Question of Palestine home
3 July 1947
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE FIFTEENTH MEETING (PRIVATE)
Held at Kadimah Flats, Jerusalem, Sunday
29 June 1947 at 9:30 p.m.
CHAIRMAN: Mr. Sandstrom
Mr. Garcia Granados
Mr. Garcia Salazar
Mr. Garcia Robles
The CHAIRMAN called the meeting to order at 10.00 p.m.
Consideration of Statement on Acts of Violence to be issued by the Committee
The CHAIRMAN briefly recapitu1ated the discussion which had taken place at the fourteenth meeting and circulated the following draft statement for further consideration:
“The Members of the Committee, taking note of the public reports of acts of violence committed in Palestine since their arrival in the country, record their deep concern over such acts which constitute a flagrant disregard of the appeal made in the reso1ution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 15 May l947”.
Mr. HOOD (Australia), on a point of order, enquired who had proposed the motion.
The CHAIRMAN said he thought it was Mr. Rand. There had been a more or less general feeling that something should be done in the matter. In view of this he had taken it up, though he had not submitted the original draft statement. He enquired whether Mr. Lisicky still insisted on a roll-call vote.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) replied in the affirmative.
Mr. VISWANATHAN (India), on a point of order, enquired whether he could move that the Committee decide not to insist on a roll call, but to accept the resolution with the reservations given. He asked for a ruling as to whether it was open to him to oppose a roll call.
The CHAIRMAN declared that it was the right of a Member to ask for a roll call.
Mr. HOOD (Australia), on a point of order, said that if there was to be a roll call, the motion must be moved first.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) declared that he understood that the motion had been moved by the Chairman, and he was now seconding it.
Mt. RAND (Canada) moved an amendment to the motion. He moved that the words “deep concern over such acts” be deleted and substituted by the following words: “sense that such acts constitute…”
Mr. Garcia SALAZAR (Peru) disagreed with the drafting of the motion. He observed that the motion was not a moral condemnation of the act of terrorism perpetrated but an expression of concern because they were contrary to the pacifying resolution of the General Assembly. By implication, that meant that, if there were not a resolution of the General Assembly, the Committee would not condemn such criminal acts. Moreover, the reference to the resolution of the General Assembly in similar terms to those used in the case of the three men sentenced to death, placed on the same p1ane the acts of the Palestine Government to enforce the law and the acts of the terrorists. He concluded by saying that the motion might contain two different parts — the first, condemning without criminal acts committed, and the second, stating that all acts of violence were contrary to the resolution of the General Assembly.
Mr. SIMIC (Yugoslavia) suggested that the wording might be changed as follows: “…record their deep concern over such acts and underline that they constitute...”
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) declared that he was opposed to the wording proposed by Mr. Salazar since the Committee was not a court of justice. The Committee could record its concern and regret, but could not condemn or interfere in these matters. He recalled that the acts of sabotage and murder committed by the resistance movement during the war against the Nazis in German-occupied Europe were applauded by the Press of the United Nations and yet more strongly condemned by the Germans. He did not know what judgment history might make on the Allied undergrounds and on the present Jewish underground. He concluded by suggesting the approval of the original motion.*
Mr. VISWANATHAN (India) observed that if the words “deep concern” were to connote equally condemnation or applause, then he would oppose the motion very strongly. On behalf of the Indian delegation, he declared that he condemned such acts of violence most strongly, but at the same time he thought that the Committee had no business to pass any resolution on the subject.
Mr. GARCIA SALAZAR (Peru) declared he accepted the proposal of Mr. Simic.
The CHAIRMAN said he considered the proposal by Mr. Salazar as withdrawn. The Committee had before it the propsa1s of Mr. Rand and Mr. Simic.
Mr. BLOM (Netherlands) enquired whether he had understood Mr. Garcia Granados viewpoint correctly, namely, that if the Committee were to express deep concern it was open to history to approve these acts of violence.
Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) replied by stating that history would approve or disapprove — probably disapprove — the acts of violence in Palestine, and that he did not know how history would regard the acts of the Allied undergrounds who had done the same thing during the war. In any event, the Committee was not qualified to act as a court of justice. As individuals, members of the Committee could interpret the acts of violence as they wished, but as members of the Committee they could say only that such acts would jeopardize their work.
The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should vote on the different amendments.
MR. ENTEZAM (Iran) said he would prefer another word instead of “concern” which implied some apprehension.
MR. RAND (Canada) also objected to the word “concern” because, in his opinion, it was an untrue statement of the feelings of members.
MR. ENTEZAM (Iran) agreed with the views of Mr. Rand.
MR. BLOM (Netherlands) also supported Mr. Rand’s views, and suggested the addition of the word “lawless” before the word “acts”. He also wished to be put on record that he did not agree with the comparison made by Mr. Garcia Granados between the Jewish underground and the resistance movements against the Germans during the war.
Mr. VISWANATHAN (India) pointed out that there was no need to say whether the acts of violence were lawful or lawless. Regarding the proposal, as .amended by Mr. Rand, he declared that he accepted part of it. (i.e. condemning acts of violence) but rejected the other part (i.e. action by the Committee). He enquired how to express himself in the roll call.
(After a ruling by the Chairman that the notion must be voted on as a whole Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) suggested that Mr. Viswanathan could abstain and explain his attitude in the record.
Mr. VISWANATHAN then asked in this regard whether Sir Abdur Rahman’s view in the matter as expressed at the fourteenth meeting1 been recorded and the CHAIRMAN replied that its substance had been recorded.
A roll call vote was taken on the proposed amendment by Mr. Rand.
The amendment proposed by Mr. Rand was approved: nine votes in favour (Canada, Czechos1ovakia, Guatemala, Iran, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay and Yugoslavia) and two abstentions (Australia and India).
A roll call vote was then taken on the resolution as a whole as amended.
The resolution amended as follows: “the members of the Committee, taking note of the public reports of acts of violence committed in Palestine since their arrival in the country, record their sense that such acts constitute a flagrant disregard of the appeal made in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 15 May, 1947” was approved: nine votes in favour (Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Iran, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay and Yugoslavia) and two abstentions (Australia and India).
MR. HOOD (Australia), in recording his abstention, referred to his remarks at the fourteenth meeting.
Mr. VISWANATHAN (India) moved that the Committee express its abhorrence of the cowardly attack made on Mr. Major, of the Government Liaison Office.
The CHAIRMAN recalled that the Committee had already decided to charge the Chairman to express their sympathy to Mr. Major for the act of violence to which he had been subject.
Mr. Symeonides (Press Officer) read out the draft text of the press release the meeting.
After discussion and slight amendments the text of the press communique was approved.
The meeting adjourned at 11 p.m.
Document A/AC.13/SR.14, page 1