357.AC/1–2351: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Lebanon 1


497. For Palmer and Blandford. Reur respective jurisdictions Dept believes only possible areas uncertainty between PCC and UNRWA problems of (1) assessment and payment of compensation; (2) arrangements for repatriation of Arab refugees or (3) their resettlement. [Page 563] By UNGA resolutions 19482 and 19503 PCC has gen polit responsibility handling these problems. By UNGA res 19504 UNRWA has sole responsibility reintegration program.

Compensation: Unless otherwise agreed by Israel Arabs in negots with PGC, PCC’s role assessment and payment of compensation understood limited to effecting polit agreement, and essential preliminary arrangements therefor. UNRWA may or may not be agency for settlement compensation claims depending on agreement negotiated by PCC. Dept deems it quite possible UNRWA as result negots may be agency handling large portion compensation claims but largest claims undoubtedly will come from wealthy Arab refugees not dependent on UNRWA in position to obtain governmental support and legal assistance hence may be uninterested or oppose use UNRWA admin compensation settlement.

Repatriation: Polit negots responsibility PCC. Since repatriation best negotiating point vis-à-vis settlement compensation UNRWA shld avoid ref thereto during PCC negots.

Resettlement: While there will no doubt arise at some time in future polit problems in connection with resettlement which are the primary responsibility of PCC, Dept strongly of opinion since reintegration is current topic of negotiation between UNRWA and Arab states and is at a delicate stage with Syria, that new negotiating element injected into this framework at present wld be unfortunate and therefore believes PCC shld not press negots affecting resettlement with Arab states at this time. UNRWA shld keep PCC closely informed on progress of negots and US members shld in particular keep close contact on this phase of problem.

Re gen instrs, McGheeBlandford ltr April 5, 19505 reaffirmed. Jan 2 suggestions to Palmer re desirability possibilities increasing areas Arab-Israeli agreement shld be pressed all appropriate occasions. This connection Dept suggests closer personal relations with Riley wld be helpful. Dept shld be kept advised all possibilities areas and means increasing Arab-Israeli agreement.

  1. Telegram drafted by James M. Ludlow of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs and William L. Sands of the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs on January 22. Telegram cleared by NE, NEA, UNE, and UNA.
  2. Reference is to Resolution 194 (III) of December 11, 1948. Text is in U.N. Doc. A/810. For part of the text, see the editorial note in Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. v, pt. 2, p. 1661.
  3. Resolution 394 (V) of December 14, 1950. For text, see U.N. Doc. A/1775.
  4. Resolution 393 (V) of December 2, 1950, is ibid.
  5. Not printed.