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1. Adoption of the agenda.
2. The Palestine question :
6. Adoption of the agenda
The system of simultaneous interpretation was introduced at this point.
Rabbi SILVER (Jewish Agency for Palestine) : The Jewish Agency is grateful for the opportunity to make some additional observations on the subject which is now before the Security Council. We should like to give our reactions to the draft resolutions [documents S/685 and S/688] which are before the Security Council bearing upon the reports which were submitted to it by the United Nations Palestine Commission [documents S/663 and S/676], as well as to comment on certain statements which were made here in the course of the discussions.
In the first place, we should like to comment on the statement which was made by the representative of Egypt [255th meeting], to the effect that "...it must be admitted that so far the United Nations' efforts in the study of solutions other than partition have been less than casual. The General Assembly hardly gave any of those solutions a cursory look... The General Assembly did not, either in committee or in plenary session, give any reasonable scope for discussion of any plan but partition ".
It should be recalled that the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine submitted to the General Assembly two solutions for the Palestine problem, a majority and a minority solution.1 The minority solution found no support. The Arab States put forward their own proposals. In order to consider all proposals, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question appointed, two subcommittees, the one to consider the majority report which proposed partition, and the other to consider the proposals of the Arab States. Both sub-committees worked for weeks and both submitted separate reports to the Ad Hoc Committee. The representatives of the several Arab States had the fullest opportunity, of which they fully availed themselves, to advocate the proposal which they favoured. Many days, the members will recall, were consumed in this discussion. When the vote was finally taken, the report of the minority was decisively rejected.
We submit, therefore; that it is quite inaccurate to state that "the General Assembly did not, either in, committee or in plenary session, give any reasonable scope for discussion of any plan but partition ".
The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question appointed still a third sub-committee—a Conciliation Sub-Committee composed of three members comprising the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, the Rapporteur of the Committee (the representative of Iceland) and the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, the representative of Siam. This Sub-Committee was given full powers to undertake efforts at conciliation between the Jews and the Arabs. Efforts were made by this Sub-Committee to find a formula, other than those of the majority and minority proposals, which would be mutually acceptable. According to the testimony of the Chairman of this Sub-Committee, Mr. Evatt, the ground was explored from every possible point of view and " we reached the conclusion that right up to the present time, no more could be done". Mr. Thor Thors of Iceland, a member of this Committee, addressing the General Assembly on 29 November1, just prior to the final vote, declared :
" The Arab Higher Committee was approached by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) on more than one occasion and was invited to assist in the work of UNSCOP but it refused...
" Now at the eleventh hour, just when the vote is to take place, there are criticisms of the work of the conciliation Sub-Committee and vague suggestions concerning the possibility of conciliation. Actually, the conciliation Sub-Committee tried everything possible, but in vain. Moreover, up to the last few minutes there has been no concrete or specific offer of conciliation or compromise."
" As you know, the Peel Commission, in 1937, recommended the partition of Palestine. However, subsequent events prevented definitive action at that time. Since the conclusion of the Second World War, renewed attempts have been made to solve the Palestine problem.
" The work of the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry of 1946 was followed by conferences in London in which the so called Grady-Morrison proposals were evolved. There were further conferences in London last winter.
" Finally, in May of 1947, any inquiry was undertaken under the auspices of the United Nations. During all of these studies the various solutions of the Palestine problem had been given careful consideration. I know from my study of the report of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine that it made every effort to arrive at a solution which would be acceptable to both the Jews and the Arabs."
The failure to reach an agreed solution after thirty years of questing and searching for it; so eloquently attested by the events themselves and by the testimony of the representatives both of the United Kingdom and of the United States, which were quoted by the spokesman of the Jewish Agency at the 258th session, leads us strongly to question the usefulness of that part of the draft resolution of the United States [document S/685] which calls upon the committee of the Security Council to be appointed "to consult with the Palestine Commission, the Mandatory Power, and representatives of the principal communities of Palestine concerning the implementation of the General Assembly recommendation of 29 November 1947 ".
This proposal, undoubtedly suggested by commendable motives, may, we fear, cause long and disastrous delays sand the stultification of the activities of, the United Nations Commission. The representative of the United Kingdom correctly pointed out at the 260th meeting that "The untractable problems facing the Palestine Commission are rapidly becoming insoluble as delay is further protracted and hope recedes that the Commission will be adequately equipped to take up the immense responsibilities imposed upon it". The United. States proposal for new consultations introduces anew an element of uncertainty which invariably inhibits conclusive action. It will be seized upon by the opponents of the United Nations decision as another opportunity to reopen the whole question, to force through those solutions which were rejected by the United Nations or which failed of acceptance time and again on other occasions; or, failing in all this, to attempt to entangle and prevent all action.
This grave international problem cannot be solved by indecision or postponement. It was indecision and lack of forthrightness on the part of the Mandatory Power of Palestine, " the irresistible operation of feeble counsels ", to use a phrase of Burke, which led to that grave deterioration in the country which finally forced the Mandatory Power to turn to the United Nations for a final solution of the problem. The United Nations accepted that solemn responsibility and proceeded, earnestly and deliberately, to investigate the problem de novo, to study its history and all of its present implications. It appointed a committee, the members of which were scrupulously selected for their impartiality and neutrality, to make the investigation and to bring. in recommendations. After prolonged and serious discussion of their recommendations, the United Nations overwhelmingly accepted, in resolution 181 (II), the plan to set up two independent States in Palestine; one Jewish and one Arab, within the framework of an economic union, and an international regime in Jerusalem. The nations which voted for this plan fully realized that what they were doing was not just endorsing some abstract idea, or making a recommendation which would then be left suspended in mid-air. They were deciding upon a course of action as well as upon a policy. They forthwith appointed a commission of the United Nations and authorized it to implement their decision, according to a carefully worked out plan of action, and they called upon the Security Council to take the necessary measures to assist it in carrying through the implementation.
The United Nations Palestine Commission has already done an enormous amount of effective work in connexion with the execution of this plan. The preparatory steps have nearly all been taken. The Commission is now on the eve of taking over its responsibilities in Palestine, as the date of the termination of the Mandate on 15 May rapidly approaches. The United Kingdom Colonial Secretary stated before this body at the 253rd meeting that the Palestine Administration is taking all practical steps to terminate its control by 15 May and that the withdrawal of United Kingdom forces and stores is already well under way. He further declared at the 260th meeting that " The date of termination of our responsibility is irrevocably fixed."
To raise at this late hour the prospect of new negotiations, and consultations between Arabs and Jews on the nature and character of the future government of Palestine is, in our judgment, to endanger the very object which the United Nations, by its action last November, sought to achieve. In that direction lies neither hope nor promise. That road leads to a quagmire of indecision and inaction. There is but a brief time left, and time is fast running out to chaos and anarchy.
We should like to comment also on the statement which was repeated here by the Egyptian representative, to the effect that the decision taken last November was "a mere recommendation to the Egyptian Government".
The action taken by the General Assembly was action taken in response to the request of the Mandatory Power, the only Member State of the United Nations having any authority to act in Palestine—a country placed under an international trust. The request was for the solution of the problem of the future government of Palestine. Before taking any action, the General Assembly took note of the declaration by the Mandatory Power that it plans to complete the evacuation of Palestine by 1 August 1948.
The action taken by the General Assembly was the adoption of resolution 181 (II) which set forth recommendations to the United Kingdom, as Mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations, for the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the plan of partition with economic union.
While the United Kingdom has refused to accept special responsibility for the implementation of the plan, it has not, as Mandatory Power, rejected the recommended plan. On the contrary, the United Kingdom has officially stated that it accepted the decision of the General Assembly and announced its intention to terminate its Mandate on 15 May, and has further announced its intention and readiness to turn over the administration of Palestine to the United Nations Commission, as envisaged in the recommended plan. The recommended plan is, therefore, no longer a mere, recommendation, The Mandatory Power is in process of liquidating its Mandate. It has accepted the United Nations plan for Palestine in much the same manner as the States party to the Treaty of Peace with Italy accepted a United Nations plan for the Free Territory of Trieste. On 15 May, the only administration in Palestine having any international standing will be the United Nations Palestine Commission. If its authority fails there will be no regime of law in Palestine at all, and anarchy may prevail.
It is for that reason that the Jewish Agency strongly urges immediate action on the proposal contained in the United States draft resolution that the Security Council accept the requests addressed by the General Assembly to it in resolution 181 (II), so as to avoid the unwarranted assumption that there is no legal basis on which law and order may be maintained in Palestine after 15 May.
It is regrettable that the necessity exists to remind some Member States that it is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations for any Member State to use force or the threat of force, or to encourage the use of force or the threat of force to obstruct the carrying out of the plan recommended by the General Assembly and accepted by the Mandatory Power. Unless the Member States accept the overwhelming moral authority of a decision which derives from the collective judgment of the United Nations, the great hope which inspired its organization is tragically doomed. What is involved here is far more than a technical legal question. It is a question whether the United Nations is to be an effective instrument for world peace and the salvation of mankind, or whether it is to be but an impressive stage-setting for actors and supernumeraries busily engaged in a meaningless play of long-winded futility.
I submit that those who would empty the concept of a United Nations resolution of all compelling moral authority are the enemies, not alone of this particular decision of the United Nations, but, unconsciously, of the United Nations itself.
This leads us to an observation on the relation of the Security Council to the implementation of the United Nations decision. Technically, the position which was taken by the representative of the United States and by others, that the Security Council cannot use armed force for the implementation of any decision of the United Nations, but only in cases where it is determined that there exist threats to peace, breathes of the peace, or acts of aggression affecting international peace, may be correct. It may be an important legal and technical distinction to make and we assume that it was made in order to keep the action requested of the Security Council fully within the terms defined by the Charter.
This legal distinction, however, should not obscure the realities of the situation which Should be faced frankly. It is the determined and organized resistance to the decision of the United Nations which has brought about a condition of a breach of peace and a threat to peace in Palestine and has forced the United Nations Palestine Commission to call upon the Security Council "for assistance in the discharge of its duty to the General Assembly." The report [document S/676] states that "powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein." The Commission is further of the opinion that " a basic issue of international order is involved, A dangerous and tragic precedent will have been established if force, or :the threat of the use of force, is to prove an effective deterrent to the will of the United Nations." What the Commission asked for is not an armed force to enforce partition, but "an adequate non-Palestinian force which will assist law-abiding elements in both the Arab and Jewish communities, organized under the general direction of the Commission, in maintaining order and security in Palestine, and thereby enabling the Commission to carry out the recommendations of the General Assembly. "This, we believe, is a fair and pragmatic statement of the issue and one in keeping with the legal requirements of the situation.
The role of the Security Council is an integral part of the plan adopted by the United Nations in November 1947. In adopting it, the General Assembly of the United Nations relied upon the fullest co-operation of the Security Council. It should not take long for the members of the Security Council to determine the fact that a breach of the peace exists in Palestine and that acts of aggression have taken place. Arab aggression is patent; it is self-confessed. The measure of support which the Security Council will give to decision of the United Nations in its efforts at implementation will be evidenced by the urgency with which it approaches its task, and by the effective measures which it will take to re-establish a condition of peace in Palestine in which the United Nations Palestine Commission can carry out the responsibilities which were entrusted to it. Here again the action of the Security Council on this issue will have far-reaching implications for the effectiveness of the United Nations actions on other issues and for the buttressing of the authority and prestige of this great world Organization.
Failure of the Security Council to comply with the request of the General Assembly to take the necessary measures to empower the Commission to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it if a threat to peace develops there during 'the transitional period, and to determine as a threat to the peace any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged in the resolution, would, in our judgment be a serious matter which goes far beyond the Palestine controversy. It concerns the co-ordination and effective functioning of the activities of the various organs of the United Nations. The basic thought underlying these two major organs of the United Nations—the General Assembly and the Security Council—is that they will co-ordinate their activities and actively support each other. A serious break in the normal workings of this mechanism would inflict an additional blow to the United Nations. It is our view that the United States Government's proposal that the Security Council accept the request addressed by the General Assembly to it must be the starting point for any effective action by the Security Council in this matter.
While the Security Council is deliberating on the request submitted to it by the United Nations Palestine Commission, we are pleased to note that the Commission intends to continue with such of the preparatory work essential to the implementation of the recommendations as can be undertaken without that assistance of the Security Council which the Commission has requested. We should like to draw the attention of the Security Council to the fact that the Jewish Militia, whose, organization, is called for by the plan which was adopted and which will have the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the Jewish "State after 15 May, has not yet been organized; that its organization is net permitted by the Mandatory Government prior to the termination of the Mandate; and that the request of the United Nations Palestine Commission to permit the preparatory work for the organization of this militia has likewise been denied.
In its report [document S/676], the United Nations Palestine Commission call the attention of the Security Council to the fact that "the refusal of the Mandatory Power to allow the formation of such militia until the termination of the Mandate ... will entail delay in the implementation of the Assembly's plan, and renders much more difficult the problem of the security of the Jewish State when the Mandate is relinquished."
I draw the attention of the Security Council to this statement of the Commission in order that it night serve as a commentary, to the statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom at the 260th meeting, in which he rejected the accusations that his Government was making the transfer of authority in Palestine as difficult as possible, and was denying assistance to the United Nations. Unfortunately, not only in this most vital question of the militia, but also in other essential matters which would have facilitated the coming of the new regime in Palestine, the Mandatory Government has been uncooperative and obstructive. To be sure, it has furnished information of a kind, and it has discussed with the United Nations Palestine Commission various problems. But the test is not willingness to discuss, but willingness to comply with the urgent requests which were made by the Commission and the United Nations.
Thus, the Mandatory Government refused to open a port to Jewish immigration on 1 February, as called for by resolution 181 (II) of the United Nations. It has refused to permit the United Nations Palestine Commission to come to Palestine in ample time properly to prepare for its immense duties. It has rejected the plan of a progressive transfer of areas to the Commission's administration. All this, according to the representative of the United Kingdom, because of "specific threats by the Arabs." This would suggest that the Mandatory Government does not have an adequate military force to meet these threats. However, when confronted with the suggestion that the security forces of the Mandatory Government might be supplemented by other forces available in Palestine itself, it has maintained that it alone was responsible for law and order in the country and could not tolerate "the danger of divided responsibility ".
The representative of the United Kingdom asserted at the 260th meeting that "our fervent hope is that the Security Council will now find a way to secure effective assumption of authority in Palestine by the United Nations when the Mandate is terminated." But we most regretfully note that almost every way which is suggested by the responsible agency of the United Nations is effectively blocked by the Mandatory Power.
The representative of the United Kingdom declared, also at the 260th meeting, that his Government cannot "participate in any way in the implementation of a scheme which involves the coercion of one of the communities." One is forced to recall that for years the United Kingdom has implemented a scheme in Palestine which was of its own making; which was disapproved by the League of Nations; which was condemned by its own leading statesmen, including the distinguished British Colonial Secretary himself; which quite definitely involved the coercion of one of the communities of Palestine. When is coercion not coercion? And under what condition is conscience to be invoked to approve or disapprove of a political policy?
The Jewish Agency for Palestine appeals to the Security Council and to the Members of the United Nations to make earnest representation to the present Mandatory Government of Palestine to permit the immediate organization of an adequate Jewish State militia, and the preparation for its equipment to protect the lives of the inhabitants of the new Jewish State who are being threatened by forces inside and outside of Palestine, and who have proclaimed their resolve to defeat by violence the decision of the United Nations and the new Jewish State which the decision envisages. This, we maintain, is an elementary moral obligation of the United Nations in view of the decision which it has taken. It is likewise an elementary moral obligation, on the part of those nations which have approved the plan, to remove all embargoes on the shipment of. arms to the Jewish people of Palestine who have loyally accepted the decision of the United Nations, and to deny such arms to those who are violently resisting it. Surely this is not an unreasonable request. The organization, recognition and equipment of the Jewish militia is for us of greater urgency than the sending of a non-Palestinian armed force by the Security Council. The Jews of Palestine wish first and foremost to defend themselves, but their hands must not be tied. The quicker the Jewish militia is permitted to be formed and the stronger it is permitted to become, the less sizeable need be the international force which the Commission has requested.
We are still hoping that there may be no need for prolonged and serious conflict in Palestine. The Jews do not wish war with their neighbours—only peace and co-operation. Within the framework of the plan calling for two independent States joined in an economic union, there is definitely the possibility for such peace and co-operation. The national status and independence of each people is guaranteed, and their economic cooperation for the good of both is provided for..
Partition was not the Jewish solution. It fell far short of the just rights and aspirations of the Jewish people. It was a grievous abridgement of these rights. Nevertheless, reluctantly but loyally, we accepted the decision which appeared fair and reasonable to the United Nations. We still hope that the Arabs of Palestine will likewise accept it and thereby put an end to the scourge of strife and bloodshed which can only do incalculable harm to both peoples.
But in the face of the mounting threats and the incursion of armed bands across the frontiers bent on war, the Jewish people of Palestine are compelled to make all necessary preparations for self-defence. We plead with the United Nations to remove all obstacles in the way. We are carrying out the purposes of the United Nations. We should not be penalized for doing so.
We feel under the obligation to make our position unmistakably clear. As far as the Jewish people are concerned, they have accepted the decision. of the United Nations. We regard it as binding, and we. are resolved to move forward in the spirit of that decision. Under the plan, there are dates to be met. We must assume that these dates will be met. We fully respect the authority of the United Nations, but if it is unable to carry out its own decisions and, as a consequence, the Jewish community of Palestine is confronted with the threat of annihilation, it will be compelled by the considerations of sheer survival, not to speak of the preservation of its rights, to take all necessary measures which the situation will call for.
In conclusion, we should like to comment on the serious strictures which the representative of the United Kingdom made against the Jewish Agency in his address delivered during the 260th meeting. He accused the Jewish Agency of subordinating moral considerations to political expediency". He charged it with "political ineptitude and moral weakness ".
The Jewish Agency has not had the experience of running a world empire, and so may be pardoned for not having the political aptitude which is possessed by the present political leaders of the United Kingdom, although it is rumoured that there is considerable heresy abroad in the world and in the British Isles themselves, which, perversely enough, questions their infallibility. But surely the eminent spokesman of the United Kingdom, who knows better than most the full story of the attitude of his Government and his party towards Zionism and Palestine, should be the last man to charge the Jewish Agency with an equivocal and pusillanimous policy and with "subordinating moral considerations to political expediency."
Has the honourable Colonial Secretary of the United Kingdom forgotten the pledges of the British Labour Party concerning Palestine, and its bitter denunciation of the moral turpitude of the United Kingdom Government for its failure to fulfill its obligations in Palestine? May I remind him of the resolution adopted by the Labour Party Conference in Southport in 1939 on the subject of the White Paper policy which this Labour Party has been enforcing in Palestine ever since it came into office. It reads as follows :
This resolution of the Labour Party went further, even beyond the programme of the Zionist movement I quote further from it :
"It is clear to us ", Mr. Creech Jones further continued, " that the White Paper policy must be abrogated. It is obvious to us that the restrictions that have been imposed with regard to the development of the National Home during recent years must go; that the gates of Palestine must be opened. "How is this to be reconciled with the brutal enforcement of the restrictive measures of the White Paper which have been carried on by the United Kingdom Colonial Office?
Mr. Creech Jones further stated: " We are encouraged by the fact that American opinion has made itself heard in regard to the Palestine problem. That will fortify us in our advocation in the House of Commons. "But in the House of Commons, public opinion in the United States in regard to the Palestine problem is contemptuously derided by the spokesman of his Party as emanating from political pressure in New York City.
Mr. Creech Jones concluded by saying :
The Jewish Agency has never condoned terrorism. It has deprecated it and denounced it time and again. It has carried on an intensive campaign of education among the Jews of Palestine against it. It took practical steps to combat it, as was acknowledged by the Palestine Government, even at the cost of life. The Jewish Agency, be it remembered, has no governmental or police authority, and could not reach the source of the evil which was feeding terrorism in Palestine. That source was the immoral and iniquitous policy of the White Paper, a self-willed and unlawful policy decreed by the United Kingdom. This policy was condemned by the foremost of British statesmen : "A plain breach of a solemn obligation", Mr. Churchill called it. "The breaking of all the pledges and promises that have been given to the Jews ", was the way Mr. Leopold Amery characterized it. And he asked: "Does my Right Honourable friend believe that these people" — the Jews — "will be contented to be relegated to the position of a statutory minority, to be denied all hope of giving refuge and relief to their tortured kinsfolk in other countries; that they will wait passively until, in due course, they and the land they created are to be handed over to the Mufti? "Mr. Herbert Morrison; who is now Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, indignantly declared : "I cannot accept the view that His Majesty's Government is doing anything other than counterfeiting this business, or that it is doing other than breaking its promises and acting dishonourably before the whole of the civilized world."
This lawless policy, which was imposed upon the Jewish people in Palestine at a time when their brothers and sisters were seeking to escape from the hell of Europe where they were threatened with extinction and where 6 million of them ultimately perished, aroused the bitter resentment of the entire population of Palestine. They came to regard such a repressive Government as hostile. Resistance flared up. The sharp injustice of seeing thousands of their unfortunate fellow-Jews turned away from the shores of Palestine and sent back to concentration camps to resume a life of despair and homelessness inflamed the passions, especially those of the youth, of Palestine. Is there any wonder, then, that some of the most intemperate of them resorted to acts which no one condones,which the authoritative organs of our movement have repeatedly condemned and denounced as harmful to the Jewish people, but which everyone in all fairness must try to understand? It is amazing to find not a. single word in the statement of the representative of the United Kingdom, not a single humble word which would indicate that the policy of his Government was in any way whatsoever directly or indirectly a contributory factor to these tragic acts which we all deplore.
It is amazing, too, to note that not a single word of condemnation was uttered in that statement against the acts of violence perpetrated by the Arabs against whom no White Paper was ever enforced, who faced no desperate problems of refugeeism and homelessness, and who are now perpetrating acts of terror in Palestine in an effort to defeat the United Nations decision and to persuade the world of its unworkability.
We deeply regret that we have to engage in polemics with the spokesman of the United Kingdom. We have no quarrel with the British people. We had hoped that the chapter of the United Kingdom's mandatory regime in Palestine would end on a happier note. We regret that this was not to be. We are not unmindful of the sympathetic understanding which our cause has always received among the great masses of the British people and among its foremost leaders. If the sad events of the recent dark and turbulent years have introduced an element of controversy and estrangement in our relations, we hope that it will prove only temporary. We do not wish to forget the gracious pattern of friendship and esteem which has been woven into the long fabric of the years. We are here critical of a Government and of a policy, not of a people, Governments and policies change. The enduring spiritual and intellectual kinship between peoples remains.
The Palestine issue which is before the United Nations is a test case which the whole world is following with utmost concern, for much indeed depends upon its final outcome. Whether justice will finally be done to a sorely tried people whose monumental spiritual, achievements made that little land of Palestine, the Holy Land of mankind, whether solemn international pledges are truly to be redeemed and whether this international organization which has even built upon the ruins of another such peace organization, wrecked by the failure of the great Powers to maintain its authority, will share a similar fate, or whether it will, in truth, become the tree whose fruit will be for the healing of the nations—all this, in my humble judgment, is involved in this issue which is now before the Security Council, and which is quite discernible to all who can see beneath the surface of single events into the sweep of great historic processes.
We confidently await the action of the Security Council.
At this point the system of consecutive interpretation was resumed.
Mr. PARODI (France) (translated from French) : In the course of the Security Council debate on Palestine we have heard several statements raising general questions, and often, or at least sometimes, legal questions, to which the Council should devote all its attention.
Such questions were raised in particular by the Syrian representative when he questioned the circumstances in which the United Nations Palestine Commission was set up, and proceeded to dispute the binding force on Member States of General Assembly recommendations [260th meeting]. Another legal question is that of the Security Council's power to secure the implementation of the Assembly's recommendations. That question arose out of Mr. Austin's statements [260th meeting] when he explained to us what, in his opinion, the true position was.
To my mind, these various questions will require careful consideration and I reserve the right to make, at subsequent meetings, the comments they appear to me to demand. After some reflection I have decided that at the present stage of our work it would be better not to delay consideration of the two proposals before us, namely, the United States draft resolution [document S/685] and the Belgian amendment [document S/688], by another general discussion.
When he spoke a few days ago [260th meeting], the United Kingdom representative warned us that the situation in Palestine was grave and threatened, in another few weeks, to become tragic. Frankly, I think all the members of the Security Council are aware of the situation. We know that in asking us a year ago, to take up the Palestinian question the United Kingdom Government placed a very heavy responsibility upon us. We are well aware that blood is being shed every day, and that much more blood may be shed in the future. We know that this dangerous situation calls for an urgent solution. Nor can we disregard the fact that the United Nations has declared itself, and that the matter now involves its entire authority. The urgent need for a practical examination of the problem is therefore, to my mind, the overriding consideration, and I do not wish at this time, to submit any observations that might result in a general discussion and delay the examination of the practical proposals now before us.
These proposals aim, in the first place, at organizing the work of the Security Council and establishing a method of procedure. The solution proposed is to set up a committee composed of a few members of the Council—in the United States proposal, the five permanent members—to study the practical measures that might be contemplated.
There is no difference between the two drafts submitted to us—the United States draft resolution and the Belgian amendment—as to the setting up of this committee; the difference relates only to the question whether the Security Council should first formally accept the recommendation of General Assembly resolution 181 (II). In this respect I believe that the explanations furnished by the representatives of the United 'States [260th meeting] and Belgium [258th meeting] have considerably narrowed down the differences between the two proposals now before us. According to the Belgian representative, there is no suggestion that the Security Council does not accept the Assembly's recommendation. His amendment has only the effect of reserving any decision on the substance of the question until after the completion of the consultations which the small committee will be asked to conduct. In his speech, the Belgian representative gave us explanations on this point which I thought perfectly precise and clear. The representative of the United States, in his turn, explained his interpretation of the effect of accepting the recommendation, and emphasized his reservations as to the powers of the Security Council.
When all is said; it therefore seems to me, after these explanations by both parties, that the difference between the two drafts before us is really very small.
I must say that in our opinion it scarcely seems possible for the Security Council, at this preliminary stage of its work and without having first examined the question whether or not there is a threat to the peace, to decline to accept in principle the General Assembly's recommendation. The recommendation is there, and it emanates from an authority which, at least in its composition, is the highest authority of the United Nations. The binding effect of the recommendation on States may be open to question but it seems to us that the recommendation is binding, morally if not legally, on all other organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council.
Nevertheless we see no indispensable reason why the Council should begin by announcing its acceptance, if it thinks and decides that a preliminary study of the question is necessary.
The only danger, it seems to me, which the Belgian representative's amendment might entail would be that the public might misinterpret this amendment if it understood it to mean that the Security Council did not accept the Assembly's resolution. But our Belgian colleague made it sufficiently clear: I think, that that was not the intention of his amendment.
The Canadian representative, when he made his statement the other day [261st meeting] interpreted the Belgian amendment as an effort toward conciliation—an effort to which the French delegation cannot remain indifferent. I think it unnecessary to recall that, on the eve of the Assembly vote, the French delegation asked for the Arab States to be given some time to clarify the conciliatory intentions which some of their representatives had expressed; and I still regret that the time which the Assembly decided to grant was not more effectively utilized.
There is therefore no need for me to repeat here that we consider it essential to miss no opportunity, however small, for effecting a reconciliation between the two parties. If therefore I propose in the lest resort to vote for the Belgian amendment, I do so not so much because of its content, which I do not see as being opposed to the legal content of the United States draft resolution, as because of the conciliatory interpretation which the Canadian representative placed upon it the other day.
Paragraph 2 of the United States draft resolution establishes a committee of the five permanent members. The representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, if I rightly understood his remarks the other day [260th meeting], is in favour of consultations between the five permanent members. He indicated, however, that he would prefer us not to establish a committee in the strict sense of the term. His view is not, therefore, opposed in principle to that of the United States delegation.
In our opinion what matters is that we bear in mind the urgency of the situation, and that the conversations, whatever form they take, begin as soon as possible. For these reasons I propose to vote in favour of the Belgian amendment, and, if that does not obtain the necessary majority, in favour of the United States draft resolution.
I should like, in conclusion, to add a general comment. The United Nations is laced with what is certainly the most difficult question it has been called upon to deal with so far. But it must be recognized that the parties to the dispute are doing nothing to make our task any easier nor, it seems to me, to act in accordance with the spirit or even the letter of the Charter.
On the Arab side we have the avowed intention of opposing, even by force, an Assembly recommendation. I refrained, a few moments ago, from discussing the legal effect of Assembly recommendations. I shall, however, now state our view that, though recommendations made by the Assembly, precisely because they are recommendations, are not binding upon Member. States that did not vote for them, in the sense that such States may abstain from co-operating in their implementation, it is quite inadmissible that any State which is a Member of the United Nations should take up the position of opposing by force, on a territory not its own, efforts made by other nations to implement a recommendation.
Such an attitude goes much farther than simple abstention from implementing an Assembly resolution, a right which we believe the Charter grants to States that do not accept a recommendation. Open revolt against an Assembly recommendation is a much more drastic act, which the Charter does not authorize anywhere, and which is essentially contrary to the Charter.
I must say that the attitude of the Jewish population in Palestine is hardly less disappointing. Every day we hear talk of a war of reprisal in which the killings increase. I am surprised that the Jewish Agency for Palestine has not made every effort to put a stop to practices which, in end result, are so akin to plain murder. I know that we have just been told that the Jewish Agency has made some efforts to that end. That being so, my surprise is that the results have been so ineffective.
The monstrous crimes of Germany and the fearful holocaust of which the Jews were the victims have brought them tremendous sympathy. throughout the world. But this reserve of sympathy has already been heavily drawn on, and there is a danger that it may gradually become exhausted if yesterday's victims now play the part of butchers. My words are directed equally, of course, against the acts of terrorism perpetrated by Arabs as by Jews.
I think that the Security Council—and this is one of the points which the five permanent members of the Council will have to consider if the draft resolution is adopted has the right to call ,upon both sides to modify attitudes which depart so gravely from international duty.
Mahmoud Fawzi Bey (Egypt) : I should like to make some short, offhand remarks concerning a part of what we have heard this morning. I am taking into consideration the fact that the subject now under discussion is the Belgian amendment [document S/688} and this is one reason why I shall speak very briefly on points which are of a general nature.
Among other things, we heard commentaries on two points this morning, namely, the efforts at conciliation and the fact that the General Assembly's resolution is merely a recommendation. On these two points I sincerely see no reason, up to this moment, to add to or detract from what I have already said. However, I am willing to enlarge on these, points if necessary.
Regarding the endeavour to establish a parallel with the status of Trieste, I would say only that such a parallel does not actually exist. Trieste is a conquered, ex-enemy territory concerning which the victorious Powers have made arrangements to which Italy, the Power which had sovereignty over Trieste, acceded. I am willing to speak in more detail on this point also if the need arises.
The spokesman of the Jewish Agency admitted that it may be correct to say that the Security Council cannot use armed force for the implementation of partition, but he added : What the Commission asked for is not an armed force to enforce partition, but an adequate non-Palestinian force which will assist law-abiding elements in both the Arab and Jewish communities organized under the general direction of the Commission in maintaining order and security in Palestine, and thereby enabling the Commission to carry out the recommendations of the General Assembly."
This enables us to understand more clearly the words used at the 261st meeting by the President, in his capacity as representative of China, when he said that "the distinction between enforcement of partition by force and the maintenance of peace by force, while legally valid and important, seems to us in the present situation to be unreal ".
The spokesman of the Jewish Agency also said that if the plan of partition is not implemented, the United Nations will be doomed. In this connexion, I shall indulge in come statistics. If I remember correctly, the recommendations which have not been complied with amount to approximately 3 per cent of all the recommendations made by the General Assembly. Will it really matter so much, and will the United Nations really be doomed, if this 3 per cent of non-compliance should become, for example, 3.1 per cent? will it not be better for us to remember the requirements of peace and real intent of the Charter of the United Nations, which considers the resolutions of the General Assembly on such matters to be recommendations and not orders or obligatory decisions?
If some Zionist leaders prefer to make it difficult to reach a peaceful solution, they must bear the responsibility for such an attitude. We, on our side, must never give up, must never abdicate to despair. We must continue to take our stand by peace, and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America) : Time and circumstances give such urgency to this decision of the Security Council that the vote on the Belgian amendment [document S/688] may have the effect not merely of postponing acceptance of partition, but of permanently failing to implement it.
The United States strongly opposes the Belgian amendment because, in effect, it is a motion to delete paragraph 1 of the United States resolution [document S/685] which would accept partition as a solution. The United States delegation will abstain from voting on the Belgian amendment only because it does not wish to raise any question of a veto. The Security Council must face the issue promptly because time is short before the announced date of termination of the Mandate.
Mr. LóPEZ (Colombia) : I believe we are all agreed that this is a matter of great urgency. We all regret that, in view of that background, we have spent almost a month in reaching this point of our discussion, at which we are going to take a vote on the Belgian amendment. At the 258th meeting I withdrew the Colombian proposal [document S/684] for the purpose of expediting the work of .the Security Council and not, as some members of the Press reported, for the purpose of challenging the great Powers. Such an attitude would have had no justification. Since withdrawing the Colombian proposal, I have listened to the statements made in the Security Council with the utmost attention. I wish to say, with a very open mind, that one of the two things which have impressed me most is this declaration by the President [261st meeting] : "The distinction between enforcement of partition by force and the maintenance of peace by force, while legally valid and important, seems to us in the present situation to be unreal; and, therefore, that is an additional reason why my delegation would. like to see this committee, however constituted, start its task without a binding commitment or instructions from the Security Council. "
I thoroughly agree with that statement, and I would even go a step further and say that I also agree with the position taken by the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [260th meeting] when he said that no committee is necessary. I believe the quickest, the easiest, and the most effective means of achieving what the Security Council is attempting to accomplish is to adjourn the meeting of the Security Council until 11 March without taking a vote on either of the two proposals, so that the permanent members of the Security Council, who by common consent should constitute this committee, may be given the opportunity to comply with the provisions of Article 106 of the Charter, " without a binding commitment or instructions from the Security Council ", exactly as was suggested by the President. They will be perfectly free, according to the Charter, to do, after five or six days, what the Belgian amendment proposes : " To inform the Security Council regarding the situation with respect to Palestine and to make recommendations to it regarding the guidance and instructions which the Council might usefully give to the Palestine Commission at a later stage." It is their duty, according to Article 106 of the Charter, to do that. We have been discussing at several meetings how should do that, why they should do that, and when they should do that. By this time we practically have five different approaches to the problem.
The representative of the USSR thinks that the committee is not necessary. As I have already said, I agree with him on that point. The Chinese representative states he would like to have the committee without a binding commitment or instructions from the Security Council. I also agree with that suggestion. That is a different approach. The United Kingdom representative does not wish to participate in the implementation of the plan and the work of the committee for that purpose. That is a different approach. The United States representative has already said that he wishes to have such a committee after accepting the plan of partition. The French representative has just informed us that he prefers the Belgian amendment, without that provision, so that ultimately he might go along with the United States proposal.
It is not uncommon for the five permanent members of the Security Council to disagree. That is why, looking toward efficiency in this matter, I made the proposal that this committee should be composed of two permanent members and three non-permanent members of the Security Council. It did not appear to me wise or gracious to leave the non-permanent members of the Security Council out of account because the nonpermanent members of the Security Council, who also represent the Organization, have been consistently invited by the great Powers to participate very actively in the Palestine situation.
The small Powers were invited to compose exclusively the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, and they, exclusively, are working on the present United Nations Palestine Commission. It would seem to me only consistent, logical and natural that they should be appointed as members of, and invited to participate in the proposed committee. But, as I said, that is now beside the point. The point now is that the Security Council seems to have agreed that this committee should be composed only of the five permanent members of the Security Council. I submit that the easiest and quickest way to achieve our purpose is to adjourn the meeting now, with the understanding that the Security Council expects a report from its five permanent members by 11 March as to what they think we should do.
In the meantime, if the Arab Higher Committee really has any concrete or specific new proposal to submit for our consideration, it can do either of two things. It can go to the five permanent members of the Security Council and inform them of its proposals, or it can prepare these proposals for submission to the Security Council at its next meeting.
Therefore, with these brief considerations and with that understanding, I ask that the President put to the vote the proposal that we adjourn until 11 March.
The PRESIDENT : The representative of Colombia has moved that the discussion be adjourned to 11 March with the understanding that, in the meantime, the five permanent members of the Security Council should hold consultations on the question.
I should like to point out that such a motion for adjournment to a definite date has precedence over other motions.
I should also like to say that the suggestion for consultation is only a suggestion; it cannot be binding on the members, one or more, who may not wish to join in consultations. Therefore, the motion now before the Security Council is a motion simply for adjournment to 11 March.
Mr. Austin (United States of America) : If I am in order, I should like to make a comment on this motion. I assume that I am in order becalm the motion does not fall within one of those priorities which is undebatable.
The United States considers that the situation is urgent, that it will not bear delay from now until 11 March, that the representatives on. the Security Council ought not to act like vagrants wandering about without any objective or destination, and that the Security Council should act now.
The Security Council has discussed this matter fully. The time has come for a vote. At this instant, a motion to adjourn in order to do the very thing that is mentioned in both of the proposals seems to the United States a very grave mistake which would result in confusion, doubt and hesitation. It makes no difference which one of these proposals is adopted on this point of consultation. The Security Council will at least have advanced somewhat and taken some direction if it takes a vote on one of these proposals. I think it would be a grave mistake for us to postpone this vote. Therefore, the United States will vote against postponement.
Mr. TARASENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) (translated from Russian) :I do not in principle object to an adjournment until 11 March as was proposed by the representative of Colombia; but I have one reservation, which is that it should be recorded that the meeting has adjourned in order to allow the five permanent members to consult together on the substance of the question at issue. Otherwise we shall meet with no more success on 11 March than today. It would merely be a postponement of the discussion of the question at issue, not an attempt to seek its settlement.
I therefore repeat: I do not object to the meeting's being adjourned until 11 March provided that an entry is made in the record to the effect that the five permanent members of the Security Council have been requested to consult together on the substance of the question at issue, to assume a definite undertaking to that effect.
Mr. LóPEZ (Colombia) : I regret very much having to say more in support of my proposal than I had intended, particularly since it might appear that I am not helping to expedite matters. In this very serious matter we have unhesitatingly recognized the leadership of the United States and the IJSSR and it is beyond question that the plan of partition was adopted primarily as the result of their action, support, work, and prestige. Now we are involved in a very difficult situation concerning the implementation of that plan, and we are endeavouring to find which way would be the best one of carrying it through.
In discussing these two proposals, the first thing that appears very clear is that neither of them is enthusiastically supported by the Security Council, and that they reflect exactly the same situation as we had in the General Assembly with the original plan of partition. The original plan had to be steered to adoption with some difficulty because it did not represent the seasoned opinion of the General Assembly. That is probably the reason so many meetings were required before arriving at a conclusion on this point. I submit this opinion very respectfully, as I did at the General Assembly in November.
It is already evident to us that the five permanent members of the Security Council are not in agreement as to how they should approach this problem. One of the things that I believe we should do, if we sincerely mean to face this issue instead of trying to evade it in some way, is to determine whether or not there is any possibility of such agreement.
The Belgian amendment fixes no time limit for the five permanent members of the Security Council to return with a report, but my proposal for adjournment does fix a time limit. It specifically states that by 11 March we shall expect the permanent members of the Security Council to return with a report. That is why I think it is unnecessary to say that they should accept a commitment to meet for the purpose of consultation. According to Article 106 of the Charter, it is specifically their duty to do so. Article 106 states
"Pending the coming into force of such special agreements referred to in Article 43 as in the opinion of the Security Council enable it to begin the exercise of its responsibilities under Article 42, the parties to the Four-Nation Declaration, signed at Moscow, 30 October 1943, and France shall, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5 of that Declaration, consult with one another and as occasion requires with other Members of the United Nations with a view to such joint action on behalf of the Organisation as may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security."
That is their clear obligation. I agree with the President that we cannot go any further and impose on them any obligation to get together before 11 March. However, by adjourning, in accordance with my proposal, we shall know on 11 March whether or not the permanent members are willing to get together to discuss this matter and to return to the Security Council with a definite proposal. I believe we shall have made very definite progress in our discussions if, by 11 March, we know where we stand vis-à-vis the possible recommendations of the five permanent members of the Security Council, to whom, according to the draft resolution and amendment, the Security Council wishes to give the initiative in formulating a proposal.
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria) : I agree with the representative of Colombia that we should adjourn until 11 March with the understanding that the permanent members of the Security Council will convene in the meantime. They will convene only as members of the Security Council—not as envisaged by Article 106 of the Charter—to advise the Security Council as to the action and procedures which they propose should be followed.
If we refer to Article 106, we find that action by the permanent members under that Article will always be in order when the Security Council decides that a situation exists which endangers international peace and security, when other methods and means have been tried and proved to be inadequate, and when action under Article 42 of the Charter is necessary. Then, as long as Article 43 is not implemented, the five permanent members would convene to determine what action to take. Article 106 refers to Article 42. Article 42 reads
" Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces ..." and so forth. When it is decided to apply this Article, then Article 106 will be in force and the permanent members of the Security Council can convene among themselves and consult as to the action to be taken.
I agree with the motion submitted by the delegation of Colombia to adjourn until 11 March, with the understanding that the permanent members of the Security Council shall meet so as to advise the Security Council in what way it is to proceed in this matter, and not to apply Article 106.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian) : I wish to say merely that the adoption of the proposal of Mr. López in the form in which it has been introduced would, it seems to me, lead only to loss of time. If we are, in fact, all agreed that the permanent members of the Security Council should consult together on the question at issue, let us adopt a resolution calling upon the States which are permanent members of the Security Council to consult together.
The PRESIDENT : I should like to say a few words as the representative of CHINA.
I have stated that I should be glad to participate in a committee or in a consultation of the five permanent members. I would do that not by virtue of Article 106. I consider that such consultation or committee action at the present moment is not related to Article 106 of the Charter.
As PRESIDENT of the Security Council, I should like to say that the objective behind the motion for adjournment until 11 March can be achieved easily without that motion being put to a vote, because, if one of the two draft resolutions should be adopted, the five permanent members of the Security Council would go into consultation immediately, and I, as President of the Security Council, would wish them to make an early report to the Council. I could not specify that the report must be made on 11 March, but, at any rate, I would insist on an early report.
The five permanent members can report on success or failure, or partial success or partial failure, so that the Security Council will see whether that line of approach is a fruitful one at all.
I suggest that we do not spend any more time discussing this matter of an adjournment.
The motion is for an adjournment until next 11 March with the understanding that the five permanent members of the Security Council should in the meantime consult each other on this problem.
The motion was rejected by 5 votes to 2, with 4 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT : We now have the Belgian amendment [document S/688] before us. Unless there is further discussion, I shall put the Belgian amendment to the vote.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian) : We are discussing the Belgian amendment and the United States draft resolution [document S/685]. I have already had occasion to explain the position of the delegation of the Soviet Union with regard to consultation.
As the representative of the United States is aware, the United Kingdom refuses to take part in the work of the committee which the former has proposed; he is also aware of the USSR representative's negative attitude to the proposal for establishing a committee, and of the fact that the USSR representative considers it obligatory that direct consultation should take place between the Permanent members of the Security Council outside of any committee.
No Power, we believe, is justified in hiding itself behind the broad shoulders of the other countries represented on a committee; each has the opportunity to explain its position with regard to any particular question In the course of direct negotiations with others of the five great Powers.
We also know what China's position on the Palestine question is. Even if China takes part in the consultations of the committee, and maintains its position as explained here in the Council, its participation will not promote the implementation of the Assembly's resolution on Palestine. It appears then, that the United States and France zealously support the idea of a committee for consultations among five permanent members. But to insist, in such circumstances, on a committee as the only appropriate channel for consultation can, it seems to me, be the policy only of those who have insufficient respect for their own proposals.
I have thought it necessary to draw the Council's attention to this point, and once more to express my opinion as to the desirability and necessity of direct consultation between the permanent members of the Security Council.
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria) : I request that when the Security Council proceeds to vote, the paragraphs of both of these proposals be divided and voted upon separately, because they contain different matters, and some members may vote on one and not vote on another.
Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America) : May I make an observation before there is any further ruling ? The remarks of the representative of the USSR. cause the delegation of the United States to say that in this situation, in which it is so important for us to act in harmony, so far as we can, the United States delegation would be willing to amend that paragraph relating to the consultation by the Security Council to conform to the wishes expressed by the representative of the USSR. It could be done in this manner. On the pending matter, paragraph 2 of document S/685, the United States draft resolution could be so amended as to read : "To invite the five permanent members of the Security Council to consult and..." I ask the representative of the USSR if that meets his views.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (translated from Russian) : Does the statement of the representative of the United States mean that the proposal for the establishment of a committee is withdrawn, and that, instead, he proposes that the permanent members should carry out direct consultation among themselves?
Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America) : My answer is "Yes", if that will establish harmony on this point between the USSR and the United States. I do not want to change the draft resolution unless it will accomplish conciliation on that point. But if it will do that, then that is exactly what I am willing to do. It relates to the establishment of a committee, but instead of establishing a committee, it would merely invite the five permanent members of the Security Council to consult.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian) The explanation given by the representative of the United States means that his proposal for the establishment of a committee is withdrawn and that, instead, the United States agrees that direct consultation should take place between the permanent members of the Security Council.
I have already said that I am in agreement with paragraph 1 of the United States draft resolution. I also agree concerning the necessity for consultation among the permanent members of the Security Council. I also have no objection to the other paragraphs, and when the other subparagraphs of paragraph 2 are voted on I shall not vote against them.
I consider, however, that there is no need now to point out that the five States which are permanent members of the Security Council should consult with the Arabs, the Jews and the United Kingdom, since the Palestine Commission was created for that purpose, and is now engaged in carrying out that function. But I repeat, even if this paragraph, which I do not support, remains in the text, I shall not vote against it if the other members of the Council consider it necessary, In my opinion, the establishment of an additional, parallel channel of consultation would tend to slow up such consultation, and consequently to delay the consideration of the question itself. But if others think it appropriate to leave this and some other paragraphs, I shall not vote against, but shall only abstain.
If the Council accepts, not the proposal for the establishment of a committee for consultation, but a proposal to the effect that we should agree on the need for direct consultation among the permanent members, I should like to move the following amendment: that the permanent members of the Council should inform the Council within ten days, or fifteen at the most, concerning the results of the consultations.
Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America) : I assume that the members of the Security Council recognize that what I said concerning paragraph 2 is on the same condition on which the representative of the USSR bases his statement, namely, that we accept paragraph 1. That is the beam which supports the whole superstructure of this effort to place the great power of the five permanent members at the disposal of the weakest of our Members. It gives guidance to our actions and settles the direction in which we are going; it fixes the destination of our interviews and consultations. Therefore, if I understand correctly, I think we are in complete agreement. I have no objection to the suggested amendment.
With the permission of the President, I shall incorporate this amendment as an added section to my draft resolution. Thus, it will not be necessary for the Security Council to hold discussions upon it. I believe that it is within my power to accept that amendment as a part of my draft resolution, and I so do.
The PRESIDENT : I wish to ask the representative of Belgium whether he will accept a corresponding change in his amendment that would result in his amendment reading something like this
" (a) After consultation among themselves, to inform the Security Council ..."
Mr. NISOT (Belgium) (translated from French) : Yes, I accept them.
Mr. LóPEZ (Colombia) : I do not want to raise any objections, but simply to request some clarification. The representative of the USSR has suggested that a time-limit should be fixed for the five permanent members to report to the Security Council, say, within ten or fifteen days, and if I remember correctly, he made the, suggestion as an amendment. In the way in which they have been presented, a series of amendments have been. suggested to different proposals, and I should like to have some clarification regarding the amendment suggested by the representative of the USSR, first, as to whether that amendment applies to the United States draft resolution or to the Belgian amendment, and next, as to whether the time-limit is ten or fifteen, days, because it cannot be left indefinite, either way.
I am very glad to see, otherwise, that we have come to the point of accepting the idea of an invitation of the five permanent members instead of constituting a committee. That is a point which we have been trying to make, and I am very glad to see that it has finally been accepted, with a time-limit, which was also the idea of the adjournment.
Therefore, I should be very glad to support the idea of the invitation and also the time-limit. I think we have made some really good progress.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian) : I should like to make a remark. Would the representative of the United States agree that we should confine ourselves to adopting only a general resolution to the effect that the Security Council invites or calls upon the States which are permanent members of the Council to consult together, as has practically been agreed upon between us, and to omit all the sub paragraphs (a), (b) and (c)? It would be better to provide the States with the opportunity of consulting together on those questions with regard to which they consider consultation necessary, and which arise from the reports of the Palestine Commission. Would it not be better not to bind those States in the course of their consultation by any kind of terms of reference but to provide them with the opportunity to exchange opinions freely and fully on all these questions, without being bound by any kind of conditions laid down in advance?
It seems to me that such a solution of our problem would be less rigid and more favourable for the carrying out of consultations among the permanent members of the Security Council; because if, let us say, we adopt all these subparagraphs, differences of opinion may arise at the very beginning of the consultations with regard, for example, to sub-paragraph (c). There may be different opinions amongst us as to whether or not representatives of the United Kingdom, the Jews and the Arabs should be invited for purposes of consultation to some kind of conference of the five Powers.
It therefore seems to me that it would be better to confine ourselves to a general formula to the effect that the Security Council calls upon the five Powers to carry out direct consultation among themselves on matters arising out of the reports of the Palestine Commission.
That is the question which I should like to put to the representative of the United States.
The PRESIDENT : On the understanding that the representatives of the USSR and the United States will in the meantime consult with a view to producing, if possible, an agreed form, the Security Council will now adjourn, to meet again at 3.30 this afternoon.
The meeting rose at 1.45 p.m.
1See Official Records of the second session of the General Assembly, Supplement No. 11.
2See Official Records of the second session of the General Assembly, Plenary Meetings, 128th meeting, page 1414.
3Ibid., page 1416.