SUMMARY RECORD OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-NINTH MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Wednesday, 24 May 1950, at 11 a.m.
1. Consideration of the Commission’s reply to the parties concerning the proposal of 29 March 1950 (Document W/ 47)
The CHAIRMAN drew attention to Document W/47 prepared by the Secretariat, which had made an analysis of the replies from the Arab States and Israel to the Note of 11 May 1950.
Mr. de BOISANGER (France) said that the attitude of the Arab States was more intransigent than might appear from the first paragraph of Document W/47. They had made their acceptance of the new procedure proposed by the Commission dependent not merely upon the two-fold condition referred to in the paragraph — namely, the recognition and acceptance by the other party of paragraph 11 of the Resolution of 11 December 1948 calling for the return of refugees to their homes and compensation to those not wishing to return, and an undertaking by Israel to implement that resolution — but also on an agreement in principle on all the outstanding questions, prior to their examination in the Mixed Committees.
The CHAIRMAN agreed with Mr. de Boisanger, and thought that if the Commission decided to send a note to the two parties, its terms should be carefully weighed, since it was most important not to offend either of the parties and so jeopardize the chances of negotiation. He felt that the Commission should be extremely prudent in its proposals, and should maintain an attitude which left no doubt as to its desire for impartiality. Hence it should confine itself to maintaining its attitude, giving perhaps a few further explanations as to its interpretation of the procedure it had proposed. Furthermore, the possibility of receiving a separate reply from the Jordan Government was not yet entirely ruled out. But he thought it would be timely for the Commission to send a note to the two parties before 12 June, the date on which the Political Committee of the Arab League was to hold its next meeting.
Mr. ERALP (Turkey) thought that the reply from the Israeli Government was as satisfactory as could reasonably be expected. With regard to the drab States, the Commission might give them fuller explanations as to its practical suggestions for future negotiations. That was surely not a step which could bring the Arab States to shift from their original attitude. In any case, the Commission would be wise to send a note to the two parties before 12 June. The Secretariat night prepare a draft note for discussion by the Commission.
The CHAIRMAN pointed out that the Commission had first to decide whether it was going to send a note to the parties, and if so, what was to be stated in the note. He wondered whether it night not be preferable to leave aside the question of the procedure in the Mixed Committees and merely clarify the Commission’s point of view.
Mr. de BOISANGER (France) thought the time had come to adopt a firm attitude and to make it clear that the Commission felt that the only procedure likely to lead to satisfactory results was the establishment of Mixed Committees for the discussion of the questions concerning both parties.
Mr. ERALP (Turkey) likewise felt that the Commission should show a measure of firmness and repeat its invitation to the two parties, while giving some explanation of the procedure proposed by the Commission for future negotiations, in which it hoped that the two parties would decide to take part.
Mr. de BOISANGER (France) thought that the note should be so worded as to prevent the Commission from becoming involved in a discussion with the party which was stipulating conditions for the acceptance of the proposals of 29 March. The Commission’s guiding principles for the establishment of the proposed procedure were entirely in keeping with the principles of the General Assembly Resolution of 11 December 1948. The. Commission might emphasize that fact in a note to be sent in identical terms to the two parties, indicating that the Commission was always ready to open negotiations, and that it was for the parties themselves to decide whether they wished to negotiate.
The CHAIRMAN agreed that it might be wiser to send identical notes to the two parties so as to obviate the difficulties which might arise if a note were sent to one of the parties only. Possibly a note to be sent to both parties might be drafted, together with an introductory paragraph intended for each of the parties separately. He wondered whether the preparation of such a note, to be drafted in the light of the exchange of views at the present meeting, should be entrusted to the Secretariat or to the General Committee.
Mr. de BOISANGER (France) thought that the Secretariat might be asked to draft a note, which he would still prefer to be sent in identical form to both parties. He greatly feared that if the Commission wrote to one of the parties only, it would become involved in a sterile discussion which might be most embarrassing.
It was decided that the Secretariat should prepare a draft note following up the replies from the two parties on the Commission’s proposals of 29 March 1950, and framed in the light of the suggestions made at the present meeting.