SUMMARY RECORD OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIRST MEETING
held in the Hôtel de Crillon, Paris,
on Monday, 15 October 1951, at 3.30 p.m.
-- Release to the press of the Commission's letter of 6 October and reply from the Israeli delegation
RELEASE TO THE PRESS OF THE COMMISSION’S LETTER OF 6 OCTOBER AND REPLY FROM THE ISRAEL DELEGATION
The CHAIRMAN recalled that so far only the delegations of Egypt, Syria and Jordan had replied to the Commission’s letter. The Israel delegation had informed the Commission that it would reply when it had received instructions from its Government; in the course of a conversation which the Israel representative had had with Mr. Barco, he had asked if the Commission could postpone the publication of its letter. The Chairman thought that Israel’s reply would not be long in coming.
On the other hand, it would be advisable for the Commission to decide whether the reason which it had accepted for postponing publication of its letter was still valid. In any case it would be preferable for publication not to take place until the Commission had received at least one full reply from one of the parties — this case, the four Arab delegations.
He added that the Commission could not but keenly deplore the appearance in an American newspaper of an article alluding to the substance of the Commission’s letter.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) thought it would be advisable to contact the Israel representative as soon as possible and inform him that, in the interests of fairness, the Commission counted on beginning the examination of the proposals with the Israel delegation, as it had begun to discuss the preamble with the Arab delegations. It might add that if the Israel delegation were not ready to begin to examine them, the Commission hoped that it would have no objection to discussion being opened with the Arab delegations.
He thought, of course, that the Commission’s letter should be published before the discussion was opened.
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) recalled that as a general rule communications addressed to delegations were published after a reasonable lapse of time, enabling them to transmit them to their Governments but without waiting for the Governments’ replies; the period was generally one or two days. An exception to this rule had been made in the case of Israel. The Commission had already waited more than a week and he saw no reason to postpone publication of the letter further.
The CHAIRMAN announced that Israel’s communication containing its Government’s reply to the Commission’s letter had just been handed to him and he proposed to read it out.
The reply of the Government of Israel to the Commission’s letter of 6 October 1951 was read.
The CHAIRMAN thought that the Commission should now publish its letter.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) agreed. However, Israel’s communication in no way changed the suggestion he had just made. The Commission might well have a meeting with the Israel delegation, as the latter requested, to discuss the points raised, but it should be made clear that in the Commission’s opinion the question of the preamble had been adequately discussed and that the examination of the proposals should now begin.
Indeed, their examination should not be postponed too long, particularly as the Arab delegations for the moment seemed quite ready to begin, which might not always be the case. Moreover, in view of its report to the General Assembly, it would be helpful if the Commission could know the attitude of at least one of the parties to the comprehensive proposals.
He thought that Israel was trying to delay the Commission’s work as much as possible without, however, breaking up the conference; if the latter were its intention, it would do so without delay, for the present moment was the most propitious for that purpose.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) agreed and thought that the French representative’s observation was a further reason for starting the examination of the proposals with the Arab delegations as soon as possible.
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) thought the Commission should study Israel’s reply carefully, as it raised several important questions. In addition he feared that by agreeing to meet with the Israel delegation to discuss them, the Commission might reopen discussion on a point that had been settled by its letter of 6 October 1951 to the delegations. That letter had expressly indicated that the Commission considered the two declarations submitted by the parties satisfactory and that consequently the time had come to proceed to discuss the proposals. The Commission should on no account go back upon that statement which had been formally expressed in its letter.
The CHAIRMAN proposed that the Commission should meet on the following day to study Israel’s reply.
It was so decided.
REPLY OF EGYPTIAN DELEGATION TO COMMISSION’S LETTER OF 6 OCTOBER 1951 (AR/59)
The CHAIRMAN considered the question settled as a result of the consideration of the previous item.
MEMORANDUM FROM THE ARAB DELEGATIONS (AR/60)
The CHAIRMAN proposed to entrust the consideration of the memorandum to the Commission’s legal adviser who would study it in relation to the Commission’s communication and give the Commission an opinion on the matter.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) pointed out that there was always a misunderstanding as to the Commission’s composition. The three members of the Commission did not sit in their personal capacity but as representatives of the United States, France, Turkey. In fact it was the three Governments who were members of the Commission and not their representatives.
LETTER FROM THE ISRAEL DELEGATION REGARDING SR/PM/8 OF 5 OCTOBER
Mr. MARCHAL (France) had had an opportunity of speaking to the Israel representative about this matter. Mr. Fischer had referred only to paragraphs 1 and 2 of his communication. Concerning paragraph 1, Mr. Marchal had pointed out to him that the summary record faithfully reproduced the substance of the reply to the Israel delegation.
Concerning paragraph 2, Mr. Marchal had told Mr. Fischer that he was mistaken if he had understood that the Commission had undertaken to submit the Israel delegation’s draft pact to the Arab delegations. It was clearly not a matter of merely communicating a text. The Israel delegation appeared to wish to make the Commission say, in the summary record, that the proposals of the Arab delegations partially satisfied it whereas that of the Israel delegation was entirely satisfaction. Mr. Marchal was quite willing to agree to-the Israel representative amending that part of the summary record which reported his own remarks, on condition, however, that he had in fact said what he wished to add, but there was no justification for him wishing to amend the summary of the remarks made by members of the Commission. Mr. Marchal considered that the contents of the summary record conformed to the discussion which had taken place.
The CHAIRMAN agreed with Mr. Marchal. He recalled that, substantially, he had told the Israel representative that his draft pact went further than the Commission’s initial suggestion and that it seemed that a declaration presented in that form would be premature.
The representatives of Turkey and France had supported his statement on that occasion. It was clear that the question of form was the main point at issue.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) recalled that the Israel representative’s reply difficulty was due to the Israel Government’s subsequent desire to go too far.
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) thought that, with regard to paragraph 1 of Israel’s communication, the Commission should reply that it had carefully examined the relevant summary records and had concluded that the idea to which Mr. Fischer drew attention was quite clear from the texts. Concerning paragraph 2 of the communication, the interpretation of the Israel delegation was mistaken.
He thought that only paragraph 3 of the Israel communication could warrant a possible amendment to the summary record in question.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM UNRWA
(a) Telegram from Mr. de Saint-Hardouin
The CHAIRMAN thought it was quite suitable for the Commission to hold a meeting with the Advisory Commission on 31 October. The latter would certainly be in a position to communicate useful information and indications concerning certain aspects of the Commission’s work.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) shared that view, but pointed out that by that time only a preliminary exchange of views on general questions would be possible. The question of reports would not be dealt with before 12 November. He pointed out, by way of information, that Mr. Blandford intended to submit his report on 21 November.
(b) Letter and memorandum of Mr. Blandford
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) thought it was enough to acknowledge the two communications and to thank Mr. Blandford.
It was so decided.
Communication à la presse de la lettre de la Commission et réponses d'Israël et l'Egypte - 251e séance de la CCNUP (Paris) - Compte rendu Français