Senate Adopts Anti-bias Clause Aimed at Checking Arab Boycott

The Senate adopted yesterday the Foreign Aid Appropriations bill including the Halpern-Rooney anti-bias clause previously approved by the House, expressing the Congress attitude against assistance to Arab nations that persist in boycotts and blockades.

Co-sponsored by Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, and Rep. John J. Rooney, New York Democrat, the anti-bias clause was drafted to remedy the weak and vague clause contained in the foreign aid authorization act adopted last month. The Haipern-Rooney amendment was accepted by the House on September 5.

The Senate Appropriations Committee incorporated the Halpern-Rooney measure into the Senate bill, urging “the Executive departments concerned to give full force to the sense of Congress as expressed in this section in the administration of the foreign assistance program to the extent feasible and by other appropriate means.”

The clause declared it “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 United States and any foreign state, arising as a result of funds appropriated under this title, these principles shall be applied as the President may determine.”

Since the identical spirit and intent were contained in the anti-bias clauses of both Senate and House, it is assumed that Senate-House conferees reconciling the two bills will leave that section, in substance, intact. It will then go to the White House.

In the Senate debate on the anti-bias provision, Sen. Hugh Scott, Pennsylvania Republican, said the Arab blockade was continuing with impunity despite its impact on American citizens

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