Question of Palestine home
United Nations Palestine Commission (UNPC)
27 February 1948
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York
Press Release PAL/138
27 February 1948
UK MEMORANDUM NAMES COMMISSION
AS SUCCESSOR GOVERNMENT
The Government of the United Kingdom, in a memorandum on the "Legal Meaning of the Termination of the Mandate", has advised the United Nations Palestine Commission that so fas the Mandatory Power is concerned the United Nations Commission will be the Government of Palestine after 15 May 1948.
The memorandum, transmitted to the Commission by the British Delegation to the United Nations, sets forth the position of the Mandatory Power with respect to the question of the successor government in Palestine after the termination of the British mandate. Pertinent excerpts from the memorandum are as follows:
"Palestine is today a legal entity but it is not a sovereign state. Palestine is a territory administered under mandate by His Majesty (in respect of the United Kingdom), who is entirely responsible both for its internal administration and for its foreign affairs.
"After the 15th May, 1948, Palestine will continue to be a legal entity but it will still not be a sovereign state because it will not be immediately self-governing. The authority responsible for its administration will, however, have changed.
"Where the sovereignty of Palestine lies at the present time is a disputed and perhaps academic legal question about which writers have expressed a number of different conclusions. Where the sovereignty of Palestine will lie after the 15th May, 1948, is perhaps also a question on which different views will be held, but so far as His Majesty's Government are aware, it is a question which it is unnecessary to answer in connection with any practical issues.
"After the 15th May, 1948, the United Nations Commission will be the Government of Palestine. It does not seem very material whether it is considered to be the de facto or the de jure Government. In any case, its title to be the Government of Palestine will rest on the resolution of the General Assembly.
"His Majesty's Government will recognize the United Nations Commission as the authority with which to make an agreement regarding the transfer of the assets of the Government of Palestine."
The Palestine Commission has adopted the following statement of policy with respect to the continuity of employment of present employees of the Mandatory administration in Palestine, and has requested the Mandatory Power to publish the statement or circulate it to all employees of the present Government in Palestine:
"The United Nations Palestine Commission, being under the terms of the resolution of the General Assembly responsible for the administration of Palestine immediately following the termination of the Mandate, hereby calls upon all present employees of the Palestine administration to continue their service with the successor authority in Palestine when the British Mandate is terminated. It is the policy of the United Nations Palestine commission as the successor authority to maintain services on the same terms and with the same rights for employees as those enjoyed under the Mandatory Government. The Commission requests all present employees of the Palestine Administration to inform at the earliest possible date, the Mandatory Government for communication to the Commission, whether they would be willing to remain in the service of the successor administration of Palestine on such terms."
The next meeting of the Commission will be on Monday, March 1, at 3 P.M.