U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Postpones Decision on Israeli Membership

On recommendation from its General Committee, the fourth annual conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization at its plenary session here today put off until its next session the application of Israel for membership in the organization.

The next session of the F.A.O. quite possibly may not be held until January of 1950 unless a special session is held earlier to decide on a site for the organization. The Israeli application, which was referred to the F.A.O. Council “for further study and consideration presumably might be brought up then,” an F.A.O. spokesman said.

In making its report to the conference, the General Committee referred to the application as “submitted by the Jewish authorities under the name “Israel.” Dr. Ludwig Samuels, who was last week admitted as an official Israeli observer, told the conference that he could not accept the language used by the General Committee in referring to Israel. He pointed out that there was a bane fide government in Israel, not merely “Jewish authorities,” and that Israel was not merely a name, but a state. He said he could make no comment on the conference decision to refer to the Israeli application for action at the next session.

The recommendation of the General Committee was accepted by the conference without objections. Several countries, however, including Poland, Czechoslovakia, Uruguay, Guatemala, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Finland and the United States abstained from voting. Delegates from those countries said their governments recognized Israel and that they had been prepared to vote favorably on Israel’s application.

The Polish delegate also objected to the language used in the recommendation made by the General Committee. A. Barton, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Canada, speaking for his government, hoped that Israel, while not a member until next year, would continue to participate in the work of F.A.O. The conference accepted the application of Sandi Arabia as a member in F.A.O.

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