UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE NINETEENTH MEETING
held in Lausanne on Friday,
1 July 1949, at 10:30 a.m.
Consideration of the draft memorandum transmitting to the Arab Delegations the reply of the Israeli Delegation to the Arab nine points memorandum (document AR/8)
Prior to considering the draft memorandum prepared by the Secretariat, the Committee discussed the procedure involved in transmitting the views of the Israeli delegation to the Arab delegations.
The CHAIRMAN drew attention to the importance of presenting in conciliatory and constructive form the views expressed in the letter from the Head of the Israeli delegation (document IS/31) and by that delegation in the meeting with the Committee held on 29 June (document Com. Gen./SR.18). He considered that certain passages in the letter from Dr. Eytan would not serve the purposes of conciliation if presented in that form to the Arab delegations. The Committee itself had the right to convey the Israeli views in an appropriate way.
Mr. WILKINS was in agreement with the purpose indicated in the Chairman’s remarks but, in order to avoid misunderstanding and complications, he considered it essential to keep closely to the terms of Dr. Eytan’s letter and the views expressed by the Israeli delegation at the meeting with the General Committee held on 29 June. If the Committee wished to present those views differently, the Israeli delegation might be asked to submit a new statement. In any case it was essential that the Israeli delegation should approve the terms of the memorandum before its transmission.
Mr. ERALP was in general agreement with the view that the memorandum should be presented in a conciliatory form while preserving the substance of the Israeli position.
The COMMITTEE SECRETARY pointed out that the introductory sentence of the draft memorandum made specific reference to the Commission’s letter of 21 May (document AR/9), which had informed the Arab delegations that the communication to them of Israeli proposals would be made in the form deemed most appropriate in each case.
It was agreed that the memorandum, when re-drafted, would be informally submitted to the Israeli delegation before transmission.
Following the general discussion, the Committee considered the draft memorandum point by point.
Since, in his opinion, the wording of point 1 did not give a true reflection of the Israeli position, Mr. WILKINS agreed to submit his own re-draft of that first point for the Committee’s approval before the memorandum was shown to the Israeli delegation. He considered it essential, in order to avoid any future complications, to put the Israeli position in as detailed and as accurate a form as possible.
The Committee agreed to draw Mr. Sasson’s special attention to the following passages of the draft memorandum: in point 3, the statement to the effect that in the light of present circumstances, the measures proposed in the memorandum of the Arab delegations were held to be premature by the Israeli authorities; in point 4, the first sentence to the effect that the Israeli Government found itself unable at the present time to contemplate the measures proposed in the memorandum of the Arab delegations, since it was considered that conditions resulting from the war and present economic circumstances made it necessary the use of abandoned lands and properties; and the first part of the second paragraph of point 5 stating that the Israeli delegation made it clear that the return of refugees coming within that category would not depend upon the conclusion of peace.
Drafting alterations were also agreed upon with regard to point 5, substituting “minor children” for “children up to the age of 18 years”, and “each case would receive sympathetic consideration” for “each case to be considered on its merits”.
Since point 9 was considered to be inadequate in its present form, the Principal Secretary was requested to prepare a substitute draft to be submitted to the Israeli delegation for its approval.
Consideration of the General Committee’s work during the period 1-18 July.
On the question of meetings during the following week, it was decided that the Committee would hold one internal meeting to consider the Arab delegations’ views on the Israeli reply to the nine-point memorandum and that it would meet the Israeli delegation following its meeting with the Arab delegations. The question of meetings during the week commencing 11 July was left for further consideration.
Report of the Committee to the Commission
It was agreed that the Committee should prepare a report on its work, to be submitted to the Commission following the period of recess. The Secretariat was instructed to prepare a draft report which would give a brief survey of the Committees proceedings since its establishment, particularly in connexion with the nine-point memorandum of the Arab delegations, and taking into account the work done by the Committee during the period 1-18 July.
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