See also: resolution 194 (III)
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Held at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris,
on Saturday 11 December 1948, at 8.30 p.m.
President : Mr. H. V. EVATT (Australia).
AMENDMENTS PROPOSED BY AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA, COLOMBIA, FRANCE AND NEW ZEALAND (A/789) AND AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY BELGIUM (A/791) TO THE DRAFT RESOLUTION PROPOSED BY THE FIRST COMMITTEE
The PRESIDENT called upon the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to conclude the speech which he had begun at the previous meeting.
Mr. VYSHINSKY (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) recalled that he had been describing the struggle which had gone on in the First Committee when the Palestine question had been under discussion there.
The United Kingdom delegation had hastened to submit its own resolution at the beginning of the discussion on the Palestine question, with the evident intention of making that resolution a basis for the Committee’s handling of the question. It had been based almost entirely on the report of the Mediator and, fundamentally, aimed at considerably amending the General Assembly’s resolution of 29 November 1947. That resolution had, for example, provided for certain boundary lines; the United Kingdom resolution aimed at revising them and taking from Israel the Negeb territory which comprised approximately two-thirds of the State of Israel. Such wishes had been expressed by representatives of the British military authorities.
The United Kingdom delegation had also proposed that the rest of Palestine which did not make up the present State of Israel — a considerable part of that country, perhaps as much as four-fifths of it — should adjoin the State of Transjordan. The relations between the United Kingdom and Transjordan were well known; it was equally well known that Transjordan played the role of a puppet of the United Kingdom. The implementation of the Mediator’s recommendations, with the aid of the United Kingdom and the United States of America, would mean that United Kingdom control over the greater part of Palestine would be established through Transjordan. That would obviously mean that a separate puppet Arab State would be organized in that part of Palestine which did not comprise the State of Israel; that would be contrary to the General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947.
Mr. Vyshinsky thought that it had been no accident that Mr. Stanley, the former British Colonial Secretary, had stated in 1947, when the Palestine question had been discussed in Parliament, that the solution of the Palestine problem might end a chapter but, in his opinion, that would not necessarily close history. Mr. Stanley had stated that the United Kingdom had said it would not be responsible for the situation, but he was certain that it would never lose its interest in the territory of Palestine.
That remark, made as it had been by the former Colonial Secretary, was of considerable significance and shed light on the policy pursued by the United Kingdom in relation to Palestine, with the help of the United States.
After several days spent in examining the subject, the majority of the First Committee had shown a negative attitude towards the United Kingdom draft resolution. The United States delegation, in an attempt to aid the United Kingdom, had introduced a number of amendments to that resolution.
The USSR representative thought that the aim of the United States manœuvre had been to make the United Kingdom resolution more acceptable to the Committee; but its amendments had changed nothing of the substance of the United Kingdom resolution, which had still remained unacceptable to the Committee in view of the General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947. The United Kingdom and United States delegations had merely exchanged roles. The United Kingdom had introduced resolutions and the United States had proposed amendments to them; but it had been quite clear that a complex strategic manœuvre was being carried out, consisting in virtual collusion between the delegations of two of the most influential Powers in the First Committee. It had become obvious that an attempt was being made to create the impression that the United States bad been constantly improving the United Kingdom resolution and that both delegations were trying to meet the wishes of the Committee by adopting various amendments.
The resolution had been a failure. It had obtained a very small majority, despite the United States amendments. Only 25 representatives had voted for it, 21 had voted against, and there had been nine abstentions. The same document was now before the General Assembly; it should be noted that it still contained the same statements, which were entirely contrary to the General Assembly’s resolution of 29 November 1947. That resolution had, for example, envisaged an international status for Jerusalem, to be worked out by the Trusteeship Council, and that the Council should administer the Jerusalem area. The present resolution, however, recommended — for reasons of its own — that the conciliation commission should work out the status of Jerusalem. It proposed, too, that the commission should appoint a governor for the Jerusalem area. Those proposals completely ignored the General Assembly resolution which had established an entirely different procedure for establishing a status for Jerusalem and for the appointment of a governor. ‘Why had there been such a lack of respect for the Assembly’s resolution, Mr. Vyshinsky asked. Why had it been necessary to annul that resolution, particularly at a time when it concerned a question of organization to which it had provided a quite satisfactory solution? A most regrettable conclusion might be drawn.
There were several ways of undermining; there was, first, the direct method — the submission of a proposal to reject or withdraw a resolution. There was, secondly, the indirect method — and that was being attempted in the present case. That method consisted, not in openly requesting the withdrawal of the General Assembly’s resolution of 29 November 1947, but in circumventing it by the introduction of a number of new measures which, for all practical purposes, would nullify the original resolution, although the words “nullify” or “withdraw” would never be used. It was not stated openly and frankly that the whole situation needed revision, because that might give rise to serious objections. Instead, an attempt had been made to achieve the same purpose by indirect methods, by the use of resolutions and proposals which did not directly attack the General Assembly resolution but nevertheless achieved the same results.
The resolution before the Assembly provided for a conciliation commission composed of three Member States. In the First Committee the USSR delegation had stated that it was not opposed in principle to such a commission. But the commission should consist of more than three members; five might be a better number, because less pressure could be brought to bear on a commission composed of a larger number of members; a membership of five would be more likely to achieve greater objectivity. It would be an advantage if the principle of geographical distribution were applied in the selection of members. That was another argument in favour of a membership of five rather than of three. The USSR delegation was not, therefore, in favour of such a small number. A larger membership would be more desirable in order that the commission might really be a conciliation commission and be enabled to extend its conciliatory efforts to all aspects of the matter, including the General Assembly’s resolution.
The commission should consist of representatives of States which were not prejudiced against that resolution. To appoint representatives of States which were hostile to it from the outset would complicate the situation and indefinitely postpone a final settlement from the point of view of everyone, and particularly that of the Arabs and the Jews.
He wished to draw the Assembly’s attention to his doubts whether a commission composed in the manner suggested would be able to represent adequately the wishes of the majority which had been in favour of the rejection of the original resolution. The composition of that commission should, therefore, be guided by the principle of geographical distribution and it should also take into account various points of view expressed in the First Committee which had disagreed with the Mediator’s report. If those two principles were taken into account, the membership of the commission would be far more objective and its work correspondingly more successful.
The USSR delegation had proposed in the First Committee (A/C.1/401) that all foreign troops should be removed from Palestine immediately; not a single valid argument had been advanced against that proposal. Its opponents had tried to suggest that it was too simple, or too inopportune a method of dealing with the situation or that in presenting that proposal infringement was made on the authority of the Security Council. None of those arguments merited serious attention. The removal of foreign troops from Palestine would, in his view, lead to the cessation of all military occupation and would be conducive to the establishment of peace in that country.
The objections of the French delegation at the 228th meeting of the First Committee had, therefore, been particularly surprising. That delegation had stated that it was inopportune to suggest the removal of foreign troops. The argument that such a step would infringe the prestige of the Security Council had been, he believed, advanced by the representative of France, and supported by the representatives of Lebanon, the United Kingdom and several other States. Such arguments merely showed that their authors had been trying to avoid a decision which might compel the removal of foreign troops from Palestine.
Mr. Vyshinsky found it particularly curious that such objections should have come from those who, over a considerable period of time, had been endeavouring to diminish rather than increase the authority of the Security Council. They had even tried to debar the Security Council from dealing with just such questions as those which engaged its basic responsibility. They then reversed their argument and asserted that the prestige of the Security Council had to be safeguarded. It should be remembered that the Security Council was not dealing with the question of the removal of foreign troops from Palestine, and that, therefore, to suggest that the General Assembly should deal with that matter did not conflict with the Council’s authority.
It was interesting to note that 21 delegations had been against the resolution now submitted to the Assembly and that nine had abstained; that implied that 30 delegations had not approved of it. The vote on the United Kingdom resolution in the First Committee had been no accident; it had shown that a majority of Member States had refused to support the resolution because it did not accord with the General Assembly’s resolution of 29 November 1947 and because they had regarded the United Kingdom resolution as one-sided in that it presented merely the views of the United Kingdom and the United States. He believed that those two countries had hoped to pursue their own objectives in Palestine by means of such a recommendation. Their objectives had no connexion with the aims and purposes of the United Nations. That was why they had wished the General Assembly to adopt a resolution which did not really favour peace between Arabs and Jews but was, in fact, directed against the interests of both peoples.
Mr. Vyshinsky repeated that the United Kingdom resolution violated the General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947. The United Kingdom and United States delegations, however, despite constant defeats, were continually insisting on their position. The defeat which they had suffered in the First Committee had compelled them to turn to other strategic manœuvres; they had introduced other amendments. Their efforts to get that resolution through were stubborn and persistent. Specifically, it had been Mr. Hector McNeil who had appealed for the adoption of the amended part of paragraph 2, sub-paragraph (c). His appeal, however, had been somewhat strange in connexion with that sub-paragraph, because it recommended that Arabs and Jews should work with the conciliation commission and establish friendly relations between themselves — a position such as had been envisaged by the Charter.
It had, however, been proposed that the sub-paragraph should be deleted—thus implying that the necessity of establishing friendly relations on the territory of Palestine was no longer regarded as important. That was really monstrous; it was almost incredible. It could only mean an attempt to bring about an attitude of indifference to the state of hostilities which persisted between the Jews and the Arabs. The amendment, Mr. Vyshinsky believed, concealed an encouragement to hostility between the Arabs and the Jews, since it was well known that hostilities in Palestine had resulted from the policy of the United Kingdom and the United States. The United Kingdom, certainly, had had every opportunity of preventing bloodshed in Palestine; it still had that opportunity of contributing to its ending.
The deletion of the only constructive point in the resolution — paragraph 2, sub-paragraph (c) which stated that the conciliation commission should promote good relations between the State of Israel, the Arabs of Palestine and the neighbouring Arab States — shed light on the true objectives pursued by those whose interest it really was that hostilities and military action rather than peace should prevail in Palestine.
Examination of the draft resolution led to the inevitable conclusion that the efforts of the United Kingdom and the United States to solve the Palestine question were directed towards a solution favouring neither the Arabs nor the Jews, but the two Powers themselves. That was extremely characteristic.
The attitude of the USSR delegation toward the Palestine question had been extremely consistent. It favoured the freedom of peoples, and peaceful and friendly relations among nations. The USSR delegation’s position was fully in accord with the aims and purposes of the United Nations as set out in the Charter. That was precisely the reason why it still thought that the true solution of the Palestine problem could be achieved only on the basis of the General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947, which provided for equal rights and an independent existence for both peoples in Palestine.
For that reason, Mr. Vyshinsky wished to emphasize that his delegation thought that no amendments such as those presented jointly by Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France and New Zealand (A/789) — virtually amendments to the General Assembly resolution — should be adopted. Great care should be taken to see that the General Assembly resolution was further implemented because it had taken into consideration the basic interests of both the Jews and the Arabs and because it had intended that both peoples should form independent democratic States. The whole course of developments in Palestine had already confirmed the correctness of the USSR delegation’s position with regard to that country, because it was in accord with the interests of all peace-loving nations, of all progressive humanity.
In his opinion, the resolution submitted by the First Committee could only have negative results. He had already stated why he thought so. The composition of the conciliation commission and the absence of a decision to remove all foreign troops from Palestine made the resolution completely unacceptable to his delegation. He would therefore vote against it.
In order to establish peace in Palestine it was imperative that all foreign troops should be removed from both Arab and Israel territory. All military personnel, in addition to troops as such, should also be removed. The Security Council should take appropriate measures to see that military action did not flare up again in Palestine. That was the only way of solving the Palestine question; that way was not provided by the resolution before the Assembly. The only way to solve the question could be found in the General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947.
Mr. GARCÍA GRANADOS (Guatemala) said that he would raise what might appear to be a question of procedure but was in fact the crux of the resolution before the Assembly. Divested of its less important details, the resolution essentially provided for the setting up of a commission with broad powers to conciliate and mediate between the parties in Palestine and help the Governments concerned to reach a final settlement of all disputes pending between them.
The functions of that commission would, therefore, be of basic importance. It would represent the United Nations, perhaps as a plenipotentiary, since it would certainly exercise all the powers of that Organization. When an individual granted. a power of attorney, the document which he signed contained not only the terms of reference of that power but also the name or names of those upon whom it had been bestowed. If that were so in private life, it would be even more necessary to follow such a procedure in international life when the interests of whole nations and of entire groups of human beings were at stake. In the present instance, however, the Assembly had been asked to appoint a commission with, as it were, power of attorney without knowing who the members would be. That was not either legal or fair.
A variety of procedures for the appointment of that commission had been suggested, but he had found none of them satisfactory. The joint amendment requested the General Assembly to set up the commission. The proposal adopted gave that power to five Member States; the French compromise proposal gave those same States the right to propose candidates to the General Assembly. All the proposals had a common denominator that the election should be held after the proposal had been adopted. He was, however, sure that the attitude of many delegations would depend upon who would be appointed to that commission and upon whatever guarantee were provided of their impartiality and their desire and intention to be led by no idea other than that of the wishes and hopes of the peoples of the Middle East.
Mr. García Granados believed that the dispute between the Arabs and the Jews would be settled in the near future, to the benefit of both peoples.
He felt that it would be advantageous to set up a commission which would be able to carry out some agreement, but he was convinced that to set up a mediation body or conciliation commission that was not impartial and objective would jeopardize the position even more than if nothing were done at all. The experience of the past 20 months had shown that to be true.
The representative of Guatemala felt very strongly that the procedure followed in the choice of the members who were to serve on the commission would be decisive. If the Assembly were to feel that the election should be carried out before the resolution was adopted and if the members of the commission were to provide appropriate guarantees as to their aims, his delegation would vote for the proposal. If, however, it were asked to sign a blank cheque, to his great regret, he would not be able to vote in that way.
Mr. BALAGUER (Dominican Republic) pointed out that at the 182nd plenary meeting when the Assembly had been discussing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the representative of the Union of South Africa had felt it incumbent upon him to expatiate upon the merits of Mrs. Roosevelt, who had been the subject of unfair criticism and somewhat unjust allusions. The representative of the USSR had confined the greater part of his speech to criticizing the work of the late Count Bernadotte, presenting him as a mere tool of the United States and the United Kingdom. The Dominican representative wished to defend the name of the late Count Bernadotte. He wished to clear from slurs the name of a martyr who had given his life in the service of peace and to bring peace to Palestine.
The PRESIDENT said that there were before the Assembly the Committee’s report (A/776), the Belgian amendment (A/791), the joint amendments presented by seven delegations (A/789) and the French amendment to them (A/800/Rev.1), the proposal by El Salvador affecting paragraphs 7 and 8 of the resolution, a proposal by Pakistan (A/803) dealing with paragraph 8 and a proposal by Poland (A/804) to delete the word “three” and substitute the word “fives” in paragraphs 2 and 3; and a consequential amendment to the French amendment proposed by Poland (A/805).
The vote would first be taken on the joint amendment affecting the first paragraph of the preamble of the draft resolution (A/789).
The joint amendment affecting the first paragraph of the preamble was adopted by 44 votes, with 9 abstentions.
The joint amendment affecting the second paragraph of the preamble was adopted by 43 votes to 6, with 3 abstentions.
The joint amendment affecting the third paragraph was adopted by 45 votes, with 9 abstentions.
The joint amendment affecting the fourth paragraph was adopted by 42 votes, with 10 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT pointed out that the words “The General Assembly, Having considered further the situation in Palestine…” now replaced the whole of the preamble in the original text. He then put to the vote the Polish amendment (A/804).
A vote by roll-call was requested.
A vote was taken by roll-call as follows.
Liberia, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.
In favour: Poland, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yugoslavia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia.
Against: Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Siam, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon.
Abstaining Liberia, Mexico, Burma, Guatemala, India.
The Polish amendment was rejected by 47 votes to 6, with 5 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT put to the vote the joint amendment for the deletion of paragraph 2, subparagraph (c).
Greece, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.
In favour: Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Siam, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France.
Against: Guatemala, Philippines, Poland, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yugoslavia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia.
Abstaining : Mexico, Bolivia, Costa Rica.
The amendment was adopted by 46 votes to 8, with 3 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT pointed out that the Polish amendment to paragraph 3 no longer applied in view of the vote just taken.
He put to the vote the French amendment (A/800/Rev. 1) to the joint amendment affecting that paragraph, which read as follows: “Replace the words ‘delete paragraph 3’ by the following: ‘A Committee of the Assembly, consisting of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States of America shall present, before the end of the first part of the present session of the General Assembly, for the approval of the Assembly a proposal concerning the names of the three States who will constitute the Conciliation Commission’.”
The amendment was adopted by 43 votes with 11 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT put to the vote the joint amendment to paragraph 3 as amended by the French amendment.
The joint amendment to paragraph 3 was adopted by 35 votes to 6, with 5 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT pointed out that the paragraph as amended implied that the five permanent members of the Security Council would choose the three members of the conciliation commission before the end of the meeting.
He then put to the vote the joint amendment affecting paragraph 5.
The joint amendment to paragraph 5 was adopted by 44 votes with 9 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT put to the vote the Belgian amendment (A/791) to paragraph 7.
The Belgian amendment was adopted by 41 votes with 10 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT put to the vote the amendment to paragraph 7 submitted by the delegation of El Salvador (A/801).
A vote was taken by roll-call, as follows.
Poland, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.
In favour: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Lebanon, Peru.
Against: Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Yemen, Afghanistan, Burma, China, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan.
Abstaining: Poland, Siam, Sweden, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of South Africa, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Guatemala, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines.
The amendment of El Salvador was rejected by 17 votes to 11, with 29 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT put to the vote the Pakistan amendment (A/803) to paragraph 8 of the draft resolution.
The Pakistan amendment was adopted by 40 votes to 8, with 5 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT announced that in view of the defeat of a similar proposal, the representative of El Salvador had withdrawn his delegation’s amendment to paragraph 8 of the draft resolution.
He then proceeded to put to the vote the joint amendment to paragraph 10 of the draft resolution.
The joint amendment to paragraph 10 was adopted by 46 votes with 9 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT put to the vote the joint amendment to paragraph 11 of the draft resolution.
The joint amendment to paragraph 11 was adopted by 44 votes with 8 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT then put to the vote the whole draft resolution submitted by the First Committee, as amended (A/776).
India, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.
In favour : Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Siam, Sweden, Turkey, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland.
Against : Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Egypt.
Abstaining: India, Iran, Mexico, Bolivia, Burma, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala.
The draft resolution, as amended, was adopted by 35 votes to 15, with 8 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT stated that the decision of the Assembly on the resolution had been given by more than the necessary two-thirds majority. The Conciliation Commission to be established had therefore the necessary authority to carry out its important mission; the Assembly believed and hoped that success would attend its efforts and that, at last, there would be in that area not only peace, but justice.
In accordance with the resolution just adopted, it remained for the five permanent members of the Security Council to make a recommendation as to the membership of the Conciliation Commission, before the adjournment of the meeting. He suggested that representatives of the five Powers might meet immediately for that purpose.
129. Continuation of the discussion on the Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine: reports of the First Committee (A/776) and of the Fifth Committee (A/786)
AMENDMENTS PROPOSED BY AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA, COLOMBIA, FRANCE AND NEW ZEALAND (A/789) AND AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY BELGIUM (A/791) TO THE DRAFT RESOLUTION PROPOSED BY THE FIRST COMMITTEE
Mr. PARDODI (France) said that in accordance with the decision taken by the General Assembly earlier on during that meeting ,the representatives of China, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, the United States and France had held a meeting in order to submit to the General Assembly a proposal concerning the composition of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine envisaged by the resolution which had been adopted in the course of the meeting.
Mr. Parodi, who had been requested by the other members to preside over the meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council, announced that four of the representatives had agreed that the Commission should consist of France, the United States and Turkey.
The USSR representative had opposed that resolution and had asked that it should be recorded that, in his view, the Commission should consist of five members and not of three. He had also been of the opinion that the Commission should consist only of small Powers and had suggested the inclusion of Poland.
The resolution submitted to the Assembly was therefore the result of a decision taken by a majority of the representatives at the meeting.
Mr. VYSHINSKY (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) remarked that his delegation had already expressed its point of view regarding the disadvantages of such a limited composition of the Commission, and had warned the Assembly that it would complicate the Commission’s work; for that reason it had proposed that there should be five members. It had, however, taken into account the considerations put forward by the other four permanent members, but had nevertheless felt that steps should be taken to select a commission which would ensure the implementation of the resolution of November 1947. It had disagreed with the formula proposed by the Rapporteur because it felt that the Conciliation Commission should not consist mainly of representatives of two of the great Powers, but that smaller countries should also be represented — for example, Poland, a country of Eastern Europe, which would be able to present an impartial and objective point of view. The majority of the permanent members however, had prejudged the question and had rejected the suggestion of the USSR.
Mr. GARCÍA GRANADOS (Guatemala) stated that the delegation of Guatemala would have preferred a commission consisting of members representing the various geographical regions of the world; in particular, it would have liked a Latin-American country to be included. It did not consider that the Commission, as now proposed, would guarantee impartiality. A country had been included with which Guatemala was on the best of terms, but which it nevertheless regarded as the standard-bearer of a certain tendency, namely, Turkey, whose presence might impart a certain bias.
He proposed as an amendment to the resolution that the Commission should be composed of France, the United States of America and Colombia. Colombia was a neutral country, a Latin-American country, and one which had shown no preference for either party. It had abstained from voting on the resolution of 29 November 1947, and had shown absolute impartiality in the matter.
Mr. URDANETA ARBELAEZ(Colombia) thanked the delegation of Guatemala for the proposal that his country should be represented on the Conciliation Commission. The Colombian delegation would have gladly given its services with the greatest impartiality and with the sole purpose of conciliation. It had voted for the part of the resolution which proposed setting up a commission of five members. It had, however, accepted the decision of the majority, as it had always done in the Councils and other organs of the United Nations. Colombia considered that the acceptance of the opinion of the majority was a democratic formula which had to be observed, and it had always followed that principle in its internal and international policy. For that reason it was unable to accept the candidature for membership of the Commission.
The PRESIDENT pointed out that since the Assembly had decided on a Commission of three, on the recommendation of a committee of the five permanent members, no amendment could be put forward. He hoped that the proposed membership could be accepted without a division; at the request of Mr. VYSHINSKY (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) he stated however that a vote would be taken by show of hands.
The Committee’s recommendation was adopted by 40 votes to 7, with 4 abstentions.