WASHINGTON (Feb. 10)
The Senate Armed Services Committee has been asked by Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash,) to scrutinize the $77 million contract let by the Defense Department to a private California company to train Saudi Arabian troops. At the same time the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed at the Capitol that “a real problem” would arise if the contract did not contain the standard clauses in all government agreements regarding equal rights and opportunity or employment for all Americans.
This element is considered of paramount importance now that American universities and business concerns are seeking contracts with Arab governments and may be restrained from employing American Jews because of discrimination being enforced by Arabs. The Defense Department has given the Vinnell Corp. of Los Angeles the contract to train the Saudi National Guard. It is believed to be the first such agreement ever made with a private American company to train a foreign army.
In a letter delivered today to Sen. John C. Stennis (D. Miss,), the committee chairman, Jackson asked for a “thorough inquiry into the arrangements concluded by the Department of Defense to provide technical military assistance to Saudi Arabia, particularly the reported contract that has been let to a private corporation to train Saudi Arabian military and internal security forces.” Jackson said “A full inquiry” is needed “to get all the facts so that Congress can make an informed judgement about these programs.”
TEST CASE REGARDING JEWS
The Vinnell situation was seen as a test case on whether Arab states that boycott Jewish firms and prohibit Jews from normal entry can enforce a contract–either in writing or by tacit understanding–that will discriminate against Jews. Saudi Arabia is especially flagrant in opposing Jews of whatever nationality, including U.S. citizens.
It is known that the State Department, at the behest of Arab governments, does not assign know Jewish personnel to Arab countries, Jewish news correspondents traveling with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger have been allowed to enter Saudi Arabia only under special authorization. The French government, however made no similar move to enable Eric Rouleau of Le Monde to enter Saudi Arabia with the French Foreign Minister, Jean Sauvagnargues even though Rouleau had pronounced pro-Arab sympathies. Rouleau had insisted, however, in identifying himself as a Jews on his visa application and he was barred from Saudi Arabia.