786.00/2–2751: Despatch


The Ambassador in Egypt ( Caffery ) to the Department of State 1

No. 1875

Subject: Meetings of the Arab League Political Committee and Council January 20 through February 3, 1951

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XVI. Thirteenth and Final Meeting of the Political Committee February 3, 1951

The final meeting of the Arab League Political Committee was held for the purpose of finishing in quick succession the remaining matters still on the original agenda.

A. Decisions Reached (Reference Embtel 836 February 4)3

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2. Palestine Refugees. The Committee finally decided that the League Secretariat should prepare a note which would be studied and approved by the member states4 and would then be sent to the PCC, the UNRWA, and all of the member states thereof. The stated purpose of this note was to place the Arab States on record once again as to their insistence on the rights of the Palestine refugees to be returned to their original homes or to receive adequate compensation if they elected not to return. In addition, however, the real emphasis was to be put on the need for interim programs prior to the implementation of the refugees “rights” and the fact that funds presently available are grossly inadequate to the task at hand.

It is apparent from a number of conversations which representatives of the Embassy have had with Foreign Office, League Officials and others that many hope that the note when completed will be received and interpreted as meaning a good deal more than it actually said. They are, of course, certain in their own minds that the refugees are not ever going to get back and that resettlement work must be started in the countries in which they are now located. Politically they do not dare to admit such a possibility and the very word, “resettlement” would be ruinous to their careers. These officials feel that the answer is largely financial and that if adequate sums can be raised a major step will have been taken toward the eventual solution of the problem.

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Jefferson Caffery
  1. Despatch drafted by Joseph S. Sparks, First Secretary of Embassy.
  2. This despatch was not mailed until March 23. It was received in the Department April 2.
  3. Not printed. (786.00/2–451)
  4. Notes similar in substance were prepared by some of the member states; see p. 639.