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U.N. Starts Discussion on Four-power Resolution on Arab Refugees

The United Nations General Assembly’s Special Political Committee began consideration today of a four-power resolution on the Palestine Arab refugee issue which recommends that Secretary General Dag Hanmarskjold prepare for the next year’s Assembly a series of proposals on the international community’s future handling of the refugee problem.

Observers here expressed strong doubts that the resolution would leave the committee in its present form. The Arab states have resolutely opposed any attempt–suggested by the Western Powers–to prepare at this time for what will happen to the refugees after June 30, 1960 when the terms of reference of the UN Relief and Works Agency for the refugees runs out. The Arab bloc, supported by the Soviet-led bloc, has insisted on fulfillment of next year’s budgetary needs of UNRWA without in any way attempting to meet the longtime needs of the refugees.

The four powers who introduced the resolution–Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States–could push it through the committee by a simple majority. However, they would fail of a necessary two-thirds vote in the Assembly if the Arabs continue their opposition. Consequently, it is expected that the proposal for a Hammarsk-jold study will either be modified or dropped in committee, shelving a longtime solution until next year when the refugee problems will have been further intensified.

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