WASHINGTON (Aug. 26)
Thirteen members of Congress today made a bipartisan appeal to the World Bank here to refrain from issuing a pending loan to the United Arab Republic for the enlargement of the Suez Canal until the UAR recognizes Israel’s maritime rights.
The 13 congressmen are members of the House Banking and Currency committee. This body handles legislation related to the World Bank, known officially as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The committee members communicated their views in a letter to Eugene R. Black, president of the Bank.
The signatories said in their letter to Mr. Black that the Suez Canal should be open to all nations but “instead it is being used as a weapon in relations between the UAR and the State of Israel.” The barring of the Inge Toft from transit because the ship carried Israeli cargo was cited as “the most recent of a long series of illegal actions which violate the Constantinople Convention and the United Nations Security Council decision.”
As long as the Suez Canal “is being used for belligerent action” by the UAR, said the signatories, “we are deeply disturbed that an international agency is considering a loan to improve and enlarge it.”
The congressional communication pointed out that “Nasser’s violent declaration threatening to exterminate Israel implies that he will bar Israel shipping whenever he wants to. His own statement of July 22 shows that he is disturbed by Israel’s growing trade with Asia and Africa and that he intends to block it.”
A belief was expressed that the international community should not provide the UAR with finances for canal improvement “lest it appear to condone a clear violation of international decision, an intolerable aggression by one nation against a neighbor.” The members of Congress insisted that “no money be used to finance an international artery until it is recognized as such without limitation or restriction.”
The signatories were; Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York; Rep. Hugh J. Addonzio. New Jersey; Rep. Byron L. Johnson, Colorado; Rep. James C. Healey, New York; Rep. Florence P. Dwyer, New Jersey; Rep. Edward J. Derwinski, Illinois; Rep. William S. Moorhead, Pennsylvania; Rep. Charles A. Vanik, Ohio; Rep. Martha W. Griffiths. Michigan; Rep. Abraham J. Multer, New York; Rep. William H. Milliken, Jr., Pennsylvania; Repl Paul A. Find, New York and Rep. Gordon L. McDonough, California.