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Western Powers Bow to Arabs; Revise Refugee Aid Resolution

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The Western Powers today bowed before Arab pressure and revised their original resolution on a relief and reintegration program for the Palestine Arab refugees, placing the new proposal before the Special Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly here.

The resolution still endorses the U.N. Relief and Works Agency recommendation for the establishment of a three-year, $250,000,000 relief and reintegration program. However, it specifically points out that the new program would not prejudice the right of the refugees to return to the homes they abandoned in Israel, as guaranteed in an earlier U.N. resolution.

Ilhan Savut of Turkey, which together with the United States, Britain and France sponsored the resolution, said that the revised text had resulted from “extensive, very cordial and practically continuous consultations among the sponsors and the delegations concerned.” The Turkish delegate suggested that the U.N. had two jobs which it must do in relation to the Arab refugees–first, the provision of direct aid as long as it is needed, but not indefinitely; and, second, the creation of an economic frame within which the refugees could support themselves.

Dr. Philip C. Jessup, U.S. delegate, reviewed the changes made by the conferees in the resolution. He said that references to aid to the Near Eastern governments themselves, which were contained in the old text, had been “misunderstood” by some to imply “a purpose” other than mere desire to carry out the U.N. Relief and Works Agency program. Accordingly, he added, the references had been eliminated. He also insisted that there had never been any intention on the part of the sponsors to prejudice the rights of the refugees–guaranteed by earlier General Assembly decisions–to return to Israel if they desired.

Dr. Jessup also pointed out that the new resolution called for the U.N.R.W.A. to “explore with the governments concerned the desirability and practicability of transferring the administration of relief to those (Arab) governments at the earliest possible date.” Acceptance of the new draft was expressed by Brazil, Cuba, el Salvador and Lebanon, while the Syrian delegate said he was “inclined” to support the principles underlying the resolution but could not commit his delegation at this time.

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