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Congressional Body Approves Anti-boycott Clause in Foreign Aid Bill

The House Foreign Affairs Committee today approved foreign aid legislation containing an anti-bias clause far stronger than that adopted earlier this week by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The bill will be formally reported out next week.

The three-point anti-discrimination measure adopted by the House committee is aimed at Arab boycott and blockade tactics, including discrimination against American citizens out of religious prejudice. An expression is made against the granting of aid to nations that discriminate on such basis.

The House version stresses that, when one nation receiving U.S. aid, like the United Arab Republic, discriminates against another beneficiary, such as Israel, by blockading international waterways, peace is endangered and the purposes of the Mutual Security program negated.

The wording of the House committee follows:

“It is the sense of the Congress, that inasmuch as (1) the United States favors freedom of navigation in international waterways and economic cooperation between nations; and (2) the purposes of this Act are negated and the peace of the world is endangered when nations which receive assistance under this Act wage economic warfare against other nations assisted under this Act, including such procedures as boycotts, blockades, and the restriction of the use of international waterways; and (3) any attempts by foreign nations to create distinctions of their race or religion among American citizens in the granting of personal or commercial access or any other rights otherwise available to United States citizens generally is repugnant to our principles; assistance under this Act and the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, as amended, shall be administered to give effect to these principles.”

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