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U N I T E D N A T I O N S

General Assembly
Distr.


A/AC.21/R/1
26 January 1948




UNITED NATIONS PALESTINE COMMISSION

Working draft of First Monthly Report
to the Security Council

REVISED NEW SECTION 13 COMBINING

FORMER SECTIONS 10 AND 14


13. Security Considerations

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:

b. All information thus far available to Commission leads to the conclusion that the situation in Palestine as regards both security and civil authority is more likely to worsen than to improve. The Commission envisages the possibility of a collapse of security and administrative services on the termination of the Mandate unless adequate means are made available to the Commission for the exercise of its authority. Therefore, the Commission is devoting most serious attention to the various aspects of the security problem, with particular reference to the possible need for an international force in the implementation of the recommendations of the General Assembly. This matter has not been dealt with in this first Monthly Report, but will be the subject of P special report to the Security Council.




26 January 1948
UNITED NATIONS PALESTINE COMMISSION


WORKING DRAFT OF FIRST MONTHLY PROGRESS REPORT
TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL

(Draft Prepared by the Secretariat)


The United Nations Palestine Commission herewith renders to the Security Council its first monthly Progress Report as provided for in paragraph 13, Section B, Part I of the resolution of the General Assembly on the Future Government of Palestine (document A/516).

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:
BoliviaMr. Raul Diez de Medina
CzechoslovakiaDr. Karel Lisicky
DenmarkMr. Per Federspiel
PanamaDr. Eduardo Morgan
PhilippinesSenator Vicente J. Francisco

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:

b. The Commission has held 19 meetings to date.

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:
Dr. Karel Lisicky(Czechoslovakia)Chairman
Mr. Raul Diez de Medina (Bolivia)Vice Chairman

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:

b. The text of this resolution was communicated by the Secretayr-General on 9 January to the Government of the United Kingdom, as the Mandatory Power, to the Arab Higher Committee, and to the Jewish Agency for Palestine. The invitation extended by the resolution was promptly accepted by the Government of the United Kingdom and by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, both of which designated representatives to assist the Commission. As regards the Arab Higher Committee, however, the following telegram was received by the Secretary-General on 19 January No further communication has been addressed tom, ex received from the Arab Higher Committee by the Commission.

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:

c. The Commission is devoting detailed attention to ways and means of coping with each of the major tasks set forth in the preceding paragraph and the myriad problems related thereto. In its preliminary approach to these tasks and problems the Commission has been assisted by a series of working papers prepared by the Secretariat. The following titles of these papers will adequately indicate the wide range of matters to which the Commission has thus far directed its attention:

A/AC.20.W.1Check List of Certain Tasks Incident to the Implementation of the Resolution of the General Assembly on Palestine.
A/AC.21/W.2Termination of the Mandate, withdrawal of British Forces.
A/AC.21/W.3Relations between the Mandatory Power and the Commission.
A/AC.21/W,4Establishment by the Commission of the Frontiers of the Arab and Jewish States and the City of Jerusalem.
A/AC.21/W.5Establishment by the Commission of Arab and Jewish Councils of Government.
A/AC.21/W.6Relations with the Provisional Councils and Establishment by the latter of Administrative Organs of Government.
A/AC.21/W.7Control of Immigration
A/AC.21/W.8Control of Land Regulations
A/AC.21/W.9Recruitment by the Provisional Councils of Government of Armed Militias and Operations of the latter under Control of the Commission.
A/AC.21/W.10Elections of the Constituent Assemblies to be held by the Provisional Councils of Government on the basis of Election Regulations approved by the Commission.
A/AC.21/W.11Drafting of Democratic Constitutions, Declarations and Choice of Provisional Governments by the Constituent Assemblies
A/AC.21/W.12Relations between the Commission and the Security Council
A/AC.21/W.13Economic Aspects of the Commission’s Work.
A/AC.21/W.14Draft Rules of Procedure.
A/AC.21/W.15Provisional Rules of Procedure
A/AC.21/W.16Questions Approved by the Commission for submission to the Government of the United Kingdom.
A/AC.21/W.17The City of Jerusalem.
A/AC.21/W.18Precedents concerning the Creation of an International Force.
A/AC.21/W.19Allocation and liquidation of assets.
A/AC.21/W.20Supplement to A/AC.21/W.19: Assets: Liquid Assets and Liabilities of the Government of Palestine.
A/AC.21/W.21Questions of the applicability of the Financial Provisions of Paragraph 3 of Chapter 3 of Pert I C to the City of Jerusalem.

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.

9. Consultations with the Representative of the Mandatory Power.

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:

10. Implications of Sir Alexander’s Statements With Regard to the Provisions of the Assembly’s Resolution.

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:

12. Conclusions Concerning the Current Situation in Palestine

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:

b. The representative of the Mandatory Power informed the Commission at its sixteenth meeting “in the present circumstances the Jewish story that the Arabs are the attackers and the Jews the attacked is not tenable. The Arabs are determined to show that they will not submit tamely to the United Nations Plan of Partition; while the Jews are trying to consolidate the advantages gained at the General Assembly by a succession of drastic operations designed to intimidate and cure the Arabs of any desire for further conflict. Elements on each side are than engaged in attacking or in taking reprisals indistinguishable from attacks... The Government of Palestine fear that strife in Palestine will be greatly intensified when the Mandate is terminated and that the international status of the United Nations Commission will mean little or nothing to the Arabs in Palestine, to whom the killing of Jews now transcends all other considerations. Thus, the Commission will be faced with the problem of how to avert certain bloodshed on a very much wider scale than prevails at present.

c. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke of the United Kingdom delegation elaborated on the above by further informing the Commission that

d. All information thus far available to the Commission leads to the conclusion that the situation in Palestine as regards both security and civil authority is more likely to worsen than to improve. The deduction seems warranted that the prospects are very great that the country will be on the verge of utter chaos as regards both security and administrative services at the time the Mandatory Power proposes to transfer authority to the Commission on the termination of the Mandate.

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.,

b. At its sixteenth meeting, Sir Alexander Cadogan presented to the Commission the following responses of his Government to the four questions on immigration: In addition to the above quoted formal responses to this question, Sir Alexander Cadogan, in reply to further questioning by the Members of the Commission, affirmed that the interpretation to be given to this response in that the Government of the United Kingdom, after a thorough study of the question see the light of the current security situation in Palestine, may be said to have used its “best endeavours” but is unable to comply with the recommendation, primarily for reasons of security. The date of 1 February, he added, although the first date mentioned in the Resolution, is “on a rather different basis from the other dates”, since this date is “only a recommendation to the Mandatory Power, and in rather outside the power of the United Nations”. 14. Economic Matters

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.


Signed:
___________________________________

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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