SUMMARY RECORD OF THE FIFTY-SEVENTH MEETING
held in Lausanne on Tuesday,
17 May 1949, at 10,30 a.m.
There was considerable discussion on two questions concerning the press: first, the possibility of a complaint by the Israeli delegation regarding attacks in the Arab press; secondly, the matter of leakages to the press of information regarding proceedings in Commission meetings.
Regarding the first question, it was agreed that the Commission could not be an intermediary in any such complaint to the Arab States. The CHAIRMAN, however, was of the opinion that if the question was raised, the Commission might express the desire that both sides should abstain from such press attacks, in order to improve the conciliatory atmosphere of the Lausanne talks.
Mr. ETHRIDGE proposed that if the question were raised by the Israeli delegation, the Chairman of the General Committee might reply that there were two aspects of the matter. As far as the editorial attitude of the Arab and Israeli press was concerned, the Commission did not consider itself involved and would take no action. The Commission was, however, deeply concerned about the appearance in the world press of various reports on statements and discussions which had been a part of the proceedings of Commission meetings, reports which had not been released by the Commission’s press officer. It might be suggested that in the Commission's view little progress could be made in Lausanne if such leakages continued, and that it would be to the advantage of both sides not to release statements to the press.
The Commission agreed to Mr.Ethridge’s suggestion.
Attitude of the delegations regarding the boundary question
The CHAIRMAN held the view that the first and most essential task of the, Committee was to obtain precise views from the Israeli delegation concerning the frontiers. If no such statement was forthcoming during the Committee’s afternoon meeting, the Commission might consider calling a meeting with the Israeli delegation on Thursday morning, at which time it might be stated that there was no longer any reason for delay and that the Commission requested a statement from the Israeli delegation at once.
Mr. YALCIN and Mr. ETHRIDGE agreed to the suggestion; Mr. Yalcin also pointed out that the Commission might put its position even more strongly and in more detail during ensuing private meetings.
Memoranda by the Secretariat
The PRINCIPAL SECRETARY reported that in accordance with the Commission’s instructions, the memorandum on information received from the Israeli delegation regarding the refugee problem had been distributed the previous afternoon to the Arab delegations. The memorandum to the Israeli delegation concerning aspects of the refugee question not yet satisfactorily dealt with was now before the Commission for its approval.
It was agreed that the members of the Commission would study the second memorandum individually and present their suggestions to the Principal Secretary.
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