TEL AVIV (Feb. 24)
The members of the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission arrived here this morning from Beirut, the last place they visited on their tour of the capitals of the Arab states at war with Israel. This after-noon they conferred with Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok.
During the two-hour talk between Shertok and the Commissioners there was a frank exchange of views with the latter explaining to the Israeli Minister the concern of the Arab governments over the fate of the Palestine Arab refugees. Shertok replied that Israel is ready to discuss that problem at the peace talks, which can start as soon as any Arab nation nominates its delegates to a peace conference.
The members of the Commission will be Shertok’s guests at dinner tonight and will be received by Premier David Ben Gurion tomorrow at his residence. Tomorrow afternoon they will be received at Rehovoth by President Weizmann, after which they will return to Jerusalem. No other arrangements for contact between the Commission and the Israeli Government have been made so far.
Commission chairman Mark Ethridge, American member, told a press conference here that the commission’s work will be facilitated greatly by the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian armistice pact. He revealed that acting mediator Ralph J. Bunche’s military and political aides, Gen. William Riley and Honri Vigier, brought the Rhodes agreement to the Commission at Beirut yesterday.
Ethridge said the Commission appreciated the Job done by Dr. Bunche and had decided to leave the problem of completing armistice agreements to him, while it would concentrate on political problems alone. The Jerusalem consular truce commission will also continue to function in truce matters, he disclosed.
Although the Commission theoretically had until next September to report to the General Assembly, Ethridge said, it would undoubtedly be expected to make a progress report to the April session and would endeavor to do so.