Lake Success, New York,
Friday, 16 January 1948, at 11.00 a.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 VICE-CHAIRMAN, presiding in the temporary absence of the Chairman, invited comments on draft question 11 in the informal working paper prepared by the Secretariat.
Draft question 11 was deleted.
It was proposed that draft question 12 be modified to read as follows:
Draft question 13 was deleted.
Draft question 14 had been modified and approved at the eighth meeting.
It was pointed out that the threat of military invasion made it necessary to include an additional question on the role of the Mandatory Power in the maintenance of the “territorial integrity” of the country before and after the termination of the Mandate.
In this connection, it was noted that the responsibility for the maintenance of internal law and order would rest on the Mandatory Power and the Commission, but that protection against military aggression should be the concern of the Security Council.
The following additional question was approved:
Draft question 16 was approved without changes, as follows:
The first question on the legal status of British forces in Palestine was approved, as follows:
“What will be the legal status of the armed forces of the United Kingdom in Palestine after the termination of the mandate? Is it correct to assume that they will be considered as armed forces on foreign territory?”
The second question on the legal status of British forces in Palestine was deleted.
It was observed that the term “occupied area” as used by the Mandatory Power and in the Resolution of the General Assembly needed clarification.
The Secretariat was asked to submit a draft question on the subject for the consideration of the Commission.
It was suggested that the provisional draft submitted by the Secretariat should form part of draft question 5 which had been approved.
The CHAIRMAN invited comments on Section III of the provisional list of questions prepared by the Secretariat dealing with the Commission’s discharge of its administrative responsibilities.
The view was expressed that the text of draft question 1 might raise theoretical questions on the interpretation of paragraph 2, Section B of Part I of the Assembly’s Resolution.
The CHAIRMAN felt that it was important for the members of the Commission to agree on a common interpretation explained that the provision in question had envisaged the termination of the Mandate before the evacuation of the military forces of the United Kingdom. He added that circumstances had changed and that the Commission would need to take a realistic approach to the problem.
It was urged that the Commission should ascertain the degree of co-operation which it could reasonably expect from the United Kingdom Government.
Draft question 1 was revised to read as follows, and approved:
“Is it to be understood from Sir Alexander’s statement to the Commission at its sixth meeting on 14 January, that his Government would be 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, that the Government of the United Kingdom would not regard favourably a decision of the Commission to come to Palestine at an earlier date if the Commission should so decide, and if so, for what reasons?”
Draft question 4 was modified to read as follows, and approved:
Draft question 8 was approved as follows:
(a) the new frontiers?
(b) the Provisional Councils of Government?”
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