BERLIN (Jun. 28)
The executive committee of the International Union of Municipal Authorities agreed today to hold the organization’s next world congress in 1961, in Jerusalem. However, the committee has refrained to present that decision formally to the convention of the Union, which is now taking place here, because there is a wide rift among the delegates about the proposed site for the 1961 congress.
The dispute came yesterday to the floor of the convention because one member of the executive committee, Mayor Gershon Agron, of Jerusalem, has been forbidden by his City Council to attend the parley, on the grounds that an Israeli official should not go to a meeting in Germany.
The German and Austrian delegation favor holding the 1961 congress in Jerusalem, despite Mayor Agron’s involuntary absence. The American delegation has sharply condemned the action of Jerusalem’s City Council. At the plenum, the American delegation argued that, if Mayor Agron was not allowed to go to Germany–perhaps the delegates from other countries should stay away from Israel.
Sudan announced at the plenum that it would not attend any congress in Israel. All of the Arab delegations took a similar stand. Members of the executive committee, who favor holding the 1961 congress in Israel, indicated they will probably solve the argument by not reporting to the plenum here about the choice of a site for the 1961 session. Under the by-laws of the Union, the executive committee is empowered to choose the site for the organization’s congress.