STATEMENT OF JOHN T. MCNAUGHTON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS DEFENSE DEPARTMENT'S MILITARY SALES PROGRAM [P. 134]
Mr. McNaughton. I want to double check this figure because our total sales program runs about one and a half billion per year, and how it could be a billion dollars in profits out of one and a half billion dollars of business is a little difficult for me to understand. I will double check that number.
But, on the question of Senator Morse's proposal, you cannot discuss the question of, for example, sales to Jordan, sales to Israel, sales to Pakistan or India in open session without risking very serious problems with the countries involved. This is why we have requested a closed hearing on the subject. The State Department would feel even stronger than we do about this.
PUBLIC HEARING ON MILITARY EXPORT SALES [P. 140]
On the question of public hearings you, of course, should address this question to the Secretaries involved, but my own view is that it would be very difficult to answer the specific questions that come up as to why sales in this case, why not in that case. What were the other agreements that the country made that made this a more sensible deal than appears by just a transfer of arms, this sort of thing. This can hardly be done in public session without gravely injuring our relations with the countries involved.
Senator Gore. Aren't we?
Mr. McNaugthon. We are in fact, but there is an explanation for it that cannot be given in public.
What we are trying to do is to keep this Jordan separated from the Nasser group which is being, in effect, subsidized by the Soviets. We are trying to keep Jordan, which is trying to behave vis-a-vis Israel; we are trying to keep them from falling into the grasp of a Nasserite group and, therefore, we have to provide some arms to Jordan under various circumstances. Israel then finds herself surrounded by the Nasserite group, and, likewise, needs arms.
Senator Gore. Meanwhile, Jordan will not cooperate in solving the Palestine refugee problem to which we have provided subsidy all these years. Jordan, has no prospect of ever becoming a viable economic state. It will be a permanent American subsidized entity.
What is its justification?
Mr. McNaughton. Do I gather that----
Senator Lausche. May I interrupt here? I was in Israel in November of 1955. Please take this off the record.
[Discussion off the record.]
Sources: Federation of American Scientists