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3 April 1950

Original: English


Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on
Monday, 3 April 1950, at 11 a.m.

Mr. de Boisanger (France)Chairman
Mr. Barco* (United States of America)
Mr. Eralp* (Turkey)
Mr. de Azcarate.Principal Secretary

* Alternate

Memorandum dated 29 March 1950 addressed to the Chairman of the Commission by the representative of the State of Israel (IS 47)

The CHAIRMAN recalled that on the morning of Friday, 31 March the Israeli representative had handed the Commission a memorandum which he proposed, so he stated, to have published. The impression given was that he had very definite instructions from his Government on that point.

Mr. BARCO (United States of America) stated that after reading the Israeli delegation’s memorandum he had thought that it would be likely, if published, to produce an unfavourable reaction in the Arab Governments and might lead them to reject the Commission’s proposals. In any event it severely criticized the attitude of the Arab delegations and was not calculated to create a psychological atmosphere favourable to negotiation, He had apprised Mr. Rafael of his fears but the latter had replied that his delegation had firm instructions from the Government on the matter.

In those circumstances, he and the Principal Secretary had arranged to meet Mr. Eban and Mr. Rafael to inform them that publication of their delegation’s memorandum at this time might be most unfortunate.

The members of the Israeli delegation had thereupon stated that, in view of the rumours of war that were being currently spread, they did not wish to miss opportunity of exposing the Arab Government’s attitude and seeking the support of world public opinion. They had, however, agreed to postpone publication of their memorandum until the Commission had been able to examine it. He had pointed out to them that it was only right to give the members of the Commission time to acquaint themselves with its contents. They had replied that their Government could not withhold publication indefinitely, and had suggested that the Commission should publish its own proposals beforehand.

In answer to a question by the Chairman, he said that Mr. Eban had suspended publication of the Israeli memorandum until the Commission had been able to study it, because he had assumed that it would be examined on. 3 April. He hoped to have a word with the Commission that very day. In short, Mr. Eban had merely agreed to postpone publication of his memorandum until then.

Mr. ERALP (Turkey) submitted that the Commission, were it to publish its proposals, would give the impression of having reversed its judgment. It would be better to allow the proposals to retain their confidential character; all that was .necessary would .be to indicate that Israeli memorandum preceded them in point of time.

The CHAIRMAN was opposed to the publication of the Commission’s proposals, the mere fact that the Israeli delegation was announcing its intention of communicating its memorandum to the press not constituting — in his view — a sufficient reason. The Israeli delegation, he suggested, should be informed that the Commission continued to advise against the publication of its memorandum, and that such publication, if nevertheless effected, should be on the responsibility of the Israeli Government. Action on those lines might lead the Israeli delegation to moderate the terms of its communiqué in some measure.

Mr. BARCO (United States of America) also felt that the first step to be taken in relation to the Israeli delegation should be designed to seek to dissuade it from publishing anything whatsoever for the time being.

The CHAIRMAN proposed that the Commission ask the Principal Secretary to inform Mr. Eban that the Commission upheld the viewpoint already expressed by Mr. Barco and himself: that it felt that the publication of the memorandum being inopportune, it should preferably be held over until information was to hand concerning the nature of the response to the Commission’s proposals.

Mr. ERALP (Turkey) observed in this connection that there was no reason to fear any large-scale extension .of military measures during the fortnight which would elapse before the replies to the proposals were known.

The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY suggested that the Commission might consider publishing a communiqué which would serve to confirm the particulars already gathered by the. press regarding its confidential proposals; and that, in view of the changed circumstances, it might make use of the draft press release prepared by Mr. Fischer, the text of which it had approved.

The CHAIRMAN outlined the development of :the problem. The Commission had decided that it would be inappropriate at that juncture to make its proposals public. In company with the Principal Secretary he was going to the Middle East to canvass support far them from the governments of the parties concerned. In the meantime, the. Israeli Government had just submitted to the Commission a memorandum which was designed according to the Israeli delegation’s own statement, to arouse public opinion against the Arab Governments and publication of which would run counter to the conciliatory aims pursued by the Commission.

In those circumstances, he suggested that the Israeli delegation be informed that acceptance of the Commission’s proposals would afford a way out of the dilemma. It would be further stated that the Commission considered the moment ill-chosen to publish the Israeli memorandum. If the Israeli delegation proceeded, notwithstanding, to publish it, it would do so on its own responsibility. In his opinion that was all that needed to be done.

Mr. ERALP (Turkey) suggested that the Israeli Government, if it wished to see the opening of direct negotiations, should realise that the memorandum should only be published if and when the Commission’s proposals were rejected. The Commission was not asking the Israeli delegation to withhold publication of its memorandum permanently, but merely to hold it over for a certain time.

The CHAIRMAN asked .the Principal Secretary to inform the Israeli delegation by telephone of the Commission’s view that .any publication at that juncture would be ill-timed. He would further point out that the Commission had no intention of making its proposals public, and that the Chairman of the Commission was quite ready to meet the Israeli representative in order to provide him with confirmation on a more official basis of the Commission’s attitude.

It was so decided.

The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY .informed the Commission that the Council of the Arab League, according to press reports, had unanimously adopted (Jordan being included in the vote) a resolution to the effect that any Arab country negotiating a separate peace with Israel would be immediately expelled from the League.

Relations between the Conciliation Commission and the Relief and Works Agency

The CHAIRMAN declared that the Commission now had before it a note by the Secretariat arguing the need for establishing machinery for liaison between the Conciliation Commission and the Relief and Works Agency (document W/42).

Mr. ERALP (Turkey) observed that the question might usefully be discussed with the Director of the Agency and the members of the Advisory Commission during their. Stay at Geneva.

The CHAIRMAN suggested the advisability of informing the members of the Agency that the Commission had expressed itself in favour of establishing close contact between the Commission and the Agency, and that it was ready to place at the Agency’s disposal any information of interest to it. The General Assembly had laid it down that the Agency should supply information to the Commission; but the latter, interpreting the resolution in a broad sense, felt that the exchange of information should necessarily be conducted on a two-way basis.

In reply to an observation by Mr. Eralp (Turkey), the PRINCIPAL SECRETARY explained that the Commission was called upon to decide whether it should or should not take the initiative in submitting to the members of the Agency a concrete basis for discussion on the question of liaison. His own view was that the Commission should take the former course. The members of the Agency would undoubtedly be very glad to have a concrete proposal before them.

He also announced that the Secretariat had collated, in a single document, all passages in the Conciliation Commission’s five periodical reports to the Secretary-General relating to the question of the refugees; The document provided a detailed account of everything done by the Commission in that field, and might prove extremely useful to the members of the Advisory Commission and the Director of the Agency.

A document of that type, to be supplemented by precise proposals concerning liaison organization, would immediately place the discussion between the Commission and the members of the Agency on a basis conducive to the achievement of practical results — a procedure which would be preferable to conversations of a more general nature.

The CHAIRMAN requested Mr. Barco (United States of America) and Mr. Eralp (Turkey) to revise the Secretariat draft in his absence and arrange it in the form of a note by the Commission to the Relief and Works Agency.

Date of the next meeting

After discussion, the next meeting, to which the Director of the Relief and Works Agency and the members of the Advisory Commission would be invited, was fixed for Monday, 17 April, at noon.

The meeting rose at 12.30 p.m.

Document in PDF format

Question depublication du mémorandum israélien, relation avec l'UNRWA -140e séance de CCNUP (Genève) – Compte rendu Français