WASHINGTON (Jul. 29)
Lawrence F. O’Brien, special assistant to President Johnson, today informed Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, that reconsideration of the decision to complete shipment of $37,500,000 worth of food to Egypt is being “carefully considered” in view of Egyptian frauds exposed recently by the U.S. General Accounting Office.
In a letter to Rep. Halpern, Mr. O’Brien commented on the Congressman’s request that the President suspend “any portion of the shipment” to Egypt of commodities authorized for Egypt last month as a food grant. The GAO revealed that almost half of the 186,000 tons of corn given Egypt for free distribution to the poor was sold for profit by Egyptian officials. The total aid was valued at $23,700,000. According to the GAO, the food was sent because of allegations of a crop failure and impending famine, when actually, Egypt that year enjoyed a bumper crop.