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State Dept. to Act on Bias Against U.S. Citizens in Foreign Lands

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Satisfaction was expressed in Congressional circles here today with a statement made yesterday by the State Department that United States embassies and consulates abroad have been instructed to submit reports on discrimination against American citizens because of religion or race.

The State Department, it was indicated, has also instructed posts in countries where discriminatory practices against American citizens still prevail to submit a current status report on such practices together with recommendations concerning feasible means of applying the principles set forth in the Morse-Javits amendment to the Fiscal 1960 Mutual Security Appropriation Act. Sen. Jacob Javits, New York Republican, and Sen. Wayns Morse, Oregon Democrat, introduced the amendment because of Arab discrimination against Americans of Jewish faith.

The Morse-Javits amendment stated: “It is the sense of Congress that any attempt by foreign nations to create distinctions because of their race or religion among American citizens in the granting of personal or commercial access or any other rights otherwise available to U.S. citizens generally is repugnant to our principles; and in all negotiations between the U.S. under this act, these principles shall be applied as the President may determine.”

The State Department advised its posts that the United States “has never condoned discriminatory practices by foreign governments against its citizens on grounds of race or religion.” The Department said it remains “a basic objective of U.S. foreign policy to seek to eliminate, within the context of existing friendly relations with other members of the free world community, all such discriminatory practices.”

Information on the new instructions was the subject of a letter received by Sen. Javits from William B. Macomber, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations.

Both Sen. Javits and Sen. Morse today expressed satisfaction with the State Department’s action. The two Senators said in a joint statement; “We shall follow through with the Department of State on this matter and consider its circular instruction to represent the first step in a program which is vital to our national interest, to eliminate this condition.”

The Senators said “every American will await the ‘Current Status Report’ from our consular posts with the greatest concern, and we trust they will be submitted promptly. It can then be determined whether additional legislation or other action is needed.”

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