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The CHAIRMAN called the meeting to order.
1. Adoption of the Agenda
The agenda was adopted.
2. Publicity Concerning Arrival of the Special Committee in Palestine.
Working Paper N° 6 was considered and adopted with the following amendment proposed by Sir Abdur Rahman (India) that the words "to be given" be added at the end of the last paragraph.
3. Consideration of Draft Rules of Procedure Recommended for Adoption by the Preparatory Working Group.
Discussion followed on Working Paper No. 2:
Rule 2. After considering deletion of this Rule, the Committee adopted it without amendment.
Rule 3 was adopted without discussion.
Rule 4. After discussion as to the meaning of Rule 31 of the Provisional. Rules of Procedure for the General Assembly, the rule was adopted with slight changes of wording (See document A/AC.13/7).
Rule 6. After some discussion as to the responsibility of the Secretariat for providing interpreters, Rule 6 was adopted with substitution of the word "interpreters" for "interpretation".
(See document A/AC.13/7).
Rule 7 was adopted.
Rule 8. Mr. BRILEJ (Yugoslavia) said that a complete record of all testimony should be available both to the Committee and the General Assembly and suggested as an amendment that "Verbatim records shall be made of all hearings".
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) pointed out that when this question had been discussed in the Working Group it had been indicated that a very considerable additional staff would be needed if verbatim records were to be published. All hearings would be taken down verbatim but they would not necessarily be so reproduced or published in the Committee's report.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India) considered it essential that all testimony should be recorded in extenso or at least that a copy of the verbatim record should be made available to any representative who asked for it.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) agreed that each member of the Committee should have a verbatim record of the evidence for drafting the report.
After considerable discussion, an amended version of Rule 8 was adopted (See document A/AC.13/7).
Rules 9 and 10 were adopted without discussion.
Rule 11. An explanation was given by Mr. Garcia ROBLES (Secretary) of the term "verbal briefings". Mr. COHEN (Assistant Secretary-General in Charge of Public information), who was present as consultant, requested that the Press Officer who would accompany the Committee to Palestine be authorized to give the Press a verbal briefing of meetings without previous approval by the Chairman. He assured the Committee that confidence could be placed in the discretion of the Press Officer.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) supported the proposal and added that if the Press Officer proved unworthy of the confidence placed in him the Committee could make other arrangements.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) asked how the system would apply to closed meetings.
Mr. HOO (Assistant Secretary-General) replied that verbal briefings would be given immediately after such meetings had adjourned, but the Committee could decide that any part of its proceedings should be omitted from the verbal briefing or replaced by a communique issued by the Chairman when necessary.
The CHAIRMAN considered the wording of Rule 11 as it stood could not be put into effect since it was not practicable for a verbal briefing to be "previously approved" by the Chairman.
After further discussion, an amended version of Rule 11 was adopted. (See document A/AC.13/7).
Mr. COHEN (Assistant Secretary-General) then asked if radio transmission of important meetings might be made and the Committee agreed to this proposal. The Committee also agreed to his suggestion that coverage of public meetings should be extended to representatives of large international organizations.
Rule 20. Mr. HOOD (Australia) considered that this Rule was unnecessarily rigid for a small committee such as the Special Committee and favoured deletion.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) suggested deletion of part of Rule 20, but after some discussion the Rule was adopted without change.
Rules 21 and 22 were adopted,
Rule 23 Considerable discussion took place on the procedure involved in this rule.
After clarification the Rule was adopted without change.
After further discussion, Rule 24 was adopted without change.
Rule 25 was adopted.
Rule 26. At the suggestion of Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) the Committee agreed to delete the words "or by standing" and the Rule was adopted.
Rules 27 and 28 were adopted.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) considered that sub-committees would be selected, like the Special Committee itself, on the basis of country and not of person.
The CHAIRMAN suggested that the composition of any sub-committee might be determined by the nature of the question under review.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) agreed that members of any sub-committee would represent their respective governments but he considered that in choosing a given sub-committee the Committee would have regard for personal competence. He emphasized that a sub-committee would not take decisions but would report findings to the Committee.
Mr. BRILEJ (Yugoslavia) considered that each member of the Committee had equal responsibilities which could be discharged only if each member had the same right of participation in all activities of the Committee.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) referred to the practice of the Pan:American Union which enables any delegate, upon request, to participate in any sub-committee.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) indicated that a similar practice had been followed by the Commission of Investigation concerning Greek Frontier Incidents established by the Security Council.
On the proposal of Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran), the Committee agreed adopt Rule 29 as it stood, with the understanding that any member of the Committee might participate is the work of any sub-committee.
Rule 30 was adopted with minor drafting changes (see document A/AC.13/7),
The committee agreed to reconvene at 3:30 p.m. and the meeting was suspended at 2:10 pm.
The CHAIRMAN began the discussion with a reference to the provision regarding liaison officers as set out in Rule 31 of the Committee's Provisional Rules of Procedure. He suggested that in order to avoid possible uncertainty concerning the applicability of the Rule to the Palestine Government the words "the Mandatory Power" might be deleted from the Rule.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) considered that no distinction should be made between the three parties mentioned in Rule 31.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) considered there was no real distinction in practice between the Mandatory Power and tho Palestine Government.
The CHAIRMAN said that any necessary adjustments could doubtless be discussed later and withdraw his proposal.
Apart from the documents prepared by the Secretariat, and those which the Mandatory Power would place at the disposal of the Committee, the CHAIRMAN asked whether members desired to appoint any specially qualified persons to assist them in their work.
Most members of the Committee agreed that the appointment of two experts on Palestinian problems would be of great assistance, and Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) suggested that the persons appointed should be selected from different groups so as to help the Committee to form an unbiased opinion.
The CHAIRMAN asked whether some names might be suggested, but it was decided to postpone selection until the Committee was in a position to be informed regarding qualifications of possible appointees.
Mr. Garcia ROBLES (Secretary) referred to tho three volumes of documentation prepared by the Secretariat and suggested that Volume I (a list of documents available in the Reference Library on Palestine together with subject index) might be examined by the delegates. If they desired any additional documents to be made available, the Secretariat would so arrange.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) said that he had been receiving no doubt in common with other Members of the Committee and perhaps with the Secretariat written material in regard to Palestine. He asked whether arrangements existed for such material to be examined and circulated to the Committee.
Mr. Garcia ROBLES (Secretary) stated that any appropriate documents received would be made available.
Mr. LIPSICKY (Czechoslovakia) ensured whether any material, subsequent to the Anglo-American Committee's Report, was available concerning the current situation in Palestine.
After some discussion it was agreed that the Secretariat should prepare a paper giving information on the most recent developments in Palestine.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) asked what would be the Secretariat's procedure for circulating documentation.
Mr. Garcia ROBLES (Secretary) requested the views of the Committee regarding the size of the Secretariat-staff which he said would have to be considerably increased if copies of all documents were to be provided to each member of the Committee. He referred to Rule 37 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure which implied that written testimony would be first investigated by a sub-committee "for study and report".
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) pointed out that members of such a sub-committee would require copies of each document.
The understanding was reached that documents would be made available as required by the needs of the Committee.
Itinerary in Palestine
The CHAIRMAN wished to have the sense of the Committee on his proposal that some brief excursions into the country should be made from Jerusalem shortly after arrival in order that members might become familiar with general conditions and have an opportunity to test out public opinion.
The Committee agreed, with the Chairman's proposal.
Schedule of Meetings of the Committee, prior to departure for Palestine
Mr. HOO (Assistant Secretary-General) suggested that the Committee might not wish to meet again until Saturday, 7 June in order to allow time for replies to be received and circulated from organizations requesting oral hearings. After further discussion, the Committee decided to meet again on Friday, 6 June, at 3.30 p.m. in Conference Room 7.
The Committee then discussed with Mr. Alexander (Administrative Officer) arrangements for the journey to Palestine.
The meeting adjourned. at 5.00 p.m