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The unending flow of disclosures of corporate bribes and illegal political contributions to officials in the U.S. and abroad has spread a darkening stain over the global reputation of American business. Throughout the revelations of the past 18 months, however, there was one minor consolation: reports of rampant payoffs by Exxon, Gulf, Mobil, Northrop, United Brands and other corporate giants had not directly implicated any major world leaders. Most under-the-table payments abroad had apparently gone to shadowy intermediaries, lower-or middle-level government officials, or chiefs of small developing countries that had never been known for political purity. But last week the scandal exploded into the highest policy levels in Europe and Japan, shaking the governments of important U.S. allies. Said Secretary of State Henry Kissinger: "The implications for the stability of other countries could be extremely serious."

They could indeed. The new revelations, forced out by a Senate subcommittee headed by Idaho Democrat Frank Church, named those in high places who got some of the $22 million to $24 million that Lockheed Aircraft Corp. has said it paid to spur sales of its aircraft overseas. The major repercussions:

> In The Netherlands, the government publicly identified Prince Bernhard, husband of Queen Juliana, as the "high Dutch official" to whom Lockheed had admitted funneling a total of $1.1 million between 1961 and 1972. The prince, who is a director of Fokker Aircraft Co. and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, denied having received any Lockheed bribes; the Dutch Cabinet hastily appointed a special commission to investigate. Should the charges against Bernhard be proved true, his wife may be forced to abdicate as Queen—rocking the Dutch nation, where the monarchy is extremely popular.

> In Japan, elections that had been expected this spring will almost surely be postponed until at least the fall while the ruling Liberal Democratic Party tries to repair the damage to its public image caused by revelations that Lockheed bribes in Japan totaled $12.6 million. Some $7 million went to Yoshio Kodama, a founder and onetime major bankroller of the party; the payments coincided with unexpected purchases in 1960 of Lockheed F-104 Starfighters by the Japanese government and the ordering in 1972 of six Lockheed TriStar jetliners by All Nippon Airways. The Japanese Diet will hold hearings on the affair this week; opposition politicians are demanding that Kakuei Tanaka, who was Prime Minister at the time of the TriStar buy, be called for questioning.

> In West Germany, officials waited anxiously to see if the Church subcommittee will, as rumored, release documents this week indicating that Franz Josef Strauss and the Christian Social Union got Lockheed money. Strauss, the longtime right-wing strongman and leader of Bavaria's C.S.U., has been identified by Ernest F. Hauser, a former Lockheed European sales manager, as a receiver of Lockheed largesse; Strauss is suing Hauser for libel. When Strauss was Defense Minister in 1958, West Germany decided to order Starfighters—grimly known as "widow makers" in Germany because 178 of them have crashed.

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