884A.411/6–2351: Telegram

The United States Representative on the Palestine Conciliation Commission (Palmer) to the Secretary of State


236. Palun 409. Re Unpal 270.1 Our understanding as to PCC immediate and prospective course of action as agreed upon and as to actual and possible adverse factor is correct as outlined under sections 1 and 2. But agreement that “compensation and resettlement most important aspect refugee problem for which details should be worked out promptly” can hardly be effectively translated into action without more inspiring and fundamentally honest approach to compensation as repeatedly emphasized alternative to repatriation than is offered by Dept under section 3 para 3.

Accuracy of Dept belief as expressed under section 3 that opportunity now exists for new try by PCC backed by diplomatic support wld depend upon nature and weight of such support if opportunity really existed. But neither as regards impact of SC res May 18 on Israel or Arab states or public announcement of intention to ask congress for sizeable sum for Arab refugees and other indicated purposes, nor as regards resumption operations Syria-Israeli MAC, does Dept reasoning find responsive echo in US missions consulted by US del (Palun 408, June 20).2 With Davis, Drew, Cannon and Bruins, I see no reason for optimism and question timeliness of new try by PCC in present atmosphere which Riley likewise at present finds far from promising.

As regards Israeli treatment of Arab residents, Davis and I agree that this wld be delicate matter for PCC unless restricted only to cases of repatriated refugees and carefully excluding consideration [Page 729] of Arab citizens of Israel who obviously do not come within scope of PCC direction or authority. I believe Tel Aviv Emb and Consul Waller at Haifa can most effectively and without risk of unfortunate repercussions provide Dept with helpful, objective and complete study of this question, but I will keep in touch with them and jointly with Davis inform Dept if at any time it appears that PCC might in any way assist in such a study. We do not overlook probability that conclusions that might tend to encourage refugees to choose compensation and/or resettlement instead of insisting on repatriation might simultaneously adversely and possibly seriously affect PCC relations Israel, and vice-versa.

As regards question of repatriation, USDel agrees that Israel might and shld be approached again and believes that refugee office shld as planned raise this question for possible reference to PCC for appropriate action at opportune moment. Endeavor will be made to provide Dept estimate requested.

Re section 3 para 4 “possible political settlement,” neither USDel nor missions Tel Aviv Amman, Damascus, Beirut consider 4(b) or 4(c) cld now be taken up to any advantage or without danger or worsening present generally unsatisfactory situation. As regards 4(a) I assume Dept would expect due consideration to be given to Riley’s views. USDel believes such consideration essential, particularly in view of Riley’s lack of confidence in PCC and that any possibilities Dept might have in mind should be informally explored with Riley, possibly by USDel which now has excellent relations with him.

As regards possible unilateral actions by Israel suggested by Dept, which wld not involve any Arab quid pro quo, (a) and (b) are considered by USDel and missions consulted as out of question at present; (c) is not understood; (e) might be worked out if of sufficient interest to parties, which is doubtful. Releasing blocked Arab balances in Israel (d) has in my opinion long been question which shld be pursued in interest alike of Israel and individuals concerned; Amb Davis and I wld welcome strong Dept support at opportune moment which he and I both feel wld depend on outcome of further approach and exploration which I hope to be able to continue on informal personal basis.

Re Dept’s views on Palun 406,3 I believe usefulness of PCC Jerusalem can better be determined in course of Barco4 Consultations in [Page 730] Dept and in light of resultant Dept guidance for USDel and indications as to extent of Dept support.5

[ Palmer ]
  1. Dated June 12, p. 714.
  2. Not printed. (357.AC/6–2051)
  3. See footnote 5, p. 716.
  4. Mr. Barco arrived in Washington June 25. According to a memorandum of June 22 from Mr. Ludlow to Messrs. Wainhouse and Bechhoefer, the purpose of his trip was to consult with the Department on the proposals contained in Unpal 270. (UNP Files: Lot 59 D 237)
  5. The memorandum cited in footnote 4 above reads in part:

    “3. I had a talk with Jack Blandford and Arthur Gardiner this afternoon on Jack’s complaint that the PCC was jeopardizing the work of the PRA by its members commenting and writing papers on the reintegration program and by Holger Andersen’s going about as head of the PCC “Refugee Office”. Jack said that the PCC’s every action in the field was confusing particularly to the Arabs. He specifically asks that Palmer be instructed to get the PCC to divorce itself completely from anything to do with reintegration. I suggested that Jack, now as UN Director of PRA, should take his complaints up with the PCC directly. He said that this would do no good unless Palmer received instructions. He went on to say that Andy Cordier and Hill in Lie’s office are quite in accord with his, Jack’s, views. I said that I thought that he and Jim Barco should talk the matter over on Monday if possible and dependent on what they agreed upon, instructions could be sent to Palmer. If it becomes necessary to send instructions to Palmer, I suggest that he be reminded of the instructions sent to Beirut in January on the respective jurisdictions of PCC and PRA. If Jack wishes to have his complaints enumerated for Palmer’s comments and suggestion it might be done, but I would not be severe on Palmer for what is the fault of his colleagues and two General Assembly resolutions last fall which tended to obscure PRA’s and PCC’s jurisdiction. Furthermore, I think that Jack should be pressed further to take up his complaints directly with the PCC or the UN Secretariat.”