WASHINGTON (Mar. 22)
The General Electric Company’s Board of Directors has announced that it will oppose a stockholder’s proposal calling on the directors “to provide a full written report to the shareholders” of the company’s “policy towards compliance, tacit or overt, with the demands of the Arab boycott.” The proposal was submitted by Irene Kleinberg for consideration at the meeting of GE shareholders April 28 in Kansas City, Mo.
The proposal was published in the company’s notice of the meeting. Kleinberg was said to be the owner of record of 20 shares of GE stock. In her proposal that listed seven points which the company should report to shareholders within two months of the annual meeting, the stockholder said that some American corporations contrary to the official policy of the United States, are complying with the demands of the Arab League Boycott Office.
Recommending a vote against the Kleinberg proposal, the directors said that “your company has long and substantial commercial relations with all the countries of the Middle East, including Israel and the Arab countries” and that the proposal “is misdirected and counter-productive.”
The Kleinberg proposal, the directors said, “is a form proposal which has been submitted to scores of U.S. corporations, apparently without distinction as to the character of their dealings with Israel and the Arab countries. To the extent that the proposal seeks simply to discourage discrimination, the management of your company shares that objective. However, compliance with the proposal would be burdensome and would involve the disclosure of proprietary commercial information.”
The directors’ response was included in the notice sent to stockholders as was the proposal itself.