UNITED NATIONS PALESTINE COMMISSION
Lake Success, New York
Thursday, 18 March 1948, at 3.00 p.m.
CONSIDERATION OF THE PROPOSED VISIT TO LONDON BY THE COMMISSION
On the invitation of the CHAIRMAN, Mr. MALANIA (Chief Administrative Officer) made a statement regarding the matter of travel reservations. He informed the Commission that reservations with the Cunard White Star Line could be secured for any one of the following dates: 27 March, 7 April and 14 April. Regarding the first two dates, however, action had to be taken almost immediately in order to obtain the reservations.
In the ensuing discussion regarding the date on which the Commission should travel to London, it was suggested that it was highly important for the Commission to proceed to London as early as possible in order to carry on negotiations with the United Kingdom Government on the manifold practical and essential questions related to the transfer of authority from the Mandatory Power to the Commission. These questions, it was pointed out, could only be effectively negotiated with Government level representatives of the Mandatory Power.
The CHAIRMAN pointed out that the Commission could hope to do useful work in London only if it arrived there at an early date.
Another view expressed, however, was that the Commission should not leave Lake Success pending a decision on the fundamental issues then before the Security Council.
In that connection, however, the CHAIRMAN argued that a decision by the Security Council, in view of the present stage of its deliberations, might not be forthcoming for some time and that meanwhile time was running out. Moreover, by going to London the Commission would not in any way be prejudicing its final stand, namely, that it could not implement the resolution of the General Assembly unless an armed force of adequate strength was provided. That stand, taken by the Commission in its Special Report to the Council, was binding upon the Commission.
Several of the Members thought that that 7 April should be the date of departure for London.
In reply to a question, the CHAIRMAN stated that he thought the Commission mould need to remain in London about three weeks after which it should return to Lake Success.
One view held was that the departure date of 7 April should only be adopted on the understanding that a definite programme of work on the matter of having the arms embargo lifted and on the setting up of the Provisional Council of Government for the Jewish State would be carried out by the Commission before that date. If the Provisional Council of Government were set up, the Commission could proceed to London with the knowledge that some of the essential functions to be provided for after 15 May were in fact covered, and its work in London would thereby be made easier.
A suggestion was made that one Member only of the Commission should be delegated to go to London while the rest remained at Lake Success. Decisions would be taken by the Commission as a whole acting on the basis of as recommendations and information.
The CHAIRMAN thought that such a procedure would be wholly inexpedient.
Mr. MEDINA (Bolivia) made a formal motion that the meeting be adjourned.
As there were no objections, the CHAIRMAN stated that the meeting was adjourned.
With reference to the making of travel reservations, it was agreed that a decision regarding the date of departure would be made at the next meeting.
The meeting rose at 4.15 p.m.