WASHINGTON (Dec. 17)
Gov. Edwin L. Mechem of New Mexico reported to Congress today on behalf of the Foreign Operations Administration that a special committee which studied the Arab refugee problem feels that a substantial start toward its solution can be made now.
“The principles of the united plan for development of the Jordan River appear to be the best forward step in this direction,” he said in his report. He was referring to a $121,000,000 Jordan River TVA scheme which would require the cooperation of Israel, Syria and Jordan. Presidential envoy Eric Johnston was coolly received by the Arabs when he asked them to consider the plan on a recent trip to the Near East. He expects to return in February.
Gov. Mechem, who headed the special three-man FOA commission to study the Arab refugee question, made plain in the report that he feels an economic plan insufficient in itself to solve the problem. “The commission sees no permanent solution to the refugee problem, ” he said, “until there is a more favorable political atmosphere leading to a workable peace established between the Arab states and Israel.”