SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 314TH MEETING (Closed)
Held at Headquarters, New York,
20 August 1954, at 4.00 p.m.
1. LETTER OF CONDOLENCE TO MRS. HAMILTON FISHER
The CHAIRMAN said that, before adopting its agenda, the Commission had a sad duty to fulfil in connexion with the news of the death of Mr. Hamilton Fisher. He had not known Mr. Fisher personally, but had been aware of his fine qualities through the esteem in which Mr. Fisher had been held by others, and in particular by the members of the Commission. Mr. Fisher, who had formerly been a press officer for the Commission and later a political officer, had been press officer for the Truce Supervision Organization at the time of his death in a jeep accident. The Chairman proposed that the Commission address a letter of condolence to Mrs. Fisher, and read a draft prepared by the Secretariat.
Mr. BARCO (United States) agreed that such a letter would be appropriate and supported the proposal of the Chairman. He could support it with equal feeling both on behalf of the United States Government and personally, in saying that the loss of Mr. Fisher was a serious blow to the United Nations Secretariat and to all who laboured for peace in the Middle East. Those who had been associated with Mr. Fisher in the past several years had come to feel that he was almost unique in his devotion to the cause they were working for; his uniqueness had extended to the point where everyone felt that he was a valuable and devoted friend. The representatives of the Governments of Israel and of the Arab countries, as well as the members of the Commission who had come into contact with Mr. Fisher, had felt his qualities of impartiality and devotion. He therefore wished to add the tribute of his Government to that paid to Mr. Fisher by the Chairman.
Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) joined wholeheartedly in the tribute expressed by his colleagues and agreed that the proposed letter should be sent. Although he had not known Mr. Fisher personally, he had heard the highest praise of his qualities.
The Commission approved the letter to be sent to Mrs. Fisher.
2. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was adopted.
3. LETTER DATED 21 JULY1954 FROM THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF UNRWA
The CHAIRMAN, recalling the terms of the letter which had been addressed to Mr. Ordonneau, noted that it emphasized the need for the Commission and UNRWA to work together on the question of compensation and suggested a visit of the Commission to Jerusalem. As the members of the Commission knew, action so far had been limited to acknowledging receipt of the letter and saying that a more definite letter would be forthcoming after the Commission had been able to meet and discuss the matter.
Mr. BARCO (United. States) observed that the question had been discussed informally and emphasized that during the period that had elapsed his delegation had retained an open mind, which it continued to have, as to the desirability of a trip to Jerusalem at that particular time. On the other hand, certain considerations had been brought up which, in the circumstances, made his delegation feel that it would be more useful for the Commission to meet with the Director and Deputy Director of UNRWA during their forthcoming visit to Headquarters, particularly since there was very little time left before the opening of the session of the General Assembly.
Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) had had no instructions regarding the invitation extended to the Commission. He was certain, nevertheless, that his delegation agreed as to the usefulness of co-ordinating policy on such matters. Like Mr. Barco, he had an open mind on the subject of a visit to Jerusalem, and felt that it would be better to wait until the forthcoming visit to headquarters of Mr. Carver and Mr. Labouisse.
The CHAIRMAN, speaking as representative of France, agreed with the other members of the Commission as to the importance of co-ordination of policy and as to the fundamental nature of the question of compensation. As for a trip to Jerusalem, he felt that it would be better not to take any immediate action since only three weeks remained before the session of the General Assembly. Moreover, since it was not absolutely certain that the existing circumstances were the most favourable for such a visit, it would be better to review the situation when Mr. Carver and Mr. Labouisse came to New York at the end of the following month. He believed that the members of the Commission agreed on the main lines of the letter to be sent and drew attention to a draft prepared by the Secretariat.
Mr. BARCO (United States) had no comments on the first paragraph of the draft, but, in connexion with the second paragraph, he believed that the discussion showed that the Commission considered that some advantage could be gained from meeting in New York, rather than Jerusalem, during the next month. He suggested rewording the second paragraph accordingly.
Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) and the CHAIRMAN agreed.
The first paragraph of the draft letter was approved.
It was agreed that the second paragraph would be redrafted along the lines proposed by Mr. Barco.