501.MA Palestine/9–148

Memorandum Prepared in the Department of State 1


Plan of Action on Arab Refugee Problem

[Here follow sections on background and action taken.]


A more adequate plan for dealing with the problem, including action to be taken by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Mediator, the General Council of the IRO and the United States Government, should be developed immediately.


That a goal of $25,000,000 in funds or relief in kind to be raised be established tentatively until further information indicates the necessity [Page 1365] of adopting an amended figure; any contributions from the IRO and further contributions from the Children’s Fund would be credited, to this amount;
That steps be taken immediately to prepare action by the General Assembly of the United Nations looking toward an appeal to the governments and voluntary agencies to provide approximately $25,000,000 in relief for the period to late spring 1949;
That the Dept recognize that the US should raise a substantial portion of any funds which may be required and that immediate steps be taken to raise these funds from private sources in view of the fact that an appropriation by the Congress for the purpose is unlikely to be made during the period in which relief is required;
That the Department through the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid take steps immediately to set up an organization to raise the American contribution from voluntary sources;
That the Department give further study immediately to plans for more adequate administration of the relief to be raised including the possible attachment to the Mediator’s staff of a relief administrator like Bayard Dodge who has the confidence of the Arab community and would be able to make the maximum possible use of indigenous Arab agencies in coordination with relief activities of Red Cross organizations.
That the Department take steps to study the long-range aspects, of the problem in terms of repatriation and resettlement.
  1. Drafted by George L. Warren, Adviser on Refugees and Displaced Persons, and John D. Tomlinson, Assistant Chief of the Division of United Nations Economic and Social Affairs, on August 31; transmitted to Mr. Lovett by Mr. Rusk with his memorandum of September 1, which noted that the proposals were the product of discussion by a working group. Mr. Rusk’s memorandum also transmitted two draft telegrams to London which were approved and transmitted, on September 3, as Nos. 3507 and 3508. These messages set forth the belief of the Department that the International Refugee Organization should contribute $5,000,000 of its holdings of currencies of limited convertibility and that the General Assembly stimulate additional world wide contributions of $20,000,000 to relieve the Arab refugee problem (501.MA/9–348).