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Source: General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question
21 October 1947

UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York
Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine
19th Meeting
(PM) SUMMARY
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947
THREE PALESTINE SUBCOMMITTEES CREATED

The Committee, which last Saturday ended its general discussion on the Palestine Question as a whole, this afternoon began consideration of the various specific proposals submitted by a number of Delegations, and the best procedural method of dealing with these.

After a lengthy debate, the Committee agreed, to set up three Sub-Committees as follows:

A Soviet proposal that only one subcommittee be set up which should take the Majority plan or the UNSCOP Report as the basis of its work, was rejected by 26 votes to 14.

The full Committee on the Palestinian Question will reconvene tomorrow, Wednesday, 22 October, at 11 a.m.


# # #

(A chronological account of today’s meeting is given in Takes #1 through #8, which follow this summary.)


UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
19th Meeting
(PM) TAKE #1
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947



AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - (PM) TAKE #1


The Chairmen, Dr. Herbert V. Evatt (Australia) called the meeting to order shortly before 3.15 p.m. and opened the discussion on the proposals submitted by various Delegations the course of the general debate.

Before the discussion began, the Secretary of the Committee, Dr. Alfonso Garcia Robles, read a statement by the Secretary-General regarding a complaint made at an earlier meeting by the Emir Arslan of Syria against errors in Annex B of the UNSCOP Report. Emir Arslan had then suggested that the errors were based on reasons which did not “leave much room for confidence.”

The Secretary-General’s statement mentioned he had asked for more details in order that an investigation be made if it should be required.

Mr. Trygve Lie concluded his statement as follows:

The Chairman, Dr. Evatt, then pointed out that of the proposals submitted to the Committee, some dealt with the Palestine question as a whole, and others with special aspects of the question.

He added that from the statements made during the general discussion, there was some form of support for the majority plan of UNSCOP by quite a substantial number of Delegations.

Dr. Evatt then took up the proposal submitted by the Delegation of El Salvador (Doc. A/AC/14/3).

This proposal calls upon the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee, as representatives of the population of Palestine, to appoint three representatives each to meet in conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, in order to make every possible effort to find common grounds of agreement in regard to the future of Palestine.”

The proposal also asks the joint conference to report to the General Assembly at its present session the results of their meeting and that the recommendations or suggestions to be made in the report of the conference should contain adequate safeguards for the Christian, the Islamic and the Jewish religious interacts in Palestine.”

Dr. Evatt suggested the creation of a Sub-Committee of conciliation to reconcile divergent views and reduced the area of disagreement.

This sub-committee, said Dr. Evatt, would work right to the end of the Committee’s tasks.

Dr. Evatt then took up the proposal submitted jointly by the U.S.A. and Swedish Delegations which suggests that “the basic Principles of the unanimous recommendations and majority plan of the UNSCOP as the basis for its recommendations concerning the future of Palestine be adopted.”

Dr. Evatt suggested that a second sub-committee be greated to prepare a text based on the Majority Report but which would take in consideration the reservations made by some Delegations which support the Majority Report.

The Committee, said Dr. Evatt, would then be in a position to discuss fully a plan on which a larger measure of agreement exists between the supporters of the Majority Plan.


(END OF TAKE #1)



UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
19th Meeting
(PM) TAKE #2
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947



AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - (PM) TAKE #2


The Representative of Colombia, Mr. A. Gonzalez-Fernandez concurred with Dr. Evatt’s idea of appointing several sub-committees.

He said his own proposal to have the groups refrain from acts of violence, could be dealt with by a sub-committee along with the proposal of El Salvador.

He asked that an investigation be made to ascertain the competence of the United Nations to implement its decision on Palestine.

Mr. Gonzalez-Fernandez then stated that although Colombia had agreed with the unanimous recommendations of UNSCOP, it had still reserved the right to approve either, the majority or minority plan.

The Representative of Iran, Mr. Nasrollah Entezam, than suggested the proposals be divided into 4 categories:

A fifth, Mr. Entezam suggested, would be the proposal of Egypt, that the competence of the United Nations to recommend either Majority or Minority Plans be referred to the International Court of Justice.

This proposal seemed, said Mr. Entezam, to require being dealt with first.

The next speaker, Dr. E. M. J.A. Sassan, (Netherlands) approved the proposal for a committee to attempt conciliation. However, he stressed the three points mentioned in his resolution to draft (1) proposals for a fair and practicable solution, as far as possible acceptable to both parties; (2) recommendations for the effective implementation of this solution; (3) recommendations for an early solution of the problem of Jewish refugees and displaced persons.

Dr. Sassen said he felt the displaced persons’ problem had a great and direct bearing on the Palestine problem, itself.

He approved the suggested creation of a sub-committee to mace a detailed study of the Majority Report, as proposed by the United States resolution and amended by Canada.


(END OF TAKE #2)



UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
19th Meeting
(PM) TAKE #3
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947



AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - (PM) TAKE #3


Mr. Faris El-Khouri (Syria) said that apart from the two subcommittees suggested by the Chairman, it would be also fair to set up a third sub-committee to prepare text embodying the proposals submitted by Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Mr. El-Khouri added that there was also a legal aspect to the Palestine question, which, he said, the Committee was fully entitled to discuss. He suggested, therefore, that these legal points (dealing with the legality of the Mandate and the right of the General Assembly to recommend the partition of Palestine) should also be studied.

Concerning the matter of refugees, Mr. El-Khouri declared that the IRO was the proper organization to deal with problems relating to refugees, according to a resolution passed by the General Assembly at its previous session.

Furthermore, said Mr. El-Khouri the re-settlement of refugees must not be allowed to affect the good relations between Member nations.

In the case of Palestine, said Mr. El-Khouri, which is a country under Mandate, it is only the Mandatory Power that has the right to decide on the immigration policy to be followed.

For all these reasons, said Mr. El-Khouri, questions of re-settlement of displaced persons in Palestine should be removed from the agenda of the Committee.

Mahmoud Bey Fawzi (Egypt) declared that the U.S. and joint U.S.-Swedish proposals, as well as the suggestion to create a sub-committee to prepare a text based on the Majority Plan, were of a foreclosing nature as they aimed at taking action on a plan which had not yet been discussed and approved.

Dr. E. V. Evatt (chairman) replied that the preparation of such a text would not foreclose any ether proposal but would merely provide the Committee with a clearer text for eventual discussion of the Majority Report.

Mahmoud Bey Fawzi asked that the Egyptian proposal be examined at an early stage of the present discussion as it was of a primordial nature.

The Egyptian proposal suggests that the International Court of Justice be asked for an advisory opinion as to whether it lies within the competence of the General Assembly to recommend any of the two solutions proposed by the Majority or by the Minority Reports; and as to whether it lies within the rights by of any Member State or group of Member States to implement any of the proposed solutions without the consent of the people of Palestine.


(END OF TAKE #3)



UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success New York

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
19th Meeting
(PM) TAKE #4
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947



AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - (PM) TAKE #4

The next speaker, Dr. Hector David Castro (E1 Salvador), approved the suggestion of creating several sub-committees. He agreed with the Netherlands Representative on the creation of a committee for conciliation.

The two interested groups, he said, had never got together to learn whether they had any common grounds. The UN would be blamed, he said, if it did not try to bring the groups together to work out mutual compromises.

Referring to the US Resolution for a subcommittee to work on the majority report, Dr. Castro suggested that a third subcommittee be appointed to deal with the minority report and other proposals.

The next speaker, Mr. Camille Charsoun (Lebanon) said that if a subcommittee were to be appointed to consider the US-Swedish proposal, he considered it essential to have a subcommittee created to deal with the possible implementation of the proposals of Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

The next speaker, Mr. Fernand, Dehousse (Belgium) asked for a clarification of the tasks of the proposed subcommittee to deal with the US-Swedish proposal.

He suggested a fourth sub-committee to outline the competence of the three other proposed subcommittees.

The Egyptian proposal for a decision by the International Court of Justice regarding the UN’s competence, Mr. Dehousse said, was of paramount importance. He then asked which resolutions would be considered of a pre-judicial nature?

Dr. Evatt then outlined the proposed sub-committees:

Dr. Evatt opposed the Belgian proposal for a fourth subcommittee on the ground of facilitating progress in the Committee.

(END OF TAKE #4)



UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York


AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
19th Meeting
(PM) TAKE #5
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - (PM) TAKE #5

Dr. Fadhil Jamali (Iraq) asked if the Sub-Committee for Conciliation was to try to bring reconciliation between the Arabs and the Jews of Palestine or between the Arabs of Palestine and the Jews of the Jewish Agency.

The first proposal, said. Dr. Jamali, would be a very constructive proposal, but the second one, he observed, would be a very different matter.

The Chairman, Dr. H. V. Evatt, stated that he had suggested that the Sub-committee try to conciliate all parties interested in the Palestine question.

Mr. Henry Rosemond (Haiti) remarked that it had previously been accepted that the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency for Palestine would be the respective spokesmen of the Arabs and of the Jews of Palestine.

Mr. Rosemond asked that the Committee vote on the US-Swedish proposal.

Major-General John H. Hilldring (US) asked that Sub-committee I be allowed freely to prepare a text most acceptable to the supporters of the Majority Plan, for further discussion.

Major-General Hilldring added that he supported the program of work set forward by the Chairman in his opening statements. He also stated that he considered as quite natural for the Arab States to wish to bring closer their respective views on the solution they advocate for Palestine. But, he added, it was the task of the Committee to proceed with the examination of the UNSCOP Report and with its unanimous and majority recommendations?


(END OF (PM) TAKE #5)



UNITED NATIONS
Department Of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York


AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
19th Meeting
(PM) TAKE #6
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947


AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - (PM) TAKE #6

Dr. Evatt then asked if the Canadian Delegation would be willing to withdraw the Canadian amendment to the US resolution.

The Canadian Representative, Mr. L. B. Pearson, replied Canada would prefer to retain its amendment which dealt with implementation.

The next speaker, Dr. Joaquin E. Meyer of Cuba, said he agreed with the El Salvadorian proposal for conciliation. He agreed also on the conciliation sub-committee and believed it should have all freedom to study the problem as it saw fit, including the problems of Jews and Arabs of Palestine, as well as hearing from the Jews and Arabs from other parts of the world.

He reserved the right to speak in the two other sub-committees on the substance of the problem.

The next speaker, Prof. E. R. Fabregat (Uruguay) said the committee was now faced by two fundamentally different matters; first, the matter of procedure, and second, the matter of principle.

Until the procedural question was solved, he said, the committee would not be able to study the principles. He then proposed that the majority report be taken as basis of discussion, although not leaving out the proposals of the Arab groups.

He said that sub-committees should be formed, particularly the hopeful one suggested by El Salvador.

Dr. Evatt than ran the Committee Agenda, and reminded the members that their duty was not limited merely to a discussion of the majority and minority report, but that it also extended to item “C” on the agenda, namely, the termination of the Mandate over Palestine and the recognition of its independence as one State - the item submitted for the General Assembly Agenda by Iraq and Saudi Arabia.


(END OF (PM) TAKE #6)


UNITED NATIONS

Department Of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York


AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
19th Meeting
(PM) TAKE #7
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947


AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE (PM) TAKE #7

Dr. Pedro Zuloaga (Venezuela) supported the plan of work suggested by the Chairman and opposed the creation of too many sub-committees.

Dr. Zuloaga stressed the importance of the fact that the Soviet Union and the United States had agreed to support, in principle, the Majority UNSCOP Report. Mr. Zuloaga added that it was not possible, at this stage, to pass judgment on the legality of adopting and implementing the Majority Report.

Dr. Semen K. T. Tsarapkin (USSR) said that even the creation of two or three Sub-Committees would entail the drafting of three Reports and their discussion by the Main Committee.

Mr. Tsarapkin suggested that one single Sub-Committee be created: a Sub-Committee on the Majority Report.

A Sub-Committee on Conciliation, he said, would not have much to do in view of the very widely divergent opinions help by the Arabs and the Jews on a solution of the Palestine problem.

At most, he said, there might be a meeting of Arab and Jewish representatives under the aegis of the Chairman.


(END OF TAKE #7)


UNITED NATIONS

Department Of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York


AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
19th Meeting
(PM) TAKE #8
Press Release GA/PAL/22
21 October 1947


PALESTINE - TAKE # 8

Dr. Zuloaga (Venezuela) then asked if the sub-committee to deal with the Majority Report would be comprised solely of Delegates favoring the Majority Report.

The Chairman replied he presumed it would.

The next speaker, Sir Mohammed Zafrullah Khan (Pakistan) asked for a sub-committee to consider legal questions: a) promises to Arabs during World War I; b) competence of United Nations and c) legality of the Mandate, preferably with a decision by the International Court of Justice.

He also asked for another sub-committee to report regarding the rehabilitation of Jewish refugees and displaced persons.

The next speaker, the representative of China, Dr. T. F. Tsiang, suggested that conciliation could be worked out in the two sub-committees dealing with the US - Swedish proposal and the Syrian, Iraq and Saudi Arabian proposal.

Then, Dr. Tsiang suggested, when the sub-committees had already minimized their own differences, then would be the ideal time for Dr. Evatt, as Chairman, to sit with the two parties convened and conciliate.

Dr. Tsiang also suggested that the Committees dealing with partition and with a unitary state consider in their meetings other forms of partition than those listed in the Majority Report, and other plans for a unitary state outside these specifically proposed by Syria, Iraq or Saudi Arabia.

If this would be the case, he said, China would approve both of these sub-committees.

The Delegate of El Salvador, Dr. Hector Castro, contended that Dr. Tsiang’s idea of conciliation by the sub-committees would not work out as well as the plan that Dr. Evatt and a separate committee sit with the two interested parties from the start, dealing exclusively with conciliation of views.

The best assurance of peace in Palestine, he said, would be a compromise agreement reached by the Jews and Arabs themselves.

Ms. Camille Chamoun (Lebanon) said that the setting-up of a Sub-Committee to study the Majority Plan of the UNSCOP Report should be accompanied by the setting up of another Sub-Committee to study the proposals of the Status for an independent Palestine.

Mr. Chamoun pointed out that the UNSCOP Report and the establishment of an independent Palestine were both on the agenda, and that neither of them should be given priority.

The Chairman, Dr. H. V. Evatt, stated that, in his opinion, it would be useful to set up three Sub-Committees: one on Conciliation, one on the Majority Report, and one on the proposal of the Arab Status (Independence of a unitary Palestinian State.

First Mr. Semen K, Tsarapkin (USSR) proposed that the Committee first decided which plan of the UNSCOP Report the proposed Sub-Committee should adopt as a basis work.

After further discussion, the Chairman put to the vote the Soviet proposal that a single sub-committee be set up to study the Majority plan of the UNSCOP Report.

The proposal was rejected by 26 votes to 14.

The Committee then unanimously approved the creation of a Committee of Conciliation.

Creation of a Sub-Committee to study and clarify the Majority Plan of the UNSCOP Report was approved by 35 votes in favor, with 8 abstentions.

Finally, the Committee approved by 30 votes to 10 with 6 abstentions. The creation of a third Sub-Committee to study and clarify the proposals of the States in relation to the creation of a unitary independent Palestine.

The Committee adjourned at 6:50 p.m. and will reconvene tomorrow, Wednesday, at 11 a.m.


(END OF TAKE #8 and of PRESS RELEASE GA/PA/22)




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