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Secretary Herter Under Fire in House Committee on Israeli Issues

February 18, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary of State Christian Herter came under heavy fire today on Israeli shipping issues, when he testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The climax of today’s hearing came when Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, a member of the committee, told Mr. Herter that he was seriously considering an amendment to the Mutual Security Act to bar American aid to any nation denying the principle of freedom of the seas.

Rep. Farbstein told Mr. Herter that, in view of the massive American aid now being given the United Arab Republic, the United States had a right to ask the UAR about its Suez Canal restrictions against Israel, without depending entirely on United Nations action.

Mr. Herter replied that the American Ambassador in Cairo had made representations to President Nasser’s regime, that the United States was supporting efforts of UN Secretary General Hammarskjold, and that Mr. Herter had expressed himself on the matter at the United Nations.

Chairman Wayne Hays, of the foreign affairs body’s subcommittee on the State Department, asked Mr. Herter if the U.S. Navy was not, in effect, patrolling the Suez Canal “for Nasser” because the Navy charters ships from American shippers in a manner that respects Arab blockade and boycott requirements.

Mr. Herter replied that the State Department had just heard about the shipping issue and would study it. He indicated that the Department was discussing it with the U.S. Navy Department. Rep. Hays is an Ohio Democrat.

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