Menu JTA Search

Senate Body Backs Sale of Surplus Israeli Currency to Americans

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee today voted approval of an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Authorization Bill to let the U.S. Embassies in Israel and a number of other countries sell surplus local currencies to American citizens for dollars at current exchange rates. The amendment was proposed by Sen. George A. Smathers, Florida Democrat.

The United States hopes to stem in this way the flow of dollars spent abroad by tourists. The amendment covers situations overseas where local currencies piled up through American aid and sales of surplus commodities are in excess of American Government needs. The measure would let the United States collect dollars for some of the so-called counterpart funds.

Under the existing law, counterpart funds can only be used in the local country of origin. Committee sources said the countries affected would be Israel, the United Arab Republic, Burma, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Poland and Yugoslavia. A considerable amount of surplus Israeli pounds was held by the United States Government in Israel, it was reported.

NEXT STORY