SUMMARY RECORD OF THE THIRTIETH MEETING
held in Lausanne on Monday,
8 August 1949, at 5 p.m.
The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY suggested that, in view of the fact that Mr. Lifshitz was expected to return the following day bringing more complete information on some points, it might be profitable for the Committee not to meet the Israeli delegation until Wednesday, when it could have the benefit of Mr. Lifshitz’ presence.
Mr. de la TOUR DU PIN supported the Principal Secretary’s proposal, adding the suggestion that any questions which should be discussed with the Israeli delegation at once might be taken up by the Chairman with Mr. Sasson in a private conversation.
The Committee approved the Principal Secretary’s proposal.
Report by Mr. Delbes (document Com.Tech. 6)
The CHAIRMAN held the view that the Delbes report should be transmitted to the Arab and Israeli delegations in its present form.
Mr. YENISEY and Mr. de la TOUR DU PIN supported the opinion of the PRINCIPAL SECRETARY that some points in the report need not be communicated to the delegations, and that it would be preferable for the Secretariat to prepare a full and fairly detailed analysis of all points on which any of the delegations might wish to comment.
The Committee accepted the Principal Secretary’s proposal.
Secretariat Paper or the unfreezing of Arab assets (Com.Gen./W.4)
Referring to the two possible procedures suggested in paragraph 8 of the Secretariat’s paper, Mr. YENISEY expressed himself in favour of the creation of a committee of experts, to include one Arab member and one Israeli member under the chairmanship of a member of the Secretariat. This committee would report to the Commission. The Arab representative could be chosen either from among the Arab delegations or from among the refugees.
Mr. de la TOUR DU PIN endorsed Mr. Yenisey’s view with the reservation that although a member of the Secretariat should attend all proceedings of the committee, the permanent chairmanship of the committee should not be held by a Secretariat member.
The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY observed that as a result of considerable discussion it was the view of the Secretariat that the creation of such a committee would be advantageous in many ways. It would, for example, offer an excellent opportunity for initiating direct contact between the parties. The composition of the committee was a question which would need further study; in any case, it must be clearly a committee of experts, which would report to the Commission. In his opinion, it should be left to the two parties to name experts, who would not be representatives of Governments. He also thought it desirable that the Arab member should be a Palestinian; it would be necessary, however, to obtain the agreement of the Arab delegations on that point, and to determine by whom the Arab member would be appointed.
Concerning the matter of the chairmanship, the Principal Secretary observed that the Secretariat would of course furnish the usual assistance, but that in his view the chairman should be a neutral expert, not a Secretariat member. On this point he reserved the right of the Secretary-General to make a decision.
Mr. de la TOUR DU PIN recalled the long delay in constitution of the Technical Committee on Refugees; he feared that if it were necessary to request the aid of the Secretary-General in appointing a suitable neutral expert, a further delay might result. He asked the Principal Secretary to continue studying the question of the composition of the committee.
In accordance with a suggestion by Mr. de la TOUR DU PIN that the Commission should be seized of the matter, it was decided that the Secretariat would prepare a report in writing for approval by the General Committee and submission to the Commission before the meeting with the Israeli delegation on Wednesday.
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