WASHINGTON (Oct. 20)
Rep. Oliver P. Bolton, Ohio Republican, said today that he has been assured by high-ranking State Department officials that continued aid to Egypt is under intensive review, and that negotiations leading to extension of the present $500,000,000 three-year “Food for Peace” agreement, due to expire at the end of the current fiscal year, have been postponed for an indefinite period.
Last month, Rep. Bolton led a House drive aimed at severance of aid to the Nasser regime on grounds that the United States was indirectly subsidizing Nasser’s aggression and arms. The Bolton amendment, which drew some support from Democrats, lost by 117 to 113 on a non-record vote. Subsequently, 16 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including members of both parties, petitioned Secretary of State Dean Rusk to halt Nasser’s misuse of American aid.
Rep. Bolton said today that, even though his amendment lost by a few votes, Administration leaders admitted that a roll call vote would have seen the amendment carried by at least 50 votes. The Administration has now apparently become convinced, Mr. Bolton said, that Congress is “fed up with the manner in which our aid to Nasser has permitted him to divert resources to satisfy his aggressive Hear East ambitions.” He pointed out that American policy makers, because of the serious grain shortages in Communist nations, are now in a position to greatly influence the future course of Near Eastern affairs.
“The minimum price for continued United States grain shipments to Nasser,” said Congressman Bolton, “should include Egyptian withdrawal from Yemen, guarantees against continued Egyptian development of a ground-to-ground missile capacity which would Jeopardize the security of Israel and other Near Eastern nations, an end to Egyptian air attacks on Saudi Arabian targets bordering Yemen, the halting of Egyptian efforts to evict the United States from air bases leased in Libya and Saudi Arabia, and guarantees against further interference by Nasser in the Cyprus crisis.”
Rep. Bolton said that, some times, a close loss in Congress produces the same beneficial result as a victory. In his view, a majority of Congress feels that further aid to Nasser, under present circumstances, is against the interests of the American people.