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General Assembly

3 February 1948

3 February 1940


Information furnished by Mr. Fletcher-Cooke
of the United Kingdom Delegation requesting
the “Association of Government War Time Departments Officers”
as requested b the Commission at its meeting on 2 Feb. 2. 1948

There are three associations of officers of the Palestine Government. Two of these organizations are composed of permanent officers, that is, occupants of established posts. The third one - the Association of War Time Departments Officers - is composed of non-permanent officers, that is, those who are serving under contract with the Palestine Government.

During the War a number of new departments were established for various War Time controls and Palestinian and British personnel were employed by contract in these departments. The number of officers so hired was some 3,000 to 4,000. These officers formed their own association. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke did not know whether all of the officers were members of the Association, but thought that nearly all of them would be. The officers concerned are chiefly Palestinian, but include some British. The numbers of Arabs and Jews would be almost equal, with the Arabs, perhaps, in the majority.

The Association is officially recognized by the Palestine Government in the sense that the Government communicates with the Association on matters involving its members, and hears representations from the Association.


3 February 1948


Draft of Letter to be sent to Sir Alexander Cadogan


I have the honour to inform you that I have been directed by the United Nations Palestine Commission to communicate to you its views regarding the answer given by you on behalf of your Government at the twenty-seventh meeting of the Commission on 30 January 1948, to one of the questions which the Commission had presented to you on 19 January.

You will recall that the second of the questions relating to the Commission’s discharge of its administrative responsibilities was as follows:

Your formal reply to this question stated that: I am to inform you that is the considered view of the Commission that this proposal of your Government that the Commission should not proceed to Palestine earlier than two weeks before the date on which the Mandate is to be terminated is entirely unacceptable.

The Commission’s conclusion in this regard is based on a number of considerations.

In the first place, under this proposed limitation on its arrival in Palestine, the Commission would be quite unable to discharge the responsibilities entrusted to it by the resolution of the General Assembly. The Commission has been informed that the Mandatory Power proposed to relinquish its responsibility for the Government of Palestine as a whole and not piecemeal. In consequence, the Commission, in two short weeks in Palestine, would be required to prepare itself to assume responsibility; under most difficult circumstances, for the full burden of a complex administrative structure and for maintaining law and order in the country.

The Commission has already reported to the Security Council, in its first Monthly Report, that:

The Commission would also call to your attention certain relevant provisions of the Assembly resolution which, in the viewer the Commission, are of especial significance to this matter.

Paragraph 2, Section B, Part I of the resolution states, in part that:

Again, paragraph 12, Section B, Part I, provides that: The Commission recognizes the validity of the position taken by the Mandatory Power that there must not be two concurrent overlapping authorities in Palestine prior to the termination of the Mandate, and does not, therefore, seek to exercise any governmental functions before that date. On the other hand, the Commission is acutely aware that there is a vast amount of work preparatory to the transfer of authority which will require its presence in Palestine well in advance of the Mandate’s termination.

The Commission concludes, therefore, that as an agent of the General Assembly of the United Nations it should be entitled to proceed to Palestine at such time as it may deem appropriate in the light of the progress of its indispensable work at Lake Success, subject, of course, to reasonable advance notice to the Mandatory Power, which is responsible for law and order in Palestine until the Mandate is terminated.

For these reasons, the Commission is impelled to ask you to convey to your Government this request for reconsideration of its policy on this matter,

I have the honour to be,

Your obedient Servant,

His Excellency
The Right Honourable Sir Alexander Cadogan, G.C.M.G, K.C.B.
United Kingdom Representative to the United Nations,
Permanent United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations,
61st Floor,
350 Fifth Avenue,
New York 1, N.Y.

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