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Press Release

Department of Public Information l News Coverage Service l New York

28th Meeting
22 November 1947

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question continued general debate this evening on the reports of its two Sub-Committee, one on partition and the other on a unitary, independent Palestine.

The Committee heard eight speakers, representing Chile, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Yugoslavia, Colombia, Belgium, the Dominican Republic and the U.S.

The Committee will meet again on Monday, 24 November, at 10:30 a.m.

(For a chronological account of this meeting, see Takes #1 through #3 immediately following.)

* * *


The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question tonight, at its third meeting of the day, continued debate on the reports of its two Sub-Committees – one on partition and the other on a unitary, independent state.

The first speaker tonight was Humberto Alvarez (Chile), who supported partition as the best of the available solutions to this difficult problem.

He said he would support the resolution of Sub-Committee 1, with any necessary modifications and improvements.

Shaikh Fafiz Wahba (Saudi Arabia) opposed partition as contrary to the wishes of the majority of the people of Palestine.

He asked under what authority would the United Nations set up an armed force, the Jewish militia, to impose its will on the Arab. He called it “the United Nations Jewish Army” and asked if the Arab were considered to be at war with the world? Partition, he said, would cease bloodshed and disturb the peace.

The plan, said the Representative of Saudi Arabia, was unjust and contrary to the Charter.

(End of Take #1)


Mr. Lester Pearson (Canada) commenting on the changes made to the original Partition Plan by Subcommittee 1, declared that these changes aimed at making the Plan more workable and so increasing the chances of that cooperation between the Mandatory Power and the United Nations Commission without which no plan could succeed.

Mr. Pearson stated that while the date of termination of the Mandate is not known, it is now clear that the Mandate will be terminated at a very early date. This, he explained was very important because, if the Mandate were terminated before evacuation had been completed, then the seeming inconsistencies of the Plan to which previous speakers had pointed would disappear.

Replying to the delegate from New Zealand, who had criticized the Partition Plan for failing to provide adequate measures for implementation, Mr. Pearson said the Plan was quite so feeble since it imposed upon the Security Council the task of guiding and helping the Commission.

Mr. Pearson declared that the Plan of Subcommittee 2 for an independent unitary Palestine did not represent a more workable solution. If it had a stronger legal basis than the Partition Plan, he said, that was because one Plan of Subcommittee 2 was only a recommendation and not an actual plan.

Concluding, Mr. Pearson stated that the success of the Partition Plan rested on three suppositions; firstly, that the Mandatory would cooperate with the Commission of which, he said, he had no doubt, secondly, the active backing of the permanent members of the Security Council, and thirdly the acceptance of the Partition Plan and of the Commission by all members of the United Nations if the Plan were approved in the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority.

Djuro Nincic (Yugoslavia) recalling UNSCOP’s minority report, said he favoured a federal solution as the only on likely to bring peace in Palestine. He noted that “more extreme” proposals had not met with the support of the Mandatory Power.

Yugoslavia, he said, preferred a compromise to give the maximum satisfaction to the legitimate claims of both parties, and therefore could not vote for the report of either Subcommittee.

Dr. Alberto Gonzalez-Fernandex (Colombia) agreed with New Zealand and Denmark that the decision should be taken without more study.

Walter Loridan (Belgium) said his delegation would abstain in voting on the partition plan. Belgium, he said, did not regard, the boundaries ad satisfactory, and thought economic union unworkable. He still had hopes for conciliation between the two parties.

(End of Take #2)


Mr. MAX HENRIQUEZ-URENA (Dominican Republic) supported the partition plan, as “closest to being equibable.” Both Arabs and Jews, he said, would gain “a national home.”

The Chairman said he still had eight speakers on his list.

HERSCHEL JOHNSON (US) asked to speak briefly tomorrow, also, on economic union. At this time, Mr. Johnson wanted to say it was the “declared policy of the U.K. Government” and not the U.K. Delegation, which had made the work so far more difficult.

The U.S. Representative said he shared the view of the Representative of Canada that U.J., as a loyal member of the United Nations, would cooperate when the time came to carry out this program, if voted.

Mr. Johnson could not see how any delegation, by abstaining, could help in further the solution of this difficult problem.

Mr. Johnson admitted that Subcommittee 1’s plan was far from perfect, but said that in the view of the U.S. delegation it represented “the best practicable solution at this moment.”

On the other hand, he said, Subcommittee 2’s plan did not provide for implementation at all. And what would happen, he asked, if the United Nations did nothing at all, and the Mandatory Power walked out of Palestine.

Mr. Johnson said that the Security Council as given responsibility for the security elements of the partition plan, and the U.S. would actually preform its duty under the Charter in carrying out any decisions of the Council on this matter.

It was necessary to grasp the nettle, and go ahead, Mr. Johnson declared. He urged delegates not to be afraid to decide now, and lot any inequities to worked out later.

The Chairman said the still had a number speakers on his list, who would be heard when the Committee met again on Monday morning.

The meeting ended at 9:25 p.m.

(End of Take #3 and of Press Release GA/PAL/82)

For information media - not an official record