SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH MEETING (PRIVATE)
Held at the YMCA Building, Jerusalem,
Wednesday, 16 July 1947, at 1:30 p.m.
CHAIRMAN: Mr. Sandstrom (Sweden)
Mr. Hood (Australia)
Mr. Rand (Canada)
Mr. Lisicky (Czechoslovakia)
Mr. Garcia Granados (Guatemala)
Sir Abdur Rahman (India)
Mr. Entezam (Iran)
Mr. Blom (Netherlands)
Mr. Garcia Salazar (Peru)
Mr. Fabregat (Uruguay)
Mr. Brilej (Yugoslavia)
Mr. Hoo (Assistant Secretary-General)
Mr. Garcia Robles (Secretary)
The CHAIRMAN called the meeting to order
Adoption of the Agenda
The agenda was adopted.
Consideration of the Fourth Report of Subcommittee Two (Document A/AC.13/SC.2/10)
Application for Oral Hearings from Organizations
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) explained the reasons why the Subcommittee recommended that no hearings were necessary for the Ahdut Avoda (Movement for Labour Unity) and pointed out that the Subcommittee had interpreted the view of the Committee to be that, apart from religious authorities, no organization nor individual should be invited to a hearing unless an application had been made.
Mr GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) disagreed with Mr. Blom's last remark observing that the Committee was free to invite anybody to be heard. He had merely suggested and not formally proposed a hearing for the Ahdut Avoda.
The CHAIRMAN agreed with Mr. Granados view and suggested deletion of the following words from the first paragraph of page 2 of the Fourth Report:
"As the Committee decided to invite only religious authorities".
The Chairman's proposal was accepted.
The Committee approved the recommendation of Sub-Committee Two subject to the above amendment, that no hearings were necessary for the Ahdut Avoda.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands), referring to the request for a hearing made by the Communist Union, stated that after the Subcommittee had decided that no hearing was necessary, it had received from the Communist Union a new application in which it was stated that the Union had a particular point of view to submit. He added that Dr. Brilej, after a talk with the representatives of the Union, had come to the conclusion that a hearing was not necessary.
Mr. BRILEJ (Yugoslavia) stated that the attitude of the Communist Union regarding Zionism was broadly similar to that the Jewish Agency. In his opinion the organization insisted on a hearing only for reasons of prestige.
The CHAIRMAN declared that he had been approached by the representative of the Communist Union who had explained to him a new proposal for a federative state on a territorial basis. The proposal had a certain interest and he suggested that the Committee should grant the Union a half-hour hearing.
After discussion the Chairman's proposal to grant a half-hour hearing to the Communist Union was adopted.
2. Applications for Oral Hearings from Individuals
Mr. Blom (Netherlands) explained the reasons why the Subcommittee recommended that a hearing be granted to Dr. Grienberg who had been Chairman of the Central Committee of Liberated Jews of the American Zone in Germany.
The CHAIRMAN supported the proposal of the Subcommittee, adding that if such a hearing were granted the Committee might dispense with a visit to the camps.
Mr. RAND (Canada) maintained that the hearing of Mr. Grienberg involved the same question as the visit to the D.P. camps on which the Committee had several times postponed a decision.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) considered that the proposed visit to D.P. camps was a distinct question which had yet to be settled.
The CHAIRMAN enquired whether the Committee would agree to grant him a hearing of half an hour.
Mr. HOOD (Australia) maintained that giving a hearing to Mr. Grienberg would be judged as a decision on the substance of the question of the visit to the D.P. camps. He therefore suggested deferring decision on the whole matter until Geneva.
Mr. RAND (Canada) said that although he was not greatly interested in either hearing Mr. Grienberg or going to the D.P. camps, he had come to the conclusion that since the subject of Jewish refugees in Europe involved evidence which the Committee could receive he preferred to have it in the form of statement from Mr. Grienberg than to visit the D.P. camps. Such a statement should close enquiry on this aspect of the problem.
Mr. BRILEJ (Yugoslavia) suggested that Mr. Grienberg should be asked to present a written statement.
Mr. GARCIA SALAZAR (Peru) supported and Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) opposed Mr. Brilej's proposal.
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) agreed with Sir Abdur Rahman the discussion of the question of visiting D.P. camps should be held over until arrival in Geneva.
The CHAIRMAN put to the vote Sir Abdur Rahman's proposal not to invite Mr. Grienberg and to leave the matter open until Geneva.
Sir Abdur Rahman's proposal was adopted by six affirmative votes.
3. Hearing of the Government of Palestine
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) informed the Committee that the Government of Palestine would send on Friday night (18 July) memorandum containing a commentary on what bad been said by representatives of the Jewish Agency and others. The memorandum might contain answers to many of the questions which members would want to put to the Government. Therefore, the Government wished members to read its written statements before putting questions.
The CHAIRMAN pointed out that if the course suggested by the Government of Palestine were adopted the Committee would have to hold a meeting on Saturday. Before settling this question the Committee should decide on its future plans.
Mr. GARCIA ROBLES (Secretary) at the request of the Chairman, informed the Committee of the answers which had been received from the Arab States and which had already been distributed to members*. In addition a reply from Saudi Arabia had just been received stating that its Government would conform to the decision taken by other Arab States.
The CHAIRMAN called the attention of members to the reply from Transjordan** and to the invitation to the Committee or some of its members to go to Amman.
Mr. GARCIA. GRANADOS (Guatemala) suggested that the question of visiting Transjordan should be decided after the meeting with the Arab States so that it might take into account the attitude of the Arab States towards the Committee.
Sir ABDUR RAHMAN (India) expressed the view that the Committee had done everything in its power to invite the Arab States. If Transjordan was unable to accept the Committee's invitation, the matter, as far as the Committee was concerned, ended there. No exception should be made in favour of any particular state.
The CHAIRMAN tentatively proposed a visit to Transjordan after Beirut.
He said the Committee should be a little flexible on the matter and he saw no objection to a visit to Amman. Moreover, King Abdullah might have some useful things to tell the Committee and he was one of the most interested parties in the Palestine question.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) suggested that Mr. Hoo (Assistant Secretary General) should see the Cousul-General of Transjordan express to him the Committee's regret that Transjordan had decided not to send a representative to Beirut, communicate to him that the Committee, owing to pressure of time could not now go to Transjordan and that the Committee would inform later the Transjordan Consul in Lebanon whether or not it would be able to go to Amman after completing its task in Beirut.
Mr. HOOD (Australia), in endorsing Mr. Entezam's proposal, suggested that Mr. Hoo should also inform the Consul-General of Transjordan that, in the Committee's opinion, non-membership of the United Nations was not a bar to the despatch of a representative to Beirut.
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) disagreed with Mr. Hood's suggestion on the ground that it would be most undiplomatic on the Committee's part to suggest that the reason given by Transjordan was not the real one.
Mr. RAND (Canada) proposed that some Members should visit Transjordan before going to Beirut.
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) opposed Mr. Rand's proposal saying that it would not be proper to go to Beirut and at the same time send some members to Transjordan.
The CHAIRMAN proposed that no answer should be sent now to Transjordan and that some Members should go privately to Amman from Beirut.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) pointed out that the Transjordan Government should be informed the Committee's views.
The CHAIRMAN inquired whether members approved Mr. Entezam's proposal.
DECISION: Mr. Entezam's proposal was adopted.
The CHAIRMAN called the members' attention to an item appearing in a local newspaper to the effect that the alternate members of two delegations had visited Nathanya.*** The press notice contained statements which were meant to convey the meaning that the delegates or alternates concerned had expressed an opinion on the situation there. The Chairman felt that the Committee had a delicate task in Palestine and members should refrain from any public comment which might indicate that they were taking sides in the controversy.
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) pointed out that at Lake Success it had been decided that no member should speak in the name of the Committee and that any opinion expressed to the newspapers would be the personal view of the member concerned. He concluded by saying that the item referred to by the Chairman did not repeat declarations or the usual words of he alternates.
The CHAIRMAN said he was satisfied with the explanation given by Mr. Garcia Granados and considered the incident as closed.
Mr. FABREGAT (Uruguay) pointed out that no declaration had been made either by himself or his alternate and that his delegation would at no time consider making statements in the name of the Committee.
The CHAIRMAN, returning to the question of a hearing of the Government of Palestine, asked members if they agreed to hear the Palestine Government on Saturday (19 July). He asked members to let him have by Friday afternoon, for communication to the Palestine Government, the questions they would like to put.
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) asked the Chairman if he could do something for the Jewish journalists who had been unable to get visas to go to Lebanon.
The CHAIRMAN said it was too late to discuss the matter at the moment and adjourned the meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.
* Document A/AC.13/49 to 52, 56, 58 and 62.
** Document A/AC.13/52.
*** Martial law had been declared in Nathanya following the kidnapping of certain British soldier's by Jewish underground forces.