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A/AC.25/SR/GM/6
12 June 1950

Original: English


UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE

SUMMARY RECORD
OF A MEETING BETWEEN THE CONCILIATION COMMISSION
AND DELEGATIONS OF EGYPT, THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM
OF THE JORDAN, LEBANON AND SYRIA

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Monday, 12 June 1950, at 4 p.m.


Present:
Mr. de Boisanger(France) Chairman
Mr. Palmer(United States)
Mr. Eralp*(Turkey)
Mr. de Azcarate Principal Secretary
Abdel Monem Mostafa Bey(Egypt)
Mr. Abdul-Hadi(Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan)
Mr. Mikaoui(Lebanon)
Mr. Shukairi(Syria)

* Alternate

Discussion on the Commission's work, and in particular its proposals concerning the establishment of Mixed Committees.

The CHAIRMAN said that the meeting had been convened at the request of the representative of Egypt who had indicated that he wished to make a statement before the Commission on behalf of his Government. The representatives of the other Arab States at the meeting would have an opportunity to make statements also either at the current meeting or at a subsequent one.

Abdel Monen MOSTAFA Bey (Egypt) said that his Government had instructed him to state in reply to the Commission's note of 30 May 1950 (document AR/32) that on being informed of the Commission's proposals relating to the establishment of Mixed Committees on which the Commission planned that Israeli and Arab representatives should sit simultaneously, the Arab States had asked whether the Government of Israel had agreed to follow the recommendation of the General Assembly (Resolution 194 (III) Section 11) that "refugees wishing to return to their homes .... should be permitted to do so .... and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of, or damage to, property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible." The Commission in its note of 30 May 1950 had not answered that question, but had merely made a statement to the effect that the right of the refugees to return to their homes and the payment of compensation to those who did not wish to return was one of the basic principles of General Assembly Resolution 194 (III). That statement did not indicate anything justifying a change in the attitude already taken by his Government to the Commission's proposals relating to the Mixed Committees. This Government was, as before, willing to take part in discussions by the proposed Mixed Committee on Refugees provided Israel accepted unconditionally the principles of General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) which he had just mentioned. The Commission should continue to try and bring about agreement on the other problems which it had proposed should be discussed by the Mixed Committees by following the same procedure at present. The Government of Egypt would agree to send representatives to discuss those problems in the Mixed Committees only when agreement had been reached amongst all the parties to the dispute on those problems by means of the present procedure.

The Commission had achieved little of value during the year and a half of its existence. Since it had been set up the Arab States adjacent to Palestine had collaborated with it and thereby given proof of their desire to solve the Palestine problem. From the time of the first contacts between the Commission and Arab Governments in February 1949 it had been apparent that the solution of the refugee question was the key to the solution of the whole problem. The return of peace and stability to the Middle East, the economic development of that vital region and its participation in efforts to bring about world peace were to a large extent dependent on a fair and lasting settlement of the refugee question. At the Commission's invitation, representatives of Arab Governments had gone to Beirut, Lausanne, New York and Geneva and had repeatedly stressed the need to make possible the return of the Arab refugees to their homes and to ensure payment of compensation to those who did not wish to return. Yielding to the Commission's request, they had agreed to try and settle the Palestine problem as a whole. They had submitted constructive proposals which had so far remained dead letters. The refugees were still far from their homes, their houses and land had been confiscated and occupied by Jewish immigrants who were pouring into Palestine from all quarters of the world although they had no connection with the Holy Land. The few dozen Arab refugees who had been authorized to return to their homes under the scheme which had been surprisingly called the Scheme for Re-uniting Separated Families had soon been expelled again. Arabs living in territory occupied by the Jews were subjected to discriminatory treatment and were brutally prosecuted. Consequently an exodus of the Arabs from that territory had begun. Those Arabs who tried to go back to their land to cultivate it were always prevented from doing so and sometimes they were killed. He wished to request the Commission to make an inquiry as soon as possible to determine the truth of what he had said about the treatment of the Arabs in territory under Jewish occupation and the exodus. Thousands of Palestine Arabs had been expelled from their homes and land and forced to take refuge in Arab countries. The Arab delegations had put forward proposals aimed at making it possible for refugees owning citrus plantations in Jewish occupied territory to return to cultivate the plantations which were falling into disorder. That proposal had not met with the same fate as so many other proposals those delegations had made; they were dead letters in the Commission's archives because the Jewish authorities had rejected them although they were all in conformity with General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) and the Lausanne Protocol of 12 May 1949. Those facts showed that the projects for the Commission being able to take useful action and to achieve progress were extremely dim.

The reason for the present distressing situation in Palestine was to be found in policy followed by the Zionists and in the Jews ideology which unfortunately was supported by certain Powers whose actions concerning everything except the Palestine problem were based on democratic principles and peaceful intentions. Even before the term of the British Mandate expired in May 1948, the Zionists had taken the land in the Jewish minorities' work of ejecting from Palestine the Arabs, who had formed the majority of the country's population. They had shied at no means of placing the Arabs in the minority. Acts of terrorism and persecution such as those engendered by Hitler had been committed by Zionist hands, which had been formed in full sight and knowledge of the administering authority, against the peaceful Arab population which had been left by the mandatory power with no means of defence. Whole towns had been emptied of their Arab inhabitants who were obliged under threat of death to seek refuge elsewhere. Thus more than a million Arabs were at present homeless refugees in Arab States and in that part of Palestine which had not yet been occupied by the Jews. Many of them were suffering from hunger and sickness and were exposed to extermination. They were likely to become believers in subversive doctrines and the obedient tools of a destructive nihilism which would make the situation in the Middle East even worse.

The United Nations Mediator, who had expressed himself in moderate terms, had stated in his Progress Report to the United Nations (General Assembly Official Records Third Session, Supplement No. 11) that "the exodus of Palestinian Arabs resulted from panic created by fighting in their communities by rumours concerning real or alleged acts of terrorism or expulsion .... There have been numerous reports from reliable sources of large scale looting, pillaging and plundering, and of instances of destruction of villages without apparent military necessity. The liability of the Provisional Government of Israel to restore private property to its Arab owners .... is clear." That policy of looting and extermination, which was reminiscent of the worst aspects of primitive cruelty, did not make things much easier for those who followed it. History showed that even the most successful attempts at extermination had not had the desired results; on the contrary, they had had a boomerang effect and sown seeds of hatred and future trouble. And the Zionists' policy of exterminating the Arab majority in Palestine had succeeded only in spreading hatred of the Jews amongst thousands of Arab refugees, and in giving them more justification for their claims, and also the longing for reprisals and revenge. The establishment by force of a Jewish State in the heart of Arab Palestine would keep that longing alive so long as that State remained in existence.

Jewish immigration into Palestine had made the situation worse. The United Nations Mediator had recognized as well—founded most of the fears instilled in the Arab States by the establishment of the Jewish State. They were founded on facts which the Powers which supported the Zionists should consider carefully when trying to make plans for peace and stability in the Middle East. Those fears of the Arab States might have been unjustified, if there had been no question of establishing an independent Jewish State in Palestine but only a symbolic home for the Jews. But the structure of the present independent Jewish State was such that it could have no sound and stable economy unless the structure was changed. It was clear that the State was being built up to serve later as a centre for large scale expansion and penetration by means of population pressure into the Arab countries. That was a fact which was easily explained by describing Zionism and the large scale immigration of Jews into Palestine. There were many examples he could quote to illustrate that statement, but he would mention only one, namely the statement of the United Nations Mediator to the effect that the question of immigration into Palestine should be considered as part of the whole Palestine problem; that even in independent States the question of immigration was linked to the State's absorption capacity; that, if unlimited immigration into Palestine continued indefinitely, it might give rise to an economic and political situation which would be beyond the control of the Jewish Government, and that consequently the question of immigration into the Jewish State was of vital interest, not only to that State but also to the neighbouring Arab countries.

The Foreign Minister of Egypt had told the Chairman of the Commission at a meeting held in Cairo on 14 April 1950, with a view to making clear the attitude of the Arab States to the refugee question, that:

The Commission's task would be easy if the present conditions in Palestine had a basis of justice and legality and were in accordance with humanitarian principles and the resolutions of the United Nations. The reports sent to their Governments by Arab Delegations to meetings of the Commission showed that they had acted in accordance with such principles. If the Jews had also done so, the Commission's task would be much easier than it was. It might be said that the Commission after one and a half years of existence was approaching the end of its work, and that it was high time that it should take up with courage and frankness the problems entrusted to it, irrespective of the attitude of the parties to the dispute, and that the Commission should act in accordance with principles of justice and the Resolutions of the United Nations. One of those Resolutions, namely Resolution 194 (III), laid down that the Arab refugees should be permitted to return to their houses, and that those who did not wish to return should be granted fair compensation. That Resolution, which was clear and precise, and was in accordance with the realization that if the refugees continued to suffer as at present the prospects of peace in the Middle East would fade, suggested what he thought would be the best way of solving the key problem of refugees and many other problems. The question of refugees, together with General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) should serve as the starting point of a new stage in the Commission's work. The refugees should be permitted to return to their homes and guarantees should be given that they would be allowed to keep their lives and their goods and enjoy human rights, and that those refugees who did not wish to return would receive fair compensation.

Turning to the question of the relation of Jewish immigration to the security of the Arab States, the Foreign Minister had said that:

Jewish immigration into Palestine had been against the interests of those who had lived there all their lives; Jewish immigrants had destroyed peace in the Middle East, and the Arab Governments wished to draw the attention of the United Nations to the fact that the continuation of Jewish immigration into Palestine at the present rate, encouraged as it was by the Jewish Authorities, could have only two consequences:

(a) To make it more difficult for the Arab refugees to return to their homes, and
(b) To compel the Jews in the future to try and extend the boundaries of their territory.

It was easy to explain why the Commission had not so far been successful. The reason was the fait accompli policy systematically followed by the Jews and encouraged by certain great Powers. Since the beginning of the conflict in Palestine and the first attempts of the United Nations to solve the Palestine problem, the attitude of Israel had been marked by repeated acts violating the aims and principles of the United Nations and the Resolutions passed by its organs. Whereas the Arab States had always complied with the recommendations of the Security Council, Israel had followed a policy of systematically opposing them. He could quote many examples of such violation, but would mention only the most flagrant cases. The Security Council on 29 May 1948 had ordered a four weeks' truce in Palestine and forbidden the entry of military personnel and the import of armaments into either that country or the Arab States. The Arab States had respected the Resolution but the Zionists had violated it with impunity and had used the truce to strengthen their military position by obtaining additional military personnel and armaments. Then on 15 July 1948 the Security Council had adopted a resolution declaring the situation in Palestine a threat to peace and ordering the parties to the dispute to abstain from military activities of every kind and threatening to apply sanctions against the parties which refused to comply with the order in accordance with the Charter. That resolution had also been respected by the Arab States but systematically violated by the Zionists. On 4 November 1948 the Security Council had passed a resolution ordering the withdrawal of the forces of both parties to the positions which they had occupied on 14 October 1948. The Zionists had refused to do so, and when armistice negotiations between the two parties took place in accordance with the Security Council resolution of 16 November 1948, the Zionists insisted on retaining the positions from which they had been ordered to withdraw. Although the armistice agreements were of a purely military character and it was stipulated in them that they did not prejudge in any way the future means of settling the Palestine problem, the Zionists were at present asserting that the agreements gave them a right to keep the territory which they had thus gained. All those cases of violation of United Nations principles and resolutions had been permitted to pass with impunity, and they were the origin of the atrocities committed against the Arab population and of the present situation in Palestine.

He hoped that the Powers which tried to bring about peace and stability in the Middle East would not ignore the lessons provided by the Zionists' actions.

The Egyptian Government was convinced that the Zionists wished to consolidate their present position in Palestine both in regard to Arab refugees and the Arab population which they were gradually exterminating and in regard to all the territory they at present occupied; and that they wanted to force the Arab States to recognize that position as a fait accompli. The most striking feature of any fait accompli policy such as that followed by the Zionists was the replacement of one fait accompli by another, even if that meant breaking an order not to use force. The Arab States had respected that order and had repeatedly given assurances of their peaceful intentions and of their sincere desire to find a just and lasting solution of the Palestine problem, so as to bring about the return of peace and stability to the Middle East. Egypt had expected her peaceful attitude would be appreciated more than it had been in fact. It was with great disappointment that he had learnt of the joint French-United Kingdom-United States declaration of 25 May 1950. The first consequence of that declaration was to help consolidate the present state of affairs in Palestine and to support those who followed the policy of faits accomplis. The recognition of the Jews' faits accomplis was a bad precedent, would destroy faith in the value of principles, would encourage the perpetrator of the fait accompli to persevere in its policy, and it was a blow to the prestige of international bodies. The declaration, which had mistakenly been described as an international guarantee of non-aggression, was based on the supposition that there existed concrete elements to justify some confidence in the goodwill of both sides. But were not the actions of the Zionists sufficient to justify the worst fears? That question was fully answered by the picture which he had already drawn.

It would be absurd to guarantee frontiers or armistice lines whilst leaving the question of immigration and the return of the Arab refugees to the discretion of the Zionists. Jewish immigration might not only bring about a situation which would be beyond Israel's control, but it could also provide means of exerting pressure and supply pretexts for Zionist aggression of every kind whatever guarantees were given. That statement was borne out by the declarations and promises made by the United Kingdom -- one of the authors of the declaration or 25 May 1950 -- before and after the period of the British mandate over Palestine; it had declared that Palestine would remain an Arab country and that the creation of an independent Jewish state was not consistent with the Balfour Declaration or with the terms and spirit of the mandate. Those declarations had also constituted an international guarantee, but what had they been worth in practice? On many occasions the Arab States had warned the mandatory power against the dangers of immigration. Immigration and guarantees such as those which he had described were entirely inconsistent. Jewish immigration into Palestine was a serious threat to the security of the Middle East.

The present situation in Palestine was the result of the fait accompli policy followed with impunity by the Jews in defiance of international justice; it was a pally of keeping alive the reasons for the troubles' and insecurity of the Middle East.

Despite the opposition, ever since the Commission had come into existence, of the Jews to United Nations resolutions, whist the Arabs respected them, the Commission had deemed it advisable to pursue its objective. The Zionists had made it impossible to doubt their evil intentions. However, the Arab delegations had continued to collaborate with the Commission, thereby giving proof of the desire of their Governments to find a just and equitable settlement of the Palestine problem as a prelude to a lasting peace in the Middle East. It was high time that the Commission made it clear to the civilized world represented by the United Nations that the reason for its failure was the refusal of Israel to respect United Nations resolutions. The Commission had dealt too tenderly with Jewish susceptibility. It should tell the world that the Jews were opposed to the return of the refugees to their homes, and that they were putting in their place a heterogeneous crowd of Jewish immigrants, thus planting in the Middle East elements which were highly dangerous to the security of that region. The consequences of the situation should be borne by the Jews and the powers which supported and encouraged them in their present policy.

The Egyptian Government was deeply disappointed by the results achieved by the Commission during the one and a half years of its existence. As he had explained, its lack of success was due to the attitude of the Jews. There was nothing in the present situation which gave promise of a better future for the Commission. However, his Government, in accordance with its policy of collaborating with organs of the United Nations, had appointed to replace himself and the rest of the Egyptian delegation Abdel Kerim Safwat Bey, Egyptian Minister in Berne. The attitude of the Egyptian Government to the recommendations of the Commission was the same as it had been described by the Egyptian Foreign Minister at the meeting between him and the President of the Commission held in Cairo on 14 April 1950.

He thanked the members and the Secretariat of the Commission for the wholehearted way in which they had co-operated with himself and other members of the Egyptian delegation, and expressed great appreciation of the personal friendships formed during that co-operation.

Mr. MIKAOUI (Lebanon), recalling the statement he had made at the meeting held on 9 March 1950 (see document SR/GM/3), said that he would not take up the Commission's time by repeating the arguments he had put forward at length on that occasion. But he did wish to stress that since then the Jews had done nothing to make easier the Commission's task which had been rendered so difficult by their intransigence concerning direct negotiations and by their failure to declare themselves ready to accept the decision of the United Nations of 11 December 1948 (General Assembly Resolution 194 (III)) that the refugees should be permitted to return to their homes. Although that resolution left the Lebanese Government and the other governments concerned with a choice between direct negotiations and negotiations with the Commission, as the Commission had pointed out to the Jews both in its letter of 10 November 1949 and in its note of 30 May 1950, his Government had made another step forward and had received the Commission's memorandum dated 29 March 1950 with goodwill.

On 14 April 1950 the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs had in the name of the Arab Governments, informed the President of the Commission that they would agree to the proposals in that memorandum provided the Jews recognized the right of the refugees to return to their homes in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) and with the latter's undertaking to respect and implement that resolution.

He had already transmitted to the Commission in his letter of 17 May 1950 the reply of the Lebanese Government to the Commission's note of 11 May 1950; that reply had been to the effect that the Lebanese Government wished to remind the Commission of the joint reply of the Arab States transmitted by the Foreign Minister of Egypt, and to point out that the Commission had not mentioned in its note the two essential conditions stipulated by the Arab States and that the note had not contained any information as to the attitude of the Jews to those conditions. He had noted with regret that the information given by the Conciliation Commission in its note of 11 May 1950 did not include the guarantee that the other party would accept those conditions. The Arab Governments were far from wishing to throw doubt on the Commission's intention to respect the decisions of the United Nations; what they wanted and had clearly requested was a declaration from the Jews that they would respect and implement those decisions.

The reply of the Arab Governments to the Commission's memorandum of 29 March 1950 had not been drafted in a hurry; it was the fruit of detailed study by those Governments and by the Political Commission of the Arab League. In view of the numerous occasions on which the Zionists had flouted the decisions of the United Nations and repudiated their own signature, it was easy to understand that those Governments could not under any circumstances agree to it at the same table as the other party without having the necessary guarantees of its goodwill and good intentions. Either the Jews were prepared to respect sincerely the decisions of the United Nations -- if they were, why should they hesitate to say so? -- or else they were determined to continue, as in the past, not to comply with any international decision, whether made by the United Nations or any other body, nor to respect their signature of the Protocol dated 12 May 1949; if the latter supposition were correct, it would be useless to waste the time of the Commission and the Arab Government by taking part in the proposed discussions.

That was why he had been instructed by his Government to inform the Commission, in reply to the information contained in its note of 12 May 1950, that its attitude remained the same as that adopted by all the Arab countries at the meeting of the Political Committee of the Arab League and duly reported to the commission.

Mr. SHUKAIRY (Syria), pointing out that he was speaking extemporaneously and not from a prepared text as the representatives of Egypt and the Lebanon had done, whole heartedly supported the statement made by the representative of Egypt, which, he said, represented the views of the whole Arab world. The wealth of argument and of facts in that statement explained the attitude of the Arab States to the Commission's proposal that Mixed Committees on which Arab and Israeli representatives would sit together be set up under its aegis. He wished also to associate himself with all that the representative of the Lebanon had just said. The attitude of the Government of Syria to the Commission's proposals concerning the Mixed Committees was exactly the same as that of the Lebanese and Egyptian Governments, as explained to the Chairman of the Commission on 14 April 1950 by the foreign minister of Egypt. His Government's attitude to the commission's proposals had not changed since that date. In fact he believed that the representative of Egypt had expressed the views of all the Arab States which had collaborated with the Commission.

The circular note (document IS/52) sent by the Commission on 30 May 1950 was interesting but contained nothing that was not already known. The explanations in that note by which the Commission had sought to prove its honesty and goodwill were completely superfluous because the Arab States had always been convinced of the Commission's honesty and goodwill; they had never accused it, although they did not agree with all its opinions, of taking action which was not in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations or its terns of reference. What the Arab States did object to was the intransigent attitude and actions of the Government of Israel, which in 1950 had not even troubled to appoint a delegation with sufficient powers to discuss matters with the Commission. The Government of Syria was unwilling to send a delegation to the proposed Mixed Committees unless it was assured that the Israeli delegation would declare its readiness to take an attitude consistent with the General Assembly Resolution 194 (III). The Arab States had not insisted on the fulfilment of "pre-requisite conditions" before agreeing to send delegations to the Mixed Committees as the Commission in its note of 30 May 1950 had implied; they had merely requested an assurance from the party who had repeatedly flouted Resolutions of the General Assembly that it would respect the right of the refugees to return to their homes and comply with its duty to abide by the relevant General Assembly Resolutions.

The Commission had issued six progress reports, but in his opinion it had made no progress, unless, consolidation of the position of the Jews in Palestine could be called progress. In the eighteen months of the Commission's existence the number of refugees had increased. The consolidation of the Jews' position meant a worsening of the position of the refugees, who were exposed to starvation and extermination. The Commission had hailed the signature of the protocol of 12 May 1949 as an important mark of progress; but it had been nothing of the sort, since some time after its signature it was announced that Israel's signature was subject to reservations and later Israel had taken action in defiance of the protocol. The work on the "Re-union of Separated Families" scheme was described as progress; but whatever name was given to the scheme, in fact it had not served to bring about family reunions; on the contrary it was a scheme for selecting certain members of Arab families whom the Israeli authorities thought night be of use to their economy and for splitting up Arab families even more, because those members of the families whom the Israeli authorities did not accept under the scheme were left behind in refugee camps. The Arab States had proposed humanitarian methods of dealing with the problem but those proposals had come to nought. The establishment of the mixed committee on blocked accounts had been described as progress; but in fact that committee had achieved nothing and like the accounts itself required unblocking. The Arab's proposals for negotiations between Jews and Arabs concerning the refugees of the Gaza region and those concerning the possible return of refugees to cultivate their orange groves had also come to nought because the Israeli authorities had refused to take part in the negotiations.

All the Commission's efforts had produced nothing but failure. But that was not the Commission's fault. It had acted with goodwill and honesty; but it was impossible for it to achieve progress or bring about conciliation in the face of Israeli opposition. The actions of the Israeli authorities showed that they did not intend to withdraw to any boundary, either that indicated in General Assembly resolution 181 (II) or that indicated in the protocol of 12 May 1949; the only boundary to which they would agree was that which they considered at present best to suit the requirements of their economy and other interests.

The Commission's published records showed that the Israeli authorities refused to accept the principle that the refugees had the right to return to their homes. In 1949 they had made an offer to permit 250,000 Arabs to live in Israeli territory; there was no indication that they were still willing to permit that number of Arabs to live there, but on the other hand the Israelis were shooting Arabs who tried to return to their homes or plantations. Israel was opposed to the principle that the refugees had a right to return to their homes. The Commission's efforts had been completely frustrated by Israel's actions and certain other historical events, such as the unconditional admission of Israeli to membership of the United Nations, the granting of financial, political and military support to Israel by certain Members of the United Nations, the de jure recognition with insignificant reservations of the State of Israel and the most tragic event of them all the Declaration of 25 May 1950 by France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, in particular their statement that the Armistice lines should not be changed by force -- presumably waiting for Israel's consent. That statement implied that those three Powers considered that the return of the refugees should to allowed to depend entirely on Israel's wishes. The Commission could not hope to bring about progress, unless its efforts were supported by the Members of the United Nations. Members of the United Nations had taken action which frustrated the Commission's efforts. It appeared that members of the Commission had not even been consulted by the three Governments issuing the declaration of 25 May.

The situation in the Middle East was critical for all those who loved the Middle East. The situation had been steadily deteriorating and he feared that the Declaration of 25 May 1950 was the last drop leading to the overflow of the cup. The Commission should examine the situation carefully. Unless there was an improvement there would undoubtedly be a catastrophe in the Middle East. It was not sufficient for the Commission merely to draft reports describing its actions in half-tones. It should submit a report to the United Nations describing the present situation objectively without minimizing its dangers. Surely there could be no doubt that the Arab States were willing to comply with the Resolutions of the General Assembly. The Israeli authorities had indicated that they were ready to conclude peace treaties with the Arab States, merely because they considered that economic and diplomatic relations with those States would make their position stronger and make it easier for them to achieve more aggression. The Commission should try and persuade their Governments and the United Nations as a whole of the seriousness of the situation in the Middle East and to do everything they could to promote the implementation of the general provisions, if not every detail, of the General Assembly Resolutions relating to Palestine. In view of the well known character of Zionism it was surely obvious that the general principle of those resolutions formed the only common ground on which the Commission could base its efforts.

He wished to thank the Commission for the efforts it had made, although they had been fruitless because of the contrary measures taken by Israel. If the Commission thought that there might be some use in continuing its work, he hoped he would be informed, in order that he might ask for fresh instructions from his Government, which would continue to collaborate with the Commission so long as there was some hope that it would help to bring about progress. But the essential action which the Commission should take was to publish the whole truth.

He expressed the hope that the Commission would not in future convey the idea that the Arab States had requested it to serve as a mediator in the Palestine dispute. They had merely indicated that they considered the Commission's terms of reference empowered it to act as a mediator and to put forward suggestions for alleviating the situation in Palestine, although the suggestions of mediation were not legally binding on the parties to the dispute.

The Government of Syria would continue to co-operate with the Commission so long as it remained active and would not lose patience with it, since it did not wish to miss a single opportunity of trying to help the caravan of one million refugees at present on the way to death. However the Government of Israel's actions showed that what it had gained by force it had not the slightest intention of giving up at the conference table. The concept of conciliation and compromise was completely foreign to that Government's policy. It was for those reasons that his Government could not see its way to accept the proposal for Mixed Committees before Israel assured the Commission of its readiness to respect the Resolutions of the General Assembly.

The CHAIRMAN said that the statements made by the representatives of Egypt, Lebanon and Syria had caused him considerable disappointment. The Commission would consider those statements and try and draw conclusions from them and would keep the delegations present at the meeting informed of its deliberations on the subject. He expressed regret at the imminent departure of the present Egyptian delegation.

Mr. PALMER (United States of America) said that he shared the regrets of the representative of Syria that the Commission's efforts had not been successful, but he still hoped that it would eventually achieve complete success.

Like the representative of Egypt he also placed great value on the personal friendships formed during the Commission's work. He hoped that they would continue long after the Commission had ceased to exist.

There ensued a discussion on the questions of whether a communiqué should be issued to the Press concerning the meeting and of what, if it was issued, should be its contents.

During the discussion Mr. ABDUL-HADI (Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan) stated that the meeting had been incomplete, since he himself in the absence of instructions from his Government relating to the Commission's note of 30 May 1950 (document IS/51) had not presented its views on that note.

The Commission agreed that a communiqué should be issued to the press after it had been approved by the Arab delegations present at the meeting and that it should merely contain the information that the representatives of the Governments of Egypt, Lebanon and Syria had presented their views on proposals made by the Committee and that the subject would be discussed further.

The meeting rose at 6 p.m.


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