WASHINGTON (Aug. 30)
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, known as the World Bank, was urged today to abstain from making a projected $40,000,000 loan to the United Arab Republic for the improvement of the Suez Canal as long as this Arab country is using the Canal as a political weapon “to strangle the economy of Israel.”
The appeal to the World Bank was made by Rep. Emanuel Celler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He said the issue “is whether international commitments of the right of passage (through the Suez Canal) can be arbitrarily violated, and whether such violation shall be encouraged by the granting of the pending loan.” Rep. Celler cited the seizure by the UAR of mail and scientific equipment from ships bound for Israel. He said this act could not be tolerated by adherents of international law.
(The New York Times quoted this week-end a spokesman for the Bank as asserting that “neither the management of the Bank nor the board of directors has made any decision on the loan. We may make the loan or we may not,” he was quoted as declaring.)