UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY-THIRD MEETING (CLOSED)
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 9 May 1961, at 3:30 p.m.
1. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was adopted.
LETTER DATED 26 APRIL 1961 FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSED TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
Mr. PLIMPTON (United States of America) proposed that the Conciliation Commission for Palestine should, in furtherance of operative paragraph 1 of General Assembly resolution 1604 (XV) and other General Assembly resolutions, endeavour at the present time to solicit the precise views of the parties as to what peaceful, equitable and just action might be undertaken in the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III). Be suggested that such action might be undertaken through a special representative whom the Commission might select. He thought that if that idea was acceptable, the members of the Commission might then discuss informally the terms of reference and possible candidates for the job PCC representative before the Commission took further formal action.
Mr. DAUGE (France) supported the proposal. After sounding out one or more experts and possibly agreeing on the special representative’s terms of reference, the members of the Commission could consult the Secretary-General and invite him to engage the candidate in the usual way. The representative would go to the area and would report back to the Commission on the views of the Governments concerned.
The CHAIRMAN, speaking as the representative of Turkey, supported that proposal.
The proposal was adopted.
REPORT BY THE LAND EXPERT ON THE WORK OF THE VALUATION PROGRAMME
Mr. JARVIS (Land Expert) said that, as there had been a delay in recruiting the two additional assistants required, he did not think he would be able, however hard he tried, to submit the report on the Valuation Programme before 31 August. The report would contain estimates of the total value of Arab property in Israel and of the over-all amount of the value of refugee property, together with an explanation of the way in which those estimates had been reached. When the report was completed, the tremendous task of valuation of the individual parcels of land would be undertaken. Since the arrival of his two assistants, the analysis of sales had proceeded more rapidly; about 99 per cent in rural areas and a considerable part of the urban zones of Haifa and Jerusalem had been covered. The identification work in the Beersheba district continued to present the most serious difficulties; the approximate boundaries of the tribal zones would probably have to be followed. Furthermore, in order to study the possibility of compiling an accurate list of Arab refugee property owners, he had tried to see whether the lists of heads of Arab refugee families compiled by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East bore out the lists of Arab property owners compiled by the Commission. The cross-check had been tried out in one village, but the results had not been very satisfactory and did not use of that method.
He thought that an accurate list of landowners who in fact were refugees could until after the latter had been invited to assert their property claims.
Mr. PLIMPTON (United States of America) asked what difference there was between the particulars relating to valuation and those relating to compensation.
Mr. JARVIS (Land Expert) said that one valuation applied to the total of Arab property in Palestine in 1948, whereas the valuation which was pertinent to compensation included only the property of Arabs who were refugees. The valuation was carried out on the basis of the sale prices current in 1946-1947.
Mr. PLIMPTON (United States of America) wondered to what extent the individual plots could be identified and whether they had not since been consolidated, for example, within villages or land co-operatives.
Mr. JARVIS (Land Expert) said that, while he was unable to furnish any documentary data on that subject, he had observed during a visit to the southern part of Israel that that process had been carried much further than he would have expected, so that in certain areas fields of crops covered the site of Arab villages, of which not a trace was left.
Mr. DAUGE (France) said he was pleased the problem of extra staff had been solved successfully; that would enable the work as a whole to be completed not much later than originally planned.
It was decided that it was premature to invite refugees to put forward their claims to property.
The CHAIRMAN, supported by the members of the Commission, thanked the Land Expert for his report.
It was unanimously agreed to bring the working documents up to date by including the statements made at the General Assembly’s fifteenth session on the subject of compensation and repatriation. The documents would than be put at the disposal of delegations requesting them.
Mr. CHAI (Principal Secretary) announced that his functions would henceforth be taken over by Mr. Gaillard, an officer of the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs.
The members of the Commission expressed their recognition of Mr. Chai’s outstanding abilities and their appreciation of the devotion he had shown during the many years in which he had been associated with the Commission’s work.
A press release was drafted giving a summary of the problems examined at the meeting.
The text of the press release (PAL/866) was adopted unanimously.
Lettre du Secrétaire Général au President de CCNUP; Rapport d'experts sur l'evaluation - 343e séance de CCNUP (New York) - Compte rendu Français