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Source: Security Council
7 July 1948

Held at Lake Success, New York, on Wednesday, 7 July 1948, at 11 a.m.

President: Mr. D. MANUILSKY (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic).

Present: The representatives of the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Syria, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, United States of America.

158. Provisional agenda (document S/Agenda 330)

1. Adoption of the agenda.

2. The Palestine question:

(a) Cablegram dated 5 July 1948 from the United Nations Mediator addressed to the Secretary-General concerning the prolongation of the truce in Palestine (document S/865).

159. Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

160. Continuation of the discussion on the Palestine question

The PRESIDENT (translated from Russian): The representative of the United States of America wishes to make a special statement.

Mr. JESSUP (United States of America): I think that the Security Council would wish to note with sympathy the fact that one of the United Nations observers met his death in the course of carrying out his duties for the United Nations in Palestine. Commandant René La Vallière, while riding in his car along one of the roads, unfortunately met his death when the car ran over a land mine. He was wounded on 5 July and died on 6 July.

I merely wish to call this to the attention of the Security Council in order that due note might be taken of the sacrifice of the life of this servant of the United Nations in the course of his duty.

The PRESIDENT (translated from Russian): I am sure the members of the Security Council will wish to endorse the statement made by the representative of the United States.

I now ask the representatives of the following States and interested parties to take their places at the Security Council table: the representatives of the States of Israel, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon; and, if I am not mistaken, the representative of the Arab Higher Committee.

The representatives invited by the President then took their places at the Council table.

The members of the Security Council have before them, first, a telegram dated 5 July [document 5/865] from Mr. Bernadotte proposing an extension of the truce in Palestine. In addition, I am told by the Secretariat that the members of the Security Council have received another document [document S/863] of an earlier date from Mr. Bernadotte containing proposals made by him to the Arab and Jewish sides, proposals which will also come under discussion during this debate.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I wish to make a comment before we start on the discussion of this question. I noticed that in inviting certain representatives to the Council table the President introduced an innovation in inviting the representative of the Government of Israel. I doubt whether that is correct. In case any doubt should arise on the subject, I wish to say that the action of the President in inviting to the Council table a representative of the Government of Israel cannot, of course, possibly affect in any way the attitude of my Government in regard to the recognition or non-recognition of that Government. The Security Council cannot commit any of its members in that regard. Consequently, I wish to make it clear that the position of my Government in this matter is entirely and absolutely reserved.

The President (translated from Russian): I do not think the members of the Security Council will object if I invite the members of the Council to speak first and the special representatives later. Are there any objections?

Mr. DE LA TOURNELLE (France) (translated from French): Notwithstanding the procedure the President has adopted in inviting a certain Government to participate in this discussion, I wish to state, on my Government's behalf, that it reserves its right to complete freedom of action. It has not recognized the State of Israel, and considers that an invitation to the representative of that Government couched in these terms might complicate a situation which is in itself already very delicate.

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): The representatives of the Arab Higher Committee and of the Jewish Agency were invited to sit at the Security Council table under rule 39 of the rules of procedure. They were not invited as representatives of States, but as representatives of the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency. The Security Council has never recognized the State of Israel, which is a new title given by the President of the Security Council. Therefore, we hope that the President will adhere to the procedures and practices which have been followed by the Security Council from the beginning by referring to the representative in question as the representative of the Jewish Agency.

Mr. VAN LANGENHOVE (Belgium) (translated from French): My Government's position is similar to that of the Government of the United Kingdom and France. It has, up to now, reserved its position as regards the possible recognition of the Government of Israel.

The PRESIDENT(translated from Russian}: May I, as the representative of a member of the Security Council and not as President, state my Government's point of view on this question? I cannot understand the objections raised here, the more so as we had a similar case during the discussion of the Indonesian question. At that time, we were faced with the question whether the representative of the Indonesian Republic should be invited as the representative of a definite State or simply as representative of one of the opposing parties.

In this case, I think I am following the example of my predecessor as President, Mr. El-Khouri, who forcefully demonstrated that the Indonesian Republic should be invited as a State.

All the arguments used by Mr. El-Khouri then are also applicable to the State of Israel in the present case. Therefore, as the representative of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, I support the view that the Security Council should invite the representative of the State of Israel to sit at this table.

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): Inasmuch as the President has quoted a previous formal incident which took place in the Security Council with regard to the Republic of Indonesia, I wish to state that when I made that statement about Indonesia, I relied upon the Linggadjati Agreement [document S/649, page 87] in which the Netherlands Government recognized the Republic of Indonesia as a de facto Government exercising authority. Since the interested party, that is, the Netherlands Government, recognized the State of Indonesia as de facto, independent and exercising authority, the Council had to deal with it in that form. However, in this case the situation is not similar at all. There is no similarity between this situation and the other one; the Security Council has not recognized the State of Israel and the things that are going on there. For this reason, I must state that the analogy which the President gave is not exactly as he wanted it to be.

The PRESIDENT(translated from Russian}: As the representative of the UKRAINIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC, I regret I cannot agree with Mr. El-Khouri's arguments. I have before me the text of the verbatim record of Mr. El-Khouri's speech. I can read it out if necessary, but I would not like to take up the Security Council's time with this matter.

The position which Mr. El-Khouri defended was exactly the same as mine. Just as the Ukrainian delegation is now supporting the invitation to be extended to the State of Israel, so did Mr. El-Khouri-using almost exactly the same arguments—defend his position with regard to the invitation of Indonesia. If necessary, I shall quote his statement in the course of the discussion.

I must point out here that the analogy which Mr. El-Khouri is trying to draw is unfounded. After all, Indonesia did once form part of the Netherlands colonial empire; but we know that the Jews never formed part of Syria, nor of any other Arab State such as Egypt. From that point of view, therefore, there are even more reasons to invite the State of Israel than there were in respect of Indonesia.

In the second place, I think Mr. El-Khouri must agree that we have before us in this connexion the General Assembly's resolution of 29 November 1947,1/ which has not been revoked by the Special Session of the General Assembly which met from 16 April until 14 May of this year. The General Assembly's resolution remains in force and provides for the creation of the independent State of Israel.

Thirdly and lastly, we must take into account the fact that the State of Israel was created at the moment of the expiration of the United Kingdom Mandate and was recognized by a number of States, including the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America, and others. Consequently, we cannot deny this right to the State of Israel, even from the point of view of the de facto situation.

Mr. TSIANG (China): In changing the title of the representative of the Jewish Agency, the President acted without authorization from the Security Council. It was an individual act on his part. Therefore, my delegation cannot assign any validity or significance to that new title.

The PRESIDENT (translated from Russian): There are no more members wishing to speak on this question, so I shall now ask the representatives of the parties concerned to make their statements.

Mr. Mahmoud Bey FAWZI (Egypt): I did not understand exactly what the President meant by the representatives of the parties when he referred to the representative of Egypt. That is up to him to explain, and I shall not dwell on this point. In any case, in regard to the point which we now have before us, I wanted to say practically the same as every representative, with the exception of the President, has said upon it and, in particular, I subscribe to what the representatives of Syria and China have said. I want to add that my position is not only that the way in which the President has invited the representative of the Jews to sit at this table does not bind anyone or create a precedent: I must also earnestly express the hope that such terminology will not be used any longer, either by the President of the Security Council, or by the Mediator, or by anyone who speaks in the name of the United Nations rather than in his Government's name, or in his own.

Perhaps some people might think this is a matter of no consequence, or that it is of no importance, but every member knows the great importance of precedents in international matters. We cannot allow things to be taken as a precedent or to be repeated; that is dangerous, and it is not correct in any way.

With the President's permission, I want most respectfully to submit that his arguments against what has been said by everyone who spoke here, with the exception of himself, are, at most, seemingly persuasive, but they are really not at all convincing. When he spoke as President of the Security Council, he spoke entirely in the name of the Security Council, yet here there are only three Governments which have recognized a de facto authority as the Government of some part of Palestine. This is very vague, and I think that if the President persists in inspiring such innovations, this will only help to make confusion more confused. I again most earnestly and most respectfully hope that this will not be repeated.

Now I should like to dwell very briefly on one point. The President said that he would allow first the members of the Security Council to speak, and then the others who are not members. First of all, the rules of procedure do not say any such thing. There is rule 37 which gives representatives of States which are not members of the Security Council the right to participate, when they are invited, in the discussions of the Council in a matter concerning them; the only limitation is that they will have no right to vote. Also they cannot present proposals, in that their proposals will not be voted upon except when they are submitted by a member of the Security Council. Outside of that, there is no limitation; this is as far as the rules of procedure concern us.

Then there is the other point of putting the representatives of States Members of the United Nations on a footing of complete inequality instead of on one of equality with the other Members of the United Nations. In addition, there is the result, if such a procedure is followed, of impeding the representative of a State which is not a member of the Security Council from submitting his remarks or making his statement at the proper moment. This applies both logically and psychologically. If a representative of a State which is not a member of the Security Council is forced every time to defer his statement and his remarks and his answers until the Security Council, and also the President of the Security Council, make their remarks and conclusions and rulings, and then the representative of a State not a member of the Security Council is somehow asked to speak, that, I think, is not right and should not be followed. I could not accept it, and I am sure that the President, on previous occasions when he was invited to the Security Council to sit in the place I now occupy, would not have accepted such a situation. I think it is neither fair nor logical.

General McNAUGHTON (Canada): The Canadian Government has always considered that a representative of the Jewish population of Palestine should be present at all discussions which take place on the Palestine problem in the United Nations, and this attitude has been followed consistently through two special sessions of the General Assembly, at a regular session of the General Assembly, and in the Security Council, where I had the privilege, as President, of inviting the representatives of the Jewish Agency to sit at this table. The Canadian delegation now has no desire to prevent the Jewish representative from appearing under a designation which will best enable him to fulfil his function of representing the Jewish people, but, on the other hand, all proceedings of the Security Council have been based on the understanding that the truce proposals and the negotiations arising out of them would in no way prejudice the political situation in Palestine, pending particularly the outcome of the efforts of the Mediator.

The nature of the discussion which has taken place in this Council this morning has indicated that a decision taken in present circumstances cannot possibly avoid influencing the political situation, and the Canadian delegation does not feel that it can, at the moment, consistently support any action which would have this unfortunate result. The analogy with the Indonesian case, which the President has raised, is unfortunately in our opinion not correct, since, on that occasion, the particular point at issue this morning was not discussed and political consequences did not flow from the action which was then taken.

The Canadian delegation, therefore, proposes either that the designation be left unchanged for the time being or, if some change is insisted upon, that the term "representative of Jewish authorities in Palestine" be used in this Security Council.

Mr. JESSUP (United States of America): I had not thought to intervene in this debate, because it seems to me that we are taking perhaps too much time on a question which could be disposed of very simply.

I think that everyone is aware of the fact that the actual name under which the Jewish authorities in Palestine operate and exist is that of the State of Israel and the Provisional Government of Israel representing the State of Israel. As everyone is also aware, my Government has recognized the State of Israel.

The question before the Security Council is one of the designation of those who are to be represented, and that of their representative. It seems to me that the value of the precedent cited by the President is great and that there has been a slight misunderstanding on that point. As I see it, the importance of the precedent in the Indonesian case is that an invitation to take a seat at this table does not involve recognition on the part of the States represented on the Security Council. Therefore, I fully recognize the right of the representatives of the various States constituting the Security Council to make it clear that they are still following that precedent and that, by sitting at the table with the representative of the State of Israel, they are not committing their Governments to the recognition of that State. That would apply in any situation. In other words, this question does not at all involve the problem of recognition. It seems to me to be perfectly appropriate for members of the Security Council to state, as they have stated, that no recognition is involved. But I think that the question of avoiding the actual terminology, in spite of the position of some other States represented here—which we all have well in mind—involves us in unnecessary complications and creates a situation which in reality does not exist.

Therefore it seems to me that the action suggested by the President, and followed by him in asking the representative of the State of Israel to sit at the table, is a simple way of dealing with a factual situation which involves no legal consequences in terms of recognition.

Mr. MUÑOZ (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): This discussion of procedure will lead us nowhere. The Council has been convened in order to discuss the prolongation of the truce in Palestine, and in the opinion of my delegation, it should undertake immediately the consideration of this question.

The recognition of foreign Governments is the sovereign privilege of every State; it is evident that this privilege has neither been lost nor abandoned by the Government of Argentina. The terminology used by members of the Council or its President cannot affect this fact.

The PRESIDENT (translated from Russian): We are now coming to the end of our discussion, but the representative of the State of Israel has asked to speak.

Mr. EBAN (Israel): With the President's per-mission, I would postpone my remarks until the substance of this morning's discussion is approached—namely, the cable addressed by the Mediator to the Security Council [document S/865].

The PRESIDENT(translated from Russian): I recognize the representative of Egypt. However, I hope that he is not going to make a lengthy speech, as we should like to terminate our discussion of this aspect of the question.

Mahmoud Bey FAWZI (Egypt): I shall try to co-operate and not speak for too long a time. However, I hope that the brevity of my remarks will not be taken as a measure of the feeling of resentment which I have at this persistence in instilling into the discussions in the Security Council something which cannot be a contribution to the success of these discussions—something which is very prejudicial to the interests and to the rights of my country.

It is very clear that the use by the President of the terminology which he employed in connexion with inviting the Jewish representative to the Security Council table—and, again, in inviting him to speak—is against the will and against the positions of eight out of the eleven members represented in the Security Council. I repeat: only three representatives here represent countries which have recognized the de facto Government of part of Palestine. I cannot at all understand this persistence, while the President is speaking in the name of the Security Council, in using terminology which is contrary to the desire of eight members of the Security Council, not to speak of the others who are not members of the Council but Members—and equal Members—of the United Nations.

I want to go on record as most energetically objecting to the continuance of the use of this terminology.

The PRESIDENT(translated from Russian): That is the full right of the representative of Egypt, but my right as President is to make a ruling, and the Security Council will decide whether the President's ruling was correct or not. I am putting this question to the vote. Those in favour of the President's proposal will please raise their hands.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): It seems to me that the correct way to proceed would be exactly the reverse. We should vote on the question: Who is against the President's ruling? The results of the vote would decide that question. If I am not mistaken, this would be more consistent with the rules of procedure.

The PRESIDENT(translated from Russian): Will all those against the President's ruling please raise their hands?

A vote was taken by show of hands, as follows:

In favour of overruling the President's decision: Belgium, Canada, China, Syria, United Kingdom.

No further voting occurred.

The President's ruling was sustained, since there were less than seven votes in favour of overruling it.

Mr. JESSUP (United States of America): Before we pass to the next question, I should merely like to reserve the position of my delegation on the question of the interpretation of our rules of procedure, to whether the question involved here was a point of order.

As far as the precedent for practice in the Security Council is concerned, I feel it necessary to make a reservation on that point.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I share the doubts expressed by the representative of the United States. I do not think the matter was properly a point of order.

General McNAUGHTON (Canada): On behalf of the Canadian delegation, I wish to state that our conception of the proper procedure which should have been followed is that this matter should have been put in the form of an affirmative resolution.

Mr. VAN LANGENHOVE (Belgium) (translated from French): I merely wish to point out that a State can be invited to participate in the Security Council's discussions only if Article 32 of the Charter is applied. The Council has taken no decision on this point.

The President (translated from Russian): In accordance with rule 30 of our rules of procedure, I declare that since only five votes were cast against the President's ruling, I consider it to remain in force. The other statements will appear in the record. We shall now proceed to the substance of the matter.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I think it would be desirable if, in the discussion of the substance of the matter, the representatives of the parties concerned should be permitted to speak first. This would enable them, in the first place, to inform the Security Council how the truce provided for in an earlier resolution of the Council [document S/801] had operated. Such information would be a useful guide to Council members.

The PRESIDENT (translated from Russian): A proposal has been made to hear first the representatives of the parties concerned. I think it a sensible one. If there is no objection, we shall invite the representative of those parties to make their statements.

Mr. EBAN (Israel): I think it will be sufficient at this point if I inform the Council of the stage of the negotiations which have taken place between the Mediator and the Provisional Government of Israel. The Mediator has addressed, specifically and explicitly to the Provisional Government of Israel, a question whether, on the expiration of the truce period, it would agree to a prolongation of that truce under such a time limit and such conditions as might be decided upon in consultation with the parties concerned. I now learn that the Provisional Government of Israel has given its reply to the Mediator which will, therefore, presumably by communicated to the Security Council in due course. I think it would be more in accordance with the procedure of the Security Council if the Mediator’s conveyance of that message were awaited.

Jamal Bey HUSSEINI (Arab Higher Committee): I wanted only to refer to this new denomination of the Jewish Agency. For some, probably, it is not so important, but to us it is of essential and vital importance. I was not going to say anything until this question had been decided upon. Now it seems that the President has decided to continue using the denomination. In that case, with all respect to the President and to the Security Council, I believe that we cannot assist in these deliberations as long as that denomination is being used by the Chair.

Jamal Bey Husseini, representative of the Arab Higher Committee, thereupon withdrew.

1/ See Official Records of the second session of the General Assembly, Resolutions, No. 181 (II).

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