SUMMARY RECORD OF THE FIFTY-FIFTH MEETING
held in Lausanne on Saturday,
14 May 1949, at 10 a.m.
Formal Establishment of the General Committee
It was agreed that the new committee should be balled the “General Committee”; that its terms of reference should be those set forth in the draft now before the Commission (document attached); and that its members should be Mr. de la Tour du Pin, for the French delegation, Mr. Yenisey for the Turkish delegation, and Mr. Wilkins for the United States delegation.
The CHAIRMAN observed that it should be explained to the Israeli delegation at the forthcoming meeting that the new committee would examine all questions more or less in conjunction, without entering too much into the details of any one. It should also be pointed out that certain questions involved in the refugee problem had still not been satisfactorily answered by the Israeli delegation; that the Commission had received statements from two refugee committees, making certain requests; and that the Principal Secretary would prepare a note to the Israeli delegation based upon those two statements.
Refugee question: memoranda by the Secretariat on replies given by Israel.
The CHAIRMAN suggested that it would be desirable to have a memorandum in a form which could be handed to the Israeli delegation, listing, first, the points on which the replies were still unsatisfactory, and, second, the points on which no reply had yet been received.
In accordance with suggestions by Mr. Ethridge and Mr. Yalcin, the CHAIRMAN requested the Principal Secretary to draft two memoranda for discussion at a meeting the following in Wednesday. The first note, to the Israeli delegation, would be drafted along the lines he had, suggested. The second would be communicated to the Arab delegations, in order to keep them in touch with the Commission’s progress concerning the refugee problem, and would set forth as specifically as possible the questions which the Commission had put to the Israeli delegation and the answers received.
Invitation to visit Geneva Office.
The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY communicated to the Commission an invitation extended by Mr. Moderow to the Commission, the delegations and the Secretariat, to visit the United Nations Offices at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The CHAIRMAN observed that such a collective visit did not seem practicable at present; individual visits might be made if desired.
The meeting was suspended at 10:30 a.m. and was resumed at l2:30 p.m.
Technical Mission on Refugees
The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY reported that a further delay had been caused by a misunderstanding of the request from the Geneva Office to the Turkish Government; the Principal Secretary had again explained to the Secretary-General that it was a question of technicians to be proposed by the Secretary-General after consultation with the Governments represented on the Commission, rather than of official representatives to be named by those Governments. There was little doubt now, however, that the Mission would be constituted by the beginning of the following week.
Mr. ETHRIDGE observed that the United States member had been appointed and was ready to proceed to the field as soon as instructed.
The CHAIRMAN felt that in any case the Secretary-General should be advised that the matter had become most urgent, in view of the constitution of the now General Committee, and that the Mission must be set up immediately. He pointed out also that the members of the Mission should come first to Lausanne, for a preliminary meeting with the Commission, before proceeding to the Middle East.
Consultations with refugee relief organizations
The CHAIRMAN drew attention to the provision in the resolution to the effect that the Commission should keep in contact with the relief organizations serving the refugees. The Commission had not yet contacted the organizations present in Geneva, such as the Red Cross and the Quakers; it should inform them of its activities concerning the refugee problem, and obtain such information as they could furnish regarding conditions in the camps, the financial situation of the relief program, and other questions. He suggested that the Principal Secretary should approach the interested organizations and invite them to send representatives to Lausanne to meet the Commission as soon as convenient to them.
Washington conversations on rehabilitation of the Middle East
The CHAIRMAN asked whether Mr. Ethridge had any further information concerning the consultations in Washington on the subject of the social and economic rehabilitation of the Middle East.
Mr. ETHRIDGE replied that he had received a letter and documentation from Mr. McGee, who had been appointed Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Arab Refugees. His delegation would prepare an extract of this documentation for the information of the Commission. Conversations were still proceeding in Washington; the matter was a complicated one, requiring exhaustive consultation, but Mr. Ethridge hoped to be able to present an agreed plan to the Commission before his departure from Lausanne.
DURING ITS FIFTY-FIFTH MEETING, HELD IN
LAUSANNE ON 14 MAY 1949 THE
CONCILIATION COMMISSION ESTABLISHED A
GENERAL COMMITTEE AND GAVE IT THE
FOLLOWING TERMS OF REFERENCE:
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