LAKE SUCCESS (Aug. 2)
The British Government today advised the U.N. Security Council that it is prepared to contribute immediately $400,000 to a United Nations fund for Arab refugees who fled Palestine as a result of the war. In announcing this offer, British delegate Sir Alexander Cadogan urged the Council to adopt the following throe-point program:
1. The Council should impress the Palestine mediator with the urgency of the Arab refugee problem.
2. The Council should ask the International Red Cross to undertake a preliminary survey of the condition of the Arabs.
3. The Council should–in the event that the Red Cross reports that the Arabs are in need of aid–place at the disposal of the Red Cross a special fund for alleviating the refugees’ plight.
In his review of the Arab displaced persons, Cadogan linked the plight of the Jewish DP’s in Europe with that of the Palestinian Arabs. Describing the displaced Jews in Europe as the “aggravating problem” in the Palestine dispute, Cadogan suggested that they be repatriated through established U.N. agencies–presumably the International Refugee Organization–and hinted that if this repatriation plan is not carried out soon, the British may propose an alternative plan.
In his diagnosis of the Arab refugee problem, Cadogan estimated the number to be between 250,000 and 550,000. He listed 56,000 in Transjordan, the same number in Lebanon, about 70,000 in Syrda and “a considerable number of displaced Arabs in Palestine.”
The British delegate’s statement precipitated severe criticism from the chair, which is presided over this month by the Soviet Union’s Yacov Malik. Declaring that he called today’s session at the request of the British, Malik said he was “astonished” that Cadogan had introduced this “novel” issue without even complying with the procedure which calls for distribution of documents three days in advance of their publication. Cadogan admitted his error and apologized for the “misunderstanding”
FOUR-POINT REFUGEE PROGRAM DECIDED UPON BY SECURITY COUNCIL
Following Cadogan’s proposal, Israeli representative Aubrey S. Eban proposed that the entire refugee problem–that of the Arabs and of the Jews, including the detention of thousands of Jewish refugees in Cyprus detention camps–be treated together. In this proposal Eban was supported by the representatives of the U.S.S.R. and the Ukraine,Eventually, the Israeli-sponsored plan was adopted by the entire Council, without a vote.
Inclusion of the Cyprus question was made with the consent of Cadogan, following a challenger from Malik who asserted that it was a logical corollary of the British suggestion.
In a short statement on the British request for Council action on the Arab refugees Eban assured the Council that Israel would take a strong interest in Europe’s Jewish refugees, He expressed the hope that the Arab states would display a similar interest in their own compatriots in Palestine,He said the Israeli Government was already negotiating the refugee problem with the mediator.
Council president Malik summed up the day’s activities in a four-point program which will be sent to U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte for his information. The four-point program, which may not be discussed in the future except as an entity, is:
1. The Jews are to make a complete report on the Jewish refugees in Europe. 2. The Arabs are to make a complete report of the Arab refugee problem in Palestine. 3. A program of aid to both is to be worked out with the help of U.N. Secretariat experts. 4. The Cyprus issue is now on the Council’s agenda.
The question of the five British subjects detained by the Israeli authorities on charges of espionage was raised by Sir Alexander, but discussion on the matter vas postponed at the chairman’s suggestion since additional information was still awaited. There was no objection to the postponement.
A report from Rhodes to the Security Council said that Bernadotte was already inquiring into the Arab refugee problem. He also reported that the Jews and Arabs have accepted demilitarization of Jerusalem in principle. However, ###### that Israel has now taken a much firmer stand on the over-all question of Jerusalem.