WASHINGTON (Dec. 10)
The management of the World Bank has decided to place before the bank’s directors later this month a proposal to lend the United Arab Republic $56,000,000 to improve the Suez Canal despite the UAR’s continued anti-Israel blockade.
A bank spokesman made known that President Eugene Black took the initiative as the management of the bank moved to bring the matter before the directors for a decision. It became apparent that the United States, which exerts powerful influence in the bank, had made a policy decision to approve the loan to the Nasser government.
Secretary of State Christian Herter today commented at his press conference on the U.S. attitude toward the loan in connection with the unresolved Israel blockade issue. Mr. Herter said the World Bank was essentially an economic institution and the less it is subjected to political pressure, the greater its value will be.
Mr. Herter described the bank as economic rather than political in its structure. He said diplomatic pressures should be employed by governments and not by the bank. He added that a decision was one that President Black should make. He said he did not know when the matter would be finally voted. The Secretary said he had discussed the matter with Israeli diplomats and “leaders.”
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS OPPOSE U.S. APPROVAL OF THE LOAN TO EGYPT
Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today protested to C. Douglas Dillon, Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, against the reported intention of the World Bank to lend the United Arab Republic $56,000,000 to improve the Suez Canal.
Rep. Farbstein informed Mr. Dillon that he was “deeply disturbed” by reports that such a loan is imminent despite the UAR’s continued unlawful blockade against Israel cargoes and shipping. He said he “cannot reconcile administration acquiescence in this loan with our country’s tradition to stand on freedom of the seas and President Eisen-hower’s public condemnation of the Suez blockade in 1957.”
Chairman Emanuel Celler of the House Judiciary Committee said today that a proposed loan to the United Arab Republic to improve the Suez Canal would be “detrimental to the best interests and defense of the United States.”
Rep. Celler, a New York Democrat, wrote Treasury Secretary Anderson asking him to withhold approval of any “unconditional” loan to the UAR. He cited the anti-Israel blockade. Secretary Anderson is American Governor of the World Bank which is considering the loan. Rep. Celler said any loan should be conditioned on the canal being “a truly international thoroughfare without limitations or restrictions.”