Nation: No Need for Welfare

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Soon after the two businessmen returned to Washington, Mercready said, the Philippines offered to hire them to set up a computer mapping system for the entire country. About six weeks ago, according to World Bank officers, Mercready and Carter announced that they had obtained a two-year contract with the Philippines that will pay them $210,000. The contract was signed by Imelda Marcos.

Justice Department lawyers believe that there is no need for Jeff Carter and Robert Mercready to register as foreign agents, as Billy Carter was forced to do, because they are involved only in commercial activities with overseas governments. White House officials insisted that there is nothing improper about Jeff Carter's business dealings. Said a White House spokesman: "Entering into a contract with a foreign government is no different from signing one with an American corporation. Members of the President's family have to make a living. Otherwise, we would have to create a welfare program for them."

At week's end Mercready headed for Manila; Jeff Carter stayed behind temporarily—to promote his father's renomination at the convention.

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