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General Assembly

5 May 1948

Proposed Draft Agreement between the United
Nations Palestine Commission and the Haifa
Chamber of Shipping

(Prepared by Mr. Federspiel)

The United Nations Palestine Commission having considered the importance of maintaining to the extent possible in the existing circumstances mail services to and from Palestine hereby authorizes the Haifa Chamber of Shipping (hereinafter referred to as the Chamber) to undertake as from 16 May 1948 the reception of foreign mail in Palestine and the dispatch of foreign mail out of Palestine subject to the following conditions and arrangements which have been agreed between the Commission and the President of the Haifa Chamber of Shipping, Mr. Heinz Graetz:

1. The Commission authorizes the Chamber without delay to consult with the Postmaster General of the Palestine Government and to receive from him copies of all existing contracts, between the Postmaster General of Palestine and various Carriers, for the conveyance of mail whether by land, sea or air, all of which will be terminated on a date not later than 15 May 1948, and to take steps to have these contracts temporarily renewed either between the Chamber and the Carriers or between local postal agencies and the Carriers.

2. The Chamber will undertake all normal functions in connection with the reception and dispatch of mail by sea or air to and from Palestine and may employ as its sub-agent the Tel-Aviv Chamber of Shipping.

3. The Chamber shall without delay deliver all mail in sealed bags to such local postal agencies as may be functioning. Should, in any locality, no postal agency be functioning, the Chamber may deliver the mail to municipal bodies or other local authorities provided that the Chamber is satisfied that they will be able to handle the mail in a satisfactory manner,

4. Mail for the Arab controlled parts of Palestine may not be handed to any Jewish postal agency and mail for the Jewish controlled parts of Palestine may not be handed to any Arab postal agency, but shall be transferred directly from the Chamber to the agencies concerned, if necessary, through the intervention of the International Red Cross Organization operating in Palestine.

5. Should the Chamber not find itself in a position to deliver mail in certain localities such mail shall be safely stored by the Chamber and this fact communicated through the medium of the International Red Cross Organization to the local authorities concerned.

6. This arrangement concerns only regular mail services (las poste aux lettres) within the meaning of Art. 3 of the Universal Postal Union Convention of 1939, and parcel post at senders’ risk only. Other mail such as registered mail, money orders, etc. is not covered by this arrangement.

7. The Chamber is instructed and authorized to make any necessary arrangements with local authorities to recover expenses incurred through the present arrangement.

8. The Commission advises the continued use of the existing issue of stamps and instructs and authorizes the Chamber to make the necessary arrangements with the Postmaster General of the Palestine Mandatory Government for taking over from him the existing stocks of stamps for the safe keeping of which the Chamber should, be responsible. Subject to this arrangement being effected stamps may be delivered to local postal authorities only against cash payment.

8. The Commission advises the continued use of the existing issues of stamps. The Chamber may make the necessary arrangements to this effect with the Postmaster General or the Palestine Government.

9. It is understood that the present agreement constitutes an emergency arrangement to secure, insofar as possible, the continuation of Palestine mail services. The Chamber accepts the functions entrusted to it by this arrangement as a service in the interest not only of the public of Palestine as a whole, but of parties in other countries having an interest in maintaining correspondence with Palestine.

10. The Chamber shall relinquish its functions to such organisation or organisations as may be designated by (the Secretary-General of the United Nations) (the appropriate Organ of the United Nations) and at such time as (he) (it) may indicate, and shall render at that time a complete account of its administration to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the successor postal organisation or organisations in Palestine.

11. The present arrangement is subject to the approval of the Bureau of the Universal Postal Union to which it shall be communicated immediately.

Subject to the approval of the Palestine Mandatory Government it may come into operation at an earlier date than 16 May 1948.

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