House Committee Limits President’s Authority on Food Aid to Egypt

A restriction limiting the Presidential authority to approve sales of American food surpluses to Egypt was adopted yesterday by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives.

In reporting out the 1965-65 Foreign Aid Bill, the committee retained the earlier prohibition under which no sales of surpluses can be made to Egypt “unless the President determines that such sale is essential to the national interest of the United States.” But the committee added a further restriction, should the President make such a determination. Even in such a case, “no such sale shall be based on the requirements of the United Arab Republic for more than one fiscal year,” the committee ruled. Until now Egypt has received American food surpluses under a three-year agreement which is expiring this year.

The bill, as approved by the House committee, further stated that “the President shall keep the Foreign Relations Committee and the Appropriation Committee of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, fully and currently informed with respect to sales made to the United Arab Republic.”

(Apparently fearing the possibility of restrictions on further U. S. aid to Egypt, President Nasser has written a personal latter to President Johnson, dealing with this issue, according to press dispatches from Cairo. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad handed the letter yesterday in Cairo to United States Ambassador Lucius D. Battle.)

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