SUMMARY RECORD OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIXTH MEETING
Held at Government House, Jerusalem,
on Saturday, 19 August, 1950 at 9:30 a.m.
1. Conversations between the Commission and the Governments of Jordan and Israel.
The CHAIRMAN thought that the time had come to draw conclusions from the Commission’s conversations at Amman with the Government of Jordan and at Tel Aviv with the Government of Israel. In this connexion, he believed that the Commission would benefit by hearing the Principal Secretary’s impressions of a recent conversation with General Riley.
The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY said that General Riley relating a conversation he had had with a Jordanian member of the Special Committee, had stated that according to the letter, the Government of Jordan did. not lay down any prior condition for a meeting or representatives of the two parties in the Special Committee. The Government of Jordan intended to raise the following four points in that Committee: (a) the acceptance by Israel of the Protocol of 12 May 1949; (b) the question of an access to the sea for Jordan; (c) the restitution of the Arab quarters of Jerusalem; and (d) the question of a frontier adjustment in the Tulkarem area.
According to General Riley’s informant, the representatives of Jordan in the Special Committee would not be empowered to take decisions but merely to receive any proposals and transmit them to the Committee established by the Government of Jordan to consider matters affecting the Palestine Arabs. That Committee would study the proposals and then submit them for approval to a Commission composed of sixteen Palestinians having no political function.
In reply to a question put to him by the Principal Secretary, General Riley had stated that he would himself convene the Special Committee when he had received confirmation of his conversation with the Jordanian member of that Committee.
Mr. de BOISANGER (France) doubted whether the Commission should encourage the holding of a meeting which, in the circumstances described, would probably reach a deadlock very rapidly.
The CHAIRMAN said that while it would be difficult to explain the Jordanian Government’s views to the Government of Israel, the Commission should nevertheless advise the Government of Israel of the information it had received from the Government of Jordan. In the circumstances, it would perhaps be wise to give only General information and to let Israel know that the Government of Jordan would welcome a gesture of goodwill as regards the territorial question which would, to some extent, help Jordan to solve the refugee problem which constituted such a heavy burden. The Commission could point out that such a gesture would represent considerable progress towards the settlement of the questions still at issue between the parties.
Mr. de BOISANGER (France) doubted whether the Government of Israel would accept the proposals made by Jordan and consider abandoning territory in order to facilitate the solution of the refugee question, unless it hoped that that gesture would result in a renewal of the negotiations on a basis it considered reasonable.
Mr. RUSTU ARAS (Turkey) supported the views of the Chairmen whose reasoning appeared to him to be very sound. Nevertheless, he shared Mr. de Boisanger doubts as to whether Israel would accept Jordan’s proposals merely in order to facilitate the ablution of the refugee problem.
Mr. de BOISANGER (France) noted that the information gathered at Amman by the Commission and that given to General Riley did not tally. The situation was still confused. It would perhaps be necessary to re«establish contact with the Government of Jordan in order to obtain further clarification before giving the Government of Israel the information requested.
After an exchange of views the Commission, deeming it necessary to obtain further information from the Government of Jordan which would enable it to give an authoritative reply to the questions which might be raised by the Government of Israel, decided that the Chairman should go to Amman for further talks with the competent authorities.
2. Visits of the Commission to the Government of Syria and the Government of Lebanon
After hearing the Principal Secretary on this question, the Commission agreed to fix the details of the programme of visits to those two Governments as soon as it had received the Syrian Government’s reply. It could then finally decide upon the date and place of its meeting with the representatives of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
3. Request for a hearing of representatives of the Congress of Refugees of Ramallah.
The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY read a letter from the Secretary-General of the Congress of Refugees of Ramallah requesting a hearing.
The Commission was of the opinion that it could agree to this request and instructed the Principal Secretary to inform the Secretary-General of the Congress of Refugees of Ramallah that it would receive a delegation from that organization when it had completed its visits to the various Governments.