Working draft of First Monthly Report
to the Security Council
REVISED NEW SECTION 13 COMBINING
FORMER SECTIONS 10 AND 14
a. The information given to the Commission by the representative of the Mandatory Power and the representatives of the Jewish Agency for PALESTINE coincided in substance on the following points:
(ii) the steady deterioration in the security position;
(iii) the increasing deterioration in the civil administration.
WORKING DRAFT OF FIRST MONTHLY PROGRESS REPORT
TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL
(Draft Prepared by the Secretariat)
1. Establishment of the Commission
The resolution on the future Government of Palestine, as adopted by the General Assembly at its one hundred twenty-eighth meeting on 29 November 1947, provided, in paragraph 1, Section B Part I, that “A Commission shall be let up consisting of one representative of each of five Member States”. This Commission was charged with direct responsibility for implementing the measures recommended by the General Assembly.
2. Members of the Commission
The General Assembly elected the following Member States to the Commission, and their representatives on the Commission were subsequently designated as indicated:
3. Meetings of the Commission
a. The Commission assembled for its first meeting at the interim headquarters of the United Nations at Lake Success on Friday, 9 January 1948, at 11 a.m. It was welcomed at the headquarters by the Secretary-General of the United Nations who stated; inter alia:
“I am under no illusions… In the interest of peace, security and the United Nations I wish you full success. I pledge to you every resource at my disposal to that end.”
In view of the fact that the Commission is essentially an executive rather than a deliberative body, and that it must undertake delicate negotiations with the interested parties, often involving information of the most to confidential character, all of its meeting other than the first have been held in private. Press communiques and verbal briefings have been given after each private meeting, however, and the Commission itself has met once with the press.
4. Officers of the Commission
At its first meeting the Commission elected the following officers:
5. Provisional Rules of Procedure
In the course of its fifth and sixth meetings on 14 January 1948 the Commission provisionally approved forty-one rules by which its procedure is governed. These provisional rules are largely simplified and adapted versions of the rules of the General Assembly, taking into account the limited membership of the Commission and the executive character of its functions. The Commission will revise its rules as and when necessary, in the light of experience.
6. Resolutions on Invitations to Interested Parties
a. The Commission, at its first meeting, adopted the following resolution:
That the Secretary-General of the United Nations, on behalf of the Commission, promptly extend to the Mandatory Power in Palestine, an invitation to designate such representatives as it may determine, who shall be available to the Commission for such authoritative information and other assistance as the Commission may require in the discharge of its functions under the Resolution of the General Assembly on the Palestine Question. Similar invitations shall be extended for the same purpose to the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency.
TODAY WE RECEIVED FROM HEAD OF PALESTINE ARAB HIGHER COMMITTEE, “ARAB HIGHER COMMITTEE IS DETERMINED PERSIST IN REJECTION PARTITION AND IN REFUSAL RECOGNIZE UNO RESOLUTION THIS RESPECT AND ANYTHING DERIVING THEREFROM. ‘FOR THESE REASONS IT IS UNABLE ACCEPT INVITATION
7. Tasks Confronting the Commission in the Implementation of the Resolution of the General Assembly
a. The Commission in this preliminary stage of its work has undertaken a thorough and detailed examination of the provisions of the General Assembly’s resolution with particular reference to its implications and the tasks involved in implementing its recommendations. The Commission is soberly impressed by the enormity of the responsibility entrusted to it and harbors no illusions concerning the formidable obstacles it must surmount.
b. Among the major tasks involved in giving effect to the Assembly’s recommendations are the following:
(ii) delimitation of frontiers of the Arab and Jewish States and the City of Jerusalem;
(iii) exercise of political and military control over the armed militia in each of the projected States, including selection of the high command;
(iv) maintaining public order in the transitional period following the termination of the Mandate;
(v) the preparatory work in connection with the establishment of the Economic Union, including the creation of the Preparatory Economic Commission and the maintenance of essential economic services in the transitional period;
(vi) negotiations on the allocation and distribution of assets;
(vii) maintenance of adequate standards of public health and education following the termination of the Mandate;
(viii) preparation for the application of the United Nations Statute to the City of Jerusalem.;
(ix) protection of Holy Places.
8. Significant Dates in Connection with the Implementation of the Assembly’s Resolution.
In connection with the Assembly’s resolution the following dates are particularly significant to the work of the Commission.
1 April. 1948: By this date the Commission, following consultation with democratic parties and other public organizations, shall have selected and established in the Arab and Jewish States Provisional Councils of Government, or failing to have established them in either of the two state or finding that they cannot carry out their functions, the Commission must communicate this fact to the Security Council, (Paragraph 4, Section B, Part I of the Resolution)
By this same date, if the Provisional Councils of Government have not entered into the undertaking with respect to Economic Union and Transit, “the Undertaking shall be put into force by the Commission. (Paragraph 1, Section D, Part I of the Resolution)
29 April 1948: Ultimate date for approval by the Trusteeship Council of the detailed statute for the City of Jerusalem. (Section C of Part III of the Resolution)
15 May 1948: Date officially communicated to the Commission by the representative of the United Kingdom Government as the ultimate date on which the Mandatory Power will terminate the Mandate and transfer administrative authority in Palestine to the Commission.
1 August 1948: Ultimate date for termination of the Mandate
for the complete withdrawal from Palestine of the armed forces of the Mandatory Power. (Paragraphs 1 and 2, Section A, Part I of the Resolution)
1 October 1948: Ultimate date for the establishment of independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem. (Paragraph 3, Section A, Part I of the Resolution) Prior to 1 October, therefore, the Commission is obligated to exert every possible effort to bring about the following:
(2) the making of the required Declaration to the United Nations by the Provisional Government of each proposed State before Independence (Paragraph 1, Section C, Part I of the Resolution).
A. Sir Alexander Cadogan, the representative designated by the Mandatory Power in response to the Commission’s invitation, has appeared before the Commission at its sixth and sixteenth meetings. At the sixth meeting he presented a general statement on the policy of his Government with regard to the Assembly’s Resolution, and gave the Commission a brief review of the current situation in Palestine. At the sixteenth meeting he devoted himself to answers to the questions on immigration submitted to him by the Commission (see Section 13 of this report), a statement on Security in Palestine, and an enumeration of matters which his Government will wish to discuss with the Commission.
B. In his review of the current situation in Palestine, Sir Alexander stated that the Arabs had made it clear that “they proposed to resist with all the forces at their disposal the implementation of the partition plan”. Since the first week in December the situation in Palestine has deteriorated rapidly. Violent conflict between the two communities intensifies; courts and essential governmental services were either unable to operate or were seriously crippled; there is but one month’s supply of certain types of fuel oil in the country; there is general insecurity; communications are obstructed; the collection of public revenue is expected to drop sharply. Sir Alexander described the situation as one in which “generally speaking, there has been a very severe diminution in the functions and authority of Civil Government, and in view of recent developments, it would be optimistic to hope for any improvement in the future.”
C. In the course of these two consultations, Sir Alexander gave the following information of especial significance to the implementation of the Assembly’s recommendations by the Commission:
(ii) The United Kingdom Government has decided “to lay down the Mandate and terminate the Mandatory Administration at the latest on 15 May 1948, or earlier, if the necessary arrangements can be completed in time.”
(iii) The United Kingdom Government regards it “as essential that, so long as the Mandatory regime is retained, they must retain undivided control over the whole of Palestine. On the appointed day that is, 15 May — their responsibility for the Government of Palestine will be relinquished as a whole. They cannot agree to relinquish it piecemeal. They are, however, prepared to agree to the Commission’s arrival in Palestine shortly before the Mandate is terminated, in order that there may be an overlap of say, a fortnight, during which the Commission can take up its responsibilities.”
(iv) The United Kingdom cannot alone implement any plan not accepted by both sides, i.e., Arabs and Jews. Participation by the United Kingdom in any implementation of any plan for Palestine mould depend “on the inherent justice of the plan and the degree of force requisite for its implementation.”
a. Point C(iii) of the statements by Sir Alexander set forth in the preceding section has obviously vital implications with regard to the provisions of the Assembly’s resolution and the work of the Commission. The Resolution (Paragraph 2, Section B, Part I) provides that the “administration of Palestine shall, as the Mandatory Power withdraws its armed forces, be progressively turned over to the Commission, ‘‘The Mandatory Power shall to the fullest possible extent coordinate its plans for withdrawal with the plans of the Commission to take over and administer areas which have been evacuated.”
b. The position of the Mandatory Power, as notified to the Commission by Sir Alexander, to the effect that authority over Palestine as a whole, not piece-meal, will be transferred to the Commission on the date of termination of the Mandate, would obviously make it impossible for the Commission to fulfill paragraph 2, Section b, Part I of the Resolution as intended by the General Assembly. Under the announced policy of the Mandatory Government, there could be no progressive assumption of authority in Palestine by the Commission, irrespective of the time-table for the withdrawal of British armed forces. This matter will be the subject of further discussion with the Mandatory Power.
11. Consultation with the Representative of the Jewish Agency Palestine.
Mr. Moshe Shertok, the representative designated by the Jewish Agency for Palestine in response to the Commission’s invitation, appeared before the Commission at its eighth meeting on 15 January 1948. Mr. Shertok, who had just returned from Palestine, gave the Commission a graphic description of current conditions in Palestine. In connection with the Assembly’s Resolution, Mr. Shertok stressed the following points:
b. The Jewish Agency for Palestine on behalf of the Jewish people will cooperate in the implementation of the Assembly’s recommendations.
c. In his view, there is a widespread readiness among the Arab population to acquiesce in the Assembly’s decision.
d. The paramount question in the minds of people in Palestine today is that of public security; Palestine Jews are inadequately protected by the British.
e. The establishment of an international force for Palestine is highly essential.
f. The Jewish State will require and is entitled to obtain international assistance in the arming and equipment of its militia during the transitional period.
g. Jewish immigration is the crux of the Palestine problem and the date of 1 February, as the first date in the Assembly’s Resolution, is of crucial importance.
a. the Commission noted that both the representative of the Mandatory Power and the representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine gave to the Commission similar reports as regards:
c. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke of the United Kingdom delegation elaborated on the above by further informing the Commission that
13. Questions Put to the Mandatory Power
a. As of 19 January 1948, the Commission had handed to Sir Alexander Cadogan thirty written questions to which answers were desired true the Mandatory Power. Those questions dealt with three basic problems, viz.,
(ii) immigration, with special reference to paragraph 2, Section A, Part I of the resolution, the quota policy, and Jewish immigrants detained at Cyprus; and
(iii) the Commission’s discharge of its administrative responsibilities, involving plans for the transfer of administrative authority to the Commission.
Response: “…it is my Government’s intention to maintain its present policy in regard to Jewish immigration into Palestine, under which 1,500 Jews are admitted monthly, until the termination of is the Mandatory Administration.”
(ii) Question: ‘What are the plans of the Mandatory Power with regard to the recommendation in paragraph 2, Section A. or Part I of the Assembly’s resolution which reads as follows:
“The Mandatory Power shall use its best endeavours to ensure that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated at the earliest possible date and In any event not later than 1 February 1948.”
Response: His Majesty’s Government have repeatedly made it clear that, so long as a mandatory regime is maintained, they must retain undivided control over the whole of Palestine. For this reason, it is not possible for my Government to comply with the recommendation concerning the evacuation of a Jewish port and hinterland, no long as the Mandate continues.”
Response: “...yes, in accordance with my Government’s decision that the existing immigration policy in to be maintained until the termination of the Mandate.”
(iv) Question: “Does the Mandatory Power intend to transfer all Jewish immigrants presently detained in Cyprus to Palestine? If so, when and under what conditions? (Within the existing quota or otherwise? If within the quota, in what proportion?)”
Response: “His Majesty’s Government have already announced that they cannot permit Jewish illegal immigrants to remain on British territory after the withdrawal of their forces from Palestine. The arrangements for the removal of the illegal immigrants held in Cyprus are among the responsibilities which have hitherto fallen on the Government of Palestine and form one of the subjects on which my delegation is instructed to negotiate with the Commission. My Government will be willing to release from detention the ships PAN YORK and PAN CRESCENT for the purpose of their removal, concerning which the Commission may wish to negotiate with the Jewish Agency; that is to say, in regard to the use of the ships.”
c. In connection with question (ii) on immigration, the Commission observes that the provision of the Assembly’s resolution regarding the evacuation of an area for purposes of Jewish immigration (paragraph 2, Section A, Part I) is addressed directly to the Mandatory Power and has noted carefully the statement of the United Kingdom Government on the matter.
d. Response to the questions on security and the discharge of the Commission’s administrative responsibilities have not been received from the Mandatory Power as of this date.
a. The Commission has made a preliminary study of the economic problems involved in the Implementation of the Assembly’s resolution. It has provided for the Preparatory Economic Commission of three members envisaged in paragraph 11, Section B, Part I, of the resolution.
The Commission has also outlined a number of economic problems, including the setting up of the customs union, currency questions, and transport and communications, to be referred to the Preparatory Economic Commission which will draw up the necessary plans upon which action is to be taken.
b. The problem of the allocation and liquidation of the assets of the Palestine Administration is under consideration and the Mandatory Power has been requested to furnish the Commission with the necessary inventories. The Mandatory Power has also been requested to make its proposals for consultation with the Commission on this question as required by paragraph 2, Section E, Part I of the resolution.
c. The policy of the Commission regarding these and other important economic questions is progressing towards a more complete definition on the basis of which extensive negotiations will be opened with the Mandatory Power. The most urgent of these problems concern the maintenance of continuity of fiscal arrangements, the negotiation of contracts to ensure adequate food imports after the termination of the Mandate, the problem of communications services in the period after the termination of the Mandate until the completion of the evacuation of the military forces of the Mandatory Power, and currency problems.
15. Security Considerations
Taking into account all information thus far available to it, the Commission is devoting most serious attention to the various aspects of the security problems, with particular reference to the possible need for an international force in the implementation of the recommendations of the General Assembly. This matter, in due course, will be the subject of a special report to the Security Council and is not dealt with in this first Monthly Report.
16. General Conclusions
This first Monthly Report to the Security Council covers what is in effect the preliminary and exploratory stage of the Commission’s work. In this stage the Commission has gained a working knowledge of the problem and a clear conception of the nature of the difficult tasks confronting it. The second stage of the Commission’s work will be devoted to negotiations with the Mandatory Power, and with representatives of the Jewish, and if at all possible, the Arab Communities in Palestine over the detailed matters involved in the implementation of the Assembly’s recommendations.
b. In view of the time-limits fixed in be resolution, and the nature of the tasks to be performed, the time available to the Commission, even under the most favourable circumstances, is extremely short. The Commission is acutely conscious of the imminence of 1 April 1948, by which date the Provisional Councils of Government are to be selected, established and functioning adequately. In this regard, the Commission recognizes the dilemma created by the position taken by the Mandatory Power that the Commission should not come to Palestine until approximately a fortnight before the termination of the Mandate, that is, 1 May 1948, if the Mandate is to be terminated on 15 May as presently indicated.
c, There is much preparatory work which the Commission may undertake at the headquarters, but the full implementation of the Assembly’s recommendations requires the presence of the Commission in Palestine considerably in advance of the transfer of authority from the Mandatory Power to the Commission. The delimitation of boundaries, to undertake which the Commission envisages the establishment of an expert boundaries commission, preparations to ensure continuity in this maintenance of essential public services; the selection of Provisional Councils of Government and their activation; the creation of armed militias; and negotiations with regard to Economic Union, can be effectively undertaken only when the Commission is present in Palestine.
d. In view of the complicated and often highly technical nature of the problems incident to the implementation of the resolution, and the limited time at the disposal of the Commission before the termination of the Mandate, it goes without saying that the attitude of the Mandatory Power is of the most vital importance. The cooperation and utmost goodwill of the Mandatory Power will be essential to a reasonably smooth transfer of authority to the Commission.
c. The Commission proposes to prepare its plans carefully and thoroughly and to be guided in its negotiations with the several interested parties by the clear objectives of the recommendations of the Assembly. The Commission is motivated by a deep sense of its duty to the United Nations, which overrides all other considerations. It has a solemn appreciation of the tremendous responsibility entrusted to it and of the vast significance of the issues confronting it. It will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to give full effect to the will of the General Assembly.
f. The Commission perceives no objection to this report being made public.
Dr. Karel Lisicky (Czechoslovakia), CHAIRMAN
Mr. Raul Diez de Medina (Bolivia) VICE CHAIRMAN
Mr. Per Federspiel (Denmark)
Dr. Eduardo Morgan (Panama)
Senator Vincente J. Francisco (Philippines)
26 January 1948
Lake Success, New York
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