WASHINGTON (Oct. 5)
Senate and House action has assured overwhelming Congressional approval this week of a resolution to allow the United States to station up to 200 American civilian volunteers at early warning stations in the Sinai desert between Egyptian and Israeli lines.
The House International Relations Committee, by a unanimous vote of 31-0 last Friday, voted out for full House consideration a bipartisan resolution that supported the U.S. presence in the Middle East because it constitutes “a significant step toward peace in the Middle East.” Three members of the 34-member House committee were not in Washington when the vote was taken.
The House resolution stipulated that both Congress and the President could withdraw the technicians in the event of danger to them or if their monitoring was no longer necessary. It also requires the President to submit written reports to the Congress on the monitoring at least once every six months.
In addition, the resolution asserted that “the authority contained in this joint resolution to implement” the warning system in the Sinai “does not signify approval of the Congress of any other agreement, understanding or commitment made by the Executive branch.”
SENATE ALSO DUE TO ACT
Less than three hours after the House panel, under the leadership of Thomas Morgan (D.Pa.) and the ranking minority member, Rep. William Broomfield (R.Mich.), adopted its resolution, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-2 to make public four documents of agreements between the U.S. with Israel and the U.S. with Egypt that Sen, Frank Church (D. Idaho) described as constituting “all binding undertakings” to the Egyptian and Israeli governments.
Church has been insisting on official public disclosure of the agreements which some newspapers have already published in full. Announcing the committee’s action, Church said he wanted “full and free debate” before sending Americans into the Middle East. He said “Now everything is out in the open. That’s the way I wanted it.” Church sponsored the resolution for disclosure with Sen, Charles Percy (R. Ill.) as co-sponsor.
Church predicted that the Senate would approve a resolution on the technicians this week “very similar if not identical” to the House resolution. John Sparkman (D.Ala), chairman of the Senate committee said the committee would act on its resolution Tuesday and indicated a Senate vote would follow immediately. A public hearing is set for tomorrow morning and another Tuesday.