THE POSTAL HISTORY OF ICAO

 

The Interim Assembly of PICAO

 

Guide Book for the Delegates attending the Interim Assembly

The Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) was composed of the Interim Assembly, the Interim Council and the Secretariat. The PICAO Interim Assembly held its first and only meeting from 21 May to 7 June 1946, in Montreal’s Windsor Hotel. The Assembly comprised representatives of forty-four Member States, observers from ten non-member States, and eight international organizations. These numbers serve as a reminder of the importance attached by the aviation world to PICAO’s work and progress.

 

Although the Assembly was held at the Windsor Hotel, some of the meetings were held at the Dominion Square Building (10th floor).

 

This Assembly was originally scheduled from 21 May until Sunday 8 June 1946, but ended in fact on 7 June. Mr. Louis de Brouckčre, Chairman of the Belgian Delegation, was elected President of the PICAO First Interim Assembly. The session closed with two plenary meetings, one on 6 June, devoted to the selection of the site of the permanent organization and the filling of the existing vacancy on the Interim Council (left by the USSR), and the other on 7 June, at which the Assembly considered the final reports of the Commissions.

 

The goal of the Assembly was to discuss, among other things, the steps to be taken so as to ensure that the transition from the provisional to the permanent organization proceed smoothly and without interruption in the work. The only hotly discussed item was whether to fill the remaining 21st vacant seat on the Interim Council, which had been reserved for the USSR by the Chicago Conference in 1944. The Soviets did not attend the first meetings of the Interim Council nor the Interim Assembly. The Interim Assembly decided to fill the vacancy on the Council and Ireland was elected. It is to be noted that it took another 24 years before the USSR decided to ratify the Chicago Convention; the notification of adherence of the latter country was deposited on 15 October 1970.

 

On 6 June 1946, Montreal was selected as the permanent headquarters of the Organization, by 27 votes; the other candidates’ cities obtained respectively: Paris 9 votes, Geneva 4 votes, a city not named in China 1 vote. The choice of Montreal proposed by Chile was supported by Peru, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Why was Montreal selected? While insisting on the excellent hospitality offered since of the beginnings of PICAO by the federal, provincial and municipal authorities, the delegates described Montreal like a roundabout of the international means of communication and a strategic center with a formidable economic, scientific, technical and aeronautical expansion being felt for a few years. One insisted on the vast spaces of the Canadian territory, offering unlimited possibilities for the scientific and practical experiments in the field of aviation. Moreover, PICAO was to be established as close as possible to the central head office of the United Nations.

 

At the time of the Assembly, only eight signatory states had ratified the Chicago Convention; moreover, Argentina deposited its notification of adherence to the Convention on the last day of the Interim Assembly (i.e. 7 June 1946).

 

As per above picture showing the Windsor Hall of the Windsor Hotel, Montreal, on 21 May 1946, the first day of the PICAO Assembly, the opening session was attended by some 400 people in all from every part of the world.

 

 

Daily journal for the Delegates attending the Interim Assembly.

 

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