SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 308TH MEETING (Closed)
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 27 January 1954, at 3.00 p.m.
1. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The agenda was adopted.
2. LETTER DATED 2 JANUARY 1954 FROM MR. LESLIE CARVER, ACTING DIRECTOR OF UNRWA
The CHAIRMAN pointed out that a draft reply to Mr. Carver’s letter had been prepared and asked for the Commission’s views.
Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) welcomed the idea of a trip to the area by the Commission or a representative thereof, if something constructive could be achieved. He felt, however, that since the Commission had recently sent its liaison representative to Jerusalem it could perhaps rely on him until the time became ripe for a trip by the Commission itself.
Mr. BARCO (United States of America) expressed his full accord with Mr. Carver’s suggestion regarding closer collaboration. He saw no objection in principle to the Commission’s taking all steps to increase its contacts with UNRWA, and with the UNTSO, including a trip to the area, though he agreed with Mr. Derinsu that the latter move would not be opportune at the present time. He felt that consideration could be given to the idea of a trip at some later date, and expressed the opinion that preliminary talks between Mr. Carver and. Mr. Ladas might well produce a basis for action by the Commission in the near future. In the meantime, be suggested., the members of the Commission might wish to consult their respective governments in the matter.
The CHAIRMAN agreed with the views expressed by Mr. Derinsu and Mr. Barco.
Mr. BARCO (United States of America) thought it would be useful if the Secretariat could give some thought as to what particular questions the Commission might support actively if it went to the field. The blocked accounts release operation had been carried out satisfactorily so far through liaison officers but there might be other problems which conceivably might be dealt with more expeditiously by the Commission itself, working on the spot. The whole Palestine question was, he felt, moving into a new phase which would certainly require greater co-ordination between the United Nations bodies working in the area.
In that connexion, Mr. DERINSU (Turkey) remarked that it was extremely useful to have Mr. Ladas in the area to keep the Commission fully informed as to the changing situation and new developments.
Mr. BARCO (United States of America) wished to express his appreciation for the reporting, of Mr. Ladas which,. in its balance and lucidity, he considered to be of a very high order and precisely what the Commission required
The draft reply to Mr. Carver was approved.
3. LETTER DATED 25 NOVEMBER 1953 FROM THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF GREECE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
After a brief discussion, which took into account the memorandum prepared by the Legal Department, the Commission approved the text of a reply to Ambassador Kyrou of Greece stating that the Commission felt itself unable to deal with the compensation claims of Greek nationals whose properties suffered damage in the Israel-Arab conflict of 1948, since it felt its primary responsibility to be towards the Arab refugees, who did not enjoy the protection of any Government.
4. THE QUESTION OF BLOCKED ACCOUNTS
Mr. CHAI (Acting Principal Secretary) asked whether the Commission felt able to take a decision with regard to the next stage in the release scheme.
Mr. BARCO (United. States of America) stated that he had recently raised with his Government the question of continuing to move ahead in the operation but the recent debates in the Security Council had intervened. He expected to receive instructions shortly and would inform the Commission. He felt that the recent action by the United Kingdom Government would prove more helpful than otherwise.
Mr. CHAI (Acting Principal Secretary) observed that the United Kingdom request to Israel had not been communicated to the Commission, which should, he thought, have the exact text.
The members of the Commission agreed that, although they had beet informed unofficially of the action of the United Kingdom Government, the Chairman should request the necessary documentation in order to complete the Commission’s records.
It was further agreed to postpone consideration of the matter of a second instalment until a later date, and to ask Mr. Ladas to furnish certain details regarding the latest statistics on the first instalment.
5. OTHER BUSINESS
Mr. BARCO (United States of America) raised the question of the establishment of the Jerusalem sub-office of the identification and valuation project and the despatch of Mr. Hadawi to the area.
Mr. CHAI (Acting Principal Secretary) observed that Mr. Hadawi had wanted to leave on 1 February.
Mr. BARCO (United States of America) wondered whether there might be objections to his arrival in the area at the present time and thought the Commission should consider the matter carefully.
After some discussion it was agreed to approve Mr. Hadawi’s departure date of 1 February, pending the receipt of Mr. Ladas’ views as to whether or not this might be undesirable at the present time.