UNITED NATIONS PALESTINE COMMISSION
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE SEVENTY-FIFTH MEETING
Lake Success, New York
Wednesday, 11 May 1948, at 2.30 p.m.
CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION OF POSTAL SERVICES IN PALESTINE (Informal Papers UK/136, UK/138, and JA/41)
Note was taken of the two communications from the United Kingdom delegation (Informal Papers UK/136 and UK/139) and the communication from the Jewish Agency for Palestine (Informal Paper JA/41), all concerning the question of postal services in Palestine.
With respect to the communication from the Jewish Agency, the CHAIRMAN stated that in his opinion the arrangement regarding postal services respecting which the Jewish Agency had informed the Commission should have no bearing upon the action of the Commission with reference to its Agreement with the Haifa Chamber of Shipping (Informal Paper M/41).
The CHAIRMAN communicated to the Commission that a reply had been received from the Universal Postal Union acknowledging receipt of the Commission’s communication advising the Postal Union of the Commission’s Agreement with Haifa Chamber of Shipping. The reply stated that the Postal Union would communicate the arrangement to the various national postal administrations, members of the Postal Union, and that it was within the competence only of the members of the Postal union to approve the Agreement. The Chairman observed that he considered that the Commission had, in any case, done all in its power in the matter.
After a brief discussion it was agreed that the action taken in the communication of the Postal Union satisfied the Commission as being in accordance with Article 10 of the Agreement with the Haifa Chamber of Shipping insofar as approval by the Postal Union was concerned.
It was agreed that the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee should be informed of the Agreement with the Haifa Chamber of Shipping, and that the Postal Union should be notified that the Mandatory Power had no objection to the Agreement.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATION CONCERNING ADMINISTRATION GENERALE DES PHARES DE PALESTINE” (Informal Paper UK/137).
Note was taken of the above communication and it was agreed that no action respecting it was necessary.
CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION OF THE FOOD SUPPLY FOR PALESTINE
Mr. SINGER (Economic Adviser) gave a report on the discussions which he and Mr. Reedman (Senior Economic Adviser) had had in Washington with the State Department and with Mr. Henson (Food Expert) respecting liaison arrangements between the Commission and the British Food Mission in Washington.
He stated that the estimates of the food requirements of the Jewish Agency were now available. These estimates were considered very conservative. There was agreement, he thought, between the International Emergency Food Council, the British Food Mission and themselves that the estimates had to be based on the previous year’s requirements.
He said that the agreed procedure was that the British Food Mission would present Palestine’s case separately before the International Emergency Food Council. Mr. Henson would sit on the allocation committees.
He stated that the Jewish Agency preferred sources of supply from within the sterling area and the main difficulty would be respecting the procurement of sufficient supplies from the sterling area. The Middle East had of course to be discounted as a source of supply.
In reply to questions, Mr. SINGER stated that the requirements of the whole of Palestine and for the whole year were being provided for. It was not known yet whether Steel Brothers would agree to continue the arrangements respecting their procurement of supplies for Palestine then in effect.
With reference to the laying on of shipments in good time, it was agreed that the Commission should enter into direct negotiation with Steel Brothers to ascertain what the position on the spot would be, inasmuch as the next shipment would have to be made through that company.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATION CONCERNING THE LONDON MEETING OF THE PALESTINE CURRENCY BOARD (Informal Paper UK/136).
The CHAIRMAN observed that his impression gained from the above communication was that the United Kingdom Government preferred that the Commission should not send an observer to the forthcoming London Meeting of the Palestine Currency Board.
Mr. REEDMAN (Senior Economic Adviser) said that he was under the same impression.
It was agreed that the Commission should ask for the information suggested in the communication and as full an account as possible of the measures taken to insure the supply of currency after the termination of the Mandate.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATION CONCERNING THE USE OF RED ENSIGN BY PALESTINIAN MERCHANT SHIPS (Informal Paper UK/139).
Note was taken of the above communication, and it was agreed that no action should be taken by the Commission in the matter in question.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATION CONCERNING ENEMY PROPERTY IN PALESTINE (Informal Paper UK/114).
It was agreed that a reply to the above communication should be sent stating that it is the Commission’s view that the accounting for and the liquidation of enemy property in Palestine would continue to be, after the termination of the Mandate, the concern of the United Kingdom Government who would be responsible in the matter towards the appropriate war reparations agencies.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATION CONCERNING THE COMPLETION OF ACCOUNTS AND RECORDS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF PALESTINE ON THE TERMINATION OF THE MANDATE (Informal Paper UK/70).
The CHAIRMAN expressed the view that the expense entailed in the completion of the accounts and records of the Government of Palestine on the termination of the Mandate was a proper charge against the Palestine Administration.
It was agreed that a reply should be sent to the above communication stating that the Commission did not accept the proposal contained therein, and mentioning that the Commission’s reply to that effect had earlier been given orally to Mr. Fletcher-Cooke by Mr. Federspiel.
CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION OF THE RE-EMPLOYMENT OF PALESTINIAN CIVIL SERVANTS.
Mr. STAVROPOULOS (Senior Legal Adviser) suggested that the Commission might wish to consider whether or not it was necessary for the Commission to clarify further its position with reference to the above question in connection with the statement of policy which the Commission had made in Palestine some time ago.
After a brief discussion it was agreed that no clarification on the part of the Commission was necessary.
The meeting rose at 3.50 p.m.