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General Assembly, 6th session : 3rd Committee, 383rd meeting

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/SR.383
Convention International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Document Type Summary Record
Session 6th
Type Document

8 p.

Subjects Civil and Political Rights

Extracted Text

United Nations GENERAL ASSEMBLY SIXTH SESSION Official Record* THIRD COMMITTEE 383rd MEETING Thursday, 10 January 19S2, at 3 p.m. Palais de Chaillot, Paris CONTENTS Refugees and stateless persons (continued) A/C.3/L.199, A/C.3/ Problems of assistance to refugees: reports of the International Refugee Organization and of the High Commissioner for Refugees (A/1884 (chapter VI), A/1948, A/2011, A/C.3/563, A/C.3/L.199, A/C.3/L. L.200 (continued) Page 209 Chairman : Mrs. Ana FIGUEROA (Chile). In the absence of the Chairman, Mr. Dehousse (Belgium), Vice-Chairman, presided. Refugees and stateless persons (continued) [Item 30]* Problems of assistance to refugees: reports of the International Refugee Organization and of the High Commissioner for Refugees (A/1884 (chapter VI), A/1948, A/2011, A/C.3/563, A/C.3/L.199, A/C.3/L.200) (continued) [Item 31]* JOINT DRAFT RESOLUTION SUBMITTED BY COLOMBIA, DENMARK, LEBANON, THE NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEA-LAND, THE UNITED KINGDOM AND URUGUAY (A/C.3/L.200) (concluded). 1. Mr. MUFTI (Syria) observed that he had submitted his amendment to the joint draft resolution (A/C.3/L.200) in English, and it was therefore the English text (A/C.3/L.207/Rev.3) which was authentic. The purpose of the amendment was to enable refugees so desiring to return to their countries. The Syrian delegation was submitting the amendment for three reasons. The first was a humanitarian reason, since the matter involved a principle that was indisputable from the human point of view. The second reason was that the High Commissioner's Statute (General resolution 428 (V), annex) explicitly mentioned repatriation by free consent as a measure of assistance to refugees. The last reason was that the General Assembly had stressed the desirability of repatriation in the resolutions it had already adopted, and its policy should be consistent. 2. With the proposed amendment, the joint draft resolution (A/C.3/L.200) would entirely satisfy the * Indicates the item number on the General Assembly agenda. Syrian delegation. The first paragraph of the preamble and paragraph 1 of the operative part called for no comment. In the second paragraph, the Syrian delegation had, in the first version (A/C.3/L.207) of its amendment, suggested replacing the word "resettled" by the phrase "settled at their request... outside their countries of origin", because in the joint draft the word "resettled" was contrasted with the word "repatriated". Resettlement, however, was only a second-best course, the most natural solution being repatriation. Subsequently, the Syrian delegation had found a form of words which safeguarded the principle of repatriation (A/C.3/L.207/Rev.3). 3. So far as paragraph 2 of the operative part was concerned, the purpose of the amendment proposed by Syria was merely to remind the High Commissioner that the idea of linking projects of economic develop ment with the refugee question was dangerous in itself, for it might cause the major concern — which should be to repatriate refugees wishing to return to their countries — to be forgotten. It might also encourage selection of the most convenient solution, which was to settle the refugees where they were. 4. He would like the authors of the joint draft reso lution to give certain explanations with regard to para graph 3 of the operative part, and in the first place to state whether, in their view, the projects referred to would merely be governmental projects without the assistance of any international organization, or projects in which the High Commissioner should collaborate. Secondly, he would like them to state whether the projects would be the subject of agreements between the governments interested in plans of emigration ; and, thirdly, whether both the countries of origin and the receiving countries should conclude agreements to encourage projects for promoting migration. Those explanations would enable him to decide how to vote. He thanked the delegations which had supported the Syrian delegation and was grateful to them for their desire to safeguard a principle which he held dear. 209 A/C.3/SR.383 210 General Assembly—Sixth Session—Third Committee 5 Sir Lionel HEALD (United Kingdom expressed the view that, by unanimously accepting the amendment proposed by Syria, the co-sponsors of the draft had given a proper reply to the unrounded allegations repeatedly made by the Soviet delegations and the delations of the peoples' democracy A the repre-sentative of Denmark had pointed out (382nd meet ing), the High Commissioner's functions in respect of the repatriation of retugees desiring to return home were dearly defined in me Statute of the High Com-missioner's Office. So that there was no need to include the words proposed by the Syrian representative. In any case, it was clearly apparent from the High Commissioner's statements that he knew his duty, which was to encourage voluntary repatriation. The United Kingdom delegation was not, however, opposed to the Syrian amendment. 6. He would like to dispel a misunderstanding as to the exact meaning of the words "to participate in and benefit from projects" in paragraph 3 of the operative part of the joint draft resolution. As the English text showed beyond any possible doubt, the meaning was that refugees might profit from opportunities to emigrate under projects to promote migration, and not that they should participate in the preparation of such projects. Replying to the representative of Syria, he explained that the text merely appealed to governments to ensure that refugees benefited from projects to promote migration, but that it did not have any particular plan or plans in view. 7. Lastly, he proposed the insertion of the word "refugee" between the words "residual" and "problems" in the first paragraph of the preamble, so as to make the meaning of the text clearer. 8. The CHAIRMAN thought that, as the authors of the joint draft resolution had adopted it, the amend-ment proposed by Syria was to be considered as incorporated in the text of the joint draft resolution (A/C.3/ L.200). 9. Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) announced that his delegation would vote for the Syrian amendment. The additional paragraph contained in point 1 of the amendment stressed the need for repatriating refugees desiring repatriation. The USSR had always been in favour of as rapid repatriation as possible, for it saw no better solution to the refugee problem. The same remarks applied to point 2 of the Syrian amendment, for which the USSR delegation would also vote, although the word "desirability" lacked force: the word "necessity" should have been used. 10. The joint draft resolution itself contained some good features, but most of it was unacceptable. The USSR delegation was in complete agreement with the second paragraph of the preamble as regards the gravity of the problems confronting refugees who were neither repatriated nor resettled and who had to choose between dying of hunger in the camps or allowing themselves to be conscripted by the American autho-rities either into the armed forces or into the information services. The USSR delegation would vote against the first paragraph of the preamble of the joint draft resolution. It would also vote against paragraph 1 of the operative part by which the High Commissioner would be authorized to issue an appeal for funds, tor the policy pursued by IRO and continued by the High Commissioner, did not inspire confidence in the High Commissioner and did not provide the slightest gua-rantee that he would use the funds in question for urgent measures of assistance to the neediest of the refugees covered by his terms of reference. 11. Mr. KUSOV (Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic) observed that there were some points in the joint draft resolution with which his delegation was not satisfied. The first paragraph of the preamble was so worded as to make no mention of the essential problem of repatriation. The second paragraph of the preamble, on the other hand, gave proper expression to the serious problems facing refugees who could not be used as labourers because of their incapacity for great physical effort. The Byelorussian delegation could not accept paragraph 1 of the operative part, authorizing the High Commissioner to issue an appeal for funds. It was afraid the funds would merely be used to maintain traitors and war criminals, who were recruited as spies instead of being sent back to their countries. Paragraph 2 of the operative part seemed unacceptable, as did also paragraph 3, which supported the policy of emigration without taking account of the possibilities of repatriation. 12. The Byelorussian delegation approved the Syrian amendment because it mentioned the need for repa-triation, although in its opinion the word "desirability" was not strong enough. 13. Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) recalled that his country and the United States of America had helped to bring about the adoption of paragraph 10 of the Statute of the High Commissioner's Office upon which the draft resolution was based. In voting in favour of the joint draft resolution and authorizing the High Commissioner to issue an appeal, his delegation wished to warn the Third Committee against excessive optimism as to the results of the appeal—a warning which, moreover, had been given by the United States representative (382nd meeting), whose arguments were particularly cogent in view of the fact that her country had done much to help refugees and that its co-operation would be essential if the work of assistance were to be successful. 14. He wished to make several formal changes in point of the amendment submitted by Syria (A/C.3/ L.207/Rev.3), so that the paragraph would read as follows: "Bearing in mind the necessity of finding solutions to the above-mentioned problem, including the earliest possible repatriation to their countries of origin of all refugees who express the desire to return there". 15. Mr. MUFTI (Syria) could not accept amendments proposed orally by the French representative. 16. The CHAIRMAN said that the French representative's oral amendments would therefore be put to the vote separately. 17. Mr. YU TSUNE-CHI (China) said that his delegation would vote in favour of the joint draft resolution (A/C.3/L.200), despite the criticism which had been levelled against it. It considered that the High Commissioner should be authorized to collect the funds without which it would be impossible for him, after disbursing the sums set aside for administrative expenses, to work for the repatriation and maintenance of refugees. The effect of deleting paragraph 1 of the operative part would therefore be to make the Office of the High Commissioner unnecessary. Moreover, if the United Nations must not question the High Commissioner's good faith and good intentions, the High Commissioner, for his part, could not forget the high purposes of his mission. 18. It should not be concluded from what he had said that the Chinese delegation regarded the joint draft resolution as perfect. The refugees undoubtedly might include some criminals, but what community did not? They unquestionably constituted only a very small minority and the other refugees were the persons who had to be considered. 19. The several points of the Syrian amendment were acceptable to his delegation, as they emphasized the advantages of repatriation. Nevertheless, it was to be hoped that the High Commissioner would ensure by all means that the refugees who were repatriated wished, of their own free will, to return to their countries of origin. 20. Mr. HAJEK (Czechoslovakia) recalled that his delegation had repeatedly opposed the policy of abandoning the principle of repatriation, which alone could solve the refugee problem, for the convenient solution of emigration. The first paragraph of the preamble of the joint draft resolution was therefore unacceptable. On the other hand, he would vote in favour of the second paragraph of the preamble, which acknowledged the existence of the serious problems raised by the abominable conditions in the camps where the refugees lived and the attempts by the United States authorities to recruit them as soldiers or spies. 21. As regards paragraph 1 of the operative part, his delegation thought it necessary to assist the refugees, who were in a wretched situation, and would have no objection to the collection of funds for their assistance. It had, however, already had occasion to explain that the High Commissioner's policy provided no guarantee that the funds placed at his disposal would be used for the benefit of the refugees and not for continuing the "cold war". He would therefore abstain from voting on that paragraph. 22. As regards the Syrian amendment, his delegation agreed with the principle upon which it was based. It considered, however, that the principal task to be fulfilled for the welfare of the refugees was their repatriation. That was why it had supported the Byelorussian draft resolution (A/C.3/L.201) which was inspired throughout by that consideration. 23. His delegation would vote against the other paragraphs and against the joint draft resolution (A/C.3/ L.200) as a whole. 211 sioner for Refugees (A/2011), which made it clear that serious refugee problems still existed, urgent problems in Trieste Greece, the Middle East and Central Europe as well as long-term problems. The joint draft resolu-tion offered a solution for the urgent problems since it authorized the High Commissioner to collect funds His delegation was prepared to grant that authorization leaving it to the High Commissioner to make his own appeal to governments, on the understanding that it did not thereby commit the Venezuelan Government to answer the appeal. 25. As regards the lone-term problems, his delegation supported all projects which would make it possible to solve the refugee problem through the implementation of reconstruction and economic development programmes. That, for example, would be one way of improving the situation of the 4,500 refugees in Greece registered with IRO—a situation which was critical because of that country's very limited resources and its unfavourable economic conditions. His delegation also agreed that refugees should benefit from projects to promote migration. It would support the joint draft resolution as a whole. 26. Mr. D'SOUZA (India) said that his Government was sympathetic towards all efforts to improve the lot of refugees, whether by resettlement or by repatriation. He considered that the High Commissioner must be assisted in the discharge of his difficult task and he would vote in favour of the joint draft resolution, which authorized the High Commissioner to appeal for funds, without thereby committing his Government to making any contribution thereto, in view of India's own situation. He supported the Syrian amendment, as he thought that repatriation should be the principal object of assistance to refugees, but repatriation should only be carried out with a knowledge of the facts and with due consideration of the fate awaiting refugees in their countries of origin. 27. Mr. DE ALBA (Mexico) considered that the joint draft resolution was wholly in harmony with the spirit which inspired the Statute of the Office of the High Commissioner, and that it made it possible to strengthen a number of specific provisions designed to facilitate the High Commissioner's work. He would abstain from voting on paragraph 1 of the operative part, because he did not wish to raise false hopes with regard to the reception which governments would give to the appeal. His own Government would be unable to make any contribution. Fortunately, the High Commissioner could still appeal to non-governmental organizations, such as the International Red Cross or the Quakers, with whom he could work in close collaboration. 28 As regards paragraph 2 of the operative part he pointed out that the High Commissioner would be able to get support from such specialized agencies as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Educational. Scientific and Cultural Organization the World Health Organization and, above all, the International Labour Organisation, which had already pro- 212 General Assembly—Sixth Session—Third Committee nosed to governments the signing of a Covention concerning migrant workers and the distribution of surplus San-power. His delegation would vote in favour of paragraph 3 of the operative part. It relied greatly upon bilateral agreements to make the resettlement of refugees possible! since his Government had learned by experience the value of such agreements. 29 Lastly, his delegation, which believed in the need for repatriation, would support the amendment submitted by Syria, which did not duplicate the text of the joint draft resolution and confirmed the policy pursued by the United Nations since 1946. 30 Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) said that he would vote against the first para-graph of the preamble of the joint draft resolution, since the General Assembly could not take note of the reports of IRO and the Office of the High Commissioner, those organizations being the main obstacle to the solution of the refugee problem. He quoted from letters of Soviet citizens who had succeeded in returning to the USSR. It emerged, for example, that at Stuttgart, IRO officials were dealing in transit visas, and selling to Germans documents designed for refugees who were made to disappear. His delegation could not therefore approve a text which took the reports of IRO and of the High Commissioner into account; it would therefore vote against the preamble. 31. It would also vote against the operative part, on the ground that it placed the chief emphasis on re-settlement instead of repatriation ; the word "repatriation" was in fact, not even being mentioned. The paragraph dealing with migration endorsed the deportation policy of the United States of America. 32. Mr. Pavlov asked that the vote should be taken paragraph by paragraph, both on the joint draft reso-lution itself and on the Syrian amendment. The oral amendment presented by the French delegation was out of order, since amendments had to be submitted in writing at least twenty-four hours before being put to the vote; and in any case the time limit for the submission of amendments had long expired. If the Chairman was nevertheless determined to admit the French amendment, the USSR representative would have to invoke rule 119 of the rules of procedure. 33. The CHAIRMAN agreed to a vote on what the USSR representative had called the Syrian amendment (A/C.3/L.207/Rev.3) paragraph by paragraph, though actually the amendment, having been accepted by the sponsors, had been incorporated into the- joint draft resolution. As regards the French amendment and rule 119, he pointed out that the rule contained the words "as a general rule" and that therefore the time limit was not absolutely mandatory. The Chairman could permit the consideration of amendments even if they had not been submitted in writing. That was one of the few prerogatives which the rules of procedure left to the Chairman, and he intended to avail himself of it. 34 Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) pointed out that the second part of rule 119 applied only to amendments and motions "as to procedure", a most important qualification. It would be a serious infringement of the rules to disregard qualifying those words of limitation. If the Chairman was absolutely determined that the Third Committee should consider the French amendment, which in any case was extremely vague and completely superfluous, he could easily ask the French delegation to submit it in writing, and postpone voting on it until the following meeting. Otherwise, the Chairman should rule it out of order. Mr. Pavlov had not received the Russian text—there was not even a French text—and he would protest strongly if the Chairman put the French oral amendment to the vote. 35. The CHAIRMAN pointed out that the words "as to procedure" applied only to the word "motions" and that the title of the rule contained no mention of procedure. Oral amendments submitted during meet-ings had very often been accepted in the various Committees ; he would therefore maintain his interpretation, and if the USSR representative refused to accept it, he would put his ruling to the vote. 36. Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) still maintained that the Chairman was contra-vening the rules of procedure. However, since the amendment was quite unimportant and had little chance of being approved, he would not ask the Committee to take a vote on its admissibility. He personally would vote against the amendment, and he was sure that the great majority of the Third Committee would do likewise. 37. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote, paragraph by paragraph, the joint draft resolution submitted by Colombia, Denmark, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Uruguay (A/C.3/ L.200) incorporating the Syrian amendments (A/C.3/ L.207/Rev.3) and certain drafting changes agreed to during the debate. 38. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the first paragraph of the preamble, The first paragraph of the preamble was adopted by 41 votes to 5, with 3 abstentions. 39. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the second paragraph of the preamble. The second paragraph of the preamble was adopted by 46 votes to none, with 3 abstentions. 40. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the third para graph of the preamble (A/C.3/L.207/Rev.3, point 1) as modified by the amendment proposed orally by the French delegation. The third paragraph of the preamble, as modified, was rejected by 21 votes to 17, with 12 abstentions. 41. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the third para graph of the preamble (A/C.3/L.207/Rev.3, point 1) in its original form. The third paragraph of the preamble, in its original form, was adopted by 43 votes to 1, with 6 abstentions. 42. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote paragraph 1 of the operative part. Meeting—10 January 1952 213 Paragraph 1 of the operative part was adopted by 34 votes to none, with 16 abstentions, 43. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the first part of paragraph 2 of the operative part, up to and including the words "in this field". The first part of paragraph 2 of the operative part was adopted by 39 votes to 5, with 7 abstentions. 44. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote the second part of paragraph 2 of the operative part, from the words "paying due regard to" (A/C.3/L.207/Rev.3, point 2). The second part of paragraph 2 of the operative part was adopted by 46 votes to none, with 4 abstentions. 45. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote paragraph 3 of the operative part. Paragraph 3 of the operative part was adopted by 37 votes to 5, with 8 abstentions. 46. The CHAIRMAN put to the vote, as a whole, the joint draft resolution submitted by Colombia, Den mark, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Uruguay (A/C.3/L.200). The joint draft resolution (A/C3/L.200), as a whole, was approved by 39 votes to 5, with 6 abstentions. 47. Mr. HARRY (Australia) explained that he had abstained from voting on paragraph 1 of the operative part, since he could not commit his Government on that point: but he had voted in favour of the joint draft resolution as a whole, since it was not to be assumed that the Australian Government would not make a contribution. It would consider the matter in relation to its other commitments, especially its obligations in the field of economic development, technical assistance and migration. 48. Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) pointed out that, whereas his amendment had stressed the urgency of repatriation, the text which had been adopted placed all solutions on the same footing. He noted that the Soviet Union delegation had voted for the latter text. 49. Mr. ACRITAS (Greece), replying to the statements made by the Venezuelan representative, said that the plight of the refugees in Greece could not be explained on economic and social grounds only, Greece had hundreds of thousands of refugees and war victims because the country had been devastated by war as a result of its stand for freedom ; that was why Greece had the lowest national income in the world. He wished to take the opportunity to thank the United States of America and the United Kingdom for their contribution to his country's recovery. 50. Mr. ALFONZO-RAVARD (Venezuela) replied that it had by no means been his intention to explain the position of refugees in Greece in purely economic terms. He had merely wished to indicate how much economic measures could help in solving the refugee problem, a reflexion which also found expression in one of the paragraphs of the resolution just approved. Besides, he had merely mentioned Greece as an example, actually quoting from paragraph 15 of the High Commissioner's report (A/2011). Many other countries were in the same position felt he need hardly add this his country had a deep admiration for Greece add admiration which, he was sure was shared by all the other delegation 51 Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic lice) explained that he had left bound to watch jealously over the observance of the rules of procedure and secondly, on ground of substance. Although the French representative had said that his amendment upheld the USSR delegation's idea, some friends were more dangerous than enemies Had the French representative been sincere, he ought to have remembered the 20,000 Soviet nationals in France who had not yet been repatriated, whereas all the French nationals formerly in the Soviet Union had been. His delegation had voted for the Syrian amendment (A/C.3/L.207/ Rev.3) in its original form for the further reason that repatriation was not the only urgent problem. There was also the problem of the extradition of all the war criminals and traitors who were in France or in the French zone of occupation in Germany. The USSR Government had sent a list of them to the French Government nearly two years previously, but despite the stipulations of the agreements in force between the two countries, not one of those persons had been handed over. COMMENTS ON THE PUBLICATION "THE REFUGEE IN THE POST-WAR WORLD".18 52. Mr. MENEMENCIOGLU (Turkey) thought it would be unfortunate to give the publication The Refugee in the Post-War World1 semi-official status by incorporating in the corrections which some States might request; it would be preferable if the Secretariat stated that it was in no way official and that the Organization was not responsible for it. The second volume of the publication should not appear in a form which would suggest that it was a United Nations document. 53. AZMI Bey (Egypt) thanked the Turkish representative for his suggestion but noted that the publication in question had received wide circulation. Consequently, the Secretariat's statement would have to take the form of a sort of Press release and the distribution of the volume would have to be stopped. 54. Mr. DELHAYE (Belgium) could not agree that the High Commissioner did not have some responsibility for the publication. It had been published under a United Nations symbol number and in the usual form of the Organization's documents. The High Commissioner appeared, in the introduction, to approve of its contents, and it was already public property. That being so, it was bound to be regarded as an official document, a fact, which considerably aggravated the damage it might cause. See also the comments of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (373rd and 380th meetings) and of the representatives of the USSR (377th meeting), Sweden (378th meeting), Greece (378th meeting) and Egypt (379th and 380th meetings) on the publication. "Document A/AC.36/6 (Geneva, December 1951). 214 General Assembly—Sixth Session—Third Committee 55. He noted that the treatment of Belgium in the book was inadequate and not wholly objective. There were a number of points to which he took exception, for example, passages describing the social security system on pages 105 and 106 ; the statement on page 113 that trade unions had been hostile to immigration; and the statement on page 114 that the refugee in Belgum was accepted rather than welcomed. He also objected to what he regarded as an intolerable intervention in the domestic affairs of Belgium and against remarks concerning Walloons and Flemings, Catholics and non-Catholics, which had nothing to do with the refugee problem. 56. Mr. AZKOUL (Lebanon), Rapporteur, said that when the High Commissioner had reached the conclu-sion. that a study on refugees ought to be prepared, there had been two possibilities open to him : either to send questionnaires to the various governments and publish their replies in a volume, which was the usual United Nations practice ; or to entrust the task to a group of independent experts with instructions to prepare a report. He had adopted the second solution, and apparently no member of the Third Committee had objected. 57. The Turkish representative had asked that the Secretariat should make an announcement disclaiming United Nations responsibility, and the Egyptian representative had added that the announcement should take the form of a Press release. For his part, Mr. Azkoul felt the announcement should appear on the first page of the book, and so any ambiguity would be removed. 58. An independent team of research workers could hardly be expected to accept corrections unconditionally. It would be contrary to the very principle of the study ; but probably, as the High Commissioner assured, the authors of the publication would be glad to receive comments, observations and corrections from governments, which they would not necessarily insert but which they would certainly take into account. 59. Mr, ROCHEFORT (France) said the report contained in the publication The Refugee in the Post-War World had no official standing in his Government's eyes, and he regretted, as he had said in the discussion in the Economic and Social Council,3 that the survey had not been conducted by officials of the Office of the High Commissioner. 60. Commenting on some remarks made during the meeting, in particular the USSR delegation's statement concerning the repatriation of French nationals residing in the Soviet Union, he announced that the French delegation reserved the right to answer it in the General Assembly. 61. Mr. MUFTI (Syria) said his delegation had noted m the report contained in the publication The Refugee in the Post-War World references incompatible with the Spirit of the Charter and the atmosphere of mutual trust which he United Nation ought to foster 62. The report implied that a final solution to the problem of the Palestine refugees must be fund in 3 See document E/AC.7/SR.209. Syria, and made no reference to the General Assembly resolution (194 (III)) which provided for the repatriation of Palestine refugees who wished to return to their homes. Moreover, the report falsely accused Syria of deliberately recruiting Moslem refugees in European countries to fight against the Jews. 63. His delegation could not approve of a document each page of which bore the mark of the evil influence of a propaganda to which his country took the strongest exception. An institution which wished to receive aid from all countries should display objectivity. 64. He formally proposed that there should be an enquiry into the circumstances in which the document had been drawn up; its authors had willingly repeated insinuations for which, in Syria, proceedings for defa-mation would have been instituted against them. 65. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) considered the publication The Refugee in the Post-War World all the more misconceived since it purported to have the authority of the United Nations. It was not sufficient, as had been suggested, to state that the document, published under the auspices of the Department of Information of the Secretariat, should not be regarded as a United Nations document. That would not pre-vent the book from continuing to reach people who might treat it as a reliable source of information. Steps would have to be taken immediately to withdraw it from circulation. Copies on hand might be impounded and pulped and the paper used for other purposes, or they might be returned to their authors who, if they so wished, could continue to distribute them under a different cover, 66. He thought it useless to attempt to make corrections to the existing text of a book which contained erroneous and obviously misleading information. If. after hearing the statements made during the meeting. it allowed the book to remain in circulation, the Third Committee would be setting a very dangerous precedent. 67. Mr. MENEMENCIOGLU (Turkey) recalled that the Greek delegation to the Third Committee had at an earlier stage criticized the proposed method for preparing the report and that the Turkish delegation had shared its misgivings. The United Nations could, of course, if it so desired, request a study group to draw up a document, but in that case it had to adopt a formal decision, a condition which had not been fulfilled in the case of the publication The Refugee in the Post-War World. 68. His delegation wished to condemn the publication and would even oppose any proposal to ask govern-ments for corrections to it, since the report did not seem to warrant such a request. 69. Mr. DE ALBA (Mexico) said the logical thing to do was to insert in the first few pages of the report a note stating that the United Nations should not be regarded as responsible for the contents of the document. It that way the Organization would forestall attacks which would harm its prestige. 70. The Rockefeller Foundation had, in granting the funds which had made the investigation possible, acted 383rd Meeting—10 January 1952 215 on the most generous motives ; equally generous aims had inspired the High Commissioner, who could not be blamed for having written an introduction to a publication which had given rise to attacks he could not possibly have foreseen. 71. The Mexican delegation did not feel that governments ought to be asked to submit corrections to the report, for that would give undue prominence to the document; yet it felt that it would be difficult to impound the copies on hand since that would be in direct contradiction with the principles of freedom of thought and expression. 72. Mr. HARRY (Australia) said that Australia attached great importance to the accuracy of the facts contained in the documents published by the United Nations as well as to the accuracy of the conclusions which could be drawn from such facts. He felt the Committee was not making sufficient allowance for the aim which the High Commissioner had had in view in suggesting the survey which had resulted in the report. It would be regrettable if, on account of inaccuracies in the document, which was only a preliminary survey, the United Nations were later to be debarred from conducting an accurate survey that would meet with the approval of the governments of all the countries visited. The High Commissioner should submit the next report to the governments concerned before publication, and request them to submit any necessary corrections so that it might faithfully reflect the true situation. 73. Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) said that even if the report were to appear in another form as some delegations had suggested, that would not alter the facts or lessen the responsibility of the High Commissioner. Though debarred from all political activities by his terms of reference, the High Commissioner was directly responsible for the publication of a book which unjustly contained unfair attacks on and misrepresented the policy of many States. For example, the book had included among ordinary refugees members of the 14th Galician SS Division, constituted in 1943 and, after the second World War, transferred to Italy and later to the United Kingdom where most of its members were still living. 74. Even if the High Commissioner had not actually used funds from United Nations sources for carrying out a survey of the refugee situation, it was intolerable that a United Nations official should indulge in such subversive activity. It was no good ignoring the seriousness of the matter, and the USSR delegation reserved the right to raise the question at a plenary meeting of the General Assembly if necessary. 75. Mrs. AFNAN (Iraq) said the Arab States stilt remembered certain measures which the major Powers had taken to protect the interests of so-called minorities but which had actually encouraged the continued presence of those minorities. 76. The publication The Refugee in the Post-War World stated that it was mainly in Iraq that the problem of Assyrian refugees had developed and changed in. the years between the two world wars, that until 1930 the Assyrians in that country had largely depended on British protection and that many of them had been alarmed at the prospect of coming under Iraqi jurusdiction after the termination of the British Mandate in 1932. That was a particularly unwarranted statement in view of the fact that Iraq and the other Arab states had granted asylum and citizenship to refugees of all ethince group. Her delegation belived that it was intolerable for a book containing such statement to be considered 77. Mr. HAJEK (Czechoslovakia) pointed out that the publication in question placed on the same footing Belgian and French refugees, Koreans who had been expelled from their villages by war and the Volks-deiitsche of Germany. It was regrettable that a report published by the United Nations should show a lack of historical impartiality which rendered it incompatible with the spirit of the Charter and the respect of international agreements. 78. Mr. NAJAR (Israel) said the Committee ought to be realistic ; the survey of the refugee situation had been undertaken by persons of irreproachable good faith. Mr. Jacques Vernant, the Secretary-General of the Centre d'Etudes de politique etrangere of Paris, whose independence of opinion and integrity were beyond doubt, had been asked by the High Commissioner to appoint a survey group. The method of entrusting the drafting of documents to a survey group had become an accepted practice which had never met with objections. 79. In sociological studies, opinions might differ widely on what was accurate and true ; lies and slan-ders did untold harm, but truth itself could also sometimes hurt, 80. The introduction and the foreword described the nature of the publication in unequivocal terms; still, in case they were overlooked by readers, the cover of the book should carry a note stating that it was the work of an independent survey group which accepted responsibility for the opinions expressed. In that way, any doubt with regard to the authorship of the work would be removed. 81. Mr. VALENZUELA (Chile) realized that certain delegations might be concerned at conclusions in the publication The Refugee in the Post-War World which were unfavourable to their country. 82 However, it was wrong to impugn anybody's good faith, and the Chilean delegation associated itself with the tributes paid to the generosity of the Rockefeller Foundation. He pointed out that the Foundation did not normally accept responsibility for research undertaken with the assistance of its grants. 83 The report in question might give rise to some misconceptions, since although not drafted directly by the United Nations, it had been published through the Organization, and in appearance it had the form of a United Nations document. Nevertheless, his delegation could not agree that the Third Committee should call for an enquiry into the motives of the experts who had been asked make a survey of the refugee lituation in the post-war period for in doing so the Committee would be acting ultra vires. 216 General Assembly—Sixth Session—Third Committee 84. The Egyptian delegation had proposed that a press release should be issue to make it clear that the United Nations was I no way responsible for the opinions expressed in the report. The Chilean delegation would be ready to accept that suggestion; but the issue of a press release might well give the incriminated report added publicity and so defeat the purpose of the very countries which had taken exception to it. Moreover, such a press release could hardly be issued without publicly repudiating the high Commissioner who had written the introduction to the report. 85. The CHAIRMAN considered that the High Commissioner might study the various suggestions made by members during the meeting and submit his conclusions at the following meeting. 86. Mr. PAVLOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) moved the adjournment of the meeting. The motion was adopted by 25 votes to 4, with 6 abstentions. The meeting rose at 6.45 p.m. Printed in France SPI— 93250—February 1952—3,600