UNITED NATIONS PALESTINE COMMISSION
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE SEVENTY-FOURTH MEETING
Lake Success, New York
Wednesday, 5 May 1948, at 3.00 p.m.
FINAL CONSIDERATION OF THE PROPOSED DRAFT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE COMMISSION AND THE HAIFA CHAMBER OF SHIPPING (Informal Paper M/39)
Final consideration was given to the draft agreement between the Commission and the Haifa Chamber of Shipping authorizing the latter to receive foreign mail in Palestine and to dispatch mail abroad. (Informal Paper M/39)
The CHAIRMAN, with reference to paragraph 8 of the Agreement, dealing with the question of stamps, stated that he could not agree to the great responsibility involved in the Commission’s advising the continued use of the existing issues of stamps. The Commission would have no possibility of controlling the use of the stamps. Furthermore, the question of stamps was not within the competence of the Chamber of Shipping, nor of the Commission nor of the Postmaster General; it was a matter for the local authorities in Palestine and for the local postal agencies.
Another view held, however, was that the existing stamps should not be destroyed and should be used. It would take a long time to print new stamps, whereas the only risk that would be run if the existing stamps were used was that the stamps might be stolen, in which case they could be cancelled immediately. If the stamps were sold to stamp collectors they would not thereby be lost. According to this view, the omission of any provision in the Agreement regarding the matter of stamps would be very impractical and the Commission should be prepared to take the responsibility entailed in advising the Chamber of Shipping to make the necessary arrangements with the Postmaster General of Palestine for the continued use of the existing stock of stamps.
Mr. STAVROPOULOS (Senior Legal Adviser) pointed out that the provisions of the Agreement, as it was being submitted to the Universal Postal Union, were only preliminary, and suggested that paragraph 8 be omitted. If the Postal Union raised the question of stamps, the matter could be taken up again.
After further discussion it was agreed to delete paragraph 8 of the Agreement.
The rest of the Agreement was adopted with only minor changes.
At this point Mr. Heinz Graetz, President of the Haifa Chamber of Shipping, was called into the conference room and was invited to examine the Agreement and to make his comments thereon.
With reference to paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Agreement, it was made clear that the Chamber of Shipping should supervise the sorting of mail by local postal authorities and that all such sorting of mail should be done in the presence of a representative of the Chamber.
Mr. GRAETZ (President, Haifa Chamber of Shipping) assented to this provision but pointed out that inasmuch as the actual sorting would require a large staff, the Chamber could undertake only the supervision of the sorting and not the work itself.
On the suggestion of Mr. GRAETZ, it was agreed to make the Agreement subject to the approval of the Universal Postal Union, effective immediately rather than as of 16 May. It was thought that the Mandatory Power could have no objection to this inasmuch as the Postmaster General had already ceased fulfilling his functions.
Mr. GRAETZ (President, Haifa Chamber of Shipping) then accepted the Agreement. It was agreed that the copy for his signature would be delivered to Mr. Graetz later in, the day.
Mr. GRAETZ informed the Commission that he would be passing through Switzerland on his return trip to Palestine and would make a point of stopping over at Berne for one day in order that he might discuss any outstanding points regarding the present Agreement with representatives of the Universal Postal Union.
A copy of the draft cablegram to the Universal Postal Union (Informal Paper M/40), informing the latter of the Agreement with the Chamber of Shipping, was read to Mr. Graetz. On Mr. Graetz’s suggestion there was added in the cablegram the information that Mr. Graetz would be leaving New York shortly and would be passing through Berne, and that the receipt before Mr. Graetz’s departure from New York of the Postal Union comments on the Agreement would to appreciated.
The Secretariat was requested to furnish Mr. Graetz with a file of the documents and correspondence pertaining to the Commission’s negotiations to date respecting postal services.
The draft cablegram mentioned above to the Universal Postal Union was accepted with minor drafting changes by the Commission and by Mr. Graetz.
FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION OF THE RELEASE OF STERLING BALANCES
Consideration was given to a draft letter, prepared by the Secretariat, addressed to Mr. Fletcher-Cooke in. reply to Mr. Fletcher-Cooke’s letter of 2 May (Informal Paper UE/134), concerning the release of sterling balances.
The letter was approved with minor drafting changes.
The meeting rose at 6.10 p.m.