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13 April 1949


held Jerusalem on 13 April 1949

Mr. Benoist


Mr. Eralp(Turkey)
Mr. Halderman(U.S.A.)
Dr. SerupSecretariat

The CHAIRMAN explained that he had called a meeting of the Committee in order that it might discuss certain points before it recessed temporarily.

1) Visit to Chief Rabbi of the Sephardic Jewish Community.

It was agreed that Mr. Halderman, who was the only member of the Committee who would remain for some days in Jerusalem, should call on behalf of the Committee on Dr. Ben Ouziel, Chief Rabbi of the Sephardic Jewish Community.

2) Working Paper prepared by the French member on a Draft Statute for Jerusalem (Document Com.Jer/W.15).

The CHAIRMAN invited the representatives of Turkey and the United States to submit written observations on the above working paper, when the Committee reconvened in Lausanne.

The SECRETARY mentioned that he was preparing a paper based on the French working paper, which would be circulated before the Committee recessed.

3) Talks with British Consul-General, Jerusalem.

The CHAIRMAN stated that during his forthcoming visit to the Old City he proposed to discuss with the. British Consul-General certain financial and budgetary aspects of an international regime for Jerusalem, and in particular the working paper on Revenue and Expenditure of the Jerusalem Area circulated on 5 March (Document Com.Jer/W.2.). The Committee agreed with this proposal.

4) Lausanne Conference: question of Committee’s presence.

The CHAIRMAN stated that. Mr. Comay, Israeli Government representative to the Committee, had expressed his complete understanding of the Committee’s decision to proceed to Lausanne.

5) Appointment of Dr. Serup as Secretary of the Committee.

The Committee formally took note of the fact that Dr. Serup had been appointed Secretary of the Committee in the place of Mr. Barnes.

6) Committee’s Tour of Galilee.

The CHAIRMAN reported briefly on the Committee’s tour of Galilee. He observed that the Committee had been left with the general impression that the Holy Places had been with certain exceptions, protected and respected, but that the clergy were at present working under very difficult conditions, particularly from the point of view of communications. He wondered whether any measures could be taken to improve the situation of the clergy from this point of view, and asked the Secretary to consider this question and to prepare a proposal as to how the responsibilities of the Commission under paragraph 7 of the resolution of the General Assembly could be carried out.

7) Report to the Commission.

There was a general agreement that there was no occasion for the Committee to submit a further report to the Commission at the present stage of its work.

8) Discussion of Representatives of the United States and Turkey with the Representative of the Israeli Government.

Mr. HALDERMAN informed the Committee that he held an informal conversation with Mr. Comay on 10 April. On the subject of Jerusalem, Mr. Comay main point had been that the Commission should strive to achieve a plan acceptable to the parties concerned, namely Israel, Transjordan (or another adjacent state) and the United Nations. If the Committee were to proceed without reference to the states immediately concerned, the product of its work would probably be unacceptable and would not contribute to a solution of the problem. On the other hand he considered it possible to achieve a plan which would be acceptable to all concerned. Mr. Comay was convinced that the United Nations would accept a plan containing; a more limited form of internationalization than might have been contemplated when the resolution was adopted last December, provided the plan were acceptable to the parties concerned. On the basis of his own extensive experience with the United Nations he was convinced that the General Assembly would not only accept such a plan, but would be extremely pleased to achieve a settlement to this problem.

With reference to Mr. Ben Gurion’s statement to the Commission on 7 April, Mr. Comay had said that Mr. Ben Gurion was speaking in direct reference to a statement by a member of the Commission to the effect that the Commission was bound by its terms of reference to propose plans for an international regime and that the question was therefore not debatable. The intent of Mr. Ben Gurion’s statement was that if the Commission felt bound to propose a full international regime in the latter and spirit of the resolution, Israel would be compelled to oppose the resolution in the General Assembly. It was not Mr. Ben Gurion’s intention to deny the possibility of an acceptable solution with the resolution. Mr. Comay had reiterated that the thought this possible.

In Mr. Comay’s opinion, the Committee would not be able to proceed effectively in the direction of an acceptable agreement until there had been progress in the direction of a general peace settlement in Lausanne. A number of complex situations were involved concerning the state which would comprise the Arab sector of Palestine and concerning the security of Israel.

Mr. Comay had pointed out that the Special Committee to be set up in accordance with the Israeli-Transjordan Armistice was not political in character; its task would be to resolve technical problems the solution of which would be essential to an agreement between the parties concerned.

Mr. Halderman had stressed several times that while the Commission considered the acceptance of its proposals by Israel to be highly desirable, it did not regard such acceptance as a sine qua non. The Commission continued to be bound by the General Assembly’s resolution, and any agreement would have to be a tripartite one comprising the United Nations. Mr. Comay had stated that he agreed with this position.

Mr. ERALP informed the Committee that Mr. Comay had expressed himself in similar terms during a conversation with the Turkish Delegation covering the same ground as the discussion reported on by Mr. Halderman.

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Discussion sur le travail du comité avant le retrait temporaire – Comité de la CCNUP sur Jérusalem 21e seance. (Lausanne) Français