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Arms Sale to Jordan Fought

Several Congressmen yesterday introduced legislation in Congress to bar the Administration’s proposed sale of more than $350 million worth of anti-aircraft missiles and guns to Jordan.

“We have not in the past, and would not now, object to military assistance and/or sales to Jordan in reasonable amounts.” Rep. Jonathan Bingham (D.NY), a leader of a group of 10 House International Relations Committee members co-sponsoring the legislation, said explaining that “the presently proposed sales package is, however, so large as to substantially affect the military relationship between Israel and Jordan.”

Congressman Benjamin Rosenthal (D.NY), Bingham and other critics charged that the sale of the mobile “Hawks,” Redeyes” and Vulcan” guns would enable Jordan to join in an attack on Israel by providing a protective umbrella for Jordan’s advancing tanks and troops. The Ford Administration told Congress it intends to sell $260 million worth of “Hawk” anti-aircraft missiles and $90 million worth of rapid “Vulcan” anti-aircraft guns to Jordan. Other items of the sale include several hundred “Redeye” shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles.

Rosenthal, who is leading the fight against the sale, told the House, “It is the ideal weapon for guerrillas and airport terrorists.” He also charged that Congress had been misled about the size and contents of the sale first disclosed in May. At that time it was reported that the sale would amount to $100 million worth of arms.

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