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House Hears Plea to Give Israel Equal Opportunity to Buy U.S. Arms

March 2, 1950
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers, of Mass., today asked Secretary of State Dean Acheson to extend to Israel an equal opportunity to buy arms here. In a letter to Mr. Acheson which she read in the House, Rep. Rogers said:

“In view of the policy of our government, as I see it, to sanction Great Britain’s selling of arms, planes, submarines, etc., in unlimited quantities–indirectly with American dollars paid by American taxpayers–to the Arab nations, it seems to me that American citizens in general, and those of the Jewish faith in particular, must be greatly concerned and vexed that our government is not fully aware of the danger of another outbreak of war in the Middle East region, thereby jeopardizing peace in the world.”

She asked Mr. Acheson that this government “take a firm stand, without delay, in stating its views to Great Britain,” pointing out that it is unwise to permit the Arab Governments to arm beyond their domestic needs for internal security. “We should extend equal opportunity to Israel so that she may obtain arms and weapons necessary for the security of her people,” she appealed.

House Majority Leader John W. McCormack, of Mass., today asked Secretary of State Acheson to pay heed to the “justifiable fear” of Israel of the threat to peace caused by the heavy British arms shipmonts to Arab states. In a letter to Mr. Acheson, Mr. McCormack said:

“I know that there is a tremendous amount of concern about the arms that are being furnished to the Arabs by the British Government. In view of the extreme tension in that section of the world and threat that the giving of such arms to the Arab nations might be to the security of Israel, it seems to me a justifiable fear.

“Certainly, the U.S. would not directly or indirectly be a party to any situation that would result in an armament race being started now by Israel and the Arab nations. I am sure that you are aware that there is a tremendous interest in this situation in the U.S. and it is not confined to Americans of Jewish blood,” Rep. McCormack pointed out.

House Minority Leader Joseph Martin, of Mass., also demanded that Secretary of State Dean Acheson review this government’s approach to the Near Eastern arms situation. He said:

“Both the amount of arms as well as the kind of arms that are being shipped to the Arab states cannot be said to be limited to the maintenance of law and order internally. If the policy of your department with reference to the rearmament of the area is to be dictated by the security of the Middle East area which might be attacked by a third power, then Israel is entitled to be the beneficiary of that policy and receive similar arms.”

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