WASHINGTON (Jan. 14)
The question of severance of aid to Egypt as a more effective policy than continuing assistance is being considered by the Administration in the wake of a White House meeting involving President Johnson and the Committee for International Development, a group of prominent citizens headed by Sol M. Linowitz, head of the Xerox Corporation. The meeting revealed a growing personal involvement of President Johnson in the Egyptian aid issue. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Administrator David Bell of the U. S. Agency for International Development participated.
Secretary Rusk reportedly stressed that it was necessary to maintain American lines of communication in Cairo through the aid program despite Nasser’s anti American expressions. Mr. Bell indicated there was need for scrutiny of the U. S. program in Egypt and consideration of a firmer stand.
Mr. Linowitz is chairman of the group invited to the White House as the President mustered support for the foreign aid program for the coming fiscal year. He made known that his committee, which includes such prominent personages as Fowler Hamilton, former Aid administrator, James A. Farley, Gen. Alfred M. Gruenther, and others, stressed to the President the need for a “hard look” at aid programs in countries like Egypt and Indonesia where American libraries have been burned and anti-American invective unleashed.
Even though aid to Egypt now consists mainly of surplus commodities, Mr. Linowitz said “we have to make up our minds whether this is serving our interests or not,” Administration sources indicated that the views of the group headed by Mr. Linowitz would be carefully considered because of its importance in helping to rally national support for adoption of the aid program submitted to Congress today by President Johnson.
Mr. Linowitz said “a very frank exchange” took place on the Egyptian question in the presence of the President. The Administration’s stand on Egypt will be more exactingly evaluated to determine if firmer aid policies would more effectively promote American interests, according to the impression gained by the committee.