SUMMARY RECORD OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIRST MEETING
held in the Hotel de Crillon, Paris,
on Monday, 24 September 1951, at 4:15 p.m.
PUBLICATION BY THE ISRAEL GOVERNMENT OF PORTIONS OF THE COMMISSION’S PROPOSALS
The CHAIRMAN asked the Principal Secretary for information concerning the appearance in the press of portions of the Commission’s proposals before their publication.
Mr. de AZCARATE (Principal Secretary) explained that (a) in a telegram from Tel Aviv published in the New York Times the day before the Israel representative had communicated to the Commission his Government’s answer to the Chairman’s opening statement, a very full extract of the answer was revealed, a procedure surely unorthodox in diplomatic circles; and (b) in spite of the fact that, at Israel’s request, the Commission had delayed the publication of its proposals, a statement from Tel Aviv had been published in the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune of 23 September 1951, disclosing the substance of the preamble.
It was clear therefore that Israel had not kept its agreement with the Commission concerning the release of the proposals. In the circumstances the Principal Secretary suggested that, if the Commission thought fit, a letter on the subject could be written to the Israel representative in Paris.
It was so decided.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) thought it might be of interest to the Commission to note, in passing, that premature references to Israel’s reaction, to the opening statement — expressing, curiously, enough, contrasting points of views — had appeared in two Jewish-owned newspapers, Combat and La Parole, published in Paris at the same address.
DRAFT PRESS RELEASE.
The CHAIRMAN thought that in the circumstances the time had come for the Commission to publish its proposals and suggested that a press release be issued indicating that it was about to do so. The releases of information by Israel were very unfortunate, particularly as the Arab Governments had conformed to the Commission’s specific request to keep the proposals confidential.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) shared the Chairman’s views.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) also agreed, but suggested that, if the press release were issued on that day, its publication might appear directly related to the articles that had emanated from Israel sources. He believed that the Arabs would consider the publication of the proposals now as normal procedure, since they had already received them. He thought the press release might suitably be issued immediately after the meeting with the Arabs on the following morning.
The CHAIRMAN thought it preferable to issue the release before the Commission had further contact with the Arabs. If it were issued immediately after the next day’s meeting, it might look as if the Arabs had persuaded the Commission to disclose their proposals as a consequence of the articles from Israel sources. He read out the text of the press release, which he thought covered the situation adequately.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) fully agreed with the Chairman but suggested minor amendments to the text, designed to make the references to the Israel articles less direct and, above all, to make it quite clear that the preamble was not to be considered separately but that the proposals constituted a comprehensive pattern.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) suggested in addition that it should be indicated that the premature disclosures of information had occurred in the press of various countries, not in one only.
The CHAIRMAN proposed that the Secretariat be asked to revise the press release on the lines indicated and to release it so that it would appear early on the following morning, thereby avoiding the appearance of any relationship either with the Israel disclosures or with the next Arab meeting.
PREPARATIONS FOR FORTHCOMING MEETINGS
The CHAIRMAN suggested that the next meeting with the Arab representatives be held in the afternoon instead of the morning of the following day, to leave time for dealing with any developments which might arise in connection with the publication of the press release.
It was clear that the Arabs were waiting to hear more about the Commission’s proposals, but the time had not yet come to make more detailed proposals. The important point at the present juncture was to emphasize their integral nature. There must be no question of letting the Arab representatives think that if they accepted the non-aggression condition contained in the preamble, the Commission would be ready to let the other conditions fall.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) agreed, stressing the importance, for the Commission, of firmly keeping the initiative in its own hands.
After, a brief exchange of views, the CHAIRMAN asked the Secretariat to prepare a text for presentation to the parties which would take account of the suggestions made and, in particular, would recall their obligations under the Charter and the Armistice Agreements. He proposed that the Commission should meet at 3.15 p.m. on the following day in order to consider the draft text, before holding its meeting with the Arab representatives at 4.30 p.m.
It was so agreed.
Certaines parties des propositions de la Comission publiées par le Gouvernement d'Israël, Projet de comuniqué de presse, Préparatifs en vue des séances ultérieures de la Comission - 241e séance de la CCNUP (Paris) - Compte Rendu Français