WASHINGTON (May. 1)
The White House today worked on a response to the unexpectedly strong attack on the Administration’s policy toward the United Arab Republic, which erupted in Congress this week from both Democrats and Republicans.
The response, it was learned, will take the form of letters from the White House to one or more members of Congress, to further amplify the President’s views.
The State Department meanwhile sought to gain support for the defeat of an amendment proposed yesterday to the Foreign Aid Bill by Rep. Seymour Hal pern. New York Republican, to sever aid to the UAR. The Hal pern amendment would terminate aid to the UAR because of Nasser’s aggressive missile build-up and continued acquisition of Soviet arms.
This amendment will be vigorously fought by the State Department, it was learned, on grounds that it would offend the UAR and complicate relations with Nasser. It was learned from U.S. official sources that the Department feels it is in Israel’s security interests for America to improve Arab-American relations. This, said officials, would strengthen American influence in Cairo.
The State Department was stung by criticism voiced in Congress by Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee and others. Sen. Paul H. Douglas, Illinois Democrat, warned of “roadblocks” State Department career officers might use to block a policy fair to Israel. He charged that “the Foreign Service, under all Administrations, has tended to be pro-Arab.”
Sen. Wayne Morse, Oregon Democrat, made an even broader attack. He said “the policy which has been developed concerning the Middle East by the Kennedy Administration cannot be reconciled with the basic, historic ideals of American foreign policy.”