U.N. Conciliation Commission Holds Last Meeting with Israeli Delegation at Lausanne
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U.N. Conciliation Commission Holds Last Meeting with Israeli Delegation at Lausanne

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The Israeli delegation had its last formal meeting today with the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission prior to its adjournment July 1 to 18.

The Commission sought further answers from the Israelis on the immediate measures they had proposed to the Israeli Government for the alleviation of the lot of certain categories of Arab refugees. Reuven Shiloah, head of the Political Department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, who arrived last night from Washington, was present at the meeting today.

Prospects for the second part of the Lausanne peace conference, to start July 18, were said to have teen considerably improved following today’s farewell meeting of the Commission with the Israeli delegation.

It was, in the view of a Commission spokesman, the most constructive and intelligent meeting in the eight weeks of the Lausanne conference. The Israeli delegation handed to the Commission its reply to nine suggestions made by the U.N. conciliators six weeks ago, on immediate measures to assist certain categories of refugees and to safeguard Aral) property in Israel.

The reply is considered here the product of second thoughts in Tel Aviv. The original reply rejected most of the requests made by the Commission, although making minor concessions. While no details are available, the Commission spokesman indicated that the reply now seemed constructive and satisfactory on a number of points. He cited in particular answers dealing with the reuniting of broken Arab refugee families, the release of Arab balances frozen in Israeli banks and the guarantee of worship for minorities.

On the other hand, the Israeli reply made no concession to the U.N. body’s request that some 20,000 laborers be permitted to return to the Arab-owned orange groves in order to save then from deterioration. The whole matter has been referred to the general committee which will consider it in detail while the Commission itself is in recess.

Raymond Hare, United States member, will leave for Washington Friday. He is not expected to return. The new United States representative, it is understood will not be a governmental official. Claude de Boisanger, the French member, is leading for Paris. All the Arab delegations, except the Syrians, are staying in Switzerland. The Israelis so far have no instructions to return to Tel Aviv.

A slightly ironical situation has arisen about the purpose of the Commission’s recess. The body’s explanation was that it felt that the delegations of Israel and the four Arab states, Syria, Egypt, Trans Jordan and the Lebanon, should go home and consult their governments and come back by July 18 with instructions. It now seems that the only persons going home for instructions will be members of the Commission and not delegates.

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