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CONGRESSMAN TORRICELLI WANTS PROBE OF 'CONFLICT' IN GM SALE TO GERMANS, ACCORDING TO PRESIDENT OF CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

 WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement issued by Rabbi Jacob Bronner, president of the Children of the Houlocaust group:
 In yet another setback to GM's controversial sale of a military division to a German defense firm, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee is being asked to investigate reports that security clearance of the sale was corrupted by a "conflict of interest."
 U.S. Congressman Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is urging House Armed Service Chairman Les Aspin (D- Wis.) to convene a congressional hearing to investigate whether or not preliminary administration approval of the sale of Allison Transmission to Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen of Germany was "biased by a conflict of interest."
 "It has come to my attention that the CFIUS review (of this sale) may have been biased by a conflict of interest," Torricelli wrote Aspin. "On November 19, the Los Angeles Times reported that Undersecretary of Defense, Donald Atwood, served on the CFIUS board during the Allison sale review. Secretary Atwood previously served as vice chairman of General Motors and general manager of Allison."
 CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., is an inter- agency federal panel that reviews potential sales of U.S. defense- related companies to foreign purchasers. The committee, which includes the Department of Defense, cleared the Allison sale in October without conducting a formal review. The Times reported that Atwood ordered DOD approval of the sale.
 Torricelli noted that Allison "is the sole provider of high technology transmissions to the U.S. Army M1 tank program. If Allison is sold to ZF, the U.S. Army would be reliant on a German company for this critical industrial base equipment. This scenario is unconscionable given the important role the M1 tank program had in our recent operations in the Persian Gulf."
 "It is also objectionable that the sale would transfer to Germany a part of America's defense technology base," Torricelli wrote. "The United States needs a reliable and quality domestic source for this technology inorder to ensure our current and future defense needs."
 "In light of these arguments, this sale clearly has national security implications that warrant further investigation," Torricelli concluded. "I urge you to hold a hearing on the security implications of this sale as soon as the 103rd Congress convenes."
 Torricelli has indicated his intent to introduce legislation in the new Congress aimed at blocking or reversing the sale of Allison.
 Rabbi Jacob Bronner, president of Children of the Holocaust (COTH), an organization of Holocaust survivors and their families opposed to all sales of war-making equipment to Germany, praised Torricelli's leadership in seeking to stop the Allison sale.
 "Congressman Torricelli has been an important leader in the fight to stop this sale," Bronner said. "My community, and all Americans, owe him a debt of gratitude for taking up this important cause."
 Rabbi Jacob Bronner, son of Holocaust survivors, is the president of Children of the Holocaust. He also serves as a commissioner on the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
 -0- 12/20/92
 /CONTACT: Rabbi Jacob Bronner of Children of the Holocaust, 718-435-0300/


CO: Children of the Holocaust ST: New York IN: SU:

JP -- NYSU003 -- 8543 12/20/92 11:50 EST
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Date:Dec 20, 1992
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