Helms does deal to lift freeze on embassy posts
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Monday 02 October 1995
Under the compromise, Senate Democrats and Republicans have agreed to produce legislation to reorganise the US foreign-policy bureaucracy. This would replace Mr Helms's measure, merging the agencies responsible for foreign aid, information and disarmament, and placing them under the control of the State Department. That, says Mr Helms, would save $3bn (pounds 1.9bn) a year.
The administration ignored the proposal. Mr Helms retaliated by in effect shutting down his committee. More than 30 ambassadorial nominees were left dangling in mid-air, including former Senator Jim Sasser of Tennessee, appointed to Peking. About 400 internal promotions have been held up. Major arms treaties, including Salt II, have gone unratified.
The breakthrough is not the end of the problem for Warren Christopher, the Secretary of State, as he tries to stave off a near 25-per-cent cut in the State Department budget next year.
The cuts, saving only $800m, would nonetheless cost scores of jobs at home, as well as 50 diplomatic posts abroad.
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