Lake Success, New York
Thursday, 12 February 1948, at 2.00 p.m.
CONTINUATION OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT OF THE SPECIAL REPORT TO THE SECURITY` COUNCIL
The CHAIRMAN asked members to submit any proposed amendments to the introduction to the special report.
During a lengthy exchange of views, the following points of view were expressed:
that the Report should present only the facts of the situation leaving the Security Council to decide which Articles of the Charter said which provisions of the Assembly’s resolution were applicable.
The opinion was again expressed that the Commission should confine itself to facts. The Security Council was sovereign in the interpretation of its powers and it was not for any other body - still less for a body subject to the guidance of the Security Council - to express an opinion on the subject. It was pointed out that an attempt to do so might draw a rebuke from the Security Council which would be a severe blow to the Commission’s prestige and authority.
Several amendments to the Secretariat draft were presented for consideration. The proposed re-drafts, were as follows:
2. The security situation in Palestine appears to be continually aggravated not only in the proposed Jewish and Arab States but even more seriously in the City of Jerusalem. For the time being it is kept under some control owing to the presence of British troops in the territory at the time of the termination of the Mandate, the Commission can have no hope of establishing security or of maintaining law and order, which is a pre-requisite or the work of implementation, unless other military forces are made available to the Commission in sufficient numbers and adequate strength.
2. In view of the fact that the security situation in Palestine continues to be aggravated not only in the areas of the proposed Arab and Jewish States, but also in the City of Jerusalem, and since, for the time being, it is kept under some control only because of the presence of British troops, the Commission, if it is to be enabled to maintain law and order and implement the resolution, urgently needs assistance, which only the Security Council can afford, in the form of military forces of sufficient numbers and adequate strength.
2. There is urgent need for assistance from the Security Council in the form of an adequate armed force if the Commission is to be enabled to implement the resolution and maintain law and order in Palestine when authority is transferred to it.
2. On the termination of the Mandate the troops of the Mandatory Power will no longer be available for the general purpose of maintaining law and order. The Commission will not be in any position to establish security in Palestine and to maintain law and order, without which it will not be able to implement the Resolution, unless military forces in sufficient numbers and of adequate strength arc made available to it.
3. The security situation is especially aggravated by the fact that powerful Arab interests, both within and without Palestine, openly defy the Resolution of the General Assembly and the efforts of the Commission toward its implementation.
Mr. FRANCISCO (Philippines) then proposed the following amendment to sub-paragraph 1 of the introduction:
The CHAIRMAN suggested a compromise amendment in the following terms:
“The Commission will be unable to establish security and maintain law and order, without which it cannot implement the resolution of the General Assembly, unless military focus in adequate strength are made available to the Commission when the responsibility for the administration of Palestine is transferred to it.”
A further discussion took place during which it was suggested that three points might be mentioned instead of two, i.e.:
2. The fact that after 15 May there would be no British forces to maintain law and order and that it would accordingly be necessary for the Commission to be provided with an adequate armed force;
3. The existence of strong Arab opposition.
It was agreed that the final drafting should be left to the following day.
COMMUNICATION TO THE COMMISSION
The SECRETARY submitted a communication he had received from Mr. Fletcher-Cooke transmitting replies from Sir Henry Gurney concerning the advance party and the Aqir airfield.
The meeting rose at 6.20 p.m.