SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 318TH MEETING (CLOSED)
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on 15 October 1954, at 4.00 p.m.
1. EXPRESSION OF APPRECIATION TO OUTGOING CHAIRMAN
The CHAIRMAN wished first of all to express his warm appreciation and admiration to Mr. Ordonneau, the outgoing Chairman, and to pay tribute to his ability and to the atmosphere of friendliness which had obtained during his chairmanship.
Mr. BARCO (United States. of America) wished to add a similar note of appreciation for Mr. Ordonneau’s distinguished services over so long a period of time.
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) expressed his thanks to the Chairman and the representative of the United States for their words.
LETTER FROM THE DELEGATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
The CHAIRMAN drew attention to a letter dated. 14 October 1954 from the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom suggesting that the Commission might find it helpful to ask the Government of Israel for the text of the relevant portions of its agreement with Barclay’s Bank relating to the release of the remainder of the blocked Arab balances, for communication to the Arab Governments concerned and also, if possible, for public announcement. Paragraph III of the Agreement was considered to be of chief importance. Should the whole text of the agreement be communicated to the Commission, the United Kingdom delegation understood that Barclay’s Bank would wish to be consulted before any details of the credit arrangements made by them with the Government of Israel were communicated by the Commission to third parties.
Mr. BARCO (United States of. America) agreed that it would be appropriate to ask the Government of Israel for the form and details of the agreement. It would also be appropriate to discuss the matter with the United Kingdom delegation, if the full text were forthcoming, in order to ascertain which portions should be passed along to the Arab Governments for their information.
It was so agreed.
CABLE FROM THE COMMISSION’S LIAISON REPRESENTATIVE IN JERUSALEM
The CHAIRMAN then called attention to a cable which had been received from Mr. Ladas, stating that Mr. Rafael of the Israel Foreign Office had informed him that in Israel’s view the Commission was obstructing Israel’s peace move by refusing to discuss release procedures with Israel, rejecting the request of refugees to participate in such discussions and publishing a statement contrary to the facts and the expressed wishes of Israel. The cable went on to say that Mr. Kidron would deliver a similar statement to the Commission in Now York. The Chairman added that Mr. Kidron had in fact asked to appear before the Commission to express the views of the Israel Government with regard to the Commission’s statement of 11 October.
Mr. BARCO (United States of America) thought that the Commission could hear the views of the representative of Israel, but first he wished to review the Commission’s position in the matter and to recall what had transpired following the Commission’s last meeting with Mr. Kidron on the morning of 27 September. During the afternoon, Mr. Kidron had informed Mr. Barco that the delegation of Israel could: not agree to submit to the Commission the proposed letter of clarification of the Israeli press release (see SR 316). In a subsequent meeting with Ambassador Eban and Mr. Kidron, who argued strongly against the Commission issuing its own counter-release but insisted that they must issue their own release, Mr. Barco informed them that as far as the United States was concerned, it could not agree to associate itself with the proposed Israeli statement; he believed that that would continue to be the position of the Commission. Mr. Barco would, however, take it upon himself, if Israel insisted on issuing its own statement, to propose to the Commission that it not now make its own release, on the following conditions: (1) that if the Israeli release elicited questions to the Commission or if Israeli sources indicated the Commission’s agreement with Israel’s desire for negotiations with representatives of refugees, the United States would then have to insist on a clarifying statement by the Commission; (2) that in making its statement, Israel should also understand that the Commission’s position remained as previously stated, i.e., that it did not think it necessary or feasible to have the negotiations Israel proposed.
Ambassador Eban and Mr. Kidron accepted Mr. Barco’s proposal and the other members of the Commission were subsequently informed.
On the following day, 28 September, Mr. Barco informed Mr. Dyson of Barclay’s Bank of the developments of the 27th. He fully agreed with the position taken by the Commission on the unfeasibility of negotiations with the refugee representatives.
Mr. Barco thought that, in hearing the representative of Israel, the above should be borne in mind and the Commission’s position should remain unaltered.
The Commission then decided to adjourn the meeting in order to hear the views of the representative of Israel.