SUMMARY RECORD OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FOURTH MEETING
held in the Hotel de Crillon, Paris, on Tuesday,
11 September 1951, at 3:00 p.m.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE OPENING OF THE CONFERENCE (continued) —
DRAFT COMPREHENSIVE PROPOSAL FOR SUBMISSION BY THE COMMISSION TO THE PARTIES
The CHAIRMAN explained that the draft which the Commission was to examine was a compromise text based on the French representative’s draft and the United States’ initial draft. It also took into account the latest instructions from the State Department recommending the deletion of certain points which it considered inappropriate.
The members of the Commission were aware that several Arab States as well as Israel were expecting to receive general proposals from the Commission. He therefore invited the members to discuss a draft and hoped it would be adopted unanimously.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) thought the new draft more satisfactory than the initial one. He could not, however, give it his final approval. In his view, it would be preferable for the Commission not to commit itself so fully at the outset of the Conference but to confine itself to proposing subjects for discussion rather than points on which agreement was sought. He again pointed out that, as he understood it, the invitation indicated that practical proposals would be put forward in the course of discussion. It seemed to him very difficult, before hearing the points of view of the parties, to judge the extent to which they would consider the proposals as meeting their aspirations.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) was fully satisfied with the new draft. In his opinion, the only difference between the French and United States conceptions was one of procedure. A compromise between the two points of view could easily be reached by presenting the Commission’s draft after hearing the parties’ reply to the opening statement.
He approved the text of the draft but suggested that the words “to promote the return of peace ...” be placed at the end of the preamble and emphasised the need of maintaining the relationship of cause and effect between the two objectives expressed.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) supported the Turkish representative’s proposal especially as he thought it logical to mention first the most immediate objective, namely the peaceful settlement of differences, and next the more remote objective, namely the return, of peace.
The CHAIRMAN fully understood the Turkish representative’s intention in presenting his amendment, but preferred the initial text. He thought that they should first define the main objective; as was usually the procedure in any important statements.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) recognised that the idea of peace was the most important one; on reflection, however, he feared that, in the view of the parties, settlement of the dispute was in fact the most difficult objective to attain. To mention it at the outset would perhaps have an effect contrary to the Commission’s intention.
Mr. BARCO (United States) proposed a wording to the effect that the Governments affirmed their intention of settling all their differences by pacific means…and by such means to take steps to promote the return of peace. Worded in that way, the text would be slightly more positive and would go further than the version under discussion.
The CHAIRMAN thought that they should ask for more than an intention; they should ask the parties to take measures within the framework of general action, to promote the return of peace. Such measures represented one of the stages in a logical progress towards the objective.
After a brief exchange of views, the Chairman proposed the following new text for the preamble which incorporated the suggestions and amendments put forward by the members of the Commission.
“ In accordance with the obligations of States Members of the United Nations and of signatories to Armistice Agreements, the Governments of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria and the Government of Israel solemnly affirm their intention and undertake to settle all differences, present or future, solely by resort to pacific procedures, refraining from any use of force or acts of hostility, with full respect for the right of each party to security and freedom from fear of attack, and by these means to promote the return of peace in Palestine.”
The text of the Preamble, thus amended was approved.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) proposed to replace the words “the Commission proposes that”, in the sentence introducing the proposals, by the words “the Commission submits the following proposals for their consideration”.
The amendment was agreed.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) maintained the view that a less direct formula was preferable. He proposed the following wording, of paragraph 1: “That an agreement be reached concerning war damages arising out of the hostilities of 1948, such an agreement to include, in the Commission’s opinion, mutual cancellation of such claims, by the Governments of …and the Government of Israel;”
Paragraph 1, thus amended, was adopted.
Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4
Mr. MARCHAL (France) thought it would perhaps be better not to contemplate, at the outset, direct conversations between the parties; he therefore proposed the deletion of the word “together” at the beginning of the paragraph.
Further, he thought sub-paragraph (g) should be worded in more general terms and proposed the following text: “arrangements which will facilitate the economic development of the area resumption of…”
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) pointed out that the wording suggested by the French representative had the advantage of reproducing the exact terms of Paragraph 10 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).
The CHAIRMAN approved the French representative’s suggestion.
Paragraph 5, the amended, was adopted.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) thought the achievements of the present meeting would enable the Governments to adopt the draft proposals without difficulty. He also suggested that the three members of the Commission should approve the text in their capacity of representatives of their countries, in order to save time, but, making quite clear that they did so solely on their own responsibility.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) thought that his Government, after careful consideration, might not have difficulty in adopting the text agreed upon by the Commission. For his own part, he wished to point out that he had approved the individual parts of the text but not the text as a whole. In reply to the Turkish representative, he pointed out that according to the communication of the Commission’s proposal to the parties, the text would be equally binding upon the three members of the Commission. The effect to be avoided was that the parties should assess the merits of the proposals differently and for the time being there was no assurance on that score.
Mr. BARCO (United States) then asked Mr. Marchal when the Commission could expect to receive the final approval of the French delegation.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) replied that he could not at that time indicate when the final approval of his Government would be forthcoming.
Mr. BARCO (United States) regretted the fact that the Commission had not yet reached final agreement upon the text of the proposal, He reminded the members that the conference was due to open on Thursday, 13 September, which left little time for reaching a decision, and he pointed out that the view of the State Department had been put before the Commission a week previously. The present situation placed him in a very difficult position as he would have to inform the State Department that the Commission had not reached agreement and to ask it for further instructions, which was materially impossible without postponing the opening of the conference. He thought it would not be right to take such a step and felt bound to place on record that the United States delegation was in no way responsible for the delay in the Commission’s work. The United States delegation could not be accused of having made a surprise move; any members who had objections to make could have made them when the Commission was discussing the letter of invitation.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) stated that the attitude adopted by his delegation in the previous month did in fact concern the letter of invitation, which it had interpreted as meaning that proposals would not be submitted at the beginning of the conference. The intention to present proposals at the beginning was a new factor, only recently introduced. It was true that the Commission had received indications in this sense a week previously, but as presented; they might equally have justified either the French or the United States draft proposal. The text as then submitted to the Commission had contained pointers, it was true, but was not in the Pm” of proposals.
Mr. BARCO (United States) thought there should in fact be no real misunderstanding, as the Commission’s intention was to present proposals in the course of the discussions.
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) was convinced that there should be no difficulty in approving the proposals and pointed out the practical advantage of having the first meeting with the parties on Thursday, 13 September, which left one full day for reaching final approval on the text to submit to them.
The CHAIRMAN repeated that the United States delegation had thought it advisable to suggest proposals in the form contained in the draft now before the Commission in order that the conference might have before it a general plan of discussion and in order to avoid the risk of disagreement which might occur over a specific agenda. The United States delegation thought it would be best for the Commission to submit proposals in the course of discussions; if necessary they could be followed by other alternative proposals. He suggested that the Commission should meet on the following day to take a final decision on the text to be submitted to the parties.
It was so decided.
PROROGATION OF THE TERM OF OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMISSION
After a short exchange of views the members of the Commission thought the term of office of the Chairman should be extended for one month with the option to extend it further if the conference had not ended by that time.
LIAISON WITH THE UNITED KINGDOM GOVERNMENT
The CHAIRMAN, in agreement with the members of the Commission invited Mr. de Azcarate (Principal Secretary) to contact the British Embassy with a view to establishing a liaison between the United Kingdom Government and the Commission.
Dispositions en vue de la conférence de Paris; texte du préambule – 234e Séance de CCNUP (Paris) – Compte rendu Français