WASHINGTON (Sep. 23)
A joint Senate-House conference on the final version of the “Food for Peace” bill today further weakened an amendment originally designed to curtail aid to Egypt because of that regime’s diversion of funds for aggressive purposes.
An original amendment, offered by Rep. Oliver Bolton, Ohio Republican, would have made aid severance affecting Egypt mandatory. The State Department objected that it would “tie the hands” of the President in conducting foreign policy. Rep. James Roosevelt, California Democrat, submitted a substitute amendment that would have called on the President to make a specific determination that any nation receiving “Food for Peace” was not an aggressor. The Roosevelt substitute also eliminated the naming of Egypt.
The Senate-House conference decided to weaken the Roosevelt amendment, as adopted by the House, so that the President is no longer required to rule that a beneficiary is not an aggressor in order to qualify.
The new wording, approved by a House vote today, merely says that no aid should be given under this act if the President finds a benefiting country is an aggressor or is using funds from the United States for purposes inimical to American foreign policy. This makes action by the President discretionary along the lines of the previous year’s Gruening-Javits amendment, which has never been implemented.