Lake Success, New York
Friday, 6 February 1948, at 2.00 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE COMMISSION
The CHAIRMAN announced that Mr. Francisco (Philippines) was unable to attend the meeting as he had been requested by the Vice President of the Philippines to telephone him on an urgent matter.
Mr. Federspiel was also unable to attend as he was conferring with Sir Alexander Cadogan.
In view of the absence of Mr. Francisco and Mr. Federspiel the Commission decided to postpone discussion of Item 2 of the agenda - Report by the representative of the Philippines on consultations with representatives of the United Kingdom delegation and the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
The Commission decided to meet as an exception on Saturday, 7 February, at 10.30 a.m., in order to expedite the preparation of its special report to the Security Council on the problem of security in relation to the implementation of the resolution of the General Assembly.
The CHAIRMAN stated both Secretary-General had received a communication from the Arab Higher Committee, explaining their reasons for refusing to co-operate with the Commission. Copies would be circulated to members.
The Chairman called attention to a communication from the delegation of the United Kingdom acknowledging receipt of the correspondence between the Commission and the Jewish Agency.
The Secretary was asked to ascertain informally whether this was a final answer or merely an interim acknowledgment:
DRAFT STATEMENT OF POLICY REGARDING CONTINUANCE IN SERVICE OF EMPLOYEES OF THE PALESTINE ADMINISTRATION.
The CHAIRMAN observed that the first paragraph of the draft statement was the most important, as it would be circulated to all interested persons in Palestine. It was therefore essential to word it so as to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding. He emphasized that the Commission was merely making a statement of policy and was in no way committing itself.
He pointed out that if employees were dismissed by the Palestine Government and subsequently re-engaged by the Commission that would constitute the break in continuity of administration which the Commission was trying to avoid.
With reference to a suggestion that the words “wish to” should be inserted before “continue in service”, the SECRETARY observed that certain Government offices were already being abolished and that there might not be employment for all who wished to continue in service.
After some discussion the text of the first paragraph was amended to read as follows:
“In view of the changes in Palestine administration consequent upon the termination of the Mandate and the implementation of the resolution of the General Assembly of the United. Nations, the United Nations Palestine Commission states that it will be its policy to ensure the maintenance of existing conditions of employment for all employees of the Palestine administration who continue in service after the termination of the Mandate.” The text of sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph two was amended to read: “(a) to circulate to all employees of the Palestine administration this general statement of policy;”
With reference to the last paragraph, Mr. REEDMAN (Senior Economic Adviser) explained that it had been included in order to point out that the policy regarding continuance in service of employees had a direct bearing on the question of the disposal of liquid assets.
CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT OF THE SPECIAL REPORT TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL
The Commission decided to postpone discussion of the draft report until the following meeting, in order to give members time to study the document.
DRAFT TERMS OF REFERENCE OF MISSION TO BE SENT ON BEHALF OF THE PALESTINE COMMISSION TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE MANDATORY POWER ON THE SUPPLY TO PALESTINE OF FOOD AND FERTILIZERS
The CHAIRMAN emphasized the importance of wording the terms of reference in such a way as to make it clear that neither the United Nations nor the Commission itself should be under any financial obligation whatsoever in regard to the supply to Palestine of food and fertilizers.
After some discussion it was decided to redraft paragraph 4 c in the following terms:
“It may be necessary for the Commission to agree with the United Kingdom Government that any advances made by the Government of the United Kingdom for shipments of food and fertilizer made on behalf of the Commission covering the period from the termination of the Mandate to 1 October will be met out of the revenues of the Economic Union.”
The Commission also decided to substitute the words “Economic Union” for the words “revenues of Palestine” in paragraph 4 d.
Mr. REEDMAN (Senior Economic Adviser) outlined the present arrangements for importing supplies into Palestine and suggested that mention should be made of underwriting by importers as an alternative means of financing imports.
The Commission agreed to include that point.
The meeting rose at 4.00 p.m.