held in Lausanne on Friday,

13 May 1949, at 10 a.m.


Mr. Ethridge

(United States of America)


Mr. de Boisanger


Mr. Yalcin


Mr. Azcarate

Principal Secretary

Mr. Isa Nakhleh

Representative of the Arab Higher Committee

The CHAIRMAN extended a welcome to the representative of the Arab Higher Committee and hoped that his statement would contribute toward a positive solution of the problem of re-establishing peace in the Middle East.

Mr. NAKHLEH thanked the Commission for receiving him and said that the Arab Higher Committee would be happy to cooperate with the Commission in seeking the return of peace to Palestine, even as it had already cooperated with many organization of the United Nations toward the same end, since the earliest days of consideration of the Palestine question. He would not make a general statement, since the elements of the problem were well known. He wished to say, however, that much as the Arabs of Palestine desired peace; it must be a real and just peace if it were to be a lasting one; the Commission must bear in mind the principles laid down in Article 1 of the Charter concerning “conformity with the principles of justice and international law”. He offered the cooperation and good will of the Arab Higher Committee in facilitating the task of the Commission. Mr. Nakhleh expressed the hope that the Arab Higher Committee would receive the same treatment from the Commission as the latter accorded to the delegations of Israel and the Arab States. He pointed out that the resolution 11 December of 1948 directed the Commission to consult with the “governments and authorities concerned”, and that the Arab Higher Committee had, in the eyes of all United Nations organs, always enjoyed the status of one of the “authorities concerned” in the Palestine problem. The full history and standing of the Arab Higher Committee were already well known and needed no further justification.

Mr. Nakhleh said his Committee would be glad to fall in with any procedure the Commission desired to lay down, in order to cooperate to the fullest in the Commission’s work.

Mr. ETHRIDGE declared that the representatives of the Arab Higher Committee could best serve the needs of the Commission by stating their views on a number of specific questions; for example, the principle of internationalisation of Jerusalem and the best way of achieving it; the fairest solution of the territorial question; and the best way of handling the refugee problem. The Commission was anxious to learn the opinions of the Arab Higher Committee on many such specific questions, and would be glad to receive those opinions in the form of a written statement.

The CHAIRMAN pointed out that as regards its consultations with the delegations, the Commission was not required to follow a strict and unvarying procedure. It would be of great assistance to the Commission to have the views of the Arab Higher Committee on the specific points mentioned in the resolution; the Commission would hand to the Committee’s representatives a list of the questions of particular interest.