WASHINGTON (Aug. 31)
A move to sever virtually all future United States shipments to Egypt, through an amendment to the Food for Peace bill now before Congress, was announced today by Rep. Oliver P. Bolton, Ohio Republican, who cited the continued warlike policies and military build-up of the Nasser regime.
Rep. Bolton stated: “It is ludicrous that our aid has enabled Nasser to divert other resources to pay for a crash program to develop short and medium-range ground-to-ground missiles for future threats to Israel,” He said that he had studied the abuse of American aid by Nasser, and found it “inconceivable” that over a billion dollars’ worth of surplus commodity aid since 1954 was given to Nasser by the U.S. Government–permitting Nasser thereby “to divert his economy and agriculture to grow cotton for export to the Communists, to pay for over $1,000, 000,000 worth of the most modern and lethal weapons.”
Rep. Bolton found it “intolerable” that the “Food for Peace” program was being used “to finance Nasser’s aggressive adventures.” He gave details on how U. S. assistance under both Republican and Democratic Administrations helped subsidize Nasser’s military machine. He said that, recently, such aid was “used to underwrite the cost of the war in Yemen.”
The Bill, H. R. 12298, is due on the House floor for action this week. The chances of the Bolton amendment are viewed as favorable because of disillusionment with Nasser. But the stand of Congressmen from large urban centers will be crucial.
Rep. Bolton said that, in the last few days, Nasser pressured the United States in connection with the evacuation of two American leased airbases in Libya. He also raised a question of Nasser’s supply of arms to Greek Cypriots to disrupt American and United Nations peace efforts in Cyprus. He revealed that the State Department now is in “active discussion” in Cairo on a new three-year agreement for vast new surplus commodity shipments to Egypt.
Rep Bolton said that members of Congress should back his anti-Nasser amendment because it was not a partisan issue and conformed with both the Republican and Democratic platform planks on the Near East. He stated that Sen Hubert H. Humphrey, Minnesota Democrat and Democratic nominee for the Vice-Presidency, favored severance of aid to Egypt during the debate on last year’s anti-aggression amendment. Considerable Senate support for the Bolton move was indicated.