Question of Palestine home
11 November 1947
AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION
REPORT OF SUB-COMMITTEE 2
Composition and terms of reference of Sub-Committee
1. Sub-Committee 2 on Palestine was set up on 23 October 1947 following the decision of the Ad Hoc Committee of Palestine to establish two Sub-Committees. By virtue of the authority conferred on him by the Ad Hoc Committee, the Chairman nominated the following countries as members of Sub-Committee 2: Afghanistan, Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.
The terms of reference of the Sub-Committee were as follows:
1. “To draw up a detailed plan for the future government of Palestine in accordance with the basic principles expressed in the proposals submitted to the General Assembly by the delegations of Saudi Arabia and Iraq (documents A/317 and A/328, respectively) and the proposal submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee by the delegation of Syria (document A/AC.14/22); and
2. To incorporate this plan in the form of recommendations.”
The Sub-Committee was also authorized to take up and consider any of the other proposals before the Ad Hoc Committee which were considered to be necessary.
2. The Sub-Committee held its first meeting on 23 October 1947 and elected the delegate for Colombia, Dr. A. Gonzalez Fernandez, as Chairman, and the delegate for Pakistan as Rapporteur. It was explained by the Chairman that the representative of the United Kingdom would sit on the Sub-Committee as an observer and that his advice would be available to the Sub-Committee as and when required.
3. On a preliminary review of the task assigned to it, the Sub-Committee felt that it was somewhat unfortunate that both Sub-Committee 1 and Sub-Committee 2 on Palestine were so constituted as to include in each of them representatives of only one school of thought, and that there was insufficient representation of neutral countries, It was accordingly proposed that the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee should be requested that, irrespective of what might be done with regard to Sub-Committee 1, Sub-Committee 2 should be reconstituted so as to replace two of the Arab states in the Sub-Committee (which were prepared to withdraw) by neutrals or countries which had not definitely committed themselves to any particular solution of the Palestine question. This request was laid before the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, but for reasons which he explained to the Sub-Committee, he could not see his way to accepting the Sub-Committee’s recommendation. In those circumstances, the delegate for Colombia resigned on 28 October and Sir Zafrullah Khan, the delegate for Pakistan, was elected as Chairman in his place.
Sub-Committee’s Plan of work
4. With regard to its work, the Sub-Committee decided at the very outset to concentrate on three broad issues:
(i) The legal questions connected with or arising from the Palestine problem, in particular the three proposals bearing on the subject submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee by the delegations of Iraq, Egypt and Syria. (documents A/AC.14/21, A/AC.14/2 and A/AC.14/25).
(ii) The problem of Jewish refugees and displaced persons and its connection with the Palestinian question.
(iii) The termination of the Mandate over Palestine and constitutional proposals for the establishment of a unitary and independent state on the basis of the proposals submitted by Iraq and Saudi Arabia to the General Assembly.
Working groups were established to deal with each of these main issues and they were constituted as follows:
– Pakistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia
– Afghanistan, Colombia and Lebanon
– Egypt, Iraq and Yemen
The reports of working groups were considered by the Sub-Committee and, as finally adopted, constitute chapters I, II, and III respectively of this report. The conclusions of the Sub-Committee have been embodied in the form of three resolutions for submission to the General Assembly, and are contained in the concluding chapter.
5. The Sub-Committee wishes to record its gratitude to Mr. H. Beeley, the United Kingdom representative, for his assistance and advice, and to Mr. H. Vigier, the Secretary of the Sub-Committee, and his colleagues, for supplying the Sub-Committee, and his colleagues, for supplying the Sub-Committee with some of the documentary material utilized for the preparation of the report, and for their readiness to lend the Sub-Committee their assistance.
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