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U.S. Aided Nasser’s Buildup of War Machinery, Senator Keating Charges

Senator Kenneth B. Keating (R., N.Y.) tonight charged that Nasser would never have been able to carry out his own “ambitious preparation for war efforts” without U.S. assistance. Speaking at the inaugural dinner of the Westchester division of the American Jewish Committee, the Senator warned that it is not only unwise to subsidize Nasser’s arms purchases, but it is “directly in contradiction to the aims of our aid program and of our over-all foreign policy in the Middle East.”

The New York Senator pointed out that since 1952 more than $862,000,000 of American aid has gone to Egypt, with the bulk of it spent on the food-for-peace program. “Yet, in many ways,” said Keating, “it might be more appropriate to call it a food-for-war program.” “There is no doubt,” he said, “that United States readiness to supply Egypt with food has made it possible for Nasser to barter its cotton crop to the Soviet Union for military equipment and weapons.”

The Senator discussed the legislation which he introduced last week requiring the President to suspend assistance to any nation which purchases military equipment from the communist bloc in quantities requiring a significant diversion of its own resources. He pointed out that “since Nasser in the past nine years has spent over $700,000,000 on Soviet bloc weapons–nearly as much as our aid efforts–he would clearly qualify under this prohibition.”

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