WASHINGTON (Oct. 21)
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has eliminated from the Foreign Assistance Bill a clause designed to curtail Egyptian aggression, it was learned today.
Chairman J. W. Fulbright persuaded the Committee that the wording, inserted into the House version of the bill by Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, was undesirable. The wording was similar to last year’s “Keating-Halpern amendment, to restrict the flow of aid to nations using their own funds to buy Soviet arms.
The Committee reported out a bill which completely eliminated the stand taken by the House which would give no aid to the United Arab Republic or any other country the President determines is “engaging in or preparing for aggressive military efforts” against the United States or other recipients of American assistance.
A bi-partisan effort led by Senators Ernest Gruening, Alaska Democrat, and Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican, will be made on the Senate floor to restore the eliminated measure. The bill is expected before the Senate within a week.
Objections had been made by the State Department against the wording which might hamper continued American assistance to the Nasser regime. Sen. Fulbright and other foreign relations committee members carried the Committee’s decision by arguing that the definition of “aggressive military efforts” was too vague. They said the language was so general it might be applied in the current Morocco-Algerian dispute, causing problems for American diplomacy.
Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, who co-sponsored the measure passed last year, said that if the Senate’s scrapping of this year’s anti-Nasser clause is final, he would seek similar legislation inserted into the forthcoming foreign aid appropriations bill. The present bill pertains to the authorization and the funds must be transmitted by subsequent legislation.