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Mr. HABIB. That affects the rate. That would be immediately related to the rate of usage. This not something that people put in the bank. If the rate of usage was such that it would fit within that limit, then there would not be any problem. You could get through the dry season. If there were a requirement for more and it was not there, then presumably the Cambodians would suffer militarily. You would be at a disadvantage.
CAN AMMUNITION BE DELIVERED?
Mr. BROOMFIELD. In view of the deteriorating situation that prevails there from day-to-day, is it possible that you can get ammunition in there?
Mr. HABIB. Well, it is being gotten in and in quantities sufficient to maintain present usage rates. It is being air-lifted in as you know. Now when one talks about the deteriorating situation, as of the time we were there the perimeter was being held fairly well. Now the Khmer Rouge have been attacking that perimeter, as you know from reading the newspapers. So far it appears they are being held substantially, and I was assured and the delegation that went out there was assured by what one can only assume are competent authorities, including our own military authorities, that, if the assistance were provided, the Cambodian forces would be able to hold the perimeter. Now that was said to us by our own military people and by the Cambodians.
Mr. BROOMFIELD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
POSSIBLE AID MIXES
Mr. ZABLOCKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am very pleased to be here as a guest. As you know, Mr. Chairman, for some 14 years it has been my prime interest area as the chairman of the Far East Subcommittee. Therefore, I appreciate the opportunity to ask one or two questions and of course to express my appreciation to the Secretary for his testimony. His replies as always are succinct and responsive to the questions.
As to the economic and military aid to Cambodia, Mr. Secretary, we have those who say economic aid, yes, at least to some degree; military aid, none at all. I realize that on page 11 you touch upon this matter as to the need of a mix of economic and military aid. However, there are others who say no aid at all, period. They claim the Lon Nol government is corrupt and that the United States aid does not reach the poor, the needy, and the starving. The public wants the truth known. If there are shortcomings can they be corrected? If we are going to give aid, we want the aid to be effective; we want the aid to be available to the people for whom it is intended.
Now I would like to ask, your assessment of the mix of economic and minimal military assistance, versus no military aid, only economic aid.
MILITARY AND ECONOMIC AID NEEDED
Mr. HABIB. Mr. Congressman, I think that the administration is correct in stating its requirement for both military and economic aid if it is going to be effective; they are indivisible in a circumstance like
this. If you don't have forces available to protect the population that is within Phnom Penh and the other major cities, how are you going to be able to get your economic aid to them? I mean if the place is overrun, then it is not only military aid that will not be able to get in, but I doubt whether economic aid will be able to get in either. Certainly you can't perceive of any way in which economic aid can be disseminated to those who need it if you do not have at least that degree of military equilibrium that enables them to maintain the integrity of their positions.
Now economic aid basically consists of, for the most part, food and certain essentials-medicines, supplementals, petroleum to move things around in a civilian economy. Now as to the charge that economic aid does not reach the poor, I promised the chairman of another committee that I was appearing before that one of the first things I would do when I got to Phnom Penh was to look into this question of whether or not the food is getting to the people that need it, because we had read these articles that there were people in Phnom Penh who were not able to get food when they needed it. I did look into it.
There is a problem sometimes in the distribution system, but basically the evidence is that where malnutrition is most serious is with those who have come into the refugee camps; in other words, they come in in a state which is difficult to overcome. I had some statistics given me the other day showing the shift in the physical measurements of people in refugee areas from month to month over the last several months, as the war has gotten bad, and it demonstrates quite clearly that what happens is that you are getting a progressive deterioration of the population. What we were told was that the ones who were in the worst shape are the ones who came into the refugee camps.
What we did on Monday, the day I returned, was that I requested the administration to authorize title II Public Law 480 commodities. Up until this point there had not been any title II going in. Title II enables you to put that through the voluntary agencies at work and get it quickly right down into the refugee camps and the people that need it the most. On Monday morning when we returned we requested that, and by noon Monday we authorized 20,000 tons of rice to be distributed in that fashion. We think that is going to be quite helpful. Where is that table on food?
Mr. ZABLOCKI. Mr. Chairman, at this point may I inquire whether it would not be helpful to have these statistics made a part of the record?
Mr. HABIB. I will put something into the record if I can.
Mr. HAMILTON. Without objection, any further response will be put into the record. (See p. 271.)
RICE SENT TO CAMBODIA
Mr. HABIB. We intend to fly rice into Phnom Penh at the rate of about 700 tons per day as rapidly as we can raise the amount from 550 tons. The 700 tons per day is distributed as follows: Refugees and
needy people get 150 tons out of it in title II grants. Now that is something new, we only started title II on Monday as a result of our trip out there. What happened was that Senator Humphrey said, when I was appearing before him: Why don't you get the food down to the people?
Mr. ZABLOCKI. I might ask at this point, why did it take so long to make the decision to utilize title II?
Mr. HABIB. I will tell you the truth of the matter. It was a bureaucratic thing you don't need title II, get title I. After all, it is the same amount of food. There was an objection on the part of certain agencies in the executive to using title II, partly, I suppose, because of the concern that they have over reactions when you use title II because as you know title II is grant, title I is loan, and there is a general intention I think of the Congress to move out of title II, if I am
Am I correct?
Mr. ZABLOCKI. But in effect there is very little difference between them.
Mr. HABIB. That is correct also, and that is what I said also when I came back. I said: For God's sake, what difference does it make; let's get it in.
Mr. ZABLOCKI. Good for you.
Mr. HABIB. It took a little shouting and a little visit out there to overcome what I characterize as unnecessary bureaucratic redtape. At any rate, 150 tons out of 700 tons a day will go to title II grant; 200 tons of it goes to the military and their dependents. Now there is a system of distribution there in which the military get rice and their dependents get rice. You remember this is not an army like our army. You don't have an allotment for the family back home while the fellow is off to the war. You know, when I was in World War II my wife used to get an allotment. They don't have the system there. What they have, generally speaking, is the families are along with the soldiers. Generally speaking, what happens is that they get a distribution of food. That way the soldier knows that his family is being fed. So some of this rice is for the military and their dependents. The children and women are right along with them.
Then you allot some to the civil servants and their dependents, 70
We are now down with the residual of 280 tons out of the 700 tons that go in, and that goes to the rest of the civilian population through the commercial channels and it is sold for anywhere, I was told, from 4 cents a pound when I was there, which is about as cheap a rice I think as there is in the world.
Others told me it was 6 cents a pound. I never could find out exactly what was the truth.
Zim, do you know? Was it 4 or 6 cents? I don't want to mislead the committee.
STATEMENT OF GARNETT A. ZIMMERLY, ACTING ASSISTANT AD. MINISTRATOR, EAST ASIAN BUREAU, AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Mr. ZIMMERLY. It is about 12 cents a pound.
Mr. HABIB. But some get it for 4 cents a pound.
Mr. HABIB. It is subsidized to some people at 4 cents a pound, and sold to others at 12 cents a pound, which is still a very reasonable price.
In any event, that is the way the 700 tons are being distributed. The distribution of the 150 tons will provide an allocation of up to 500grams per day for each refugee and needy person, which is sufficient. We will continue to monitor the remainder of the situation.
Now all of this is distributed through the voluntary agenciesCARE, Catholic Welfare, World Vision and a number of others that are there. We are encouraging the voluntary agencies to expand their program within this system so as to get more food out to the people that need it. You know, we are limited to a certain extent in our ability to supervise this whole distribution-that is, we the Government-in the fact that we are limited by the number of people we can have in Phnom Penh. We have a ceiling of 200 official Americans by law in Phnom Penh and that does not leave us quite enough to run around and watch each bag of rice, but we will do our best. It is our intent to see to it that we will move the amount of rice that is necessary into Cambodia on a priority basis and get it to the people that need it.
[The following information was supplied:]
PRICE OF RICE IN CAMBODIA
The price of rice in Cambodia varies depending on the source and the method of transportation from the point of production to the point of consumption. Domestically-produced Cambodian rice is now selling in Phnom Penh for the equivalent of roughly 10 cents per pound. For PL 480 Title I rice, the Cambodia Government pays 19 cents per pound, exclusive of transportation costs, but subsidizes such rice and sells it to the public at the equivalent of 5 cents per pound. In addition, some PL 480 Title I rice is sold on the open market at unsubsidized prices. At the current exchange rate, the price of such rice equates to roughly 9 cents per pound. PL 480 Title II rice is, of course, free.
Mr. ZABLOCKI. That is a very
Mr. HABIB. It is a long and I hope not too boring answer.
IMPRESSION NEEDED TO BE CORRECTED
Mr. ZABLOCKI. No; it needed to be said because it would be erroneous to leave the impression that categorically the military get the food and the poor and the refugees get none. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that in the past only 15 tons went to the refugees and as of Monday 150 tons.
Mr. HABIB. Well, what was happening was the voluntary agenciesit was a complicated and ridiculous procedure-the voluntary agencies
were being given money through the AID system. They would then take the money and go buy title I rice. You know, it made no sense to do it that way.
Mr. ZABLOCKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. HABIB. We have improved it to that extent.
Mr. ZABLOCKI. Very good.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Secretary, I would like for you to give us some rather specific information now, please. I wonder if you could furnish for the subcommittee a list of all military, economic and Public Law 480 funds available for Cambodia in fiscal year 1975, which funds have been obligated and spent and what is still in the pipeline and unobligated.
Mr. HABIB. We will submit that for the record. We could give you some kind of a summary for discussion purposes if you want it now, but we will submit it for the record.
Mr. HAMILTON. All right. May I say that the subcommittee as you know is working under a good bit of time pressure so we are anxious to get that as soon as possible.
Mr. HABIB. We will have it to you by this afternoon.
[The following information was submitted:]
SUMMARY-FISCAL YEAR 1975 ECONOMIC AND PUBLIC LAW 480 ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS
1 Unobligated balance as of Mar. 1, 1975, of which $900,000 reserved for humanitarian assistance and $500,000 to be used for MOB and technical support.
FISCAL YEAR 1975 AID FIGURES
Mr. HAMILTON. Am I right for fiscal year 1975 we have in the budget about $100 million under the Indochina postwar reconstruction category for Cambodia? We have $275 million military aid which includes $75 million drawdown authority and we have $77 million in Public Law 480. Are those figures approximately correct?