Chairman: Mr. Sandstrom (Sweden)
Mr. Hood (Australia)
Mr. Rand (Canada)
Mr. Lisicky (Czechoslovakia)
Mr. Garcia Granados (Guatemala)
Sir Abdur Rahman (India)
Mr. Entezam (Iran)
Mr. Blom (Netherlands)
Mr. Garcia Salazar (Peru)
Mr. Fabregat (Uruguay)
Mr. Simic (Yugoslavia)
Secretariat: Mr. Hoo (Assistant Secretary-General)
Mr. Garcia Robles (Secretary)
The CHAIRMAN called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. He proposed that the meeting be private. The proposition was accepted.
Adoption of the Agenda
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India) considered the wording of point 3 of the Agenda not sufficiently explicit and suggested that all items be specifically for formulated.
Mr. SIMIC (Yugoslavia) suggested that the question of the boycott by the Arab population which had been before the Committee at its seventh meeting1 be considered by the present meeting or as soon as possible.
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) asked for the inclusion in the Agenda of his request that an attorney answer questions on the legal problems of Palestine.
Mr. FABREGAT (Uruguay) said he had abstained from voting on this point in the Subcommittee because he considered that the Palestine Government, the Jewish Agency, and the Arab Higher Committee should be granted the right to speak when they judged it necessary.
The Agenda was then adopted.
Consideration of Second Report2 of Subcommittee Two
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands), Chairman of Subcommittee Two, summarized the view of the Subcommittee with regard to Mr. Shertok's request to be heard after all the representatives of other Jewish organizations. The Subcommittee's recommendation was that Mr. Shertok should be invited to speak after the other representatives of the Jewish Agency and before any questions be put to them. However, it was a matter for the Committee to decide.
The CHAIRMAN supported the view of the Subcommittee.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) suggested adoption of the Subcommittee's proposal, adding that, if, at the end of all hearings, the Jewish Agency, as well as other organizations, considered it necessary to add any declaration, the question should be token up by the Subcommittee for consideration.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) supported the Subcommittee's recommendations and objected to Mr. Shertok ad the Jewish Agency's having further right to supplement their statements after the closing of the case. It was the Committee's privilege to recall any person, but no agency or witness had a right to go on supplementing their case.
Mr. RAND (Canada) expressed his desire to see Mr. Shertok wind up the statement of the Jewish Agency and act as its sole authorized spokesman for the purpose of questioning.
Mr. SIMIC (Yugoslavia) supported Mr. Entezam's proposal.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) considered that the five representatives who had given evidence should be present and any of them answer any question. No other persons would be entitled to add anything to that answer.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) said that he was prepared to accept that the Jewish Agency should answer questions on the evidence submitted by them, but would object to the Jewish Agency answering any question on evidence put forward by other organizations. If this right was granted to the Jewish Agency, it should at once be granted to all other organizations.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) considered it important that the Committee should support Mr. Entezam's proposal.
Mr. RAND (Canada) said that, if Mr. Shertok were to wind up the case, he should do so after the evidence and questioning of the other witnesses, so as to summarize all statements made by the different witnesses on behalf of the Agency. It would save time to concentrate the questioning of Agency spokesmen by reference to one person only.
The CHAIRMAN informed the Committee that Mr. Horowitz had just informed the Principal Secretary (Mr. Garcia Robles) that Mr. Shertok would not be able to speak the next day (7th July) because he was not prepared.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) objected strongly to the Jewish Agency's case taking up any longer time. If Mr. Shertok were not prepared to appear the next day, the Jewish Agency's case should be declared closed.
The CHAIRMAN stated that, in his opinion, Mr. Shertok would add the finishing touch and perhaps put forward a definite proposal on behalf of the Jewish Agency.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) suggested that, if Mr. Shertok were not ready to appear the next day, the public hearing of 7th July be postponed until the following day so that Mr. Shertok might have the opportunity to appear without being given the right to hear the evidence of the other organizations.
The CHAIRMAN suggested that Mr. Shertok be asked whether he could not make an effort and be ready on 7th July.
Mr. RAND (Canada) said he did not mind Mr. Shertok being heard at his own convenience. He considered it important to have Mr. Shertok available for questioning the order of appearance mattered little.
Mr. GARCIA ROBLES (Secretary) informed the members of the Committee that, during the meeting of the Subcommittee on 5th July, he had told the Liaison Officer of the Jewish Agency, Mr. Eban, that it was not within the competence of the Subcommittee to decide on Mr. Shertok's request. As the Chairman had just informed the Committee, Mr. Horowitz had stated during the morning that Mr. Shertok was not ready to appear the next day. Mr. Horowitz had also indicated that if the Committee could not wait until later, the case of the Jewish Agency should be considered as closed by the witnesses already heard.
The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Jewish Agency's evidence therefore be considered as closed. This would not exclude a new application by the Jewish Agency to make a further statement later.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) agreed with the Chairman's suggestion, provided that it did not prejudge the right of the Committee to call Mr. Shertok, or anybody else, to appear before it on its own initiative. He favoured a hearing of Mr. Shertok in view of the letter's position of authority in the Jewish Agency.
Mr. SIMIC (Yugoslavia) repeated that he supported Mr. Entezam's proposal.
Mr. RAND (Canada) referring back to the decision already taken, suggested that the statements of the Jewish Agency he adjourned until Mr. Shertok was ready. He wanted, in this way, to avoid "reopening the case" of the Jewish Agency. Moreover, he wished to put questions to the Jewish Agency that might arise out of statements of witnesses for other organizations.
DECISION: The Committee agreed that Mr. Shertok be asked whether he was prepared to speak the next day. If he were not, the Committee would proceed with questioning the representatives,of the Jewish Agency. If Mr. Shertok then wished for a hearing he would have to make a fresh application to the Committee.
Answering a question of Mr. HOO (Assistant Secretary-General) as to how the hour and a half reserved on the next day's schedule for Mr. Shertok should be filled, Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) presented the tentative time schedule prepared by the Subcommittee for the next five days. The Vaad Leumi had informed the Secretariat that they were prepared, if necessary, to begin their statement on Monday. Three speakers were to appear, and four hours' time would be needed. If the Committee informed the Vaad Leumi that their turn would Come after the questions to the Jewish Agency the programme for 7th July would not suffer any gaps. On Tuesday, after Dr. Weizmann, the Vaad Leumi would conclude their evidence.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) asked what it was that Mr. Shertok had in mind in wishing to postpone his hearing. Did he desire to speak after the hearing of Dr. Weizmann?
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala), on a point of order, declared that a resolution having been taken ten minutes before on the question, the Committee should pass to the next point of the agenda.
The CHAIRMAN, after having read aloud Mr. Eban's letter concerning Mr. Shertok, suggested that the Committee stand by the decision already taken. He would himself telephone Mr. Shertok.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) referred to Part 2 of the Subcommittee's report and suggested that the Committee examine the proposals for granting hearings. The Federation of Jewish Labour would take 2-1/2 hours, the Communist Party 4 hours, the statements of the Chief Rabbinate, the Church of England and the Church of Scotland would be very brief. Dr. Weizmann would require one hour. The Chief Rabbinate, having asked to be heard before any other Jewish religious community, should follow Vaad Leumi on the agenda; representatives of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, the General Federation of Jewish Labour and the Communist party might come next.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) suggested that the Council of Jewish Women's Organizations of Palestine should be heard.
DECISION: This order of hearing was approved by the Committee.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) declared that the information concerning the Council of Jewish Women's Organizations of Palestine was neither complete nor clear and asked whether any further information would be available on this subject.
The CHAIRMAN mentioned the memorandum already received from this Council.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) could not provide any further information but said that it was the Secretariat's intention to ask the Council of Jewish Women's Organizations of Palestine not to exceed one hour for its hearing.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) then explained that the League for Jewish-Arab Rapprochement and Cooperation includes two organizations the Ihud Association and the Hashomer Hatzair Workers' Party. By granting hearings to representatives of the League, each of the two constituent organizations would be heard, which would acquaint the Committee with the point of view and policy of organizations promoting cooperation between Arabs and Jews.
This suggestion was accepted.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) continuing with the Subcommittee's report, considered that it was unnecessary to grant hearings to the few requests mentioned on rage 3 paragraph (b) and on the top of page 4 (Document A/AC.13/SC 2/7).
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) asked Mr. Blom whether the Irgun Zvai Leumi, which the Committee had decided not to hear, had sent an application and whether the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (Stern Group's) application had been signed.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) answered that the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel application was unsigned.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) suggested, as the Consul General of France had not asked for an oral hearing but merely sent a written memorandum indicating that, if requested to give an oral explanation, he would appear before the Committee, that it was unnecessary to include his name in that section of the Report.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) questioned whether the Ihud Association and the Sephardic Community of Jerusalem need be heard a second time. The Ihud Association had already been granted a hearing according to the First Report of the Subcommittee. The Sephardic Community's point of view would be presented by the Chief Rabbi representing both the Ashkenasic and the Sephardic Jewish Communities. He, therefore, proposed that a separate hearing for the Sephardic Community be cancelled.
The CHAIRMAN stated that Dr. Magnus was to be heard for Ihud and that he might not be with the League for Jewish-Arab Rapprochement and Cooperation. Moreover, the Sephardic Community might have some views of their own which they would wish to present.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) explained that the Chief Rabbi and two other Rabbis would speak only on religious matters. The Sephardic and Ashkenasic Communities, although based on religion, would give evidence regarding the position of Jews in the countries of the Near and Middle East, whereas the Chief Rabbis would speak only on religious matters.
The CHAIRMAN, considering that each representative would present different views and material, said that the Subcommittee's decision should be upheld.
After an expression of views by Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) and Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) the CHAIRMAN proposed to delete the reference in the Report to the Consul-General of France.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) suggested that the Committee keep in mind the Franco-Turkish Treaty of 1913, by virtue of which the French institutions here have special privileges. This fact could be useful when discussing what official privileges for religious organizations and other institutions might be necessary in future.
The COMMITTEE SECRETARY suggested that paragraph 3 on page 4 of the Report should become paragraph 4 and that, as paragraph 3, should be inserted the following: "The Consul-General of France has submitted thirty copies of a memorandum on the work of French cultural and humanitarian institutions in Palestine which, by virtue of the Franco-Turkish Treaty of 1913, have special privileges. The Committee decided to send a reply thanking the Consul-General for his kindness".
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) considered the cases under section (c) which suggested that a decision be deferred. Having no information as to what the Democratic Club of Tel Aviv really was, the Secretariat has been requested to furnish the Subcommittee with some information which might permit it to decide on this application.
DECISION: This proposal was accepted.
The Subcommittee considered that information from private enterprise -- British or foreign -- would be of interest for the Committee, and that the Committee could take the initiative of asking the representatives of such enterprises to be heard.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands), with regard to the Manufacturers' Association of Palestine, pointed out that the text referring to this Association on page 4 of the Report should read:
"The Subcommittee considers that a decision on the Manufacturers' Association should be deferred until its memorandum, which was distributed on 5 July, had been studied. Moreover, the Secretariat should be instructed to obtain further information before we decide that a representative of such an interest should be heard".
Mr. FABREGAT (Uruguay) reminded the Committee that Mr. Sandstrom had asked the Chairman of the Manufacturers' Association of Palestine whether the Association could give data of interest to the Committee. A memorandum had been sent the previous day and distributed to the delegates.
The CHAIRMAN explained that he had merely asked for figures of output in the different industries, not for an application for a hearing. As the Committee had already statistics about the industrial output of the country as well as a statement on the industrial development, the Chairman doubted whether a hearing should be required.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) considered that the Committee had been very liberal in granting hearings to the representatives of the Jewish religious associations and should be at least as liberal towards the representatives of the Jewish industrial interests.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) read the letter from the Manufacturers' Association of Palestine.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) did not think it was necessary.
The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should accept the Subcommittee's recommendation on the hearing of the Democratic Club of Tel Aviv and the Manufacturers' Association of Palestine.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) next dealt with the application of the Relatives' Committee for Detainees and Exiled Persons, stating that the Subcommittee recommended deferring a decision on this request pending a decision by the Committee on the feasibility of taking action on petitions regarding detainees.
DECISION: The Committee agreed to defer decision of the hearing of the Democratic Club of Tel Aviv and the Manufacturers' Association of Palestine.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) dealt briefly with the question of evidence by the religious authorities of Palestine and asked whether the Committee wished him to call on the Supreme Moslem Council with a request to supply to the Committee information on the Islamic religious interests in Palestine. He indicated further that the Father Custos of the Holy Land would submit a memorandum which he was prepared to supplement orally in camera.
Consideration of Petitions concerning Detainees
DECISION: The Committee agreed that the Chairman of Subcommittee Two should call on the Supreme Moslem (Sharia) Council and ask them whether they were prepared to give information on their religious interests.
The CHAIRMAN proposed that the Committee should now consider the third item on the agenda, namely, the petitions by relatives of detainees and asked the Secretary to inform the Committee of the number and content of the petitions received.
Mr. Garcia ROBLES (Secretary) stated that forty-nine petitions had been received and that they were all of a similar nature.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) suggested that discussion on this matter should be deferred to the next meeting.
Legal information on Palestine Legislation
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) then stated that as he wanted information on the legislation of Palestine, the Committee might ask the Palestine Government and the Jewish Agency to send lawyers to testify on that matter. If they did not wish to send lawyers, he reserved the right to present a lawyer himself. He wished to obtain information (1) on the constitutional legality of the legislation of Palestine in terms of the clauses of the Mandate; (2) on the text of the emergency laws, both from the legal aspect of the Mandate and from that of constitutional law in general. He was not satisfied with the part of Mr. Ben Gurion's address dealing with this matter and he had some legal questions to put to lawyers for the Government and the Jewish Agency. The replies would be introduced as evidence.
The CHAIRMAN expressed the view that it was not the Committee's task to investigate the legality of the legislation of Palestine.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) maintained that, even if the Committee had such a task, the opinion of lawyers was unnecessary. Members could find out for themselves whither the laws were right or wrong.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) said what he wanted was to have the whole matter of legislation investigated for the record.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) then moved the adjournment.
The CHAIRMAN adjourned the meeting at 2.10 p.m.
1Document A/AC.13/SR.7, page 3.