Secretary of State George P. Shultz on Monday accused congressional economizers of crippling U.S. programs to combat narcotics traffic and terrorism through indiscriminate cuts in his department's budget.
In a speech to a Philadelphia civic club, Shultz mounted an attack on spending cuts that contrasted with President Reagan's recent political oratory urging the defeat of Democratic lawmakers, whom he called "big spenders."
Shultz did not differentiate between Democrats and Republicans in his election-eve speech, denouncing congressional spending cuts on a bipartisan basis. The text of the speech was made public here.
"The United States is drifting and stumbling toward a weakened global position," Shultz said. "I could at least understand it if this were a purposeful policy; but we're deluding ourselves that we can conduct an effective foreign policy without money."
Shultz said that Congress provided adequate funds for law enforcement and public education in the politically popular anti-narcotics bill it passed shortly before adjournment last month. But he said the lawmakers undercut that effort by killing programs intended to help Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to reorient their economies away from the drug trade.
Also, he said, programs to deter terrorism will be undermined by staff cuts at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world that provide much of the information necessary to thwart terrorists. He said the State Department budget approved by Congress is not adequate to provide full staffing.
"We are left with a paradox," Shultz said. "America is determined to act against the drug scourge but unable to translate that determination into programs effective enough to make a difference.
"You can't just force peasants--many of them impoverished--to stop growing their best cash crop without offering them some sort of economic alternatives," he said. "You can't expect the governments of these nations--many of them desperately poor and weakened from within by the gangsterism and terror endemic in the trade--to launch major programs without the economic resources necessary to sustain them."
As he did last Friday in Los Angeles, Shultz said that Syria was "caught red-handed" in a a plot to put a bomb aboard an El Al Israel Airlines jumbo jet in London with hundreds of passengers on board, including about 200 Americans. He vowed that the United States would adopt additional sanctions against the Damascus government, without saying what they would be.
Nevertheless, he said, "the United States is having trouble of its own in the battle against terrorism. Our hearts are in the right place; but where are our resources? . . . America's hands seem financially tied.
"To fight terrorism, we need accurate and up-to-date reporting on political conditions around the world," he said. "Bear in mind that over three-quarters of the reporting and analysis used by the United States government comes from Foreign Service officers at embassies around the world. Yet the State Department may have to reduce sharply its full-time work force. And we are likely to have to shut down another 10 consulates, in addition to the seven posts already being closed."