SUMMARY RECORD OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY EIGHTH MEETING (Closed)
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Thursday, 4 September 1952, at 2.30 p.m.
1. Consideration of the statement by the representative of Israel on the question of blocked accounts
2 Consideration of the report of the commission's Land Specialist
CONSIDERATION OF THE STATEMENT MADE BY THE REPRESENTATIVE OF ISRAEL
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) and Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) had nothing new to add to their previous comments on Mr. Rafael’s statement of 27 August. Both had read the draft statement for the Chairman which the Secretariat had prepared and thought it a clear and accurate summary of the situation.
The CHAIRMAN thought that although there were several detailed points which needed clarification the main consideration was that Israel itself initiate discussions with the banks whose views were still lacking. Since Israel had suggested Barclay’s, it should be urged to undertake talks without delay, while the Commission would at the same time indicate its readiness to lend appropriate assistance. As soon as Israel had undertaken its negotiations with Barclay’s, the Commission would ask the United Kingdom Government to lend its good offices, and would make available a United Nations expert to assist in the discussions. He felt that it was advisable to urge upon Israel quite strongly the desirability of taking a positive step in the matter.
As regards the other questions needing clarification, the Chairman mentioned the amount and rate of exchange of the first instalment, the intention of Israel concerning the contents of the safe deposit boxes, in particular regarding any foreign currency therein, and the method to be used for determining the validity of claims. On the latter point he felt some anxiety at the thought of a review of claims being undertaken by the Custodian of Absentee Property. In his view the proper agencies for the task would be the banks themselves. The Commission, he felt, should make known these points in detail, while stressing that the most important consideration at the moment was that Israel should initiate its own discussions with Barclay’s bank.
The Chairman then presented a revised draft statement which his delegation had prepared and requested the views of the Commission.
Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) and Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) agreed with the new draft and thought that it offered a more detailed and clearer picture of the situation. Mr. Ordonneau thought that Mr. Rafael should be given these views without delay and be asked to inform the Commission of the position of his Government as soon as possible.
Mr. CHAI (Acting Principal Secretary) pointed out that on the question of priorities the Secretariat draft had mentioned that any arrangement arrived at by Israel and the Bank would be subject to the concurrence of the Commission. He noted that this concept had been omitted in the draft presented by the United States delegation.
Mr. BARCO (United States) explained that in changing the draft his delegation had tried to avoid entangling the Commission in what was, after all, a delicate and difficult question, while at the same time making it clear that the Commission had its own criteria which it would like to see accepted. He thought it would be unwise to include a reference to the Commission’s concurrence, since the responsibility in the matter rested with Israel and not with the Commission.
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) thought that by asking the Government of Israel to keep the Commission informed of its progress the Commission would always retain a certain control.
After some discussion it was agreed that the Chairman should talk informally to Mr. Rafael before the next meeting to apprise him of the Commission’s desire to avoid further delays. A meeting of the Commission with Mr. Rafael was fixed for the next day, Friday, 5 September.
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) raised the question of when and how the Arab delegations were to be informed of the progress made on the question of blocked accounts.
The CHAIRMAN agreed that the Arab delegations should be informed as soon as possible but felt that it should not be done prematurely. There was also the question of a public announcement.
Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) thought that the time was not yet ripe for making any announcements as the Commission still lacked definite information on too many points.
Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) agreed with Mr. Derinsu and said that for his part he had not yet discussed the matter unofficially with any of the Arab delegations, in view of the need for further precise information from Mr. Rafael concerning such matters as the time and the amount of the first instalment.
CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION’S LAND SPECIALIST
Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) said that he had not yet received clear instructions in the matter.
Mr. ORDONNEAU (Frame) had not yet received instructions from his Government but felt sure that there would be no objections to the procedure proposed by the United States delegation,
Mr. CHAI (Acting Principal Secretary) reminded the Commission that a new memorandum had been received from the Land Specialist which had been circulated that morning,
Examen de déclaration d'Israël sur déblocage des comptes; Examen du rapport spécialiste en matière de questions foncières - 288e séance de la CCNUP (New York) - Compte rendu Français