Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons: Summary Record of the Eighteenth Meeting
|Mr. De OLIVEIRA
|Mr. GIRALDO JARAMILLO
|Federal Republic of Germany
|Mr. Von TRÜTZSCHLER
|The Holy See
|Mr. Al PACHACHI
|Mr. KAHANY Mr. ROBINSON
|Baron van BOETZELAER
|Switzerland (and Liechtenstein)
|Mr. ZUTTER Mr. SCHÜRCH
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
|United States of America
|High Commissioner for Refugees
|Mr. Van HEUVEN GOEDHART
|Representatives of specialized agencies and of other inter-governmental organizations:
|International Labour Organisation
|International Refugee Organization
|Mr. STEPHENS Mr. SCHNITZER
|Representatives of non-governmental organizations:
|Category B and Register
|Mr. BRAUN Mr. METTERNICH
|Catholic International Union for Social Service
|Miss de ROMER
|Commission of the Churches on International Affairs
|Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations
|Co-ordinating Board of Jewish Organizations
|Friends' World Committee for Consultation
|International Council of Women
|International League for the Rights of Man
|International Social Service
|Standing Conference of Voluntary Agencies
|Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
|World Jewish Congress
|Deputy Executive Secretary
1. CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT CONVENTION ON THE STATUS OF REFUGEES (item 5(a) of the agenda) (A/CONF.2/1 and Corr.1, A/CONF.2/5) (continued):
(i) Article 23 and Schedule - Travel documents (A/CONF.2/31, A/CONF.2/59, A/CONF.2/64) (continued)
The PRESIDENT invited the Conference to continue its discussion of the schedule relating to travel documents annexed to the draft Convention (A/CONF.2/1, pages 21-23).
Paragraph 4 was adopted unanimously, without comment.
Mr. MAKIEDO (Yugoslavia) explained that his amendment to paragraph 5 (A/CONF.2/31, page 4) was in conformity with Yugoslav practice and with that of most other countries. As a general rule, travel documents were valid for a period of six months to two years.
Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) said that it was merely a matter of national practice. In Belgium, the period of validity of passports varied from three months to two years. It was in the interest of refugees that passports valid for three months should be obtainable, because of the lower cost entailed. His delegation therefore wished to submit a minor amendment to the Yugoslav amendment, namely, the replacement of the words "from six months to two years" by the words "from three months two years"
Mr. MAKIEDO (Yugoslavia) accepted the Belgian amendment. Mr. ZUTTER (Switzerland) wondered whether it was really necessary to reduce the minimum period of validity of the travel document. Was it not sufficient that, in exceptional cases, States would be free, under paragraph 13 of the schedule to limit the period during which a refugee could return to their territory to one of not less than three months, and could not the original wording of paragraph 5 be kept?
Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) thought that the Belgian amendment would best serve the interests of refugees. According to the text of paragraph 5 as it stood, a refugee who only wished to stay for two or three months outside the territory of the issuing country would still have to apply for a passport valid for one or two years which would cost him correspondingly more.
Mr. Von TRÜTZSCHLER (Federal Republic of Germany) pointed out that the Belgian amendment might also work to the disadvantage of refugees. For, if it were adopted, issuing authorities might supply a travel document which was valid for three months only, even though the applicant would have preferred one valid for a longer period. He also felt that travel documents issued under the Schedule should be of the same type as those issued under previous international agreements, if the latter documents were to remain valid.
The PRESIDENT remarked that the right of re-entry had two aspects: the relationship between the refugee and the country which he wished to re-enter; and the relationship between the refugee and the country which admitted him on the supposition that his travel document gave him the right of re-entry into the country from which he came. If a State could refuse to readmit the refugee, even when requested to do so by another Contracting State, Consuls and similar authorities of other States would certainly be very reluctant to grant transit visas.
The Yugoslav amendment, as further amended by the Belgian representative, was rejected by 15 votes to 4 with 6 abstentions.
Paragraph 5 was adopted unanimously.
Paragraphs 6, 7 and 8
Paragraphs 6, 7 and 8 were adopted unanimously, without comment. Paragraph 9
Mr. MAKIEDO (Yugoslavia), introducing his amendment (A/CONF.2/31, page 4), said that the general practice of all countries represented at the Conference was to issue transit visas without delay. On the other hand, Governments could not assume an unconditional obligation in that sense. The Yugoslav Government would, of course, continue to follow its general practice of issuing transit visas expeditiously, as hitherto, and of refusing them only in exceptional cases. He withdrew the second sentence of his amendment.
Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) pointed out that paragraph 9 of the Schedule required Contracting States to issue transit visas to refugees who had obtained visas for a territory of final destination. It often happened, however, that, in spite of a visa of final destination having issued to a refugee, the State in which he was resident required him to produce an air or sea ticket to his country of final destination as evidence of his good faith. He wondered whether paragraph 9 to the effect that transit visas would be issued to bona fide refugees producing a valid ticket for their final destination.
Mr. KAHANY (Israel) wondered whether the Yugoslav amendment was really necessary, in view of the provisions of article 21 of the draft.
The PRESIDENT doubted whether the point was covered by article 21, since, according to that article, the refugee had already to be lawfully within the country of transit, whereas the Conference was at the moment considering the matter of his entry into a country of transit. MOSTAFA Bey (Egypt) said that the text of paragraph 9 as it stood raised a problem for the Egyptian delegation in respect of mass immigration. Where such immigration occurred, transit countries might experience difficulty in applying the provisions of the paragraph, which should therefore include certain limitations based on considerations of public security.
He therefore proposed that the words " subject to the exigencies of national security and public order" be added at the end of paragraph 9.
Mr. HOEG (Denmark) said that, when Danish Government issued a transit visa to an alien, it generally did so on condition that the visa for his country of final destination was valid for two valid for two months longer than the transit visa. He wondered whether such a condition would be permitted under the terms of paragraph 9.
Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) drew the attention of the Conference to the position of immigration countries like Venezuela. They could only issue transit visas to refugees who were able to produce firm evidence that they possessed the means of reaching their countries of destination.
Mr. GIRALDO-JARAMILLO (Colombia) appreciated the difficulties of the Egyptian and Venezuelan representatives, but felt that they were met by the Yugoslav amendment, for which he intended to vote.
Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) acknowledged the force the Colombian representative's remark, and said he too would support the Yugoslav amendment. The Yugoslav amendment (A/CONF.2/31, page 4), to paragraph 9, minus the second sentence, was adopted by 11 votes to 6, with 7 abstentions.
MOSTAFA Bey (Egypt) considered that the Yugoslav amendment did not fully meet his point. However, since it had been adopted, he would withdraw his own oral amendment.
Paragraph 9, as amended, was adopted by 22 votes to none with 3 abstentions.
Paragraphs 10 and 11
Paragraphs 10 and 11 were adopted unanimously, without comment.
Mr. MAKIEDO (Yugoslavia), introducing his amendment to paragraph 12 (A/CONF.2/31, page 4), considered it indispensable that any travel document withdrawn from a refugee should be returned to the country of issue. When a person changed his nationality, the general practice was for him to return his passport to the country that had issued it.
Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) considered that the Yugoslav amendment to paragraph 12 of the Schedule should be taken together with the Italian amendment (A/CONF.2/64) to paragraph 3 of the test of the specimen travel document annexed to the Schedule.
Mr. THEODOLI (Italy) agreed. It was important, however, that the obligation to return a withdrawn document should be stated in the document itself, so that the authorities concerned would know where they stood.
Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) thought that, in order to harmonize the two texts, the Yugoslav amendment should be modified, the words "to the authority which issued it" being substituted for the words" to the country of issue".
Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) had no fundamental objections to the Italian amendment, but did not quite understand its purpose. It was understandable that a person who changed his nationality should return his passport to the country of issue. Travel documents of the type contemplated in paragraph 12, on the other hand, were no longer valid once they had been withdrawn, and he saw no point in returning them to the issuing authorities, who already had sufficient work to do.
Mr. THEODOLI (Italy) replied that experience had shown that refugees very frequently claimed that they had lost their documents in order to get possession of two documents. No country wished a document it had issued to be in circulation after its validity had expired. It was for that reason that he had proposed that travel documents which were withdrawn should be returned to the country of origin. It would also be as well to know whether refugees who had left the country of transit had new documents.
The PRESIDENT said that the Style Committee could deal with certain textual points in paragraph 12, including that raised by the Belgian representative in connexion with the Yugoslav amendment. The Yugoslav amendment was adopted by 3 votes to 1, with 20 abstentions.
Paragraph 12, as amended, was adopted unanimously.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France), explaining his amendment to paragraph 13 (A/CONF.2/59), said that the regulation in force in France governing the issue of visas to refugees was that, in application of article 2 of the 1933 Convention and by virtue of a decree promulgated by the French Government, Nansen refugees, refugees from Germany and Austria and Spanish refugees under the mandate of the International Refugee Organization did not need a visa. As to other refugees, France was free to insist upon their having a visa, if it wished.
If the existing text of paragraph 13 of the Schedule was retained, the French Government would be obliged to enter reservations to that paragraph, or to deal with the matter under the procedure for the issue of travel documents; that might have the effect of placing those concerned in a less favourable position than they enjoyed at the present time. The final outcome would be that, instead of a visa being refused, a travel document would be refused.
Mr. GIRALDO-JARAMILLO (Colombia) said that, although Colombia's position was different from that of France, he entirely agreed with the observations of the French representative. He could not accept the original text of paragraph 13, and would therefore support the French amendment.
The PRESIDENT suggested that in that case there should be two types of travel document; one for countries which were prepared unconditionally to allow refugees to return, and one for countries which required a re-entry visa.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) did not understand how the President's remarks could be related to the French amendment, which did not affect the question of the entry and exit of holders of travel documents.
The PRESIDENT quoted the case of a person who had come to Denmark with a travel document issued under the London agreement of 1946. That person had applied to the Danish Consul in his country of origin for a Danish visa valid for three months, but when that period had expired it had been impossible to return him to the country from which he had come because the latter had pointed out that he did not have the requisite re-entry visa.
Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) agreed with the French representative. If the French amendment was not adopted, countries would refuse to issue a travel document to certain refugees, and the refugees would in consequence be unable to leave their country of residence. Venezuela could not accept the existing text of paragraph 13 of the Schedule, or the wording of the travel document, both of which conferred on refugees an unconditional right of return.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) said that if refugees were required to have a visa, that visa should imply permission to return. France, however, wished to be able to exercise supervision over the comings and goings of the refugees in its territory, whom it was sometimes unwise to trust blindly.
Mr. THEODOLI (Italy) agreed with the argument put forward by the Venezuelan representative.
Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) said that if a travel document automatically bestowed upon its holder the right of return to the issuing country, the whole matter was perhaps a question of procedure. On the assumption that a return visa would normally be granted to the refugee before he left, the only difficulty that would arise would be if a refugee were to leave a country which required a return visa without actually obtaining one.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) considered the wording of sub-paragraph 1 of paragraph 13 to be perfectly clear.
The PRESIDENT, speaking as representative of Denmark, said that the point that was causing him concern was that a country might admit a refugee on the understanding that his travel document, which gave him the right of return, had been visaed in good faith by the country from which he had come. What was the position of the former country if the refugee had failed to comply with the regulations of the country that issued the document? It was essential to draw up a travel document which was consistent with existing regulations and the accepted international obligations of States. The document should clearly state the rights to which its holder was entitled.
So far Denmark was concerned, a travel document was implicitly understood to confer upon the holder the right of re-entry. He was not certain whether that condition held for countries which required entry and exit visas.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) did not believe that the arguments advanced by the President invalidated the French amendment. Paragraph 13 would raise no difficulties, inasmuch as its wording referred to the exit and re-entry of the holder of a travel document. The French amendment aimed solely at making possible supervision of the comings and goings of the numerous refugees who had entered French territory illegally.
Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) noted that the specimen travel document annexed to the Schedule made no mention of the need for a visa. Nevertheless, the terms in which the document was conceived implicitly covered authorization to return. Hence there could be no objection to accepting the French amendment.
Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) asked whether the terms in which the travel document was drawn up meant that overseas States would be able to send refugees back to a transit country in Europe. Would the State which had issued the travel document be able to refuse such refugees re-entry?
The PRESIDENT stated that any holder of a Danish travel document was entitled to re-enter Denmark, provided the document was still valid.
Mr. CHANCE (Canada) suggested that the points raised in the course of the discussion might be met by the insertion of the words "with/without a re-entry permit" after the words "The holder is authorized to return to ......" in paragraph 2 of the specimen travel document annexed to the Schedule.
Mr. NARREN (United states of America) thought that the objections raised by the French representative were based on the fact that under the provisions of paragraph 13, sub-paragraph 1, the French government would have to permit the holder of a document issued by it to re-enter France, even if he had had no visa, throughout the whole period of validity of that document, which might be as long as two years. If the French Government was anxious to stipulate that refugees should return within a three-month period, it might be possible to meet its desire by inserting the words "and of authorized return" after the words "during the period of validity of the document". Without such a provision the issuing country would be obliged to admit a refugee returning without a visa after the three-month period had elapsed. He feared, however, that the adoption of the French amendment proposing that the words "without a visa from the authorities of that country" be deleted from sub-paragraph l would raise doubts as to whether holders of travel documents could, in fact, return within the three-month period.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) said that, so far as France was concerned, it was not so much a question of controlling the re-entry of a refugee into French territory as of controlling his exit. Obviously, exit implied subsequent return. As things were at present, a travel document which had no return clause would be completely meaningless.
Mr. HERMENT (Belgium) asked he French representative whether a refugee who had obtained a passport bearing a visa entitling him to re-enter France within three months would also have to apply for a return visa on re-entry.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) said that the visa accorded to a refugee would obviously imply his right to return. That was explicitly stated in sub-paragraph l of paragraph 13. He was personally at a loss, therefore, to understand the nature of the difficulties which had arisen on that point.
The PRESIDENT said that sub-paragraph l of paragraph 13 had been discussed at great length in the Ad hoc Committee, and that two Danish amendments to it had been rejected. The final text presented by the United States representative had commanded unanimous approval. He was therefore somewhat surprised to find that the whole question was being re-opened at such length. He believed, however, that all the points raised, the validity of which he fully recognized, would be met by the adoption of the Canadian representative's amendment to paragraph 2 of the specimen travel document annexed to the Schedule. It would then be perfectly clear what the possession of a travel document entailed.
Mr. Von TRÜTZSCHLER (Federal Republic of Germany) assumed that a refugee holding a French travel document, who had left France without a visa, would be allowed to return, but might be charged with having contravened the regulations.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) said that the existing wording of the specimen travel document, as amended by the Canadian proposal, was acceptable. The wording suggested by the Canadian representative would provide a clear indication, in fact, that authorization to return might or might not be subject to the issue of a visa.
The PRESIDENT, speaking as representative of Denmark, stated that the French amendment would be quite acceptable to him provided that the Canadian representative's amendment to paragraph 2 of the specimen travel document was also adopted.
Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) stated that no foreigner could either enter or leave Venezuela without visa. The French and Canadian amendments were therefore both acceptable to the Venezuelan delegation.
Mr. GIRALDO-JARAMILLO (Colombia) failed to understand how States would be prevented from exercising supervision over the entry and exit of refugees. In his opinion, that right could not be interfered with, and any attempt to do so might make it difficult for certain governments to accede to the Convention.
Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) thought that the Conference should consider further the implications of the French amendment. The basic principle underlying the provisions of paragraph 13 was that States issuing travel documents to refugees resident within their territory would bind themselves to allow such refugees re-entry during the period of validity of the document. He was anxious that that principle should not be tampered with.
The Colombian representative had raised an important point, but a clear distinction should be made between the right to exercise supervision and the right of a State to refuse admission. It must be recognized that governments might wish to exercise supervision over the movements of refugees. They could de so as a matter of course by making exit and entry visas obligatory. There was, however, the case of refugees who failed to comply with such formalities but succeeded in leaving the country without obtaining a return visa. Such persons would then have to apply, from the country in which they were situated, for a return visa, during which time the validity of their travel document might expire. What, in such cases, would be the position of the government of the country in which the refugees concerned were temporarily situated?
Mr. Van HEUVEN GOEDHART (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) emphasized the great importance of travel documents both to refugees and to States. Even countries of resettlement were in favour of travel documents containing a clause which would enable refugees to return to the issuing country, and, indeed, the London Agreement of 1946 relating to the issue of a travel document to refugees contained such a clause. It would be most unfortunate if any change were made in that respect.
He would suggest that the French representative's anxiety that governments should be in a position to supervise the movements of certain refugees would be satisfied by the insertion in sub-paragraph 2 of paragraph 13, after the words "in exceptional cases", of some such wording as: "to subject the return of the refugees to the issue of a return visa"; sub-paragraph 1 could then be left unchanged.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) said that while he fully appreciated the High Commissioner's motives, his proposal failed to meet the points which were causing concern to French Government, and was more 1 imitative in character, since it made the re-entry of the refugee dependant on a return visa. In point of fact, the travel document conferred the right both of exit and of re-entry. The French amendment related solely to a visa establishing the refugee's exit.
Mr. GIRALDO-JARAMILLO (Colombia) considered that the French amendment was preferable to the suggestion made by the High Commissioner. The visa formalities which existed in certain States were an additional guarantee of re-admission to that provided by the travel document.
Mr. MIRAS (Turkey) suggested that if the French amendment was adopted, it would be advisable to delete the second sentence of sub-paragraph 1, the text of which, incidentally, had been submitted in the Ad hoc Committee by the Turkish delegation.
Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) pointed out that refugees temporarily situated in a country which was not their country of residence might engage in activities which would necessitate the withdrawal of their travel documents. Were such persons to be assured of re-admittance by the issuing country?
The PRESIDENT said that two considerations were involved: the respective obligations of the issuing country and those of the country admitting the refugees for temporary sojourn; and the relations between the issuing country and the holder of the travel document. Issuing countries could impose any regulations they wished covering the exit and entry of refugees, but what he was concerned to ensure was that they should assume an unconditional commitment to re-admit holders of their own travel documents. He did not think that such a principle was incompatible with a certain amount of supervision, such as was envisaged by the French representative, but care should be taken to ensure that countries admitting refugees for short periods were not penalized or placed in difficulties by the regulations of the States issuing the travel documents.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) agreed with the President's interpretation of the French amendment. Actually, the confusion which had arisen could be traced to the English text of paragraph 13, which gave the impression that the stipulation that no visa was necessary related only to return, whereas the French text clearly showed that it related to exit and return alike.
Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) pointed out that sub-paragraph 1 of paragraph 13 as at present drafted assimilated refugees without a visa to foreigners who held a visa. However, if the French amendment was adopted, drafting changes might be necessary to make it clear that such refugees were not being assimilated to resident aliens who required a visa as a condition of admission.
The PRESIDENT suggested that the matter was mainly one of drafting, and that the difficulties might be more easily resolved by entrusting the redrafting of paragraph 13 to small working group. He accordingly invited the Canadian, French, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuelan representatives, together with the High Commissioner for Refugees to undertake that task.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) was not opposed to the President's suggestion. At the same time, it should be clearly understood that the working group would not only be responsible for questions of drafting, but would be empowered to examine the substance of the problem. Indeed, considering that the text of paragraph 13 was the same as that of article 15 of the London Agreement of 1946, which itself a substantial departure from the 1933 Convention, it was clear that the question at issue was more than a matter of drafting.
The President's suggestion that a working group should be set up to reconsider paragraph 13 was adopted.
Paragraphs 14, 15 and 16
Mr. MONTOYA (Venezuela) suggested that no decision should be taken on paragraph 14, since it made reference to the terms of paragraph 13, which had not yet been adopted in its final form.
Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) pointed out that paragraph 14 was designed to safeguard all the provisions of existing laws and regulations subject only to the provisions of the preceding paragraph, and could therefore be adopted independently of, and before, the latter.
The PRESIDENT suggested that in the absence of any comment, paragraphs 14, 15 and 16 might be adopted on the understanding that any consequential changes necessitated by amendments to other parts of the Convention would be made in the course of the second reading.
Paragraphs 14, 15 and 16 of the Schedule were unanimously adopted on that understanding.
Annex to the Schedule - Specimen travel document.
The PRESIDENT drew the attention of representatives to the second Italian amendment in A/CONF.2/64, relating to the specimen travel document annexed to the Schedule; in substance that amendment had already been incorporated in the Schedule itself.
Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) suggested that the Italian amendment was superfluous. Holders of old travel documents could not fail to be aware of the necessity of retaining them, and producing them to the authorities should they have taken up residence in another country, and applied for a new travel document, since unless the old document was given up they might have difficulty in obtaining a new one.
Mr. THEODOLI (Italy) said that occasions had been known when refugees had sold their old travel documents on acquiring new ones. The Italian Government attached great importance to the insertion of the instruction contained in the Italian amendment in the travel document itself, as it was essential to prevent refugees from holding two travel documents issued by two different countries. However, if drafting changes were felt to be necessary to his amendment, he would have no objection to its being submitted to the Style Committee for consideration.
Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom) expressed doubt whether the insertion in the travel document itself of a statement as to what the authorities had to do with the document would in fact prevent refugees from disposing of their travel documents illicitly, if they intended to do so. A provision as to what the authorities had to do was already incorporated in paragraph 12 of the Schedule.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) suggested that the Italian representative should join the working group just set up to reconsider paragraph 13.
The PRESIDENT formally invited the Italian representative to take part in the work of the working group.
He then put to the word the substance of the second Italian amendment in A/CONF.2/64, on the understanding that working group would be instructed to examine the specimen travel document annexed to the Schedule, as well as paragraph 13 of the Schedule. The Italian amendment was adopted on that understanding by 12 votes to none, with 13 abstentions.
(ii) Article 3 - Non-discrimination (A/CONF.2/72) (resumed from the sixth meeting)
The PRESIDENT invited the Conference to resume its consideration of article 3, and drew attention to the report (A/CONF.2/72) of the Committee set up to study that article.
Mr. CHANCE (Canada) expressed his appreciation of the work accomplished by the Committee, which had devoted much time and thought to a most contentious problem. For his part, he would be prepared to accept the sixth alternative text submitted to the Conference.
Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) stated that the French delegation was particularly anxious that the proposed new article should be examined in relation to article 1. He therefore suggested that a final decision on article 3 should be deferred until article 1 had been disposed of. It was so agreed.
2. QUESTION OF THE LANGUAGES IN WHICH THE DRAFT CONVENTION SHOULD BE DRAWN UP
The PRESIDENT drew the attention of the Conference to the question of the languages in which the Convention was to be drawn up. There were several possibilities. The Conference could consider itself as a body convened by the United Nations and follow the usual United Nations practice of drafting the final documents in the five official languages. Such a procedure would have the advantage of saving the Conference the trouble of entering into technical legal terminology, but it would also have the drawback of placing upon the Secretariat the burden of supplying texts in languages not used in the discussion.
The conference might alternatively regard itself as a diplomatic meeting of plenipotentiaries, and decide itself on which languages it wished to use for the final documents; it could, for instance, confine itself to English and French, or it could also include Spanish. The Conference should also consider whether the languages of delegations represented at it, other than the five official languages of the United Nations, should be used in the final documents, but, if a decisions was taken in that sense the Secretariat would be unable to co-operate in the work of translation. He requested delegations to ponder the matter, which would have to be settled soon.
3. PROGRAMME OF WORK
After a brief discussion in which Mr. HOARE (United Kingdom), the PRESIDENT, Mr. PETREN (Sweden) and Mr. ROCHEFORT (France) took part, the PRESIDENT suggested that the conference should take up article 1 of the draft Convention at its nest meeting. It was so agreed.
The meeting rose at 6 p.m.