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Provisional Summary Record of the Two Hundred and Fifty-seventh Meeting Held at Lake Success, New York, on Tuesday, 8 November 1949, at 3 p.m.

Provisional Summary Record of the Two Hundred and Fifty-seventh Meeting Held at Lake Success, New York, on Tuesday, 8 November 1949, at 3 p.m.

9 November 1949
Chairman:Mr. Carlos E. STOLKVenezuela
Rapporteur:Mr. Frantisek VRBACzechoslovakia

Any corrections to this record should be submitted in triplicate in one of the working languages (English, French or Spanish), within two working days, to the Director, Official Records Division, Room F-520, Lake Success. Corrections should bear the appropriate symbol number and be enclosed in an envelope marked "URGENT". Corrections can be dealt with more speedily if delegations will be good enough to incorporate them in a mimeographed copy of the record.

(A/971, A/1,059, A/C.3/527, A/C.3/527/Corr.1, A/C.3/528, A/C.3/529) (continued)

1. Mr. BEAUFORT (Netherlands) said that he had been somewhat disturbed to hear the representatives of Poland and of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic state that the whole refugee problem had been an artificial one. Upon reflexion, however, he had been forced to agree that it was not due to natural causes. Millions of human beings were compelled to live outside their native countries because those in power would not guarantee them their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Such a state of affairs could not be called normal.

2. In proclaiming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations," the General Assembly had indicated the duty of the United Nations towards the millions of human beings whom a tragic fate had scattered throughout Europe and Asia. It was the duty of the more fortunate members of the vast human family to come to the aid of the sufferers. Religion gave believers, and particularly Christians, additional reasons to fulfil that duty.

3. Conscious of its responsibility in that matter, the United Nations had set up the International Refugee Organization, which had come into being on 20 August 1948. He paid a tribute to the unselfish and enthusiastic manner in which that Organization had discharged its duties. It was regrettable that only eighteen countries had participated in that work. The time had come to make sure that, after the liquidation of the IRO, the entire international community should face the problem of refugees and stateless persons, which was far from being solved.

4. In submitting its draft resolution (A/C.3/529) the French delegation had made a valuable contribution to the Committee's work. He said that he would not analyse the draft in detail, but he approved the principle of universality underlying that text and the proposal to establish an office of High Commissioner under the control of the United Nations.

5. He saw no objection to adopting, for that purpose, the same definition of the term refugee as the one used in the Constitution of the IRO. He felt, however, that the time was ripe to give some thought, as was recommended in the French delegation's draft (Chapter III of the Annex), to the fate of those categories of refugees which the IRO had, for financial reasons, not taken under its protection.

6. In regard to credits to be placed at the disposal of the future High Commissioner, the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions had stated in its report (A/1,059), that it considered the figure of 750,000 dollars tentatively submitted by the Secretary-General too high. The Netherlands representative wondered whether that observation did not indicate a tendency to restrict unduly the activities of the new body. He thought that far from being limited to furnishing legal protection, the High Commissioner should give material aid to the displaced persons whom the International Refugee Organization had been unable to resettle, and to the refugees who continued to pour in from countries whose political systems they could no longer endure. While reserving the right to take part later in the discussion on concrete measures, he thought that the task of the future High Commissioner's office should comprise much more than contacts and negotiations with interested Governments.

7. Before calling on the next speaker the CHAIRMAN welcomed Mr. Kingsley, Director-General of the IRO, who was present at the Committee's discussions.

8. Mrs. KALINOWSKA (Poland) said that at the preceding meeting the Canadian representative had failed to give a satisfactory reply to the Polish delegation's statements regarding the group of Polish children forcibly sent to Canada.

9. Poland was profoundly grateful to all those who had helped it during the tragic war years and the invasion, and in particular, to those who had welcomed Polish children. But it was with indignation that Poland had learnt that, after the war, certain Governments had prevented the repatriation of a large number of children. If the Canadian Government had been prompted by purely humanitarian sentiments, as Mrs. Wilson had declared, she wondered why it had prevented the representatives of the Polish authorities from getting into touch with those children. She also wondered why girls had been secluded in the Convent of Notre Dame du Bon Conseil. The Canadian representative had said that those of the children who still had relatives in Poland were at liberty to correspond with them. That was a very small consolation, which had been granted even to prisoners in concentration camps during the war. Surely they were not trying to claim that a letter could take the place of the warmth of the home fireside.

10. While admitting that nineteen of the children were not orphans, the Canadian Government had turned a deaf ear to the pleas of parents for their children's return to Poland. Recalling the case of the Morawska sisters, forcibly detained in Canada, she read a letter from the mother of a Polish boy who was a member of the same group.

11. The Canadian representative had said that the Polish delegation had not displayed an excessive sense of responsibility in launching accusations so lightly. Such a reproach was all the more unjustifiable since the Canadian Government was not fulfilling its obligations towards Poland, as had been proved by the fact that it had not yet restored the Polish art treasures evacuated to Canada during the war. After giving a number of details on that matter, she said that her country's cultural heritage was seriously impaired by Canada's shortcomings. That had not prevented her Government from making strenuous efforts to create a spiritual atmosphere and material conditions favourable for the development of future generations. Her statement was borne out, moreover, by the testimony of Mrs. Marie Dresden Lane, a representative of the IRO, which had appeared in an article in the New York Herald Tribune in July 1949.

12. In renewing her appeal for the repatriation of the Polish children detained in Canada, the Polish representative said that she did not wish to create misunderstanding between the two countries. She was merely presenting a fair and lawful claim.

13. The CHAIRMAN called on representatives to confine themselves to the item under discussion, and to refrain from long digressions and offensive personal allusions.

14. Mr. CONTOUMAS (Greece) said he was speaking as the representative of a country which had considerable experience in the matter since it had had to settle over 1,000,000 refugees on its territory after the First World War.

15. While the draft resolution before the Committee laid emphasis on the question of the legal protection of refugees, he believed that the problem of material assistance was at least equally important.

16. On page 24 of his report (A/C.3/527), the Secretary-General stated that on 30 June 1950 approximately 149,400 refugees eligible for aid under IRO's Constitution would still be receiving care and maintenance from the organization. Furthermore, assistance had had to be given to other categories than those provided for in the constitution of IRO.

17. He believed especially that there was need to study the possibility of helping those who had been driven from their homes by the Greek civil war. The problem of legal protection did not arise in their case, for they were in their own country, but their material distress was causing grave anxiety to the Greek Government. This number was approximately 700,000, that was one-tenth of the country's population. The Government and the voluntary organizations had spared no effort to come to their help, but Greece's resources were extremely limited because of the devastation caused by the war and foreign occupation. The problem could only be solved on an international basis. That had been stated by the Committee of the Churches on International Affairs and the World Council of Churches; both organizations had stressed the need to give material help to refugees even when they were in their own country.

18. Greece had been able to solve the problem of refugees after the First World War by obtaining the support of certain countries under the auspices of the League of Nations. Foreign help had not been lacking in recent years either and he wished to take that opportunity to express his country's gratitude to its friends and in particular to the United States of America which had given most generous help.

19. The problem, however, was of great importance. If those who had been uprooted and had lost all their worldly goods were left to their wretched fate they might fall an easy prey to the forces of anarchy which were experienced in exploiting the misfortunes of others, for their own ends.

20. He asked the French representative to see whether he could complete his draft resolution so as to hasten the examination of the problem of material aid to refugees.

21. Mrs. CASTLE (United Kingdom) felt that the Committee would best display its humanitarian concern by treading resolutely the path of practical solutions outlined in the French draft resolution. It was regrettable that other delegations should have preferred to adhere to the practice of making accusations based on debatable evidence.

22. In that connexion, she recalled how such an allegation made by the Byelorussian representative in the Economic and Social Council had been denied in the official USSR publication "The Red Fleet". Now the Byelorussian representative had told the Committee that the United Kingdom Government had prevented the repatriation of "an illiterate Byelorussian peasant woman". Even supposing that her Government indulged in kidnapping, what interest could it have in detaining forcibly an illiterate peasant woman?

23. The question before the Committee was of much greater importance. Several million people had been torn away from their homes at the end of the war. The vast majority of those refugees, including 2,000,000 Poles, had returned to their countries with the help of the Allied authorities which had been only too glad to reduce the financial and administrative burden of looking after those millions of people. It had not even been imagined at the time that some refugees might refuse to return home.

24. It was not true that IRO had later prevented displaced persons from Eastern Europe from returning home; indeed, their repatriation had never ceased completely. Between July 1947, when IRO began its work, and February 1949, 34,000 Poles had gone back to their country. That the figure had not been higher could not be blamed on IRO; it was rather the fault of the Governments concerned, which had failed to convince the refugees that they would be able to guarantee their human rights. For instance, could anyone wonder that the Baltic refugees refused to return when they knew full well that the USSR Government had deported over 1,500,000 of their compatriots to Siberia, Central Asia and the Pacific Coast?

25. Mr. PANYUSHKIN (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), speaking on a point of order, said that the United Kingdom representative was levelling unfounded accusations against his country and digressing from the item on the agenda.

26. The CHAIRMAN said that so long as any representative described the factors which he or she believed explained the existence of the refugee problem, it could not be said that such a representative was digressing from the question under discussion. Once again, he appealed to all delegations for moderation.

27. Mrs. CASTLE (United Kingdom) resuming her speech, said that the question was whether it was right to compel refugees to be repatriated against their will. If there were objections to doing so in the case of Spanish refugees who had left their country after the civil war, would there be any more justification for bringing such pressure to bear on refugees from the Baltic States or other countries of Eastern Europe under a foreign yoke?

28. As for the accusations concerning the treatment of refugees in the United Kingdom, she said that any honest person was perfectly free to ascertain on the spot how completely unfounded they were.

29. The Polish and Byelorussian representatives had accorded IRO of being dominated by a small group of Powers. It was true that the organization was composed of a small number of members. Who, however, was to blame for that? All countries, whether Members of the United Nations or not, had been invited to join IRO. It was to the credit of some countries that they had undertaken the heavy task of repatriating or resettling millions or refugees. The Committee had not been asked to pass any judgement on the activities of IRO, but rather to consider how the United Nations could ensure assistance for the refugees after that specialized agency had ceased to function.

30. The delegation of the United Kingdom agreed with those who stressed the urgency of that problem. It was imperative to reach a decision in principle on the type of machinery to be established. As the Brazilian representative had pointed out, it was obviously regrettable that there were no financial estimates regarding the two proposals before the Committee. It did not seem, however, that the expenditure entailed by the establishment of a High Commissioner's office would be greatly different from that entailed by the setting up of a Director's office within the United Nations. The Committee, therefore, could limit its choice to those two proposals and consider them only on their administrative merits.

31. The United Kingdom delegation supported the French proposal to set up a High Commissioner's Office within the framework of the United Nations. Several other delegations and the Secretary-General also supported that proposal.

32. The appointment of a High Commissioner, however, should not lead to the creation of an elaborate administrative machinery. The High Commissioner should act as an adviser to various Governments. His task would be to supervise the application of international conventions on refugees by their signatory States and to draw the attention of Governments to any circumstances which, in his opinion, called for any definite action.

33. Chapters I (c) and IV (c) of the annex to the French draft resolution envisaged the possibility of making special arrangements in certain exceptional circumstances. She believed that the United Nations could make sure that the High Commissioner would use his powers only with the greatest caution by choosing the right person for that post. The French delegation, however, could be asked for some further clarification on that point.

34. She did not think that there was any need to adopt a definition of the term "refugee" similar to that contained in the constitution of IRO. Her delegation believed that the High Commissioner should act as an adviser for questions concerning all those who might become stateless either de jure or de facto.

35. Chapters I (e) and IV (f) of the annex to the French draft resolution suggested that it would be possible to gain the support of States not Members of the United Nations by authorizing the High Commissioner to set up a consultative council on which they could be represented. While appreciating the usefulness of gaining the support of the non-member States she felt that the decision on the machinery to be established to that effect could be postponed to a later date.

36. Furthermore, it would be wise to refer all details of an administrative nature to the next session of the General Assembly. Consequently, Chapter II of the annex to the French resolution seemed superfluous for the time being. The United Kingdom delegation preferred the proposal contained in the last paragraph of the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (A/1059) to set up a small planning office before January 1951 to examine all aspects of the proposal in the light of the decision of principle to be taken by the General Assembly.

37. Mr. de ALBA (Mexico) pointed out that the problem under discussion was one which called for the sympathy and the interest of all who were concerned which the welfare of mankind. The natural reaction of all truly civilized nations was to give sympathetic consideration to the lot of refugees, displaced persons and stateless. Moreover, the notion of a refugee was intimately linked which that of hospitality. The General Assembly therefore, should approach the problem in a high humanitarian spirit.

38. IRO, which planned to terminate its activities in 1951, was faced with a heavy and difficult task. The United Nations would become responsible for the protections of refugees after that organization had ceased to function. Its task was to find how to reconcile the moral and material aspects of the problem so as to establish the most suitable machinery for truly constructive work.

39. The draft resolution submitted by the French delegation to the third Committee was based on the humanitarian feelings which had always inspired that country. He was glad to see that France, the country of asylum in the highest meaning of that word, should once again have taken the initiative in developing international aid to refugees.

40. With reference to the appointment of a High Commissioner to deal with the problem of refugees, he felt he must recall that great figure Dr. Nansen, who for nine years, had protected refugees throughout the world under the auspices of the League of Nations. Many people in Europe, Asia and elsewhere still had no other passport than the "Nansen passport", and he hoped the High Commissioner would enjoy the same authority and prestige as had Dr. Nansen, so that he might ensure the effective protection of the refugees, regularize their position and finally solve their problems on a permanent basis.

41. The French draft resolution deserved very careful study. The Committee should consider it in all its aspects, and not be guided merely by sentimental considerations; above all, as the Brazilian representative had pointed out, it should study its financial repercussions carefully, since the economic factor would to a large extent determine the success of the proposed plan.

42. He pointed out that the whole burden of management of the IRO had fallen upon the twenty-eight States which were members of that organization. Many countries, including his own, found that their economic position made it impossible for them to participate in the activities of IRO, though in principle they approved of that agency. The incorporation of IRO in the United Nations, or rather, the assumption of the activities of IRO by the United Nations, would be of considerable moral importance, for if the General Assembly were to take a decision to that effect, all the Member States would be obliged to participate in the solution of the problem of refugees throughout the world. But the General Assembly could not take such a decision without knowing, at any rate approximately, what the financial repercussions would be. The Secretary-General should furnish it with some information on that aspect of the matter.

43. He warned the Committee against the adoption of too ambitious a plan. If it were to decide to set up some modest form of machinery, the activities of which would be supplemented, as in the League of Nations, by those of voluntary private organization, it would increase the chances of the success of its plan. It would compromise those chances, however, if it decided to set up an unduly complex organization, the responsibility for which many governments might not be able to accept. The Mexican Government, for its part, would refuse to undertake an obligation if it was not sure that it could fulfil it, and would therefore abstain from taking part in the Committee's vote.

44. Although the IRO had overcome many obstacles, the position with regard to refugees remained confused. It was questionable whether the large number of displaced persons who had not yet been repatriated was due to the refusal of the persons concerned to return to their countries of origin, or to the refusal of the authorities of those countries of origin, or to the refusal of the authorities of those countries to allow them to return. In any case, the existence of that number of refugees raised a serious problem which it seemed impossible to solve except through the adoption of a general policy in which all States members of the United Nations without exception would co-operate.

45. The Committee should therefore try, above all, to find a compromise solution which would be acceptable to everyone and which would ensure the moral and material support of the fifty-nine members of the United Nations for the High Commissioner whom it was proposed to appoint.

46. Mr. DEDIJER (Yugoslavia) thought that, in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of refugees, it was essential first to study the way in which each of the Governments concerned and the competent international organizations had dealt with the problem in the past.

47. He agreed with the representative of France that the problem should be considered on a world-wide basis, but he did not think there was any need to set up an international centre for the protection of refugees. It would be better if all States agreed on certain basic principles and observed them strictly.

48. Moreover, in his opinion, there were certain points in the French draft resolution which were unacceptable. For example, the draft resolution approved of the work of IRO without any criticism and simply proposed that a new organ should be set up to continue that work. The problem was, however, far more vast in scope.

49. All member States certainly had the moral right to participate in any humanitarian action which they considered necessary for the benefit of the refugees. It was, however, also true to state that they should at the same time adhere to certain definite rules in accordance with the provisions of international law. There were six such rules.

50. The first rule laid down that all States should adhere to the definition of the term "refugee" provided by international law and that they should not confuse refugees and war criminals.

51. Experience had shown, however, that many countries had misused the term "refugee" in order to protect war criminals in violation of the provisions of international law, the classical definition of the term "refugee" and the resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 1946.

52. In that connexion, he quoted the classical definition of the term "refugee" prepared by the Institute of the Right of Asylum and said that all States should abide by that definition.

53. The second rule laid down that a distinction should be made between refugees and displaced persons and that every displaced person who expressed the wish to be repatriated should immediately be sent back to his or her country of origin.

54. After giving a brief summary of the problem of displaced persons during the Second World War and of the international agreements that had been signed in order to solve it, he pointed out that the principle of repatriation had often been violated, more particularly in the case of displaced persons coming from Eastern Europe.

55. The repatriation of such persons had been delayed and even prevented. They had been placed in the same camps as quislings and war criminals and exposed to subversive propaganda.

56. In that connexion, he defined the terms "quisling" and "war criminal" and mentioned cases in which Yugoslavs who had belonged to enemy units had been granted the status of displaced persons and had benefited from the protection of the Allied authorities. That had been a first violation of international law. Another violation had been committed when it had been decided that war criminals, having received the status of "displaced persons", could not be repatriated against their will and would thus enjoy the protection of IRO.

57. Despite that policy pursued by IRO, Yugoslavia had recognized that organization de facto in order to assist the largest possible number of refugees to return home. Despite a number of unfortunate incidents which had occurred during that collaboration, Yugoslavia considered that the problem of its displaced persons had, in essence, been solved. Of the 680,000 Yugoslav prisoners of war and civilians sent to Germany and Austria by the Nazis there remained only about 8,300. Furthermore, there were approximately 3,000 genuine refugees who had left Yugoslavia after the end of hostilities. All the other Yugoslavs who were now in those countries, numbering approximately 21,000, should be regarded as quislings and war criminals and handed over to the Yugoslav Government. That Government, however, acknowledged that certain of those traitors to their country had not committed war crimes. That was why it proclaimed an amnesty in 1947.

58. The third rule laid down that no State should make use of refugees present on its territory in order to promote its own political aims or to jeopardize the independence of the countries from which those refugees originated.

59. Mr. Dedijer accused the Powers who were members of IRO of having broken that rule and of using as agents for creating political disorders in their countries of origin.

60. He cited in that connexion the case of 103 former Croterian Ustachis who had filtered into Yugoslavia from a refugee camp on Austria but had all been arrested and tried at Zagreb. Furthermore, he accused the USSR of making the same sort of use of the supporters of the Cominform who had fled from Yugoslavia.

61. The fourth rule laid down that States granting the right of asylum to refugees and displaced persons should not exploit them as cheap labour or submit them to discriminatory measures.

62. That rule was violated only too frequently. In that connexion, Mr. Dedijer wished to emphasize that he had voted against the Polish draft resolution proposing to put an end to such discriminatory measures, not for the question that trade union rights should be granted indiscriminately to traitors and war criminals who had succeeded in infiltrating the ranks of displaced persons.

63. The fifth rule laid down that no State should refuse repatriation to its nationals who were on the territory of a State refuse to continue to grant them hospitality.

64. Mr. Dedijer mentioned in that connexion the case of some 6,000 Russian émigré refugees in Yugoslavia who had regained USSR nationality after the Second World War but whom the USSR Government had refused to repatriate. That Government had, on the contrary, sought to use those new citizens to stir up trouble in Yugoslavia.

65. When the Yugoslav authorities had taken steps against some thirty of them who had engaged in acts of sabotage terrorism, the USSR Government had sent Yugoslavia a virtual ultimatum demanding that the persons concerned should be set at liberty and had begun to concentrate troops on the Yugoslav frontier. It was very strange that the USSR, when demanding the freeing of those thirty persons, had not proposed to repatriate them and had not contemplated the repatriation of the 6,000 other Soviet citizens who were still in Yugoslavia.

66. The sixth rule laid down that no State had the right to detain on its territory, in peace time, citizens of another State when they requested to be repatriated, either in person or through their legal representatives.

67. The USSR had been guilty of violating that rule also. Mr. Dedijer mentioned in that connexion the case of ninety Yugoslav boys who had been sent to military school in the USSR.

68 When, in the summer of 1948, the Yugoslav Government had asked that those children should be repatriated, the USSR Government had failed to reply to that request. Subsequently, the USSR authorities had forbidden the children to speak their mother tongue and to write home, except in the event of their consenting to inform their parents that they had renounced their country.

69. Mr. Dedijer thought that the position taken by the USSR Government was tantamount to a crime of genocide. The forcible denationalization of those children closely recalled the methods employed by the Ottoman Empire in training janizaries. The United Nations should therefore, in his opinion, take that new category of refugees into consideration.

70. Summarizing his views, the representative of Yugoslavia thought it would be unnecessary to set up an international organization for the protection of refugees. The Governments themselves should be responsible for dealing with that problem. The General Assembly, however, should recommend that the Governments should conclude a convention defining the exact meaning of the term "refugee" and imposing a definite line of conduct on all States.

71. If such a convention were adopted, the General Assembly might instruct the secretariat to supervise its application, with the understanding that any dispute arising in that connexion would be submitted to the Economic and Social Council.

72. If the Committee favoured that idea, the Yugoslav delegation reserved the right to submit a formal proposal to that effect.

73. Mr. Dedijer emphasized the readiness of Yugoslavia to apply the aforesaid six rules to the refugees now on its territory. That would concern about 35,000 Greek refugees and approximately 5,000 Bulgarian, Albanian, Romanian and Hungarian refugees who had fled their countries because they had defended the principle of equality among Socialist nations.

74. Mrs. ROOSEVELT (United States of America ) thought that the time had come to bring a little clarity into the discussion. She proposed to do so in the form of replies to four questions relating to the essential points of the problem under consideration.

75. The first question was: what was the exact issue and why was it being laid before the General Assembly at that particular time? She recalled that the International Refugee Organization, a specialized agency established under the auspices of the United Nations, had four main functions: to facilitate the repatriation of refugees to their country of origin, to provide for the needs of those who could not or did nor wish to be repatriated, to attempt to re-settle them in some other county, and lastly: to extend legal protection to all refugees. Since 1 July 1947, the IRO had aided more than one million refugees who were eligible for assistance under its constitution. it now thought that its main task be January 1951 and had so informed the General Assembly of the United Nations. At the same time, it had advised the Assembly that as far as the permanent aspect of those functions was concerned, i.e. the legal protection of refugees, measures should be taken to avoid any break in continuity after 1 January 1951. Since United Nations responsibility for such protection required the prior agreement of all States Members and since it would probably need long preparation, the IRO had taken care to bring the problem before the Assembly a whole a year before the termination of its own existence so that all the necessary measures to guarantee refugees effective protection under the auspices of the United Nations could be taken before 1 January 1951.

76. The second question was to whom United Nations protection would extend. The Secretary-General rightly proposed in his report that it should extend to all persons regarded as refugees and displaced persons under the definitions in the IRO constitution, which had been approved by the General Assembly in December 1946. However, their numbers would not be equal to the numbers of those who had been the concern of the IRO, as more than 900,000 refugees and displaced persons would have been repatriated or re-settled by 1 January 1951. However, there were categories of refugees not covered by the IRO constitution. The legal position of persons who had become refugees since the adoption of that constitution was not clear; it had not yet been studied by authoritative international bodies. At its last session, the Economic and Social Council had decided to establish an ad hoc committee which would meet shortly to consider the possibility of revising existing conventions providing protection and of combining them in a single convention. One of its first tasks would be to determine the categories of refugees who were to be covered by the new draft convention proposed. In the circumstances, it would seem that the ad hoc committee would be qualified to recommend to the General Assembly those categories of refugees which, in addition to those provided for in the IRO constitution should become the concern of the High Commissioner for Refugees. However, only the General Assembly had the authority to take any decision in the matter.

77. The third question was the form that the proposed protection would take. In the opinion of the United States delegation, the first duty of the High Commissioner for Refugees should be to see that the refugees should gradually resume a normal life. Refugees who had not yet acquired the nationality of their country of refuge were faced with many obstacles which often prevented them from leading a normal life; they must be guaranteed security and a permanent stay in the host country and they must be given opportunities of employment and of educating their children. In addition, they must be provided with the necessary legal protection, given identity documents, travel papers and so on. The High Commissioner for Refugees would be responsible for those matters. He would attempt, by interceding with the Governments of host countries, to secure for the persons under his charge those basic privileges without which any return to normal living was impossible and which were exemplified by the acquisition of citizenship in a country.

78. The fourth question was how much such protection would cost. In his report, the Secretary-General proposed a budget or 750,000 dollars. That budget had been drawn up before the present discussion had taken place. The United States delegation thought that the High Commissioner's staff would be able to carry out the work proposed on a budget of one-half of that amount. However, when the Third Committee had determined what administrative organization was necessary to provide the protection in question, the budgetary estimates could be readily worked out. It was important to bear in mind that the proposal before the Committee was not to maintain the large-scale operations of the IRO, but to establish a service of protection which would need only a comparatively small staff; the latter would be responsible for studying the position of refugees, as groups rather than individuals, and for reporting to the General Assembly on the progress made by the persons under the care of the High Commissioner towards the resumption of a normal life.

The meeting rose at 6 p.m.