WASHINGTON (Jan. 15)
Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.), noting that the Soviet Union’s repudiation of the 1972 trade agreement was “a disappointing development,” declared today. “We in the Congress remain committed to the view that a broadening of trade relations must be accompanied by progress in the area of human rights. We shall not diminish our efforts to help those who seek freedom.” He also said that “with or without a trade agreement we have a right to expect the Soviet Union to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Jackson said he did not know why the Soviets have chosen to “scuttle” the agreement. But he said the compromise of Oct. 18 which “was freely entered into by all concerned, appears to have lost its appeal to the Soviets only when it became apparent that the Congress would not approve government credits for multi-billion dollar development programs in the Soviet Union.”
Jackson said that since the Oct. 18 exchange of correspondence between Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and himself the assurances contained were reaffirmed by Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev in Vladivostok, and Kissinger in Washington. “At no time have we been informed by the Administration to which the assurances were made that they have been withdrawn,” he said.
Sen. Clifford P. Case (R.NJ) issued a statement saying that the Soviet action reflected a struggle for control within the Soviet leadership and was not related to any U.S. action since the USSR had accepted the trade bill. He noted that the U.S. “cannot base its own foreign policy objectives on the shifts and turns of Soviet domestic politics,” and therefore it would be “unwise and imprudent for any Congressional action on trade with the Soviet Union at this time.”