SUMMARY RECORD OF THE SEVENTIETH MEETING
Lake Success, New York
Wednesday, 28 April 1948, at 2.30 p.m.
MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATION
The following communications from the United Kingdom Delegation were taken note of, it being agreed that no action on them was necessary:
Two communications containing additional information on the situation in Haifa (Informal Papers UK/123 and UK/126);
A communication concerning loans from Bearer Bond balances (Informal Paper UK/127);
A communication concerning the fuel situation in Jerusalem (Informal Paper UK/125);
A communication concerning the Directive for the General Officer Commanding and the question of access to Haifa after 15 May (Informal Paper UK/124); and
A communication concerning Postal Services in Palestine (Informal Paper UK/122).
CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION OF POSTAL SERVICES IN PALESTINE
Mr. REEDMAN (Senior Economic Adviser) read a cable dated 26 April which he stated had been received by Mr. Hoofien of the Jewish Agency from a colleague of his who had personally seen the Director of the Postal Union in Berne. The cable contained the information that the Postal Union had suggested that the Commission should formally confirm to the Postal Union its responsibility for the supervision of postal services in Palestine or should appoint one or more individuals in Palestine to supervise those services on behalf of the Commission. The Postal Union would accept such an arrangement as valid as a temporary expedient. Mr. Reedman added that a cable had been sent to the Postal Union requesting formal confirmation of-this proposal.
Mr. FEDERSPIEL (Denmark) informed the Commission that he had contacted the President of the Chamber of Shipping in Haifa who was at present in New York and had requested him to get in touch with the Chamber of Shipping regarding the possibilities of the Chamber’s accepting responsibility for the supervision of postal services. He had put the President of the Chamber of Shipping in touch with Mr. Hoofien and they were investigating the matter jointly.
The CHAIRMAN observed that the Commission had three alternatives in appointing an authority to supervise postal services: there was the Chamber of Shipping in Haifa (that is, if it agreed to undertake such supervision), there were Palestinian Municipalities, and there was the alternative of appointing a responsible individual. He pointed out that there was an important advantage in appointing a non-political, non-partisan body or individual.
Mr. REEDMAN (Senior Economic Adviser) recalled that Mr. Hoofien had previously suggested that the International Red Cross in Palestine should be entrusted with the supervision of postal services.
It was agreed that the appointment of the International Red Cross might be the best alternative.
The CHAIRMAN asked Mr. Reedman to approach representatives of the International Red Cross in Jerusalem with the request that they undertake to accept Palestinian mail. He also asked Mr. Reedman to enquire of the Postal Union, Berne whether this arrangement would meet with their requirements.
CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION OF FREE STERLING ALLOCATIONS AFTER 15 MAY
Note was taken of the communication received from the Jewish Agency concerning the above subject (Informal Paper JA/40).
Mr. REEDMAN (Senior Economic Adviser) confirmed that the estimates which the Secretariat had made respecting sterling allocations corresponded closely with those which had been made by the Jewish Agency.
In reply to a question of the Chairman, Mr. Reedman stated that if the Commission entered into negotiations with the United Kingdom Government on the matter it should do so on the basis of a period of six months rather than on shorter periods. The making of allocations for a period of six months was the normal practice in other such cases and he did not think the United Kingdom Government would have any objections to a six-month period.
It was agreed that the subject of free sterling allocations would be taken up again at the next meeting when the Members would have had time to study both the communication from the Jewish Agency (Informal Paper JA/40) and a working paper on the subject prepared by the Secretariat (Informal Paper W/16).
CONSIDERATION OF THE FOOD SITUATION
It was agreed that .the Commission should present, as a supplement to its Special Report on the Food Situation to the Security Council and its Report to the General Assembly, an additional report covering the latest arrangements which had been made respecting the procurement and financing of food for Palestine. This additional report would be sent under a covering letter addressed to the President of the Security Council and to the President of the General Assembly.
Note was taken, in connection with the food situation, of a communication received from the United Kingdom Delegation (Informal Paper UK/121):
Mr. REEDMAN (Senior Economic Adviser) explained that the present position was that the United Kingdom Government had assented to the Commission’s request that liaison between the Commission and the United Kingdom Food Mission be established, and that Mr. Henson (Consultant), who was now located in Washington, had been asked to act as liaison officer and had expressed his willingness to serve in that capacity. It remained therefore to advise the International Emergency Food Council of this arrangement. Mr. Reedman stated that this would be done.
It also remained to work out the quantities of cereals that should be requested as allocations in putting Palestine’s case before the International Emergency Food Council. As the Cereals Committee of the International Emergency Food Council would be meeting within a few days, this had to be done quickly. Mr. Reedman pointed out, with reference to this question of food estimates, that under the present circumstances in Palestine it would be impossible to provide the International Emergency Food Council with all the information that it was the usual practice to provide. The best that could be done would be to present figures based on those of the previous year with any modifications.
It was pointed out that to some extent the Arab and Jewish requirements would have to be considered separately.
With reference to the making of estimates of the respective Arab and Jewish food requirements, it was agreed that the negotiations should be carried on directly with Steel Brothers as much as possible rather than with the Arab and Jewish communities. In making computations, the Secretariat should consult the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee, but should itself make the computations on behalf of the Commission. That would be the most convenient course to follow in what would otherwise be a complicated situation.
It was agreed that the Secretariat should submit the draft Supplementary Report on Food and its accompanying letter to the Chairman for his approval, and that it was not necessary for the Commission as a whole to review these prior to their being transmitted to the President of the Security Council and to the President of the General Assembly,
CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION OF AN EMERGENCY POLICE FORCE FOR JERUSALEM. (Informal Paper W/14)
Note was taken of the above working paper regarding the question of an emergency police force for Jerusalem which had been prepared by the Secretariat.
The view was expressed that the United Kingdom policy regarding the re-employment of the staff of the Palestine Administration by the Commission had nothing to do with the question of the recruiting of a police force for Jerusalem and should not therefore be used by the Commission in defending its position vis-a-vis the United Kingdom Government.
The CHAIRMAN observed that as Mr. Creech-Jones had not raised the matter in question in his speech before the First Committee of the General Assembly, the Commission also need not raise it.
The meeting rose at 3.30 p.m.