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23 August 1949

Original: English


held in Lausanne on Tuesday,
23 August 1949, at 4:15 p.m.

Present: Mr. Yalcin (Turkey) Chairman
Mr. de Boisanger (France)
Mr. Porter (U.S.A.)
Dr. Azcárate Principal Secretary
Later:Mr. Henri Virgierrepresenting the Acting Mediator

Establishment of Economic Survey Group

The Commission adopted the text of the following cable, for immediate despatch to the Secretary General:

“At Commission meeting today Commission agreed, pursuant to paragraph 12 of the General Assembly’s resolution of 11 December 1948, to establish immediately economic survey mission as subsidiary body under Commission’s auspices and authority. Commission agreed survey mission shall be charged with task of examining economic situation in countries affected by recent hostilities in Palestine and to make recommendations to the Commission for an integrated programme,

(a) to enable the governments concerned to further such measures and development programmes as are required to overcome economic dislocations created by the hostilities;

(b) to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 11 of the General Assembly’s resolution of 11 December 1948, in order to reintegrate the refugees into the economic life of the area on a self-sustaining basis within a minimum period of time; and (c) to promote economic conditions conducive to the maintenance of peace and stability in the area.

“The Commission further agreed that the survey mission should be constituted as follows:

(1) A chairman to be nominated by the U.S.

(2) A deputy chairman to be nominated by the U.K.

(3) A deputy chairman to be nominated by France.

(4) A deputy chairman to be nominated by Turkey

(5) Such technical experts as are required to carry out the survey, to be selected by the chairman on a multi-national basis in consultation with interested Governments and appropriate international organizations, these experts to be appointed by the Secretary-General.

(6) The members of the mission to be responsible to the chairman and serve as members of an international organization under the auspices of the Conciliation Commission.

“The Commission requests the Secretary-General to activate the mission after appropriate consultation with the interested Governments, furnishing such staff and services as the group may require.”

Appointment of United Nations representative in Jerusalem

With regard to the draft cable concerning the appointment of a United Nations representative in Jerusalem, Mr. de BOISANGER felt that it would be preferable to omit the sentence explaining the Commission’s reasons for considering the appointment necessary. The indications concerning the present situation in Jerusalem and the attitude of the Israeli Government could, he thought, be given in a supplementary cable, for the information of the Secretary-General.

Mr. PORTER had thought it desirable that the Secretary-General should be advised concerning the background of the question, but he did not object to deletion of the sentence.

The Commission adopted the text of the following cable, for immediate despatch to the Secretary-General:

“Commission decided today nomination United Nations representative in Jerusalem, according paragraph 8 sub-paragraph 4 Assembly resolution of 11 December 1948. In Commission’s opinion presence United Nations representative in Jerusalem appointed according above-mentioned terms Assembly’s resolution would contribute to preparing establishment of Jerusalem international regime provided for by Assembly.

Commission proposes following procedure: (I) Secretary-General presents list of candidates to Commission; (2) Commission indicates to Secretary-General who most suitable; (3) Secretary-General appoints. Commission decided representative should not belong nationality Commission members.”

Memorandum from Representatives of three Arab refugee organizations (ORG/26)

The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY observed that he had explained to the representatives of the refugee organizations the impossibility of the Commission’s allowing them to attend meetings or communicating copies of the summary records to them. They had thereupon requested that they should be received by the Commission and given an opportunity to express their views. The Principal Secretary had stated that he would communicate their request to the Commission.

Mr. PORTER drew attention to the fact that the Commission had no official information regarding the actual authority of the authors of the letter, or the authenticity of their claim to represent the refugees. He felt that by receiving them officially the Commission might create an undesirable precedent as regards other individuals or unofficial groups. He would not, however, object if the Commission wished to receive them, although he did oppose the circulation of any summary records of meetings to such organizations.

Mr. de BOISANGER agreed with Mr. Porter’s views, and felt that there was no useful purpose to be served by hearing the refugee representatives. Nevertheless, he favoured the Commission’s receiving them, if only to afford them the moral satisfaction of being heard.

The Commission decided to receive the representatives of the refugee organizations on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

Report of the Technical Committee

In reply to a question from Mr. de Boisanger, the PRINCIPAL SECRETARY explained that certain revisions were being made in the report of the Technical Committee, as a result of an interview between the members of the Committee and Mr. Loftus, who had been in charge of statistics under the Mandatory Administration. The report would be submitted to the Commission within one or two days.

Interview with Mr. Vigier

The Commission then received Mr. Henri Vigier, representing the Acting Mediator.

Mr. VIGIER thanked the Commission for receiving him and placed himself at the disposal of the members to answer any questions they might wish to ask. He remarked that his three and one-half months’ experience in negotiating the armistice between Israel and Syria, a strictly military matter, had persuaded him that the Commission would need a much longer time to arrive at a permanent peace settlement. He stressed the fact that each time he had succeeded in promoting direct negotiations, during the armistice talks, those negotiations had failed and he had been obliged to resume his role of intermediary; he felt that such an intermediary between the parties would continue to be necessary for a considerable length of time.

Mr. de BOISANGER asked whether Mr. Vigier had noticed, in the course of the armistice negotiations, any evolution of thought in Syria which might constitute a preparation for more direct relations with Israel.

Mr. VIGIER pointed out that any Arab State which had just concluded an armistice agreement did not feel itself in any way pressed with regard to a final peace settlement. He himself knew the situation in Syria only prior to the end of July; he was therefore acquainted only with the policies of President Zaim, who had desired to collaborate with the Commission toward the development of Syria by utilizing the Arab refugees.

Mr. Vigier thought it probable that official policy in Syria had changed with the death of President Zaim, but he did not wish to express any opinion on the question.

The CHAIRMAN remarked that according to information which had come to the Commission’s attention, 25,000 Arab refugees had returned to Palestine after the end of hostilities. He asked whether Mr. Vigier had any information on the matter.

Mr. VIGIER replied that he had heard nothing of any such movement prior to his departure from Palestine.

Mr. de BOISANGER drew attention to the reactions reported in the various Arab States after the signing of the several armistice agreements, and inquired whether Mr. Vigier had received any impressions with regard to Syrian public opinion concerning the armistice.

Mr. VIGIER replied that according to his observation, the armistice was unpopular in certain military circles in Syria.

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Etablissement d'un groupe économique d'étude, nomination d’un représentant de l'ONU à Jérusalem, mémorandum des organisations de réfugiés arabes, entrevue avec représentant du Médiateur par intérim - 90e séance du CCNUP - Compte rendu Français