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USSR snuffs out July 4 speech by US ambassador

Soviet authorities refused this year to allow the US ambassador to make a televised Fourth of July address. It was the first time the Soviets had scuttled the traditional speech without first seeking revisions in the text, according to a US Embassy spokesman who spoke on condition he not be identified.

In his prepared remarks, Ambassador Arthur Hartman expressed US readiness to reach an agreement reducing nuclear arms and said President Reagan was prepared to meet with Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko.

The Soviet decision followed similar rejections of speeches by the ambassadors of Britain, France, and Japan on their national holidays. Other speeches, such as Canada's only two days earlier, have been allowed. In all cases, the Soviets have been given advance texts.

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