Arab Delegations Split at Opening Session of U. N. Assembly
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Arab Delegations Split at Opening Session of U. N. Assembly

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The Arab bloc split wide open today at the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly with Iraq and Lebanon taking a pro-American stand on the first issue that came up before the Assembly while Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen abstained from voting for a motion made by Ambassador John Cabot Lodge, chief of the American delegation.

Israel voted for the American motion which countered a resolution proposed by Soviet delegate Andre Vishinsky calling for admission of Communist China to the United Nations. The American motion called upon the Assembly to lay aside the problem of a change in the Chinese representation “during the current year. ” The U.S. motion received 43 votes, while 11 voted against it and six–including the four Arab countries–abstained.

While the Soviet bloc and the Western Powers squared off for position in the transference of cold war tactics to the floor of the General Assembly, members of the Israel delegation were today engaged in an effort to improve the status of stateless persons by suggesting at a UN conference that stateless persons be accorded at least the same rights given refugees. There are today about 40, 000,000 persons throughout the world who are considered “stateless, ” many hundreds of them Jews.

The United Nations Conference on the Status of Stateless Persons today approved detailed provisions concerning travel documents to be issued to stateless persons in lieu of national passports. The conference also decided that the provisions of the new instrument shall not apply to any person who has committed a war crime, or who has been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

At an earlier meeting, the conference decided that contracting states shall issue to stateless persons lawfully staying in their territory travel documents for the purpose of travel abroad unless compelling reasons of national security or public order otherwise require. Today the conference approved provisions for a schedule to the convention which are to apply with respect to such documents and also recommended a “model” travel document to the governments concerned.

Among other things, the schedule states that children may be included in the travel document of a parent or, in exceptional circumstances, of another adult; that the fees charged shall not exceed the lowest charge for national passports; that the document shall be made valid for the largest possible number of countries; and that–unless it is specifically stated to the contrary–the travel document shall entitle the holder to re-enter the territory of the issuing state.

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