SUMMARY RECORD OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTIETH MEETING
Held in the Hôtel de Crillon, Paris,
on Monday, 19 November 1951, at 4 p.m.
1. LETTER TO THE DELEGATIONS OF THE ARAB COUNTRIES AND TO THE DELEGATION OF ISRAEL INFORMING THEM OF THE CLOSURE OF THE CONFERENCE.
The CHAIRMAN asked the members of the Committee whether they wished to make any observations on the draft letter prepared by the Secretariat in the light of the discussion at that morning’s meeting.
No observations having been made, the draft letter was adopted.
It was decided, in addition, to publish twenty-four hours after the dispatch of the letter to the addressees a press release announcing that the Commission had decided to close the Conference.
2. CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE COMMISSION.
The CHAIRMAN reminded the members of the Commission that the office of Chairman should have passed to the representative of Turkey on 15 September; the Commission had, however, decided that the United States representative should continue to act as Chairman for the duration of the Conference. The proceedings having now terminated, the Chairman wished to thank the members of the Commission for their unfailing support during the Conference which, though unfortunately it had failed to produce positive respite, had nevertheless helped to clarify the situation and would enable the General Assembly to take an appropriate decision with a full knowledge of the facts, on the future treatment of the Palestine question.
The Commission had succeeded in inducing the delegation of Israel to clarify its attitude. The delegations of the Arab countries had maintained their uncompromising attitude but had shown no hostility to the Commission — in fact the reverse was the case. The Commission had done its best to discharge the task of conciliation assigned to it by the General Assembly, and while its efforts had not met with complete success, it could not be denied that the conversations it had held with the parties to the dispute had, in spite of all the difficulties, indicated that the possibility of solving certain aspects of the refugee problem did exist.
Mr. ARAS (Turkey) noted that the Commission’s at effort to bring the parties together had not been fruitless, and that in any event it has been the Commission’s duty to make that last attempt. Recent events in the Middle East had not facilitated the Commission’s work, and the Chairman had carried out a difficult task with the authority and patience necessitated by the circumstances. It seemed that the Commission had exhausted all the methods which it was authorized to apply under the terms of the General Assembly resolution in order to attempt to settle the differences between the parties. That fact should therefore be brought to the notice of the General Assembly, with the suggestion that the time appeared to have come to try a new procedure. In any event, it could be said that in the circumstances in which it had been obliged to do its work, the Commission had contributed to the maintenance of order in the Near East during the critical period of the last three years.
It would be desirable for the United States representative to continue to act as Chairman during the General Assembly discussion on thee Palestine question, since be was better qualified than any other person to reply to questions or to any requests for clarification which might be made.
Mr. MARCHAL (France) took pleasure in associating himself with the tribute paid to the Chairman by the representative of Turkey. That tribute was in every respect merited, since the Chairman’s authority and impartiality had enabled the discussion at the Conference to proceed at a level which had rendered possible exchange of views, the results of which, while they had not been positive, had nevertheless been highly illuminating. It had been a matter of gratification to him that during the period concerned the office of Chairman had been held by the United States representative, since that had made it clear, both to the countries participating in the Conference and to public opinion, that the proposals formulated and adopted by the delegations of the member countries of the Commission were backed by the State Department — which was important for the Commission’s work. He agreed with the representative of Turkey that the United States representative should be asked to continue to act as Chairman while the Commission was drafting its report and during the General Assembly debate on the Palestine question.
The CHAIRMAN thanked the members of the Commission for their very friendly remarks and said that he would continue to act as Chairman of the Commission.
He proposed that the consideration of the first draft of the Commission’s report to the Secretary-General should be postponed until the next meeting.
It was so decided.
Lettre aux délégations Arabes et Israélien sur la clôture de la conférence de Parise, L’USA continuera à assumer la présidence de la Commission - 270e séance de la CCNUP (Paris) - Compte rendu Français