UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
COMMITTEE ON JERUSALEM
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE THIRTY-SECOND MEETING
held Lausanne on Tuesday,
14 June 1949, 12 noon
1. Reply of Delegation of Israel to the questionnaire concerning an international regime for Jerusalem (Com.Jer./9) and statement on Jerusalem and the Holy Places by the representative of Israel at the 45th meeting of the Ad Hoc Political Committee (Com.Jer./W.20)
It was agreed that the Israeli reply should simply be noted and acknowledged, pending a reply from the Arab delegations, and that members of the Committee should individually and informally impress upon the Arab delegations the desirability for such a reply within the shortest possible time.
On the proposal of Mr. Eralp, it was agreed not to accede to the request of certain of the Arab delegations to be informed of the reply given by the Israeli delegation till all replies had been received.
The statement by the representative of Israel at the 45th meeting of the Ad Hoc Political Committee was noted.
2. Memoranda the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission and by the Orthodox Palestine Society on their activities and property in Palestine (Com.Jer. W.22 and 23)
Mr. BENOIST proposed that the Israeli delegation should be asked for information on the reported position. He had been informed that certain ecclesiastical properties had been handed over to Russian orthodox priests who had recently come to Palestine from the Soviet Union. In reply to a question by Mr. Eralp, he pointed out that the Committee would concern itself with such matters as come within the scope of the term “Holy Places, sites and religious buildings”, which should be considered as covering property required for the support of religious communities. His delegation had always maintained that the phrase in question called for definition. He would submit such a definition to the Committee.
It was agreed to ask the Israeli delegation for information as proposed.
3. Letter by the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem concerning the internationalization of Jerusalem (NC/21)
It was agreed to send a cordial letter to the Bishop assuring him that his views would be taken into consideration
4. Communication from Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (NC/22)
The CHAIRMAN noted that the views expressed were in harmony with those of the Committee. It was agreed to acknowledge the communication, and to say that it would be taken into account:
5. Plan of Work of the Committee.
Mr. BENOIST recalled that besides discussion with the Israeli delegation over ecclesiastical property, it was necessary to improve the drafting and to re-examine certain points of detail of the Draft Proposal for an international regime for the Jerusalem area. The revision should be completed as soon as possible. The French delegation had submitted the Draft Proposal to its Government which agreed with it in principle.
In regard to Article 11, he had understood that both the United States and Turkey would agree to fixing the number of international guards at a hundred, implying a reserve of three or four times that number. He had calculated that the cost of the salaries of the administrative staff, the members of the Tribunal and the guards, which should be borne entirely by the United Nations without Israeli or Arab contributions, would amount to an over-all figure of about two million dollars. The SECRETARY added that the Secretariat was considering the financial implications of the whole plan.
The CHAIRMAN thought the number of guards should be left to the decision of the Administrator, but agreed that one hundred could be taken as a rough basis for calculating the total expense.
He himself queried whether the number of police contemplated, of one thousand for each zone, was not unduly high. While large police forces might be required as long as the situation remained chaotic, it appeared undesirable to make permanent provision for them. He suggested that a number might be fixed with the proviso that it should not be exceeded except with the consent of the Administrator.
He suggested that an expert opinion should be sought, for instance from Mr. Frank Begley at Lake Success who was familiar with the problem.