The Chairman, Dr. R. V. Evatt (Australia), called the meeting to order at 3.15 p.m. and declared open the general discussion on the question of Palestine, the UNSCOP Report and the proposal of Saudi Arabia and of Iraq for termination the Mandate over Palestine and recognition of its independence as one State.
The first speaker, Mr. Karel Lisicky (Czechoslovakia), observed that after hearing the representatives of the Arabs and Jews of Palestine, the United Nations do not seem to be much nearer to their goal than before. The uncompromising stand of the Arab Higher Committee, he said, does not facilitate the handling the problem by the United Nations.
The majority and minority Reports of the UNSCOP, said Mr. Lisicky, have one substantial thing in common: either one needs to be enforced with the assistance a third party.
The majority Report, said Mr. Lisicky, presupposes that the Mandatory Power will be willing to undertake the charge of enforcing the proposed scheme. However, said Mr. Lisicky, the recent statement by the representative of the United Kingdom to the effect that his Government would be ready to enforce only such a solution as would be accepted by both the Arabs and Jews of Palestine, has changed the situation. Is the Committee, therefore, Mr. Lisicky asked, to start considering the Report of the UNSCOP as if the United Kingdom Government had not made the above mentioned statement? There may be, said. Mr. Lisicky, “some other great Power or Powers which could be persuaded to take charge, alone or in a group, of enforcing a solution which would be duly affirmed by the General Assembly. All the same, added Mr. Lisicky, it might be envisaged that the present administrating power could be induced to accept the task of enforcing the solution approved by the Assembly on condition that its responsibilities will be shared by somebody else. The instituting of an international force depending directly upon the UN could also envisaged, added Mr. Lisicky
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Mr. Lisicky was followed by Mr. Camille Chamoun (Lebanon) who dwelt at length on the history of Palestine since the Arab conquest, and on the [?] movement of independence during and after the first World War, as well as the promises given to them by the British and French Governments.
Mr. Chamoun then recalled the work of the Peel Commission in1937, and he [?] from the White Paper of the government of the United Kingdom to the effect [?] Jewish immigration in Palestine should be stopped if it threatened to have favorable consequences on the economic or political situation of the country.
The Arab countries, said Mr. Chamoun, are the first to sympathize with the sufferings of the Jews of Europe, but this, he said, represents a humanitarian problem which is the concern of all countries, But, he added, there is also a political aspect, namely Zionism, which aims at dominating a territory which is its own, and a people which has no connection with the sufferings of the Jews.
Mr. Chamoun then passed to the attitude of the Arabs towards the question of Palestine and the Report of the UNSCOP. Mr. Chamoun declared that the Palestine problem can only be solved in accordance with the following three principles: the right of peoples freely to decide their own future; the need for democratic governments to draw their support from the free choice of the population; and [?] states should not be created on a religion or radial basis.
Mr. Chamoun did not agree with the tribute paid to the work of the Jewish colonists, which, he said, had been achieved thanks to the large scale financial assistance obtained from abroad, and to the protection of the Palestine government. At any rate, said Mr. Chamoun, technical superiority cannot become an excuse for the subjugation of a less advanced people.
Mr. Chamoun also insisted that the Balfour Declaration envisaged the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine, but not the setting up of all Palestine as a Jewish National Home. Still less, said Mr. Chamoun, did the Balfour Declaration envisage the creation of a Jewish State.
Mr. Chamoun fully associated himself with the statement of the representative of the Arab Higher Committee, and declared that the Arabs were prepared to grant to the Jews of Palestine all democratic rights.
The Committee adjourned at 4.15 p.m. and will reconvene Monday, 6 October, at 11.00 a.m., when it will resume general discussion on the Palestine question.
(END OF TAKE #3 AND OF PRESS RELEASE GA/PAL/5)
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LEBANESE SPEAKERS DISCUSS UNSCOP REPORT AND ARAB PROPOSALS
A general discussion was opened on all three inter-connected items on its agenda, namely: the question of Palestine, submitted by the United Kingdom, the Report submitted by the UNSCOP, and the proposal of Saudi Arabia and Iraq for termination of the Mandate over Palestine and recognition of its independence as one State. Due consideration will be given by the Committee to proposals put forward by any other delegation.
The first speaker was Mr. Karel Lisicky (Czechoslovakia) who declared a new situation had been created by the recent statement of the United Kingdom representative to the effect that his government would be prepared to enforce only such a solution as would be accepted by both the Arabs and Jews of Palestine. Such a prospect, said Mr. Lisicky, being very dim at present, the Committee should decide whether to proceed with its work without taking into consideration the statement of the United Kingdom government, or take it into consideration and envisage the case when some other Power or group of Powers could be persuaded to enforce a solution approved by the Assembly.
The second end last speaker, Mr. Camille Chamoun, (Lebanon), recalled some of the main events in the history of Palestine since the Arab conquest, and quoted the promises made to the Arabs by the British and French governments during the, First World War.
Mr. Chemoun stressed that while sympathizing with the sufferings of the Jews of Europe, the Arabs of Palestine cannot acquiesce to foreign domination of their country.
Rejecting the Report of the UNSCOP, Mr. Chamoun declared that only a solution based on a free decision of the people of Palestine would be acceptable, He than criticized the territorial clauses in the partition plan. In conclusion, he said the Arabs were prepared to grant to the Jews of Palestine all the rights to which a citizen is entitled in a democratic country.
The Committee will reconvene next Monday, 6 October, at 11.00 a.m,