Israel Delegate at Lausanne Returns to Tel Aviv for Consultations on Survey

Reuven Shilcah, chief Israel delegate at the Arab-Israel peace talks taking place here under the auspices of the U.N. Conciliation Commission for Palestine, was recalled today to Tel Aviv for week-end consultations with Foreign Ministry officials there. It is understood he will explain to Israel Government leaders the aims and scope of the new economic survey group set up by the Commission. He is expected to return here Monday.

The group’s terms of reference have been enlarged. It will make its recommendations for economic development in the Middle East and resettlement of Arab refugees, not alone on the economic capacities of those countries but also on the security of Israel — an important concession to the Israel Pont of view.

The official timetable for the economic survey group is as follows: Arrival in Israel about September first. A visit to Tran Jordan, Syria and Iraq, to take about three weeks. A “first results” report to the Conciliation Commission by early October to enable the Commission to submit those recommendations to the General Assembly in time for the latter body to take decisions at the forthcoming session.

There is considerable skepticism here regarding the economic survey group’s ability to fulfill such a schedule. Commission circles have two views. One view is that Israel has been outmaneuvered and has lost the political initiative to the economic survey group which will operate on a purely economic bias and make direct recommendations which will go before the U.N. Assembly for decision and thus take the matter out of the hands of Israel.

The opposing view is that the economic survey group’s schedule is so optimistic that it cannot conceivably be carried out, and the result will be that this U.N. Assembly will find it impossible to take action. This school of thought estimates that it will take three months for detailed plans to be ready.

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