Question of Palestine home
See also: UN
14 May 1948
HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIFTH
Held at Flushing Meadow, New York, on Friday,
14 May 1948, at 4.40 p.m.
Dr. J. ARCE (Argentina).
Further consideration of the question of the future government
of Palestine: report of the First Committee (document A/552)
RESIDENT ruled that as the question had already been discussed at length in the First Committee and its sub-committees, each speaker would be allowed only five minutes. The rights of all the countries represented would thus be respected and the Assembly would be able to sit until its task was completed.
AYRE (United States of America) said that if the Assembly was to institute a trusteeship agreement for the government of Jerusalem, it must do so before the termination of the Mandate, namely, in an hour. Consequently, the draft resolution recommended by Sub-Committee 10 of the First Committee and transmitted to the Assembly by that Committee (document A/C.1/298) should be discussed first. He was prompted to make that proposal by his own country's realization of the need for providing some form of government, law and order for Jerusalem in the present circumstances, in view of world interest in the security of the people and the protection of the Holy Places in that sacred city.
Speaking on a point of order, Mr. T
SARAPKIN (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) opposed the time-limit for speakers set by the President, because discussion of the resolution submitted to the First Committee had been curtailed and many delegations had been unable to express their views.
RESIDENT asked the Assembly to decide by a vote whether it accepted the time-limit.
The President's ruling to limit speeches to five minutes was adopted by 35 votes to 11, with 3 abstentions.
RESIDENT asked the Assembly to decide by vote whether it accepted the United States proposal that the report of Sub-Committee 10 on the provisional administration of Jerusalem should be discussed first, although the First Committee had taken no decision on that report.
The proposal of the United States representative was adopted by 27 votes to 1, with 16 abstentions.
CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF SUB-COMMITTEE 10 (DOCUMENT A/C.1/298)
ARREAU (France), Rapporteur of Sub-Committee 10, recalled that the Sub- Committee, at its 6th meeting, by 8 votes to 2, with 4 abstentions, had adopted a proposal by France and the United States (document A/C.1/SC.10/1/Rev.2) providing for the setting up of a temporary administration for Jerusalem until 31 December 1949. That purely provisional administration, based on the provisions of Chapter XII of the Charter, was not a trusteeship system proper. However, the plan greatly resembled the draft prepared by the Trusteeship Council (document A/541), in pursuance of the provisions of resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, which the Council had not, in the end, adopted, because the Assembly had again taken up the Palestine question.
Mr. Garreau refuted the objections raised against the draft resolution of Sub- Committee 10. The duties of the special commissioner, appointed by the British High Commissioner, in agreement with the Arab and Jewish parties, to administer the city of Jerusalem, were strictly limited to ensuring the proper functioning of the municipal services of the city and to taking certain police measures. The commissioner would be completely powerless, even under the powers conferred on him by the British High Commissioner on 11 May (document A/C.1/SC.10/2), to secure Jerusalem against external aggression. Moreover, at the termination of the British Mandate, the special commissioner would have no relations with any territorial authority and could do nothing to protect the Holy City from the danger of total destruction feared by the whole world.
Mr. MOE (Norway) Rapporteur of the First Committee, drew the Assembly's attention to
paragraph 15 of the report (document A/552), which dealt with the Secretary-General's statement on the budgetary implications of the draft resolution recommended by Sub-Committee 9 of the First Committee. The Secretary-General estimated, although he was unable to give an exact figure, that the implementation of the resolution would entail an expenditure of about $100,000; that sum could be included in the extraordinary expenses for the maintenance of international peace and security authorized by the General Assembly
at its second session, up to a maximum amount of $2,000,000.
He also pointed out that the First Committee had decided "to refer to the General Assembly the report of Sub-Committee 10 (document A/C.1/293) with the amendments submitted to it, without making any recommendations."
ARASENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) maintained his delegation's view that the city of Jerusalem should be given a permanent and not a temporary status. The solution advocated by the First Committee might even give rise to misunderstandings and conflicts and could have very dangerous consequences for the peoples of Palestine and for peace and security in the Middle East. He opposed the draft resolution as being inspired by selfish interests alien to those of the Palestine population.
Mahmoud Bey F
AWZI (Egypt) regretted that the duration of speeches had been limited when such an important question was being discussed.
The idea of establishing a trusteeship system for Jerusalem was contrary to the right of self-determination to which the inhabitants of the Holy City were as much entitled as all other peoples of the world. Moreover, it had been recognized that the people of Palestine, including the inhabitants of Jerusalem, were now ready for independence.
Justification of the regime by a desire to protect the Holy Places was a worthless argument. Throughout the centuries, the Arab world had been able to preserve the Holy Places of Palestine, and now, although people wished to ignore that fact, there was a truce in Jerusalem. That could be confirmed by the United Kingdom representative who, for a few minutes longer, was still the representative of the Mandatory Power. The Egyptian representative wished to repeat that such hasty conclusion of the discussion on a vital question increased the confusion of a situation that was only too confused already. He hoped that the Assembly would let itself be guided by wisdom.
ARODI (France) said that the position adopted by the French delegation regarding the special question of Palestine still held good, particularly since the latest reports showed that the situation in the Holy City was neither stable nor secure. The truce, which had been used as an argument against the temporary regime proposed by the United States and French delegations, had certainly existed in principle and in various forms for several weeks, but was, in fact, little respected. According to a telegram dated 13 May, there had been a violent exchange of fire from automatic weapons in the south-western suburbs of Jerusalem that night. Moreover, it had been announced that the Consuls General of Syria, Egypt and Iraq had left Jerusalem and that other consuls of Arab countries were also preparing to leave. Thus the city of Jerusalem was left in a dangerously vulnerable position and unfortunately there was reason to believe that if hostilities spread, they would centre on the Holy City, which had a large Jewish population in the midst of an Arab country.
He was sorry to note that numerous procedural difficulties and arguments had prevented the implementation of the decision taken by a very substantial majority of the General Assembly at the beginning of the session,
which aimed at a rapid solution of the special problem of the city of Jerusalem. He hoped the Assembly would have the courage and the determination to complete the most constructive part of the task it had undertaken, namely, that relating to the Jerusalem regime, for the other solution submitted to the Assembly merely amounted to arranging for mediation in Palestine.
HALIDY (Iraq) noted a difference between the statements made by the representatives of the United States and of France regarding the proposed regime for the city of Jerusalem: the first spoke of a trusteeship agreement, and the second of a special administrative arrangement. In fact, it was a trusteeship agreement, and legally speaking the United Nations could not, under the terms of the Charter, itself institute a trusteeship agreement and impose it on a country. It was for the Mandatory Power and the States directly concerned -- in the present case the Arab States -- to submit a trusteeship agreement. That was not what had been done; consequently the plan was illegal.
From the procedural point of view, any draft trusteeship agreement must be examined by the Fourth Committee. But in the present case the proposal (document A/C.1/SC.10/1) for the protection of the city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants had been considered by Sub-Committee 10 appointed by the First Committee.
As it had too often done in the past, the United Nations was disregarding the practical side of the situation it examined. Jerusalem was in fact more or less a beleaguered city. After a long struggle, the Arabs and the Jews had reached some sort of agreement. An administrative organization was in existence; powers had been conferred on a commissioner who, with the collaboration of Jews and Arabs, could take the necessary measures to protect the population, the city and the Holy Places. In those circumstances, why try to impose a plan of dubious value which was utterly impracticable, would give rise to difficulties and would probably be strongly opposed?
The Iraqi delegation opposed the suggested regime for both practical and legal reasons.
L-KHOURI (Syria) said that neither of the parties concerned agreed to the trusteeship that it was proposed to impose on the population of Jerusalem. If the Jews and the Arabs rejected that regime, it would have to be imposed on them by force. Where would that force come from, and could the Holy City be allowed to become a battlefield for the forces of the Administering Authority and the inhabitants of Jerusalem? Was that how the Assembly intended to restore order in Jerusalem?
The trusteeship under consideration was obviously not strategic, but an ordinary trusteeship which must therefore have the objection stated in Article 76b of the Charter: "to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement." The people of Jerusalem could attain those objectives without any outside help.
The essential aims of the trusteeship system, as stated in Article 76 of the Charter could not, therefore, be invoked in the present case. Moreover, would the trusteeship agreement submitted to the General Assembly be concluded, in accordance with Article 79, by the States directly concerned, including the Mandatory Power? The answer was in the negative, since the United Kingdom and the States directly concerned were opposed to that regime. Then would the agreement be concluded by States indirectly concerned? Lastly, from the procedural point of view the General Assembly could not adopt any resolution on the trusteeship question that had not been previously decided upon by the Fourth Committee.
There was another very important reason for his opposition. The existing situation in Jerusalem was sufficiently calm and secure. The draft before the Assembly would complicate that situation and destroy the work done by the Security Council, the High Commissioner, the Security Council Truce Commission and by the Arabs and Jews who had reached a lasting truce agreement. Why wreck that work; why undermine it with an "explosive"?
If the General Assembly did anything illegal or of doubtful legality it would thereby justify the opposition of the parties concerned.
Mr. KATZ-SUCHY (Poland) joined in the Egyptian representative's protest against the time limit imposed on speakers, but regretted that he and his colleagues had not adopted that attitude earlier.
The Polish Government and people were particularly interested in the settlement of the Jerusalem question, and their representative had consistently held the view that Jerusalem should be a corpus separatum with a special international status. The Polish delegation could not support the draft trusteeship agreement, for reasons already stated at the 141st meeting of the First Committee. With regard to the statements made by the representatives of Arab States, he felt that they were partly responsible for the trusteeship question having arisen again, since they had often argued in favour of such a regime, despite the opposition of the populations concerned. That showed that departure from principles for tactical and procedural purposes sometimes involved suffering the consequences in questions of substance.
ZIZ (Afghanistan) said that his delegation would vote against the draft resolution because it would not be wise to impose a regime likely to impair the truce accepted by the Arabs, and also because the establishment of such a regime without the consent of the directly interested States, including the Mandatory Power, would be a violation of Article 79 of the Charter.
L-ERIAN (Yemen) reminded the Assembly that as Palestine remained under British Mandate for a few minutes longer, Article 79 of the Charter was the one that applied. As the Iraqi representative had already pointed out, the draft before the General Assembly was not in conformity with the provisions of that Article; it was difficult to understand how the United States representative, who supported the draft, could also have stated, as he had at the 140th meeting of the First Committee, that "any proposal must be based upon the authority of the Charter..." The representative of Yemen associated himself with the Egyptian representative's remarks concerning the right of self-determination of the people of Jerusalem, a right which was provided for in the Charter. His delegation would vote against the draft resolution.
RESIDENT ruled that the discussion was closed and that the Assembly would proceed to vote, beginning with the amendment submitted by Mexico (document A/C.1/302) to the preamble of document A/C.1/298.
At the request of the Ukrainian representative, the vote would be taken by roll-call, both on the various amendments and on the proposal itself. In accordance with rule 79 of the rules of procedure, the roll-call would begin with the Member whose name was drawn by lot by the President.
ORDIER (Executive Assistant of the Secretary-General) read out the text of the amendment submitted by the Mexican delegation, calling for the replacement of the fifth paragraph of the preamble of document A/C.1/298 by the following text:
"Whereas the maintenance of order and security in Jerusalem is an urgent question which concerns the United Nations as a whole"
A vote was taken by roll-call, as follows:
Sweden, United States of America, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru.
Syria, Turkey, Union of South Africa, Yemen, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia.
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Greece, Haiti, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Siam.
The Mexican amendment was adopted by 15 votes to 11 with 28 abstentions.
ORDIER (Executive Assistant of the Secretary-General) read out the second Mexican amendment (document A/C.1/302), calling for the following new wording of paragraph 6 of the preamble:
"Whereas Chapter XII of the Charter authorizes and empowers the United Nations to exercise temporary administrative authority".
A vote was taken by roll-call, as follows:
Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Honduras, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Sweden, United States of America.
Yemen, Afghanistan, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey.
Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Siam, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of South Africa, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom.
The second Mexican amendment was adopted by 14 votes to 11, with 28 abstentions.
ORDIER (Executive Assistant of the Secretary-General) read out the United States amendment (document A/C.1/304) to article 4, paragraph 1, calling for the following text:
"The Government of Jerusalem shall consist of a United Nations Commissioner and such
officers as may be appointed by him or by the Trusteeship Council..."
A vote was taken by roll-call, as follows:
France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Sweden, Union of South Africa, United States of America, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic.
Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt.
Greece, Haiti, India, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Siam, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Australia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia.
The United States amendment was adopted by 17 votes to 11, with 26 abstentions.
ORDIER (Executive Assistant of the Secretary-General) read out the amendment to article 10, paragraph 2, proposed by the United States (document A/C.1/304), calling for the replacement of the words: "shall be paid from a special United Nations operational budget", by the words: "shall be paid from the regular United Nations budget".
A vote was taken by roll-call, as follows:
Sweden, Union of South Africa, United States of America, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama.
Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan.
Poland, Siam, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, Australia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Greece, Haiti, India, Norway, Peru, Philippines.
The United States amendment was adopted by 19 votes to 12, with 23 abstentions.
ORDIER (Executive Assistant of the Secretary-General) read out the last amendment submitted by the United-States (document A/C.1/304), calling for the addition of the following words at the end of article 10, paragraph 2 (document A/C.1/298):
"...provided that, if United Nations funds are contemplated, the Secretary-General shall be guided by the procedures which were established by the second session of the General Assembly for defraying unforeseen and extraordinary expenses."
A vote was taken by roll-call, as follows:
Liberia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Sweden, Union of South Africa, United States of America, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland.
Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq.
Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Siam, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, Australia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Greece, Haiti, India.
he United States amendment was adopted by 17 votes to 12, with 25 abstentions.
RESIDENT pointed out that the resolution as a whole, on which the Assembly would
vote next, required a two-thirds majority for adoption.
A vote was taken by roll-call, as follows:
Union of South Africa, United States of America, Uruguay, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Sweden.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yemen, Afghanistan, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
United Kingdom, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Greece, Haiti, India, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Siam.
The result of the vote was 20 in favour, 15 against, and 19 abstentions. The resolution as a whole was not adopted having failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority of 36 votes.
CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT RESOLUTION
SUBMITTED BY THE FIRST COMMITTEE
The PRESIDENT opened the discussion on the draft resolution contained in the First Committee's report (document A/552).
ONZÁLEZ FERNÁNDEZ (Colombia) asked the United States representative whether he was in a position to confirm the information given to the Press regarding the recognition of the Government of the Jewish State by the United States.
AYRE (United States of America) stated that for the time being he had no official information on the subject.
ARCÍA GRANADOS (Guatemala) said that his delegation had always opposed any measures tending to abrogate the decision adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 1947. It had also opposed the establishment, in Palestine, of a trusteeship system, which would restrict the freedom of the Arab and Jewish populations and would in reality be a revocation of the decision taken the previous year by the General Assembly. The Government of Guatemala hoped that the termination of the Mandate in Palestine would afford the Jewish and Arab communities an opportunity to constitute free and independent States.
Any attempt by the United Nations to depart from its function of mediation and conciliation, or to set up in Palestine a regime other than that proposed in the resolution of 29 November 1947, would be contrary to the principles of international law and would constitute an act of intervention. The role of the United Nations representative in Palestine must be that of a mediator only.
The delegation of Guatemala could not accept the vote taken at the 141st meeting of the First Committee at the request of the Greek delegation regarding the Palestine Commission. It felt that the Commission should not cease to exist, but should merely suspend its work until, at the request of the populations concerned, the provisions for economic union could take effect and a body capable of collaborating with the two parties was set up.
The delegation of Guatemala considered that the resolution of 29 November 1947 was still in force, and that in accordance with that resolution Jerusalem must be considered as a corpus separatum. The Trusteeship Council should proceed as soon as possible to organize the regime for Jerusalem as a
The Guatemalan delegation would vote in favour of the resolution before the Assembly.
ROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) recalled that the Assembly, in its
special session, had been discussing the Palestine question for four weeks; that new proposals, differing from the Assembly's resolution of 29 November 1947, had then been submitted by the United States Government (document A/C.1/277), and that those proposals, which provided for a trusteeship system for Palestine, had not been favourably received. Thus the action taken, for certain reasons, by the United States delegation had been without result; it had been rejected in the General Assembly by an overwhelming majority.
The new British proposals, submitted at the 136th meeting of the First Committee, for the creation of a provisional regime in Palestine, had found so little favour that they, too, might be considered as already rejected by the Assembly.
Finally, the United States delegation, supported by some others, had submitted, several days previously, a proposal (document A/C.1/SC.9/1 for the establishment in Palestine of a regime which could not be regarded as equivalent to that advocated by the United Kingdom, nor yet as a trusteeship system. It was proposed that a mediator should be appointed.
The USSR delegation was firmly convinced that in view of the situation in Palestine at the present time there was no reason to appoint a mediator. A feature of that situation was the existence of one of the two States provided for in the General Assembly's resolution: the Jewish State.
In those circumstances, to impose upon Palestine a provisional regime of a transitional nature would be unjustifiable, to say the least. Even if the draft resolution was accepted, that would in no way affect the partition decision, which remained valid.
Fearing that the opponents of the partition decision might take advantage of the provisions of the resolution to complicate the existing situation, the USSR delegation would vote against the resolution before the Assembly.
It seemed that certain aspects of the problem had been forgotten during the discussion. So far, only one State existed in Palestine: the Jewish State.
For strange and somewhat obscure reasons, the representatives of the Arab States did not support the creation of an Arab State in Palestine. For equally strange and obscure reasons, the United States and the United Kingdom also found the formation of a new Arab State undesirable.
The General Assembly had adopted its resolution of 29 November 1947 in order to protect the interests of the Palestine population. But the United States and the United Kingdom had opposed, by every possible means, the proposals designed to terminate hostilities between Arabs and Jews. Responsibility for the situation lay primarily with the United States, whose present political manoeuvres were directed not only against the interests of the people of Palestine, but against the interests of the United Nations, which was in a most difficult position.
The policy adopted by the United States was full of contradictions. The USSR delegation on the other hand, pursued a consistent policy, because it had made the interests of the people of Palestine its first consideration.
Mr. KATZ-SUCHY (Poland) pointed out that after four weeks of discussion, during which numerous delegations had tried to show that implementation of resolution 181(II) on the partition of Palestine was impossible, practical and concrete measures were being taken to implement that resolution. The Polish delegation considered that the creation of a Jewish State in the part of Palestine designated for that purpose, was in conformity with the resolution of 29 November.
He was sure that the leaders of the new Jewish State understood the wisdom of close co-operation with the other peoples of the Middle East. He was equally sure that the Arab population of Palestine would follow their example by creating a new State in conformity with the resolution of 29 November. That would strengthen the Arab States in their struggle for complete independence in that part of the world.
Only three hours had elapsed since the First Committee had been obliged to adopt, at its 141st meeting, after a hasty discussion, a resolution which it had submitted to the Assembly. But many provisions of that resolution were already useless. Such was the impression of the Polish delegation, and the
recognition of the Jewish State by the Government of the United States showed that the latter itself regarded the resolution as already obsolete.
It was impossible to vote in favour of the resolution which only amounted to a veiled attempt to invalidate the resolution of 29 November, in spite of the concrete measures taken for its implementation.
When the Polish delegation had declared itself in favour of the resolution recommending partition, it had not expected that it would be necessary to implement it by force. The right of peoples to self-determination meant that the inhabitants of a given country must express their will and declare themselves free. He was convinced that the Arabs and the Jews would do so. Nevertheless, hostilities might break out. Poland would welcome the appointment of a United Nations representative who could try to settle the differences between the two peoples on the spot. But such a mediator was only an official who might interfere in the internal affairs of the country. He would not represent the United Nations, but the interests of certain Powers in that region. Hence the Polish delegation would vote against the draft resolution.
Mr. HOLGUIN DE LAVALLE (Peru) recalled that Peru, which had been a member of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, had voted in favour of the majority resolution proposing partition. On 29 November 1947, Peru had supported the General Assembly's resolution in favour of partition. Unfortunately, events had moved quickly in Palestine. But as the resolution which was to be put to the vote only provided for limited powers, and in view of the prevailing uncertainly, the Peruvian delegation did not think that the draft resolution could ensure real and lasting harmony among the peoples of Palestine. It would therefore abstain from voting.
ODRÍGUEZ FABREGAT (Uruguay) said that in view of the news received regarding the proclamation of the Jewish State in Palestine, which would no doubt be followed by the creation of an Arab State in Palestine, the United Nations should continue to seek a peaceful settlement of the dispute between the two parties. The role of the representative proposed in the resolution was that of a mediator between those two parties. The Uruguayan delegation thought that he should be given adequate powers to act as a mediator. But as the representative might be called upon to take certain measures beyond the limitations of his role, thus incurring a very heavy responsibility which might affect the prestige and the unity of the United Nations, the representative of Uruguay asked for a vote by roll-call on those paragraphs in respect of which some delegations wished to abstain.
OOD (Australia) observed that since the resolution proposing a special regime for Jerusalem had been rejected, the resolution under consideration had no direct bearing on the situation in Jerusalem. If, on the other hand, matters were left as they were, there would be no link between the United Nations and the city of Jerusalem. That situation was to be avoided at all costs.
The Australian delegation therefore proposed an amendment, to be added to the draft resolution, establishing a link between the proposal to appoint a mediator in Palestine and the legal and
situation in Jerusalem. That amendment would take the form of a new paragraph 4, to be inserted between paragraphs 3 and 4 of the draft resolution (document A/552), reading as follows:
"...calls on the Jerusalem Municipal Commissioner to consult and co-operate with the United Nations Mediator in Palestine, especially to ensure the protection of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the preservation of the Holy Places pending the establishment of an international regime for the city of Jerusalem under United Nations administration."
It was not claimed that the proposal would have far-reaching consequences, but it represented the bare minimum that should be attained.
ELT (Cuba) stated that his delegation had hoped that the second special session of the General Assembly would be able to remedy the injustice of the resolution of 29 November 1947 and correct its faults. Unfortunately, that had not been the case, and it seemed that the general feeling was that the situation in Palestine should be accepted as a
and that the United Nations should refrain from taking any positive measures in regard to the problem.
He was surprised to hear the United States representative say that he had no information regarding his Government's recognition of the new Jewish State. It appeared that the representatives of the USSR and Poland were better informed on events in Washington. While he respected the decisions of any sovereign State, he could not see why a vote should be taken on the resolution submitted by Sub-Committee 9 (document A/552), which had been sponsored by the United States and now seemed pointless, since the United States Government had recognized the new Jewish State.
ARREAU (France) said that the rejection of the proposal sponsored by the United States and French delegations (document A/C.1/298) placed the Assembly in a rather unusual position. He recalled that the Assembly had decided that the City of Jerusalem should form a
within Palestine. On 26 April at the 132nd plenary meeting it had been decided to ask the Trusteeship Council to study measures for the protection of Jerusalem.
/ Sub-Committee 10 of the First Committee had then been instructed to seek a solution. That solution had been rejected.
At the present moment, the situation in Jerusalem was more serious than ever, despite the assurances given by certain Members of the Assembly regarding the effectiveness of the recently concluded truce. The latest news gave no reason for optimism. The French delegation therefore appealed to the Assembly not to lose sight of the need to protect the Holy City. For its own part, it warmly supported the amendment submitted by the Australian delegation.
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria) stated that he at last understood why the United States representative had urged that priority should be given to discussion of the report of Sub-Committee 10. The real intention of the United States had been to await the termination of the Mandate before putting that resolution to the vote, so that the United States Government could recognize the Jewish State as a
If the resolution proposed by the United States had been adopted, it would not have had any retroactive effect. The United Nations not having taken any decision before the end of the Mandate, Palestine would automatically become independent and the interested parties would be able to take the measures they considered right and necessary. The United Nations would no longer have valid grounds for intervention in the Palestine question, since no resolution had been adopted before the termination of the Mandate.
ESSUP (United States of America), replying to the comments of some representatives on the appointment of a mediator representing the United Nations in Palestine, stated that the situation urgently demanded the appointment of such an official to restore peace in Palestine.
The United States delegation was now able to communicate to the Assembly the text of the following statement by the President of the United States:
"This Government has been informed that a Jewish State has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the Provisional Government thereof. The United States recognizes the Provisional Government as the
authority of the new State of Israel."
Mr. Jessup also read out the following statement issued from the White House, which drew particular attention to the question before the Assembly:
"The desire of the United States to obtain a truce in Palestine will in no way be lessened by the proclamation of a Jewish State. We hope that the new Jewish State will join with the Security Council Truce Commission in redoubled efforts to bring an end to the fighting, which has been, throughout the United Nations consideration of Palestine, a principal objective of this Government."
To restore peace to the Holy Land remained the policy and the hope of the United States Government. The appointment of a mediator to achieve that purpose was most desirable, and the United States of America therefore continued to support the resolution before the Assembly.
Mahmoud Bey FAWZI (Egypt) thought that in view of the circumstances it would be a mockery unworthy of the General Assembly and of the United Nations as a whole to continue discussion of the proposal. The whole of the procedure followed had been a farce, and the fifty-eight nations that were the victims, had been unaware of what was taking place behind the scenes. Such action was a blow not only to the United Nations but to international relations as a whole. The members of the Assembly were not mere individuals, they represented all mankind with its hopes and ideals and had to bear heavy responsibilities. All that had been betrayed.
L-KHOURI (Syria), in reply to the United States representative's last statement, observed that the truce had been decided upon by the Security Council a month previously,
as a result of the United States delegation's efforts, and that it was based on the principle of a
during which there would be no political activities.
The Security Council's resolution (document S/723) on the truce had been communicated to the Government of Palestine. A Jewish State had been proclaimed in Palestine that day and to recognize it was to do exactly what the Security Council wished to avoid.
In view of those facts it was difficult to deny that recognition of the Jewish State was opposed to the efforts made to secure a truce.
ALIK (Lebanon) reviewed the development of the Palestine problem since the first special session of the General Assembly a year previously. He went on to point out that the present special session had been convene at the request of the United States through the Security Council, and that for four weeks the United States delegation had been assuring the parties that the only aim was to bring about peace and reconciliation. That was the meaning of the statement made hardly twenty-two hours earlier by the United States representative.
The step taken by the United States could hardly be interpreted as an action calculated to promote the objective conditions necessary for a reconciliation.
The Members of the General Assembly were concerned with peace and reconciliation between the peoples. Methods of the kind employed by the United States would never attain the ends desired. The action just taken would lead to the gravest disturbances in the Middle East.
The United States had many interests in the Middle East, including intellectual, cultural and spiritual ones. Those spiritual interests, which were of a more subtle, more important and more lasting kind, would be deeply affected by the decision taken by the United States.
RESIDENT put to the vote the amendment submitted by the Australian representative during that meeting and asked the Executive Assistant of the Secretary-General to read out the text.
The Australian amendment was rejected by 14 votes to 10, with 24 abstentions.
RESIDENT put to the vote the draft resolution submitted by the First Committee (document A/552). He added that, at the Uruguayan representative's request, the vote would be taken paragraph by paragraph.
The preamble of the draft resolution was adopted by 27 votes to 5, with 13 abstentions.
Section I of the draft resolution was adopted by 32 votes to none, with 20 abstentions.
Paragraph 1 of section II was adopted by 31 votes to 7, with 11 abstentions.
Paragraph 2 of section II was adopted by 31 votes to 4, with 13 abstentions.
Paragraph 3 of section II was adopted by 32 votes to 5, with 12 abstentions.
Paragraph 4 of section II was adopted by 29 votes to 6, with 13 abstentions.
Section III of the draft resolution was adopted by 29 votes to 11, with 8 abstentions.
ONZÁLEZ FERNÁNDEZ asked that the vote on the resolution as a whole should be taken by roll-call.
A vote was taken by roll-call as follows:
Canada, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, India, Iran, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Sweden, Turkey, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Afghanistan, Argentine, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil.
Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yugoslavia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Siam, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Australia.
The resolution as a whole was adopted by 31 votes to 7, with 16 abstentions.
19. Draft resolution submitted by the Dominican Republic (document A/553)
RESIDENT put to the vote the following draft resolution submitted by the Dominican Republic (document A/553), which Mr. CORDIER, the Executive Assistant of the Secretary-General read out at his request:
The General Assembly,
a resolution providing for the appointment of a United Nations Mediator in Palestine,
/ which relieves the United Nations Palestine Commission from the further exercise of its responsibilities,
to express its full appreciation for the work performed by the Palestine Commission in pursuance of its mandate from the General Assembly."
ENRIQUEZ UREÑA (Dominican Republic) considered that it was only fitting to thank
the United Nations Palestine Commission for the sincerity, honesty, good will and perseverance with which it had carried out its work.
RESIDENT announced that as there was no objection, he took it that the resolution submitted by the Dominican Republic was adopted.
The resolution was adopted unanimously.
ARCÍA GRANADOS (Guatemala) moved that the General Assembly should invite the Trusteeship Council to submit for its approval the draft statute for Jerusalem drawn up by the Council (document A/541), which was ready to be put into effect. He added that he had just received a communication from the Government of Guatemala announcing that it recognized the new Jewish State in Palestine.
The PRESIDENT regretted that he could not accept the Guatemalan representative's proposal, since the point he had raised was not on the agenda, discussion of which was concluded.
20. Closing speech by the President
RESIDENT observed that in order to complete its work the Assembly had had a difficult task to perform, and--as often happened in politics -- it had done what it could with the means at its disposal. The Assembly should therefore ignore the many criticisms directed both at itself, at the Members of the United Nations in general, and at the great Powers in particular. It would be an interesting, though perhaps a dangerous experiment to entrust those political critics with the direction of international affairs; such an experiment would probably make them more tolerant and more sincere. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that the United Nations was still in process of organization and that progress still had to be made in spite of difficulties and obstacles.
The spirit of San Francisco, which derived from constant agreement between the Great Powers, had vanished as soon as the Security Council began its work, and had not reappeared. Many of the Charter's provisions were badly interpreted or applied. The international force which was to back up the authority of the Security Council's decisions had not been organized. The regulation and reduction of armaments had not been accomplished, although the small and medium-sized nations called for it in order to reduce their budgets. Three years after the cessation of hostilities, the foremost task, the establishment of peace, had not been achieved. Korea and Austria were still occupied. Germany and Japan had no definitive regime. There were peace-loving nations whose co-operation would be valuable, which had not joined the United Nations, either because they had been neutral during the war or because it was assumed in advance that they were involved in international disputes.
Nevertheless he did not hesitate to tell its detractors that in less than two and a half years, the United Nations had accomplished fruitful and practical work in the economic and social field, thus furthering the progress of the civilized world.
It must be admitted that the Palestine question was an inheritance bequeathed without inventory by the League of Nations, and that the colonizing nation
had been unable to solve it in thirty years.
The General Assembly had been faced not only with the conflicting interests of the two parties, but also with the political prejudices and intransigence of certain Members.
In any case, recent debates had shown the advantages of freedom of thought and freedom to translate ideas into decision or votes, even if the solutions thus adopted were not the best. In short, that freedom should lead to the building of an international society directed by the best minds and based on the will of millions of men who had gained the right to live worthily, free from an economic or social servitude.
The days of dictatorships, whether autocratic or oligarchic, of cliques or of parties, were numbered. Peoples had learned to determine their own future. The interests of the majority must prevail -- for such was the law of progress -- over the interests of a minority of profiteers and over foreign influence of any description.
Thus the people of Palestine would decide its future for itself and on its own behalf. Freedom never came as a gift; it had to be conquered, often at the price of tears and suffering. Bloodshed in the name of freedom could be accepted, if need be, but what could not be accepted was that blood should be shed in the defence of interests alien to those of the combatants who were fighting to safeguard their own destiny.
The Assembly must hope that the fratricidal struggle in Palestine would cease as soon as possible; it must greet the advent of a new free people to the concert of nations and hope that the peoples of Palestine, whatever their race and origin, would realize that their immediate interests and their future depended on mutual understanding without foreign intervention.
After thanking the Secretary-General and the Secretariat staff, the President announced the closing of the second special session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The meeting rose at 8.35 p.m.
Official Records of the second session of the General Assembly,
, No. 166 (II) B, page 88.
Official Records of the second special session of the General Assembly
, Supplement No. 2, resolution 185 (S-2).
Official Records of the second special session of the General Assembly
, Supplement No. 2, resolution 185 (S-2).
Official Records of the Security Council
, Third Year, No. 58.
/ On 20 May 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte was appointed United Nations Mediator in Palestine.