated first and third amendments; the first would have cut the funding to $1.2 billion and the third would have suspended the President’s right to use any of the funds for Israel after Jan. 31, until the U.S. Controller General certified that any funds impounded by the Administration or by the departments or agriculture and transportation are released. The second Fulbright amendment, defeated 50-25, stated that any military or economic aid to Israel shall not be construed as a commitment by the U.S. to Israel for its defense.
Arab states also are to benefit in the legislation. Wealthy Saudi Arabia is allowed $20.2 million for military purposes although it has imposed an oil embargo against the U.S. Of that sum $20 million is a credit for purchase of military equipment and $200,000 is set aside for training Saudian military personnel. Jordan is listed to get $120 million of which $60 million is in grant supporting assistance; $15 million in defense equipment; and $35 million as a grant for military assistance; and almost $4 million for “supply operations.” Lebanon is programed for $5 million in military credit sales. While these sums are not specifically mandated by the legislation, the Administration will be able to use foreign aid funds to implement these allocations if it sees fit.
After the Senate turned back the Fulbright amendments, it took up the proposal by Sen. Robert Dole (R. Kansas) that the authorization message include a law that would forbid American organizations from training Arab pilots from countries that embargo oil shipments to the U.S. or help or protect individuals or groups which commit acts of violence against air commerce. Dole’s amendment was designed as a basis for the U.S. Civil Aeronauties Board to revoke agreements between American air lines and certain Arab countries. It was based on the disclosure by Rep. Jerry Litton (D. Mo.) that TWA is training Saudi Arabian pilots at its Kansas City center and using about 1800 gallons of aviation fuel an hour in their training although Saudi Arabia has banned all oil exports to the United States. TWA has been training Saudis to fly since 1946.