WASHINGTON (Aug. 30)
Bitter differences were voiced here today by Representatives and Senators arguing a clause in the Mutual Security Bill, dealing with bias as manifested in the Arab boycott against Israel and discrimination against American Jews. However, hopes were expressed that House-Senate conferees, attempting to hammer out a clause acceptable to both branches of Congress, may be able to reach a compromise by midnight tonight.
The House clause aims at indicating to the Arabs that their anti-Israel boycott and blockade of the Suez Canal are “repugnant” to American principles. It also authorizes the President of the United States to decide whether American aid should be given to countries discriminating against American Jewish citizens because of their religion. The Senate clause is very much weaker.
Chairman J. W. Fulbright, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a conferee, has insisted strongly that the House anti-bias measure might offend Arab nations, because it calls for severance of aid to countries using discriminatory boycott and blockade tactics. It was his contention that severance of aid to the Arab states because they discriminate against American Jews would amount to an undue interference in Arab domestic affairs. He attributed other Arab blockade practices to the Arab-Israeli disputes, and held that America should remain neutral.
Chairman Thomas E. Morgan, of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also a conferee, differed with Senator Fulbright. Rep. Morgan, a Pennsylvania Democrat, maintained that a weakening of the anti-bias provisions of previous years would encourage new Arab abuses. He maintained that the House merely sought to hold the line on this matter, rather than retreat from the Congressional stand taken in past Mutual Security legislation. He felt that nations receiving American aid should respect the rights of American citizens regardless of the religion of individuals.