JERUSALEM (Oct. 22)
A well placed source here said last night that the U.S.-Soviet understanding on trade and emigration involved the departure of 60,000 Jews per annum from the Soviet Union and said that Israel had been advised specifically of that figure by Secretary of State Henry A, Kissinger during his recent visit here. This statement was made in response to President Ford’s assertion yesterday that the Soviet Union has not pledged to allow a specific number of Jews and others to emigrate.
“Whether or not the number is mentioned in the agreement itself is not really important,” the source stated. “It is definitely mentioned in a letter from Sen. Henry Jackson, the initiator of the agreement and Dr. Kissinger. We were given to understand by the Secretary of State during his visit that 60,000 is the number of Soviet Jews involved annually. The Soviet authorities are also aware of this figure.”
Jackson, in a statement issued in Washington yesterday after the President’s “clarification,” said, “the 60,000 figure mentioned in my letter (to Kissinger) is a bench-mark, minimum standard of initial compliance’ to be used by the Congress and the President in judging the good faith of the Soviets.”