Senate Rejects Legislation That Would Have Ended Aid to Nations Failing to Lower Oil Prices Concerne
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Senate Rejects Legislation That Would Have Ended Aid to Nations Failing to Lower Oil Prices Concerne

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Legislation that would have cut off American aid to oil producing nations that refuse to cooperate in lowering oil prices was rejected by the Senate yesterday after a heated debate in which it was suggested that the best way to obtain lower oil prices was to exert more pressure on Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab territory.

The Senate voted 46-33 to postpone–and thus kill–an amendment to a foreign aid bill proposed by Sen. Frank Church (D.Idaho) to cut off economic aid to Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, Algeria and some other members of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC). Church, who chaired a subcommittee which investigated the operations of international oil corporations, charged that they had conspired as a cartel to wage economic warfare on nations that depend on oil imports.

But a majority of the Senators heeded warnings by Senate Democratic Leader Mike Mansfield of Montana and Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D.Minn.) that the Church measure would accelerate economic warfare with the Arab states. The views of Mansfield and Humphrey were supported by Sen. J. William Fulbright (D.Ark.). chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Sen. James Abourezk (D.S.D.).


Abourezk warned that the Church amendment might result in the Arabs re-imposing their oil boycott against the U.S. Fulbright concurred with Abourezk’s view that the U.S. should exert more pressure on Israel to pull out of Arab territories. Both Senators contended that withdrawal by Israel would be the best way to get oil prices lowered.

The Senate voted in another action last night to cut off U.S. military aid to Turkey despite arguments that it might throw Turkey into the Arab and Soviet camp. The measure, in the form of an amendment to foreign aid legislation proposed by Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D.Mo.) was adopted by a vote of 57-20. Its sponsors claimed that Turkey’s use of American weapons in its invasion of Cyprus had violated U.S. foreign aid laws.

Mansfield warned, however, that the move would alienate Turkey and could force it into an alignment with the Soviet Union. It could further force Turkey into a pro-Arab role in the Middle East conflict, he said. “Up to now Turkey has maintained 4 hands off attitude in the Middle East.” Mansfield said. “But the Turks are a Moslem people and perhaps this might lead to a tilt in the Middle East.” he warned.

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