SUMMARY RECORD OF A MEETING BETWEEN THE CONCILIATION COMMISSION
AND THE DELEGATION OF ISRAEL
held in Lausanne, on Thursday,
1 September 1949, at 10:30 a.m..
The CHAIRMAN observed that the Commission had convened the present meeting for the purpose of receiving the reply of the Israeli delegation to the Commission’s memorandum of 15 August. He understood that that reply was now ready, and asked whether the Israeli delegation had any comments to make upon it.
Mr. SHILOAH then handed to the Chairman his delegation’s written reply to the Commission’s memorandum, and added certain verbal comments.
The Government of Israel had accepted the Commission’s decision to constitute an Economic Survey Mission, whose function it would be to endeavour to solve certain economic problems in an effort to create a more favourable atmosphere for the discussion of outstanding political and territorial issues. His Government would welcome the Survey Mission and would facilitate its task in so far as possible. However, Mr. Shiloah reiterated his earlier statement that his Government could not bind itself to implement all the recommendations of the Survey Mission without exception. Although his Government would do its best to cooperate and would endeavour to implement all constructive suggestions made, his delegation must maintain its reservation to the effect that if any recommendations appeared entirely incompatible with Israel’s security problems, his Government would discuss the issue and perhaps advance alternative proposals.
As regards the territorial question, the Israeli delegation would have preferred, once the decision to constitute the Survey Mission had been taken, that this controversial question should not have figured in the Commission’s memorandum. In the circumstances, however, the delegation could not but state clearly its views on the question; and the letter which he had handed to the Chairman constituted, as regards this question, a summary of the views already expressed by the delegation of Israel, with a statement of the reasons for those views.
The CHAIRMAN pointed out that what the Commission expected from the Governments of the Arab States and of Israel was that they should examine the recommendations of the Survey Mission with due attention and sympathy and should endeavour to conform to them in so far as possible. He felt that those recommendations would prove to be most useful and hoped that they might be implemented. As regards the territorial question, it was true that that question had been included in the Commission’s memorandum before the final decision had been taken concerning the constitution of the Survey Mission; however, he considered that it served a useful purpose, since the conclusions of the Survey Mission would not be sufficient to settle the territorial question and it would be necessary for the Commission to have clearly expressed in writing the views of all the Governments concerned.
Mr. SHILOAH reiterated his statement that his Government would study the recommendations of the Survey Mission in a sympathetic spirit and would implement them in so far as proved to be possible. Moreover, his delegation did not desire in any way to evade the territorial issue, which it recognised as the key to eventual peace in the Middle East. He had spoken only from the point of view of timing; he had understood that it was the Commission’s intention to concentrate its efforts for a certain length of time on economic problems, and he felt that the Survey Mission could work in a more favourable atmosphere if the territorial question were not discussed for the present. His delegation, however, would be ready to discuss and negotiate, with the help of the Commission, on any question which the Commission considered useful.
The CHAIRMAN agreed with Mr. Shiloah that the Survey Mission should be enabled to work in as favourable an atmosphere as possible and that at the present time discussion of certain issues shout not be pressed. He thanked the Israeli delegation for its statement that it would be ready to follow any procedures and methods which the Commission considered useful to advance its work, and observed that the Commission would study the Israeli delegation’s reply to its memorandum with interest and that if any questions arose there from a further meeting would be convened.
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Règlement pacifique de la question palestinienne et de la question des réfugiés, Mission d'enquête économique/Rencontre avec Israël - 37eme séance de la CCNUP (Lausanne) - Compte rendu analytique Français