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Press Release

Department of Public Information l News Coverage Service l New York

25th Meeting
21 November 1947

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question met for an hour this afternoon and then adjourned until tomorrow morning, to give Sub-committee 1 (on partition) more time to study questions raised yesterday in a speech by Sir Alexander Cadogan(UK), representing the mandatory power.

GUNNAR HAGGLOF (Sweden) proposed three amendments dealing with the administration of the city of Jerusalem.

Sub-committee I will meet later today.


(A chronological account of this meeting is given in Takes #1 through #3, which follow.)



At the opening of this afternoon0s meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, KSAWERY PRUSZYNSKI (Poland), Chairman of Sub-Committee 1 (on partition) asked for more time to consider questions raised in yesterday’s statement by SIR ALEXANDER CADOGAN (UK), representing the mandatory power.

Sir Alexander had repeated, in more detail, his country’s stand against helping to carry out any plan which was not acceptable to both Arabs and Jews.

Mr. Pruszynski said the Sub-Committee might be able to report tonight on revisions in its plan made necessary by the UK statement and also on replies to certain questions submitted by Pakistan.

The Chairman, Dr. HERBERT V. EVATT (Australia), then suggested adjourning until tonight.

DR. E.M.J.A. Sassen (Netherlands) asked if any useful purpose would be served by a meeting tonight. The report of the Sub-Committee might not be ready, and in any case, the members of the full Committee would want time to study it, he said.

The Chairman said that the plenary meetings of the Assembly were rapidly nearing conclusion. Besides implementation, there were questions of boundaries, legality and other matters to be discussed, he said.

GUNNAR HAGGLOF (Sweden) agreed.

CAMILLE CHAMOUN (Lebanon) opposed postponement of discussion now. He spoke against “obstructionist tactics.”



CAMILLE CHAMOUN (Lebanon) said that he wished to put some questions to the United Kingdom Delegate.

The first question was whether the fact that the Mandatory Power had indicated it was prepared to hand over to the United Nations Commission implied recognition of the legality of the Commission’s powers.

His second question was whether the United Kingdom, which, he said, is solely responsible until the termination of the Mandate, will allow the carrying out of the proposal of the Partition Plan concerning the admission of 6,250 immigrants a month.

The third question was whether the Mandatory Power with its experience of Palestine found any justification in the separation of the built-up area of 54 villages from their agricultural lands, as proposed in the Partition Plan.

Mr. J.M. MARTIN (UK), replying to the first question, said that the Mandatory Power would not be handing over its powers to the Commission. What would actually happen, he said, was that the mandatory would lay down its Mandate and the Commission would then assume responsibility for setting up a new regime.

To the second question, Mr. Martin replied that where the Mandatory would retain control it would also maintain control of immigration.

To the third question, Mr. Martin replied that he did not think it proper for him to express any opinion on a recommendation by a United Nations Commission Nevertheless, he said, he had drawn the attention of Subcommittee 1 which had made this recommendation to the political difficulties its implementation would create.



SIR MOHAMED ZAFRULLAH KHAN (Pakistan) then asked about the maps, which had been prepared under the direction of Sub-Committee 1, and distributed to the delegations today.

By having southern Palestine inset in the map on a different scale, he thought members might get a wrong impression of the amount of territory involved.

The Chairman pointed out that this map was prepared only to demonstrate changes from the earlier map prepared by the United Nations special Committee on Palestine, and should be considered in that light.

FARIS EL KHOURY (Syria) said that on several occasions the UK had stated that the mandate for Palestine had proved to be “unworkable,” but had never said why. He wanted to know what the obstacles had been, and who had been responsible for them.

Mr. EL KHOURY asked if the mandate had proved “unworkable,” why would the members want to substitute for it a plan “even more difficult and more unworkable.”

Mr. MARTIN (UK) said this country’s pamphlet on the administration of Palestine had clearly shown the reasons for the “unworkability” of the mandate.

Mr. HAGGLOF (Sweden) thought the Committee might turn next to the questions concerning Jerusalem, leaving implementation until the Sub-Committee’s report was received.

DR. RAFAEL DE LA COLINA (Mexico) opposed a night meeting. He favoured further general discussion now, a Sub-Committee meeting tonight and a full Committee meeting in the morning.

MR. HAGGLOF said the Swedish delegation would prefer a larger area to go to the City of Jerusalem, but was concerned mainly with its administration.

He questioned the wisdom of a provision in the Sub-Committee’s report that the governor of Jerusalem should be assisted by a staff of “international officers” chosen whenever possible from the residents of the city. Mr. Hagglof thought this should be left to the discretion of the governor.

The Representative of Sweden wanted Jerusalem to be a truly international city on a permanent basis, and he offered three amendments to the report along that line.

One amendment would have the Trusteeship Council “re-examine,” rather than “revise” the whole scheme after ten years, and the others would eliminate the possibility of ending the “international city” plan by a referendum among the residents of Jerusalem.

The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m. The Committee will meet again tomorrow morning.


For information media - not an official record