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General Assembly

22 March 1948

22 March 1948

Communication: Received from United Kingdom
Delegation Concerning a Police Force for Jerusalem

The following communication, concerning a Police Force for Jerusalem after the termination of the Mandate, has been received from Mr. Fletcher-Cooke of the United Kingdom Delegation.

Empire State Building
New York 1, N.Y.
18th March, 1948

My dear Bunche,

You will remember that on the 30th January Sir Alexander Cadogan wrote to Monsieur Lisicky and. Informed him, inter alia, that on the termination of the Mandate the would be established in Jerusalem a Municipal Police Force of 300 Arabs and 300 Jews. It was also stated that in addition to this Arab-Jewish Municipal Police Force, the Government of Palestine considered that a force of one thousand non-Palestinian personnel would be the minimum required for the preservation of law and Order in Jerusalem.

On the 11th February, you wrote an official letter on behalf of the Commission to Sir Alexander Cadogan stating that as regards volunteers from the British section of the Palestine Police Force, the Commission was prepared to offer employment to any such volunteers on the present terms and conditions.

The Commission also enquired whether His Majesty’s Government were prepared to make any suggestions as regards suitable persons to be considered for the command of the Jerusalem Police Force. This matter was reported to His Majesty’s Government but I am not yet in a position to inform you whether they are prepared to make any such suggestions.

In conveying this point to His Majesty’s Government, it was suggested that whether or not they were prepared to put forward the names of individuals for the command of this Force, it might be helpful to the Commission if suitable terms for this post could be indicated. As you will appreciate, the Commission’s statement of policy to continue employment on the terms as exist at present would hardly serve as a basis for the terms to be offered to the new Chief of the Jerusalem Forces inasmuch as this will mean the creation of a new post.

In considering whether they could make any useful suggestions as to the terms of service and status of the Chief of the Jerusalem Police, His Majesty’s Government have enquired as to the size of the Force that is contemplated by the Commission for the maintenance of security in Jerusalem.

As stated in paragraph 1 of this letter, it is the Government of Palestine’s intention to leave behind on the termination of the Mandate 300 Arab and 300 Jewish Municipal Police and in their view a further 1,000 non-Palestinian personnel is the minimum necessary for thus maintenance of security in Jerusalem.

I observe from the Trusteeship Council document No. T/142 of the 5th March, 1948 that there is a reference in paragraph 3 to a Police Force with a strength of 500 to be established as of the 1st July, 1948. It is presumed that this proposed Force of 500 is in addition to the 300 Arab and 300 Jewish Municipal Police who will be left in Jerusalem on 15th May, but it is, of course, only one half of the minimum suggested by the Government of Palestine.

In order to enable me to answer the enquiry as to the total strength of the Police Force which the Commission contemplates it will be necessary to have in Jerusalem after 15th May, I should be grateful for an early expression of the Commission’s views in this matter.

Yours sincerely,
(J. Fletcher-Cooke)

Dr. Ralph J. Bunche,
United Nations Commission on Palestine,
United Nations,
Lake Success.

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