WASHINGTON (Jan. 27)
The Administration went into action today in an attempt to prevent Senate adoption of an anti-Nasser amendment, voted yesterday by the House, which would sever further shipment of surplus commodities to Egypt.
Secretary of State Dean Rusk this afternoon, aided by Chairman J. W. Fulbright of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, summoned a meeting of all members of the Senate in the Foreign Relations committee room. The meeting was held in executive session, but Senators later revealed that Secretary Rusk made a plea for defeat of the amendment and continuation of aid to the Nasser regime.
Meeting with the hurriedly assembled Senators, Mr. Rusk said the amendment, tied to an agriculture appropriations bill, would “usurp” the role of President Johnson in making foreign policy. Mr. Rusk sought to portray Nasser in a more favorable light, and asked the Senators to consider the future of Egyptian-American relations. Chairman Fulbright presided at the meeting and strongly supported Mr. Rusk’s position. He said he would oppose the amendment, and thought policy toward Egypt was a matter for Executive Department discretion.
The State Department announced that Mr. Rusk will appear before a public hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow, to oppose the amendment and support continued assistance to Nasser.