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Ad Hoc Committee on Statelessness and Related Problems, First Session: Summary Record of the Twenty-Second Meeting Held at Lake Success, New York, on Thursday, 2 February 1950, at 2.30 p.m.

Ad Hoc Committee on Statelessness and Related Problems, First Session: Summary Record of the Twenty-Second Meeting Held at Lake Success, New York, on Thursday, 2 February 1950, at 2.30 p.m.

14 February 1950

Chairman: Mr. CHANCE Canada

Mr. CUVELIER Belgium
Mr. CHA China
Mr. LARSEN Denmark
Mr. KURAL Turkey
Sir Leslie BRASS United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Mr. HENKIN United States of America
Mr. PEREZ PEROZO Venezuela

Representative of a specialized agency:
Mr. WEIS International Refugee Organization (IRO)

Consultants from non-governmental organizations:
Category A:
Mr. STOLZ American Federation of Labour (AFofL)
Category B:
Mr. LEWIN Agudas Israel World Organization
Mr. BERNSTEIN Co-ordinating Board of Jewish Organizations
Miss BAER Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Mr. HUMPHREY Director of the Human Rights Division
Mr. GIRAUD Human Rights Division
Mr. HOGAN Secretary of the Committee


Chapter XIV (continued)

Article 28 (continued)

1. The CHAIRMAN called upon the Committee to continue the examination of article 28 of the Secretariat draft convention (E/AC.32/2), and of article 23 of the French draft (E/AC.32/L.3), both of which dealt with the naturalization of refugees.

2. Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) stressed the difference between the two texts. According to the terms of the French draft, the High Contracting Parties undertook not only to reduce the charges and costs of naturalization, but also to expedite the proceedings for the benefit of the refugees. It did not seem that that addition, to which the French delegation attached some importance, should give rise to any difficulties.

3. Mr. KURAL (Turkey) preferred the French text, firstly, because it provided for acceleration of the procedure, and secondly, because it extended the reduction of costs to all refugees, instead of limiting it to those who were destitute, as did the Secretariat draft.

4. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) did not consider either text to be completely satisfactory.

5. He did not think, in fact, that his Government would be prepared to undertake either to reduce the length of the period of residence expressly provided for by the law as a condition of naturalization, or to expedite the procedure, a step which would entail giving priority to the applications of refugees over those of other foreigners. The procedure caused no undue delay.

6. Moreover, the charges and costs of naturalization were so low in the United Kingdom that they could hardly be further reduced.

7. For those two reasons, he would prefer that the committee should retain only the first sentence of the article, perhaps adding to it the idea that destitute refugees should not be refused naturalization owing to inability to meet the costs.

8. The CHAIRMAN, speaking as the representative of Canada, observed that his country already maintained a very liberal policy regarding assimilation of foreigners, and hence did everything possible to expedite the procedure of naturalization, which was subject in Canada to the condition of five years' residence.

9. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) pointed out that in some countries the process of naturalization was neither as rapid nor as inexpensive as it was in the United Kingdom. It might be desirable, therefore, to include in the article an appeal to such countries to accelerate their procedure and agree to reduce the charges for refugees.

10. Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) explained that the expression "to expedite... proceedings" did not apply to the duration of the period of residence, but solely to the administrative formalities taking place between the submission of the application and the decision.

11. Sir LESLIE BRASS (United Kingdom) agreed with the substance of the French text, the scope of which had been clearly defined, but hoped that the text could be further improved in the final version.

Article 28 (article 23 of the French text) was adopted.

12. Mr. WEIS (International Refugee Organization) recalled that following the comment on article 28 of its draft, the Secretariat draft contained an observation which included an important suggestion. After a fairly long period of residence in the country of reception, e.g. fifteen years, a refugee might be invited to submit an application for naturalization; if he did not do so he would cease to be protected by the convention. There were undoubtedly arguments both for and against a provision of that type; the Secretariat had set forth those arguments in its observation.

13. If the suggestion was adopted in principle, it should be included in the convention itself, since it would have a direct bearing upon the field of application of that instrument.

14. The CHAIRMAN felt that that question was part of the problem of the elimination of statelessness, which did not fall within the scope of the convention which was intended to give refugees a minimum number of advantages which would permit them to lead a tolerable life in the country of reception.

Article 29

15. The CHAIRMAN invited discussion of article 29 of the Secretariat draft, which required clarification.

16. Mr. GIRAUD (Secretariat), in order to explain the meaning of the article, postulated the case of a refugee deported to Germany during the war. According to article 29, the time he had spent in that country would count as a period of regular residence. If he had spent two years in Germany and then one year in France, those two periods would be added together.

17. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) interpreted the article as follows. The convention granted certain benefits to refugees who had resided in a country for a given period. A refugee who had been deported to Germany would lose those benefits if his period of residence proved insufficient owing to the time he had spent there. The object of the article was to include the time spent in Germany in the calculation of the period of residence.

18. Mr. WEIS (International Refugee Organization) did not think that the adjective "regular" which qualified the word "residence" in the text of the article limited its application to refugees authorized to reside in a territory. The article applied equally to bona fide refugees who had lived in a country for a sufficiently long time. That should be made clear, as Germany and Australia, for example, could refuse to recognize as a period of regular residence the time spent in their territories by deported persons who, according to law, had not been admitted for regular residence in those countries.

19. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) observed that there were two quite distinct questions. The first concerned the situation of a deported person vis-à-vis the authorities in the territory to which he had been deported. The second was related to the situation of the deported person vis-à-vis authorities of territories other than that to which he had been deported.

20. The CHAIRMAN would like the meaning of the expression "requirement of regular residence" to be defined.

21. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) thought that the term meant an ordinary requirement of permanent residence, such as that laid down by article 13 for the exemption of refugee wage-earners from certain restrictions on their freedom to work. The point at issue was therefore continuous residence, not legal residence.

22. The CHAIRMAN observed that the article raised, inter alia, the question of transferring acquired rights in the matter of residence from one country to another.

23. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) thought that the Belgian representative had clearly stated the two problems to be solved.

24. The first hardly seemed to raise any difficulties. It appeal logical that a country which had been occupied by the Germans and which had received deported persons who had not been lawfully admitted for residence should agree that the period of residence of the refugee during the occupation should be considered as a period of regular residence. The countries which had been occupied could express their views on that point. The United States delegation, for its part, had no objection to the inclusion of a clause to that effect.

25. With regard to the principle underlying the second problem, he feared that there might be strong opposition.

26. Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) believed that in most cases the French authorities were willing to consider the time spent in France by a deported person when calculating the period of residence. He could not, however, state categorically that his Government was prepared to give a general undertaking in that connexion. The fact that no such clause was included in the French draft indicated that the author had not considered that it would be particularly valuable.

27. Mr. LARSEN (Denmark) observed that the only article of the convention which included a condition of residence was that referred to by the Belgian representative, which stipulated that a period of three years' residence was necessary before a refugee would be entitled to work. As more than three years had passed since the Germans had left, all deported persons had been able to complete their period of residence in the country of reception itself. Consequently it would not apparently be necessary to apply article 29, which therefore became superfluous.

28. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) pointed out that there were other conditions of residence which were not included in the convention but which followed either from various international instruments or general regulations applicable to foreigners. In Belgium, for example, a foreigner could engage in a liberal profession only after the completion of ten years' residence. Article 29 was therefore not entirely redundant.

29. In practice, the Belgian Government had no objection to adding the years spent in Belgium during the occupation to the period of regular residence on condition that the person concerned had been authorized to reside regularly after the end of the war.

30. The Belgian delegation was therefore not opposed to the application of the first principle enunciated in article 29.

31. Mr. KURAL (Turkey) asked whether article 29 would apply in the case of naturalization; i.e. whether the time spent in the countries to which they were deported would be included in the total period of residence imposed by law upon foreigners who wished to become nationals of the country of residence.

32. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) thought that the reply was in the affirmative.

33. The CHAIRMAN observed that the Committee seemed to agree on the principle that the country to which a person had been deported should accept the period spent there as a deportee as a period of regular residence. The next question was whether a country other than that to which deportation had taken place should also take the deportation period into account and should add that time to the subsequent period of residence in its own territory.

34. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) was unable to agree to that second principle. The result of its application to naturalization would be that, in determining the period of residence, the time spent in a foreign country would be taken into consideration. That would be contrary both to the whole purpose of the requirement of residence prescribed by law and to the practice followed in that respect by the Belgian Government.

35. If a deportee were to return to the country in which he had previously resided, his period of residence in that country might be considered to have been uninterrupted by the fact of his deportation. That was the only privilege which could be granted to a deportee in that respect. Hence, in determining the period of residence required for naturalization, which, in principle, should have been uninterrupted, the time he had spent in the country prior to deportation would be added to the period of residence subsequent to his return.

36. The CHAIRMAN agreed with the opinion expressed by the Belgian representative. In determining the period of residence a State could not be required to take into account time spent outside the country.

37. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) was entirely in agreement with the Chairman. Article 29 could not be accepted if it were to go further than that.

38. Mr. WEIS (International Refugee Organization) proposed that the following text, which was of particular interest with respect to Germany and Austria, should replace the Secretariat draft:

"If persons who were deported from their country of origin or of regular residence by the Nazi authorities during the second World War are living on the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, their residence in the territory of the High Contracting Party to which they were deported shall be considered as regular residence for the purposes of this convention."

39. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) would agree to that text, since it retained only the first principle embodied in article 29 as interpreted by the representative of Belgium. The recognition of the length of time spent as a deportee as part of the uninterrupted period of residence might also be considered.

40. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should accept the principle that the authorities of the country of deportation should recognize the validity of the period of residence there as a deportee, the exact wording to be decided upon later. He further proposed that the Drafting Committee should study the advisability of the recognition of the period of residence as not having been interrupted by deportation, and that the principle of the transfer from one State to another of acquired rights with respect to residence should be rejected.

It was so decided.

Article 30

41. The CHAIRMAN called upon the Committee to consider article 30 of the Secretariat draft and article 25 of the draft proposed by the French delegation, both of which dealt with the same subject in practically the same way.

42. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) observed that it was the practice of the United Kingdom not to ratify a new convention until the legislative or other measures required to give it full effect had been adopted. That was a sound practice which article 30 should require. As it stood, that article merely asserted that, on an unspecified date, States should adopt the measures necessary for the implementation of the provisions of the other articles; such action was, however, already called for by the terms of those articles. A statement of that nature, immediately following the provisions concerned, would merely serve to weaken the compulsory character of the remaining provisions of the convention and cause the latter to lose all practical value. The felt, therefore, that the following wording should be adopted for article 30:

"Ratification of or accession to this convention by a High Contracting Party implies that its legislation and administrative arrangements are in conformity with the provisions of the convention."

43. Mr. GUERREIRO (Brazil) pointed out that the clause contained in article 30 was already embodied in a number of conventions. Generally speaking however, it was not given the interpretation placed upon it by the representative of the United Kingdom. It was usually held to mean that the contracting parties were internationally responsible for the implementation of a convention as soon as they had ratified it. Should they fail to adopt the necessary legislative measures to ensure its implementation, their international responsibility would automatically become involved. The question whether those measures should be adopted before or after ratification, would be settled in accordance with the tradition and constitutional laws of the signatory States. Brazil, for its part, enacted every convention which it ratified and that convention subsequently became a law of the land. It was therefore quite prepared to accept the text of article 30. He believed that the United Kingdom representative would have no reason to object to that text if it was clearly understood to mean, as was the case with other conventions, that it could not serve as a pretext for a signatory State to fail to implement the convention on the sole grounds that legislative measures had not been taken.

44. The CHAIRMAN pointed out that article 30 was couched in the same terms as article 27 of the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, which had been adopted by the General Assembly on 2 December 1949 (Resolution 317 (IV)). That article, both in Committee and in the General Assembly itself, had given rise to lengthy debates which the Committee should attempt to avoid reiterating.

45. Mr. ROBINSON (Israel) felt that the latest and the best text drafted by the Secretariat was that of article 27 of the said Convention. The English translation of article 30 was not an exact reproduction of that text. According to article 27, each of the Parties to the Convention undertook to adopt, in accordance with its Constitution, the legislative or other measures necessary to ensure the application of the Convention. It was therefore quite obvious that each Contracting Party, by its very ratification of or accession to the Convention, became internationally responsible for its implementation. No legislative action would be required in a State whose Constitution made every treaty binding upon its authorities. If, on the other hand, the Constitution required that implementation of treaties should be subject to legislative action, the State concerned would be internationally bound to adopt the necessary measures.

46. The CHAIRMAN asked Mr. Robinson to explain the legal aspect of the problem of the introduction into the Convention of a federal clause.

47. Mr. ROBINSON (Israel) recalled that, in a case of the Attorney General for Canada versus the Attorney General of Ontario the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council had ruled that a labour convention signed by the Federal Government of Canada and approved by the Dominion Parliament was not binding upon the Province of Ontario because the latter had exclusive competence to determine working hours within its territory. In order to meet such contingencies, the ILO Constitution provided that an ILO convention could be regarded as a recommendation by federal States. That was the general situation.

48. The question whether a federal clause should be introduced into the text of the convention under discussion was one which the federal States would have to decide. They were in the best position to find a solution in each particular case, whether such a provision of the convention fell within the federal competence or whether it was within the competence of the provincial governments.

49. He did not think it would be particularly useful to include a federal clause in the convention. The United States delegation had requested the inclusion of such a clause in the Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others; but the problem there was a different one because the crimes dealt with in the convention fell within the federal competence only if they were of an inter-State character. True, it might be possible to draft a federal clause calling upon federal States to approach the provincial governments with a view to ensuring their accession to the convention. It was preferable, however, simply to rely on the goodwill of the federal States rather than to emphasize in a convention the secondary part they had to play in the matter.

50. Another solution would consist in having recourse to the right to make reservations; the federal State would then be able to make reservations in respect of the articles concerning matters within the competence of provincial governments.

51. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) stated that neither of the two texts would satisfy his delegation, since the United Kingdom never ratified a convention before it was in a position to put it into force. He wished to point out, since article 27 of the Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was being suggested as a model, that the United Kingdom had not yet signed that Convention.

52. He thought that the Committee might well adopt a text such as he had proposed. That text had been modelled upon a convention drawn up by the League of Nations, the ratification of which had not given rise to any difficulties.

53. In any case, it was contrary to the United Kingdom practice to ratify a convention if it had not taken legislative or other necessary measures to ensure its application. Sir Leslie was convinced that that was the only right course.

54. Mr. PEREZ PEROZO (Venezuela) asked that the Secretary should read out the corresponding article of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. He recalled that that article had given rise to no difficulties; the Committee might therefore use it as a model, at least as regards its substance.

55. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) observed that the provisions of article 30 were pointless so far as the United Kingdom was concerned, because the latter ratified conventions only after it had taken legislative or other necessary measures to ensure their application. Many States, however, including Belgium, could not take the necessary legislative measures until they had ratified the convention. It was absolutely impossible for the Belgian Government to propose changes in the national legislation to Parliament on the sole ground that it intended to ratify a convention. Such a procedure would be considered in Belgium as reversing the logical order of events.

56. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) noted that the discussion revolved around differences between the constitutional practices of various States. That question obviously could not be solved by the Committee; it should not, therefore, form the subject of a long debate.

57. The provisions of article 30 had been included for the benefit of States for which the ratification of a convention did not automatically or a priori entail a modification of the relevant legislation. Such States were undoubtedly in the majority; the Committee should carefully examine whether the text proposed by the United Kingdom would not place them in an impossible position.

58. He thought that the best solution of the problem would be to refer the drafting of article 30 to a working group, which would take into consideration the current discussion and the relevant provisions of conventions already adopted by the United Nations.

59. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) had no objection to that proposal. He pointed out, however, that a number of States followed the same procedure as the United Kingdom; the Government announced to Parliament that it had signed a convention, and requested Parliament to take the necessary legislative measures to ensure its application in order that the State might be able to ratify it.

60. The CHAIRMAN did not think it advisable to refer the question to a working group at the present stage. The Committee should decide between the solution proposed by the United Kingdom representative and that advocated by the Belgian representative. In the Chairman's view, the question was not so delicate that it could not be quickly and satisfactorily settled.

61. Mr. GIRAUD (Secretariat), in accordance with the request of the representative of Venezuela, read out article V of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as follows:

"The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III."

62. The CHAIRMAN observed that, apart from the second part of the text, relating to penalties, that article was identical with article 30.

63. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) recognized that the consensus of opinion was against his proposal. He would therefore not press for its adoption, but he stressed that he was convinced that the principle followed by his Government in connexion with the ratification of international conventions was the most logical and rational.

64. The CHAIRMAN proposed the adoption of article 30 of the Secretariat draft on the understanding that the English text would be replaced by the corresponding text of article 27 of the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.

It was so decided.

Article 31

65. The CHAIRMAN read the text of article 31, dealing with the application of the new convention and the Conventions of 1933 and 1938, and the comment on it.

66. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) pointed out that, since it began to examine the draft convention, the Committee had favoured the idea that the new convention should replace existing Conventions. The proposed article 31 therefore did not meet the wishes of members of the Committee, which had frequently been emphasized when the various articles were considered.

67. The CHAIRMAN completely shared the Belgian representative's view.

68. Mr. LARSEN (Denmark) did not understand why the Secretariat had proposed article 31. If that text were adopted, it would deprive refugees covered by the Conventions of 1933 and 1938 of the advantages of the draft convention on which the Committee was working. That would be an illogical not to say inadmissible, situation.

69. Mr. WEIS (International Refugee Organization) thought there should be no objection to adopting article 31, for it would, in certain cases, enable the advantages obtained for all categories of refugees covered by the Conventions of 1933 and 1938 to be maintained.

70. Mr. GIRAUD (Secretariat) observed that the Committee had not adopted the solution advocated by the Secretariat of deciding that the new convention should exist alongside the previous Conventions, the new convention to represent lex generalis and the previous Conventions lex specialis. Article 31 of the Secretariat's draft was therefore no longer suitable.

71. The majority of States Parties to the Conventions of 1933 and 1938 would doubtless wish to ratify the new convention. But as long as they had not denounced the previous conventions they would be bound by those conventions vis-à-vis the States which had ratified them but which had not become parties to the new convention. States Parties to the two classes of conventions would therefore have two classes of obligations towards the same categories of refugees.

72. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) thought the provisions of article 31 ran counter to the intentions of the Committee, which had decided that all categories of refugees should enjoy the advantages of the new convention, which should therefore replace the former Conventions.

73. If article 31 was retained, it should be drafted in terms such as to make clear that for the High Contracting Parties to the new convention the latter replaced former Conventions, but that it did not affect former Conventions so far as Parties to those Conventions who did not become Parties to the new convention were concerned.

74. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) thought it was preferable not to lay down provisions to that effect. That was a question which was essentially within the competence of the States concerned; each of them would decide whether it preferred to apply the former Conventions or the new convention; the fact of having ratified the new convention would naturally lead the State concerned to denounce previous Conventions.

75. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) had no objection to the Belgian representative's suggestion, if only because the United States was not a Party to the Conventions of 1933 and 1938 and was not therefore directly concerned with the question under consideration.

76. He wondered, however, whether the denunciation of a convention did not generally require some time. For example, article 37 of the existing draft provided that the denunciation would only take effect one year after the Secretary-General had been notified.

77. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) pointed out that there was no difficulty about the time necessary for the denunciation to take effect; there was no major objection to two conventions being simultaneously in force for a short time. Any difficulties that situation might cause could easily be settle by the States concerned.

78. Mr. LARSEN (Denmark) drew attention to the fact that the Conventions of 1933 and 1938, as also the new convention, contained many provisions establishing certain relations between the High Contracting Parties. It was therefore natural to wonder what would be the position in that respect if one of the Parties to the Convention of 1933, for example, were to ratify the new convention and denounce the previous one. Which instrument would regulate the relations between that State and Parties to the Convention of 1933 which had not ratified the new convention?

79. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) thought the Danish representative's argument was of doubtful value. If it was carried to the extreme, no State would ever be able to denounce a convention so long as other States continued to apply it. But it was obvious that if Belgium, for example, intended to ratify the new convention and to denounce the Convention of 1933, it was perfectly free to do so.

80. Mr. ROBINSON (Israel) thought the question of whether to apply the new convention or the Conventions of 1933 and 1938 raised an important problem which it was difficult to ignore or decide hastily.

81. Article 21 of the Convention of 1933 and article 23 of the Convention of 1938 provided that the denunciation of those Conventions would only take effect one year after the Secretary-General had been notified. Consequently, if the Belgian representative's viewpoint were upheld, the simultaneous existence of three conventions for at least one year could not be avoided.

82. He wondered whether the question should not be referred to the General Assembly or to a diplomatic conference.

83. The CHAIRMAN did not wish the Committee to leave the question undecided and to entrust its solution to the General Assembly, where it would be the subject of long discussions in committee or at plenary meetings. He thought the Committee ought to be able to reach a satisfactory solution by itself.

84. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) shared the Chairman's point of view as to the necessity of settling the question in the Committee. He was in favour of the new convention replacing the previous Conventions and wished to support the opinion of the Danish representative, who considered it inadvisable for States to denounce the former Conventions. Certain Parties to the Convention of 1933 and 1938 would not perhaps ratify the new convention, and in the interest of the refugees themselves, it was important that the States Parties to those Conventions which ratified the new convention should maintain with the other States the relations established by the Conventions of 1933 and 1938. At all events, the United Kingdom would like to be able to adopt such a solution.

85. Mr. PEREZ PEROZO (Venezuela) suggested that the Committee should consider the precedents created in similar situations by the amalgamation of earlier agreements or conventions. In that way, it could decide what was the best solution.

86. Mr. ROBINSON (Israel) thought it was the practice of the United Nations not to terminate a convention until the Parties thereto had become Parties to the new instrument which was to supersede it.

87. He read article 28 of the Convention for Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others which said that "the provisions of the international instruments referred to in sub-paragraph 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the second paragraph of the Preamble shall be deemed to be terminated when all the Parties thereto shall have become Parties to the present Convention."

88. In his opinion, a similar solution might well be adopted for the draft convention under discussion. In that way, it would be unnecessary to denounce the former Conventions because they would be automatically superseded when all the Contracting Parties had become Parties to the new convention.

89. The CHAIRMAN proposed the following text:

"The present convention replaces the Arrangements of 5 July 1922, 31 May 1924, 12 May 1926, 30 June 1928 and 4 July 1936, and the Conventions of 28 October 1933 and 10 February 1938 and the Agreement of 15 October 1946, as between the Parties to the present Convention."

"It does not affect the operation of those arrangements for Parties thereto who are not Parties to the present Convention."

90. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) did not object to the Chairman's proposal, but pointed out once more that it was unnecessary to set forth such provisions.

91. Mr. ROBINSON (Israel) thought that the text he had proposed, namely article 28 of the Convention on the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was the most appropriate.

92. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) pointed out that the Chairman's text and that submitted by the representative of Israel would not have the same results. The Chairman's text provided that the earlier instruments would cease to be in force for any one Party when it became a Party to the new convention. It was quite otherwise in the Israel representative's formula.

93. The CHAIRMAN proposed that the Secretariat should be asked to prepare a text, based as far as possible on both his proposal and that submitted by the representative of Israel.

94. Mr. ROBINSON (Israel) thought that should be possible as the principle underlying the two proposal was the same. The earlier conventions should be terminated but they should remain in force for a certain period, which remained to be determined.

95. In his opinion, the second sentence of the text submitted by the Chairman was unnecessary because it followed naturally on the first sentence.

96. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) thought that there was some difference between the two proposed texts. The text submitted by the Israel representative provided that the earlier instruments would remain in force until all the Parties thereto had become Parties to the new convention. The Chairman's text, on the other hand, provided that the earlier instruments would be progressively superseded as the Parties thereto adhered to the new convention.

97. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) wondered whether that type of progressive substitution was really necessary for the draft convention under discussion, since it dealt primarily with relations between the State and the refugees and not with relations between States.

98. In any event, he thought that note should be taken of the difference between the two proposals, for their provisions were not as similar as the representative of Israel had implied.

99. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should not pursue the discussion, but that the Secretariat should be asked to draft an article based on the two proposed texts.

It was so decided.

Final clauses:

100. The CHAIRMAN thought it was unnecessary for the Committee to consider each of the final clauses separately. They were customary provisions, to be found in all the international conventions which had been drafted under the auspices of the United Nations.

101. With regard to the first paragraph of article 35, Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) said that the Committee should state which articles were subject to reservations; there was a question of principle which it was the Committee's task to decide.

102. Mr. GUERREIRO (Brazil) thought, like the representative of Belgium, that the Committee should complete the first paragraph of article 35. He wondered, nevertheless, whether it would not be better to defer decision on that question until the final text of the entire draft had been worked out.

103. Article 36, the colonial clause, might lead to controversy, and he wondered whether it would not be better to leave the decision on that essentially political question to the principle organs of the United Nations.

104. The CHAIRMAN pointed out that, article 33 on signature, ratification and accession like article 35, had also to be complete. The date until which the Convention would be open was not specified; the Secretariat merely suggested that the Convention should remain open for one year for signature on behalf of any Member State.

105. Mr. ROBINSON (Israel) observed that the proposed procedure was customary and had already been followed in the signing of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

106. Referring to article 37, which fixed a period of one year before denunciation took effect, Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) wondered whether that time was not too long and might not constitute an obstacle to ratification. In his opinion, a general rule should not be laid down on the question.

107. Mr. CHA (China) would have preferred to retain the text of the colonial clause, as it appeared in the draft protocol on Narcotic Drugs in article 36.

108. The CHAIRMAN asked the Secretariat to give the drafting committee the most recent formula for the colonial clause.

CHAPTER XI (continued) Article 24 (E/AC.32/L.25)

First article

109. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) observed that the text of the first article, as it appeared in the draft prepared by the United States and Belgium, (E/AC.32/L.25) did not differ from the text examined by the Committee at the preceding meeting except for the addition of the words "in any way", which referred to various methods by which refugees could be expelled, refused admittance or removed.

110. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) preferred to substitute the verb "to return" in the English text for the phrase "to turn back".

111. Mr. PEREZ PEROZO (Venezuela) wondered whether the application of article 24 would not entail certain difficulties, if not abuses. In that connexion be cited the case of Spaniards from the Canary Islands who accepted the offers of unscrupulous shipping companies which promised to transport them to Venezuela at low cost and landed them clandestinely on the coast. On arrival, the Spaniards presented themselves to the Venezuelan authorities as refugees. If the existing article 24 were applied, it appeared that Venezuela, even if it considered the newcomers highly undesirable, would not be able to return them either to Spain where they claimed their life or liberty would be threatened, or to other countries because the latter would refuse to receive them.

112. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) replied that the interpretation of article 24 given by the representative of Venezuela was certainly correct. He pointed out that the third article provided specifically for the police measures which the High Contracting Parties would have the right to apply to refugees they could not expel.

113. The problem of refugees was new to Venezuela and the countries on the far side of the Atlantic, but many countries of Europe had been faced with it in a much more serious form for many years.

114. Mr. PEREZ PEROZO (Venezuela) raised new objections to article 24. For example, people could clandestinely enter a country with a favourable economic position whose immigration quotas were exhausted, and claim the status of refugees in order to stay there. In those circumstances, unscrupulous persons would be favoured over those who conscientiously waited for the moment when they could receive a quota number.

115. Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) noted that certain countries were beginning to encounter difficulties to which the countries of Europe had long been accustomed. Of course, a country might be reluctant to receive in its territory a large number of aliens, some of whom did not have all the desirable qualifications. The easiest course for that country would be to close its frontiers and to abandon the refugees to their fate; nevertheless, it was not a question of personal convenience or well-being, but a humanitarian problem, and it could not be stressed too often that the countries of Europe, in spite of their difficult economic situation and the high density of their population, had not hesitated to admit many refugees of all nationalities.

116. The CHAIRMAN, speaking as representative of Canada, said that his country was in a similar situation to that of Venezuela in that shiploads of emigrants were often landed far away from any port control authorities. The difficulties entailed by such practices were however, very small compared with those facing European countries. That was why he wanted to achieve unanimity on article 24, which gave refugees the minimum guarantees to which they were entitled. He hoped, therefore, that the Venezuelan representative would agree to reconsider his decision.

117. Mr. PEREZ PEROZO (Venezuela) said that he would abstain in a vote on article 24, but reserved his delegation's right to state its views again when the draft convention was examined by the General Assembly.

The first article was adopted.

Second article

Paragraph 1

118. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) said that the only change made in the Secretariat draft had been the deletion of the word "regularly" from the English text. He wondered however whether the English expression "authorized to reside" accurately conveyed the meaning of the French expression "autorisé à séjourner" and whether it should not be replaced by the expression" who is lawfully in the territory..."

119. Although the paragraph did not say so explicitly, it was self-evident that upon the expiration of the residence permit granted to a refugee, the host country was free, if it so desired, to expel the refugee concerned for reasons other than national security or public order. Otherwise, the United States delegation could not agree to that paragraph.

Paragraph 1 was adopted.

Paragraph 2

120. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) doubted the usefulness of paragraph 2 of the Second Article. He proposed its deletion and the insertion at the end of the previous paragraph of the formula adopted by the authors of the draft Covenant on Human Rights: "according to such procedure and safeguards as are provided by law."

121. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) pointed out that unless the national legislation provided safeguards in matters of expulsion, the adoption of the United Kingdom representative's proposal would deprive refugees of all means of defence. He therefore believed that paragraph 2 should be retained.

122. Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) agreed with the United States representative on that point. It should not be forgotten that, while the draft Covenant on Human Rights was of a comprehensive character and embraced all aliens, the draft convention was intended to guarantee preferential treatment to a particularly unfortunate category of aliens.

123. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) explained that it was difficult for his delegation to accept paragraph 2 because it was not consistent with the procedure followed in the United Kingdom where refugees could not be represented before the Home Secretary, who was the competent authority in matters of expulsion and personally responsible to Parliament.

124. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) thought it would be possible to meet the views of the United Kingdom representative by deleting the words "and to be represented" from paragraph 2.

125. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) suggested that the French text of the paragraph should be redrafted to read: "Un tel réfugié sera admis, conformément aux lois et procédures en vigueur dans le pays, à fournir des preuves tendant à le disculper devant l'autorité compétente".

That proposal was adopted.

126. Mr. ORDONNEAU (France) regretted that the Committee could not keep paragraph 2 in its original form. The deletion which had just been proposed took much of its force from article 24.

127. Mr. WEIS (International Refugee Organization) pointed out that in some cases expulsion was a secondary penalty applied to individuals sentenced after a trial at which they had been able to defend themselves. In other cases it was a primary measure applied in pursuance of mere administrative procedure. It seemed difficult to deny all possibility of defence to a refugee who risked a penalty with far more serious consequences to himself than a prison sentence. The deletion of paragraph 2 would have that effect.

128. Sir Leslie BRASS (United Kingdom) said that he must reserve his Government's position on that important point.

129. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) proposed that paragraph 2 should be retained in its existing form (E/AC.32/L.25), with due regard to the drafting changes which the Belgian representative had just made.

Paragraph 2 was adopted.

Paragraph 3

Paragraph 3 was adopted without discussion.

Third Article

130. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) explained that the third article included the principles stated in the Danish amendment (humanitarian treatment of refugees) and in the preliminary draft convention drawn up by the Secretariat (prohibition of the application of penalties to refugees). The right of the contracting parties to apply essential police measures to refugees was also state.

131. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) asked what was the precise meaning of the phrase "treatment compatible, from both the moral and material point of view, with human dignity".

132. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) explained that the reception country was required to grant the refugee the means of livelihood and to prevent his ill-treatment.

133. Mr. WEIS (International Refugee Organization) added that the article implied that the refugee should not be subjected to irksome restrictions, that he should be permitted to move outside the reception camp as much as possible, and that he should lead as normal a life as possible.

134. Mr. HENKIN (United States of America) thought that, although the substance of the third article was satisfactory, its form left much to be desired. He hoped it would be possible to amend it during the second reading.

135. The CHAIRMAN thought it would be preferable to delete paragraph 1 of the third article which, in his opinion, was too ambitious. He also criticized the phrase "police measures" in paragraph 2 and suggested the substitution of the phrase "administrative measures".

136. He proposed that the article should be re-drafted to read:

"The High Contracting Parties undertake not to impose penalties on refugees who enter or are present in their territory without prior or legal authorization and who present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their entry."

137. Mr. LARSEN (Denmark) proposed the addition of the following sentence to the text proposed by the Chairman:

"The High Contracting Parties undertake not to apply other restrictions of movement than these which are necessary and those restrictions shall only be applied until such time as it is possible to take a decision regarding their legal admission to the country of reception or their admission to another country".

138. Mr. CUVELIER (Belgium) thought that the end paragraph 2 beginning with the words "the High Contracting Parties shall allow..." should be added to the text.

139. The CHAIRMAN announced that the Committee would conclude consideration of the article at the following meeting.

The meeting rose at 6 p.m.