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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
6 June 1947
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

Press Release PAL/27
6 June 1947


Mr. Trygve Lie, Secretary-General of the United Nations, communicated to all UN member nations, on 29 May, the following letter:

"I have the honour to transmit herewith a copy of a letter which I have received from His Excellency the Permanent United Kingdom Representative to the United Nations, and shall be grateful if you will be so good as to bring it to the attention of your Government.

I hope that consideration will be given to this letter in the light of the resolution on the Palestine question adopted on 15 May, 1947 by the General Assembly. I should therefore appreciate your informing me of the receipt of this letter, as well as of any action which your Government may be able to take on this matter.

I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,

Trygve Lie

The letter from the United Kingdom representative, which Mr. Lie transmitted, reads as follows:-

"United Kingdom Delegation
to the United Nations
New York

23rd May 1947.


I have the honour, under instructions from His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to invite your attention to the resolution passed by the General Assembly on May 15th in the following terms:-

2. It appears to His Majesty's Government that one of the most important ways in which members of the United Nations can assist towards a peaceful solution of the Palestine problem is by doing all in their power to discourage illegal immigration while the question remains sub judice.

3. As an indication of the gravity of this question, His Majesty's Government would point out that during the six months from mid-October 1946 onwards approximately 15,000 Jewish illegal immigrants from various European ports were intercepted in Palestine waters and diverted to camps in Cyprus: This figure may be compared with the present legal immigration rate of 18,000 a year and the fact, mentioned by Mr. Bevin in his speech in the House of Commons on February 25th last, that 96,000 Jewish immigrants had then been admitted to Palestine since May 1939.

4. In the face of this situation His Majesty's Government recently made renewed representations to all the European Governments concerned to prevent the departure of illegal immigrant vessels. Now, however, that the General Assembly is seized of the question of Palestine, and in view of the resolution quoted above, His Majesty's Government consider that it is especially incumbent on all Members of the Organization to discourage, as far as lies in their power, any illegal activity which is likely to increase the difficulty of finding a solution of the Palestine problem.

5. I am, therefore, instructed to request you to appeal to all Member States to take the strictest precautions, in so far as they are concerned, to prevent the transit through their territory and the departure from their ports of Jews attempting to enter Palestine illegally.

6. I shall be grateful if Your Excellency will inform me of the steps which you are able to take to give effect to this request and of the replies which may be received from Members of the United Nations.

I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,

(For Sir Alexander Cadogan)

(signed) Valentine Lawford

His Excellency,
Mr. Trygve Lie, Secretary-General
of the United Nations,
Lake Success.

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