A PRELIMINARY Working Committee sub-group has overturned one of its recommendations on the participation of non-governmental organisations in international bodies after 1997 - and decided not to provide any solution to the problem it has raised. The recommendation was that organisations such as the Red Cross, Olympic Committee and Salvation Army, be allowed to propose to the post-1997 government how they could retain their membership of international bodies of which Taiwan was also a member. But yesterday, the Hong Kong convenor of the cultural sub-group of the Preliminary Working Committee, Raymond Wu Wai-yung, said the final report of the sub-group would not include the recommendation - made as recently as two weeks ago - because it was too inflexible. In the last sub-group meeting, Dr Wu described the recommendation as a 'flexible and lenient' approach to solving the problem of non-governmental organisations participating in international bodies. Dr Wu said the sub-group 'had difficulties' in including the recommendation in the report. He denied the sub-group had been pressured into changing its position, but refused to detail what the difficulties were or why the proposal lacked flexibility. He also brushed aside questions of whether the change of heart was due to the working committee's secretariat, which prepared the final report. 'I hoped we could be more specific but circumstances don't allow us to do so. Things always happen like this in the world. 'The most flexible solution is not to put it in writing,' he said. He said the sub-group would only state the principles that had to be observed, namely: complying with the Basic Law; supporting non-governmental organisations in retaining their international links; and following the 'one China' policy. Mainland convenor Wu Jianfan said the change followed repeated discussions. Dr Wu also defended the sub-group's proposal to make Chinese history a compulsory school subject. The proposal has come under fire from educators and legislators who believe the sub-group is interfering in Hong Kong's autonomy in education. Dr Wu said the idea came from the education sector and was supported by many members of the public. He hoped people would not oppose it simply because it was a PWC proposal. Whether it should be a compulsory or core subject was a matter for the education sector to decide.