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Now that the question of whose budget it really is has slipped quietly away unanswered, the more practical matters of the national economy are under observation. In the House Appropriations Committee, the Cabinet officers have been going to bat for their slice.
The Postmaster General is doing pretty well, but the Secretary of State may have a bit of a rough time. His department wants $228 million for various and sundry expenses, including, we suppose, plane fare and tranquilizer pills. Some of the concrete requests include $260,000 for "recreation facilities." These include a tennis court in Iraq, a clubhouse in Yugoslavia, a swimming pool in Port Said, a mountain retreat in Indonesia, a beach house on the Gold Coast, and a cabin boat for Martinique. Moreover, the State Department requests $135,000 for American participation in the non-existent Suez Canal Users Association.
It would have been easier for Dulles to obtain these funds, had he not revealed that $250,000, allotted last year, has not been spent. The appropriation had been designed to pay for a new pass-port-making machine which, unfortunately, has not yet been invented. We commend the Secretary for his candor in revealing the surplus and for his vision in providing opportunities for budding inventors. As it stands now, however, the pass-ports will probably just have to be turned out the old way, so that our diplomats can have their recreation and the Suez can have its users.
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