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Byrd Suggests Congress Could Force Salt II Compliance

December 1, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Congress could vote to dismantle a Poseidon submarine to keep the United States within limits of the unratified SALT II treaty but should avoid giving blanket approval to the pact, Senate Democratic leader Robert Byrd said.

Byrd, interviewed Sunday on CBS-TV’s ″Face the Nation,″ said he hoped President Reagan would take the action himself.

The United States on Friday violated the 1979 nuclear arms agreement with the Soviets when the 131st Air Force B-52 bomber capable of carrying atomic- tipped cruise missiles went into operation. If the Navy had retired a Poseidon missile-firing submarine, the U.S.-Soviet agreement would not have been breached.

″Of course, Congress could take specific action to drydock and dismantle an aging Poseidon submarine,″ Byrd said.

Byrd of West Virginia said, however, he would not support ″blanket action which could be construed as approving a treaty by a majority vote when the Constitution says it has to be done by a two-thirds vote.″

--- Files in Central American Group’s Offices Reportedly Rifled

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Commission on U.S.-Central American Relations planned to launch an investigation today into the weekend break-in at its offices, in which its files were rifled, a spokesman said.

A city police officer, Alice Anderson, confirmed that the commission had reported a break-in at 3:47 p.m. Saturday to police but would not release details of the police report.

Lindsey Mattison, who identified himself as director of the International Center, which houses the Central American commission along with commissions on U.S-Asian and U.S.-African relations, said staff members discovered Saturday afternoon that a second-story window had been smashed with a brick and that file drawers opened.

″It’s hard to tell what files were taken,″ Mattison said, adding that when the commission staff returns to work today a detailed investigation would be conducted.

He described the commission as investigating drug smuggling and arms deals involving the U.S.-backed Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

--- Weinberger To Attend NATO Meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger expected European allies to ask about the U.S.-Iranian arms deal but would be more interested in arms control and related defense issues.

Weingerber was to leave today for an eight-day trip that would include attending the meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers in Belgium and a sidetrip to improve relations with Morocco.

Discussions with allies were expected to center on arms control, arms cooperation projects, the president’s missile defense initiative and the need for NATO countries to spend more on conventional defense.

Weinberger’s consultations with Morocco’s King Hassan II will mark the first such high-level contact since the monarch decided to break his accord with Libya, which had called for a loose federation and eventual union of the two countries.

Weinberger’s trip also will include stops in Paris and London for meetings with English and French defense officials.

--- Study Calls For Measures To Protect Ozone Layer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Use of chemicals blamed for depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer has increased steadily despite a ban by the United States and Canada, according to a group recommending a heavy tax on the substances.

In addition the World Resources Institute, an environmental research and policy group, said industrial nations should cut their production of chloroflurocarbons by one-third.

The group’s report released last weekend came just two days before representatives of 28 countries were to begin five days of meetings in Geneva to discuss enforcement of the 1985 Vienna Convention for Protection of the Ozone Layer.

″The challenge of protecting the ozone layer may be a harbinger of humankind’s ability to address other long-term threats to the Earth’s future,″ the research group said.

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