DETROIT (Jul. 16)
Henry Ford II, chairman of the Ford Motor Co., has firmly denied published allegations that Ford intended to stop doing business in Israel. The denial was contained in a letter delivered by Ford’s personal driver to Philip Slomovitz, editor and publisher of The Jewish News, Detroit’s Anglo-Jewish weekly, who had questioned the reports published in another city.
The motor magnate declared: “To be very explicit, Ford Motor Company has no intention of withdrawing from its present business arrangements in Israel. We have consistently emphasized that fact to anyone who has questioned us about it. As long ago as May 8. In answer to a question at the annual meeting of Ford stockholders, I said ‘We are going to continue to do business in Israel, and if we can do business in an Arab country, all the better. So we can do business on both sides.'”
The letter to Slomovitz explained that Ford has had an assembly plant in Alexandria since 1950 but as a result of the Arab boycott is limited to repair work though the plant has been maintained in good condition and retains its Egyptian staff.
“There is nothing inconsistent about our efforts to reestablish normal trade relations with Arab countries also,” Ford said in his letter. “I assume that no one would seriously wish us, in a kind of reverse-boycott fashion, to abstain from doing business in Arab countries simply because of our dealings with Israel. We want to do business wherever there are markets to be served by our product, as our enduring commercial activities in Israel attest.”