Lake Success, New York,
Friday, 16 January 1948, at 3.00 p.m.
CONTINUATION OF THE DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING THE PREPARATION OF A LIST OF QUESTIONS TO BE PUT TO THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM GOVERNMENT.
The CHAIRMAN remarked that as the four questions concerning immigration were in their final form, they could be forwarded to the representative of the United Kingdom Government at once, together with a request for a preliminary statement of the problems which that Government intended to put before the Commission. This suggestion was accepted by the Commission.
The Commission then continued its examination of Section III of the list of questions prepared by the Secretariat; dealing with the Commission’s discharge of its administrative responsibilities.
Draft question 11 was approved in an amended form, the words “as stated by Mr. Creech Jones” being replaced by the words “without any reservations”. Draft question 11 was modified to read as follows:
(a) maintaining public services,
(b) civil administration?”
A proposed new question concerning the transfer of the Palestine police force and its equipment was deleted, as the subject was already covered in another question provisionally approved by the Commission.
A second proposed new question concerning movable assets was approved without amendment, as follows:
‘During the period between the appointment of the United Nations Commission and the termination of the Mandate, the Mandatory Power shall, except in respect of ordinary operations, consult with the Commission on any measure which it may contemplate involving the liquidation, disposal or encumbering of the assets of the Palestine Government, such as the accumulated treasury surplus the proceeds of Government bond issues, State lands or any other asset’.
Has the United Kingdom Government any proposals as to the method to be followed for such consultations and as to the date of starting such consultations?”
Draft question 21 was approved, without amendment, as follows:
Draft question 24 was approved, without amendment, as follows:
The senior public relations officer read an informal working paper containing thirteen specific questions on public information.
After a brief discussion, the following general question on the subject of public information was approved:
DISCUSSION OF THE RECRUITMENT BY THE PROVISIONAL COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENT OF ARMED MILITIAS AND OPERATIONS OF THE LATTER UNDER CONTROL OF THE COMMISSION (document A/AC.21/W.9).
The Secretary read the working paper on the subject of militias (document A/AC.21/W.9) prepared by the Secretariat.
It was pointed out that with reference to the fact that, under the General Assembly’s resolution, an armed militia was to be recruited “from the residents” of each State, it would be possible for Arabs to join the militia of the Jewish State, and thus acquire arms and equipment.
The CHAIRMAN remarked that the problem concerned the Provisional Council of Government. In reply to a question, he stated that in the event an Arab State could not be established, the situation would have to be brought by the Commission to the notice of the Security Council. He suggested to the Commission that relations between the Hagana and other organizations such as the Irgun Zvai Leumi were the concern, not of the Commission, but of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
The opinion was expressed that, should the impossibility of establishing one State cause the matter to be referred to the Security Council, it would still be within the Commission’s competence to set up provisional government in the other State. It was also urged that the Arab Higher Committee should be informed by the Commission of each step taken to implement the decision of the General Assembly.
The CHAIRMAN informed the Commission that no reply had yet been received by the Arab Higher Committee to the telegram sent by the Secretary-General on 9 January 1948, pursuant to the Resolution adopted by the Commission at its first meeting. He suggested that a further communication, in the form of a registered letter, incorporating the first telegram, should be addressed to the Arab Higher Committee.
This proposal was approved without objection.
The CHAIRMAN called attention to several points in the Secretariat working paper on militias which required careful consideration. They were: preparation of detailed plans regarding recruitment, organization, composition, armament, equipment and control of the militia; temporary provision for the security of the city of Jerusalem; the role of the Commission in determining the over-all size and organization of the militia; possibilities of acquiring arms and equipment; and the financing of the acquisition of arms and of the maintenance of the militia.
The meeting rose at 5.30 p.m.
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