WASHINGTON (Jul. 18)
The Administration has embarked on a “backdoor method” of resuming aid to the Arab nations that severed diplomatic relations with America, Rep. J. Herbert Burke, Florida Republican, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, charged today in a House speech.
Rep. Burke said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has invited bids for $20 million in grains to be given to Sudan, a nation that declared war on Israel and severed ties with the United States. He said that the aid deal was being made through Somaliland, which was acting as a “front” for Sudan.
The Congressman asserted that the Administration was attempting in this manner “to evade the sense of the Congress on the issue of giving aid to Moslem nations that have collaborated with the Soviet Union, used their own resources to buy Russian arms, expelled Americans, burned U.S. consulates, and severed diplomatic relations.” He said he was trying to determine if there were any “assurances that the grain would remain in Sudan and not be shipped to Egypt where it could feed the sailors of the Soviet naval squadron, now based in Port Said and Alexandria, and otherwise be used by Nasser.”
Rep. Burke said that despite Arab vilification of the United States, “we insist on pressing this aid upon them.” He maintained that the Administration ignored “clearly-defined expressions of the Congress.” The Congressman asserted that “repayment of the $20 million credit grant, financed by American taxpayers, is guaranteed by the Central Bank of Sudan — a worthless guarantee. The bank is not a viable institution.” He asked the Agriculture Department for a full report on the plan to give the grain to Sudan.