WASHINGTON (Jul. 21)
U.S. Government auditors today informed Congress that Egypt violated America’s confidence by selling almost half of 186,000 tons of corn given to the Nasser regime for free distribution.
The corn was valued at $23,700,000. It was provided to Egypt on the basis of representations by President Nasser that a famine would occur as a result of crop failure. The U.S. Government Accounting Office learned that the crop did not fail and that no check was made by distributing agencies to determine whether most of the donated grain actually reached intended recipients.
It was disclosed that the grant, made in 1961, was authorized and recommended without adequate verification by the Department of State of the actual need for the corn. The General Accounting Office suggested that the gift foodstuffs to Egypt were a source of profiteering on food designated by Congress for relief of the needy.
Rep, Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, today told the House that immediate steps should be taken to cancel shipment of any portions of the $37,500,000 in face authorized for Egypt last month, in view of the disclosure today by the General Accounting Office of Egypt’s “cynical exploitation” of food intended for relief of the needy through free distribution. Rep. Halpern said food not yet shipped under the new agreement should be impounded by Federal authorities.
A Federal investigation of “gross dereliction and possible violation of statutes” by State Department officials responsible for certification of foodstuffs obtained free and fraudulently used for profit by Egypt, was asked today by Ralph Plofsky, National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans.