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Soviet Non-delivery of Mail Prompts U.S. Policy Change

October 12, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The United States Postal Service will reintroduce “descriptive listing” procedures on registered mail sent to the Soviet Union beginning Oct. 15, it was reported today by Malcolm Hoenlein, executive director of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. Under the current procedure registered mail was “bulk billed” to the Soviet Union requiring Soviet postal officials to sign for bags of mail but not for each item. Thus, claims filed for registered mail sent to Russia that was not delivered or returned, were met by denials from Soviet officials that they received the article.

The Conference, led by project chairman Ernest Goldblum, began its efforts at the request of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry more than a year ago. A comprehensive and Intensive study of mail procedures and international postal agreements was undertaken. United States postal authorities were “responsive and sympathetic from the start,” said Goldblum. “Our intention was to put the Soviet Union on notice and to make manifest their clear violation of the international postal agreements.”

Hoenlein said that hundreds of claims were filed with US postal authorities from persons who had written to Soviet Jews and had not received the required receipt acknowledging that the letter was delivered. As a result, American authorities notified the Soviet Union that unless the situation improved they would return to the “descriptive listing” system.

Israel and the United States will sign an agreement Friday in Washington calling for the purchase of a record $64 million in agricultural commodities by Israel during the current US fiscal year ending next June 30. Under public law, repayment to the US Treasury will be in 25 years at 3 1/2 percent interest. The total in the new agreement is $10 million greater than for the arrangements covering purchases during the last fiscal year which ended June 30.

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