Geneva (Jul. 29)
After a long discussion, in secret, centered about the question of hearing the views of displaced Jews, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine today started taking testimony from experts of the International Refugee Organization before reaching a decision concerning the DP’s. Chairman Emil Sandstroem is slated to discuss the matter with William H. Tuck, executive secretary of the I.R.O. Preparatory Commission, within the next few days.
During the closed sessions, six of the members of the committee favored visiting the camps, while five opposed it. However, it was agreed by all that the matter was too important to decide by such a close vote and that the question would be held over for a later decision.
Sandstroem raised the question and the Indian delegate immediately voiced his opposition. He was joined by the Iranian, Yugoslav, Czechoslovak and Peruvian members. The Peruvian, Dr. Arturo Garcia Salazar, asserted that visiting the camps would automatically tie the Palestine question to that of world Jewry.
Australian representative John D.L.Hood declared that his delegation was originally opposed to a trip to the camps, but that after the Palestine hearings he had changed his mind and favored hearing the DP’s. The Canadian, Netherlands, Uruguayan and Guatemalan committeemen voted with Hood and the chairman.
It was also decided that if a sub-committee is sent to the camps, it will consist of alternates only.
It was learned that the commission is dividing the problem of a final solution of the Palestine problem as follows: 1. Historical – the rights of the Arabs versus the rights of the Jews and the problem raised by the conflicting interests of the two peoples; 2. Should the status quo be changed – should the mandate be continued? 3. If the status quo is changed, how? 4. If there is a transitory period, how will it be achieved?