NEW YORK (Aug. 21)
Will this city’s heavily Jewish garment center be excluded when the U.S. Department of Defense awards multimillion dollar contracts to outfit Saudi Arabia’s armed forces? Not if Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger agrees with the American Jewish Congress that the Pentagon “cannot in any way lawfully cooperate with efforts by Saudi Arabia or other members of the Arab League to exclude from competition for contracts any American firm because it has Jewish officers or employes or because it conducts business with Israel.”
Alerted by a report from Washington that the Department’s Defense Personnel Support Center in Philadelphia was preparing to let contracts for the manufacture, supply and delivery of Saudi Arabian army uniforms, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg. president of the AJCongress, wrote Schlesinger this week calling for “firm and clear assurances that there will be no attempt to introduce or invoke the restrictions of the Arab League boycott in the awarding of these contracts.”
The Washington report, which appeared originally in Women’s Wear Daily, said contracts for woolen cloth for the Saudi Arabian army had been issued by the Defense Supply Agency earlier this month totalling almost $30 million.