WASHINGTON (Jan. 6)
Secretary of Commerce John T. Connor has been asked by three prominent United States Senators for an explanation of steps taken, if any, to meet the situation created by the Arab boycott in connection with the cancellation of a scheduled Haifa stop by the American President Lines ship “President Roosevelt.”
The Senators are Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican, Harrison Williams, New Jersey Democrat, and Claiborne Pell, Rhode Island Democrat. They charged that the American President Lines defied the spirit of the anti-boycott law by surrendering to Egyptian pressure. The line cancelled the Haifa visit after Egypt threatened to bar the ship from passage through the Suez Canal.
It was also learned that a question was raised about the Administration’s recent recommendations for resumption of aid programs to Egypt because of the alleged “moderation” of Egyptian policies affecting the United States. The President Roosevelt incident was cited in this connection.
Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, asked how Egypt’s “arrogant dictation as to which ports of call American ships may visit” could be reconciled with “the official State Department announcement that Egypt has moderated policies affecting American interests and is entitled to vast new aid shipments from this country.”