SUMMARY RECORD OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SEVENTH MEETING
Held in the Hôtel de Crillon, Paris,
on Tuesday, 23 October 1951, at 4.30 p.m.
DRAFT STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN
The CHAIRMAN stated that on the basis of the Secretariat draft, which had been circulated a few days earlier to the members of the Commission, the United States delegation had prepared a new draft, which was now before the Commission. A few minor changes suggested by the Secretariat had been incorporated in the latter draft, which he proposed to read point by point.
The Chairman read the paragraphs relating to Point One of the proposals and invited the comments of the members of the Commission.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) agreed with the draft as read. He suggested that a further factor might perhaps be introduced in that part of the statement, i.e. the economic aspect, which might prove an added incentive to the parties to renounce their war damage claims, particularly as all the countries concerned were requesting international assistance for economic development purposes.
After some discussion, it was decided not to introduce that element at the present time.
The CHAIRMAN read the paragraphs relating to Point Two of the proposals.
Mr. LADAS (Political Officer).suggested that it might be preferable, in the second paragraph of this part of the statement, to revert to the wording of the Secretariat draft as follows: “In submitting the above text, the Conciliation Commission desired to set the foundations for the negotiation of an agreement regarding a practical method of carrying out the repatriation of refugees in accordance with the directive given by the General Assembly to the Commission, to work out such arrangements as may be practicable in this respect”. This wording had been used because the Commission was basing Point Two of its proposals on the directive contained in the resolution of 14 December 1950 to work out such arrangements as may be practicable.
After some discussion, it was decided to retain the wording of the United States draft, as it was felt that if any specific directive of a particular resolution were singled out for special mention, the Commission might lay itself open to charges of ignoring other resolutions of equal importance.
The CHAIRMAN read the paragraphs relating to Point Three of the proposals.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) raised the question of compensation to refugees who might be repatriated, which had not been mentioned in the Commission’s proposals.
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) had wished to draw the Commission’s attention to that point. The proposal concerning compensation which the Commission had submitted to the parties dealt exclusively with compensation to non-returning refugees. The terms of the General Assembly resolution of 11 December 1948 referred to the compensation of returning refugees also. The Commission, therefore, would have to take an early decision as to its attitude on that question.
He suggested adding a paragraph to the Chairman’s statement to the effect that the Commission was for the time being confining itself to making proposals for compensation to non-returning refugees and would deal with the question of compensation to repatriated refugees at a later stage. If that were not done, he feared the Israel delegation might assume that the Commission had abandoned the idea of compensation to repatriated refugees. He was anxious that no such misunderstanding should arise.
Mr. CONTINI (Legal Adviser) said that the question of compensation to returning refugees was a very intricate one from the legal point of view. At the present time, he thought it might be preferable to make it clear that the Commission reserved its right to deal with the question at a later date.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) also felt that such a sentence might usefully be added, in order not to give rise to any misunderstanding on the part of the delegation of Israel.
The CHAIRMAN felt that if it were made quite clear from the text of the statement that the Commission’s proposal referred only to non-returning refugees, it would be preferable not to make a specific reference to the question of compensation to repatriated refugees at the present time, as the Commission had not yet defined its attitude on that point.
Mr. BARCO (United States) pointed out that the words which had been added at the end of the sixth paragraph of the third part of the draft under discussion — “…compensation for property abandoned by Arab refugees who are not repatriated.” — had the object of making it clear that the Commission’s proposal dealt only with compensation to non-returning refugees.
It was decided that the text as it now read was sufficiently clear without any further additions.
In that connection, the PRINCIPAL SECRETARY pointed out that it would be necessary for the Commission to hold a meeting in the near future for the purpose of approving at least those parts of the Report of the Refugee Office which dealt with the evaluation of abandoned Arab property.
The CHAIRMAN agreed with the suggestion made by the Principal Secretary.
Before the Commission announced the amount it estimated should be paid by Israel as compensation for abandoned Arab immovable property, it would be necessary for the chapter concerning evaluation to be formally approved. At present, however, the Commission was merely informing the parties of the methods employed by the Refugee Office in evaluating the property, in order that there should be no misunderstanding on the part of the Arab delegations, who seemed to fear that the Commission, in working out its global estimate, was taking into account the factor of Israel’s ability to pay.
The Chairman read the paragraphs relating to Points Four and Five of the Commission’s proposals.
The draft statement as read was approved.
MESSAGE FROM THE REPRESENTATIVE OF ISRAEL
The Chairman informed the Commission that a telephone message had just been received from the representative of Israel to the effect that his delegation did not expect to receive instructions from its Government before Thursday or Friday. Mr. Fischer had therefore requested that the meeting with the Commission be postponed until the afternoon of 26 October.
As the Israel delegation has not asked the Commission to postpone the meeting with the Arab delegations fixed for 24 October, for the purpose of giving detailed explanations of its proposals, the members of the Commission agreed that the meeting with the Arab delegations should take place, as arranged, on 24 October and the meeting with the Israel delegation on 26 October.
Projet de déclaration du President, Communication du Représentant d'Israël - 257e séance de la CCNUP (Paris) - Compte rendu Français