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White House Asks Congress for a Policy Against Blockades and Boycotts

The White House has called on Congress to declare it the policy of the United States to support “freedom of navigation in international waterways, and recognition of the right of all private persons to travel and pursue their lawful activities without discrimination as to race or religion.” This was made known today in the release of the technical wording to implement President Kennedy’s recent request to Congress for a new foreign aid program.

In Section 102 of the implementing legislation, drafted by the White House, the anti-discrimination phrasing is contained, Although no specific mention was made of the Arab blockade and boycott, Administration sources said the wording was added in consonance with President Kennedy’s opposition to such tactics.

The clauses were added after a recent State Department expression sought to minimize discriminatory Arab practices. The expression, a letter from Brooks Hays, Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations, to a member of Congress, caused a number of protests to the Administration. An executive department source said that stronger phrasing, specifically mentioning Arab abuses, was desired by some but the State Department insisted on wording that was less specific.

The part of Section 102 containing the anti-discrimination clause, reads:

“The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States to support the principles of increased economic cooperation and trade among nations, freedom of navigation in international waterways, and recognition of the right of all private persons to travel and pursue their lawful activities without discrimination as to race or religion.

“Accordingly, the Congress hereby affirms it to be the policy of the United States to make assistance available under this part in scope and on a basis of long-range continuity essential to the creation of an environment in which the energies of the peoples of the world can be devoted to constructive purposes, free of pressure and erosion by the adversaries of freedom.

“It is the sense of the Congress that assistance under this part should be complimented by the furnishing under any other act of surplus agricultural commodities to the maximum extent possible, and that increased disposal be made of excess property and stockpile materials under this part and other acts.”

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