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Press Release

Department of Public Information l News Coverage Service l New York

30th Meeting
24 November 1947

At this afternoon’s meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question continued the debate on the respective plans for partition and for a unitary State in Palestine.

Statements were made by the Representatives of Pakistan, Uruguay, Lebanon and Mexico.

Representatives of the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee also addressed the Committee which will reconvene at 8:30 p.m.

(A chronological account of this meeting follow in Takes #1 through #4)

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When the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question reconvened this afternoon, SIR MOHAMED ZAFRULLAH KHAN (Pakistan) continued the speech he began this morning.

There was no authority in the Charter, he said, for the United Nations Security Council’s military force to be used to enforce a political settlement or to maintain order within a state, as would occur in the proposed partition of Palestine.

Under the partition plan, he thought, the United Nations would be something of a “super state,” as - direct administering authority ever what members were assured would be independent, sovereign states – the proposed Jewish and Arab states to be set up in Palestine.

As Sir Zafrulllah saw it, the two states would be neither independent nor sovereign. The United Nations Commission would have wide powers ever them, he said.

Sir Zafrullah asked if members were willing to take responsibility for carrying out partition, and setting up a system of government in the two states.

If armed forced were necessary, and they were “bound to be necessary, he said, how would they be obtained and how paid for?

Sir Zafrullah asserted that it would not be a temporary expedient, either, but a drain on military resources and finances of member states, and a constant some of friction.

Taking up the question of the viability of the two states, Sir Zafrullah said that the proposed Jewish state would be given a disproportionate share of irrigated agricultural land and industry.

He also objected the proposed formula for division of surplus customs revenues, calling it artificial and unjustified, particularly in view of the fact that the Jewish state was getting most of the economic resources in Palestine.

With the boundaries as drawn, said Sir Zafrullah, the Jewish state would be viable but even with a subsidy the Arab state would not be. No scope had been left to the Arab State for economic expansion, either, he added.

On all counts, said the Representative of Pakistan, the partition plan was unsatisfactory. It was illegal, unworkable and unjust, and did not solve the problem.

Sir Zafrullah then submitted six amendments to the partition plan (Document A/AC.14/40), which would not make it legal or fair, in his view, but would improve it. The amendments deal with the member ship of the proposed United nations Commission, expropriation of land, division of surplus customs revenues, boundaries and other points.



PROF. HENRIQUE RODRIGUEZ FABREGAT (Uruguay) recognized that the boundary in the Partition Plan could have been more satisfactory, as appeared from the fact that, in several cases, the built-up areas of villages had been separated from their lands. He said, however, that this was due to geographical reasons.

Prof. Fabregat observed that the question as to whether or not the General Assembly had a legal right to take action in the matter of Palestine had been raised mainly at this late stage of the debate. He recalled the proposal he had submitted for the immediate admission to Palestine of 30,000 Jewish children, and regretted that nothing had yet been done to give it effect, but he said, that he would vote for the Plan of Partition, and declared that, by so doing, he would not be voting against anybody buy for the peace and welfare of both the peoples of Palestine.

Mr. Camille Chamoun (Lebanon) stated that in determining the fate of the people of Palestine, the General Assembly was usurping the inalienable right of self-determination of this people.

He denied the right of the General Assembly to invert the United Nations Commission that would implement the Partition Plan, with the powers laid down in that Plan.

Continuing, Mr. Chamoun observed that, in preparing its Plan for Partition, Subcommittee 1 had given no consideration to the Bedouin nomads. He also pointed out that about three quarters of the Jews in refugee camps were of Polish origin and that many of them had entered the Western Zone of Germany in the course of 194. Why, he asked, are there refugees being directed towards Palestine instead of being encouraged to return to Poland?

Turning to the question of boundaries, Mr. Chamoun observed that in several parts of the Jewish State, the Arab population constituted an overwhelming majority. He also criticized the placing in the Arab State of the built up area of many Arab villages and the inclusion of their lands to the Jewish State.

Mr. Chamoun warned the Committee that the Arabs of Palestine would not accept the partition of Palestine.



DR. RAFAEL DE LA COLINA (Mexico) said his Delegation would abstain from voting on this question, because if felt that none of the proposals before the Committee was satisfactory.

He asked if members thought it would be legal or expedient to “impose” a solution, and in view of the past record of the Security Council and the attitude of the Mandatory Power, he wondered if the Council would be able to deal promptly and efficiently with such an explosive situation.

MOSHE SHERTOK, Head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, said the Jewish immigrants to Palestine were not “foreigners” as some speakers had said. They were just as much a part of the country as any other residents, and in no way tools for outside interests, he declared. They played for much higher stakes than that, said Mr. Shertok; they sought a home for themselves and for their people.

The Jews of Palestine would never submit to any plan to subjugate them to the Arabs, he declared. There would be a unanimous, determined resistance by all 700,000 Jews in Palestine if they were forced to remain a perpetual minority, and a clash would be unavoidable.

The Representative of Egypt had warned that the clash would spread to other counties, and would threaten the lives of a million Jews in Arab countries, Mr. Shertok said. This reference to “hostages”, he asserted, was a combination of an attempt at terrorism and a bid for an alibi if such a thing came to pass.

But the Jews would not be alone in this fight, he said, and in any case, the danger would be much greater if the United Nations abdicated its responsibility in this case.

This threat, Mr. Shertok declared, would not deter the Jews, who had lost six millions of their people in recent years – 3 out of every 4 Jews in Europe, and 1 out of 3 in the world.

Subcommittee 1’s plan, he continued, had not been put forward by the Jewish Agency and some parts of it were quite unpalatable to that Agency. The provisions for expropriation of land had been put in by UNSCOP, and had not been sought by the Jewish Agency, but were reasonable, he thought.

Mr. Shertok agreed that the major economic resources were in the proposed Jewish State, but these, he said, had been created by the Jews at great cost in money – some $600,000,000 – and lives. Industry in Palestine, he noted, was 80% to 90% Jewish-created and Jewish-owned.



Mr. JAMAL HUSSENINI, representative of the Arab Higher Committee, began by saying that Palestine is Arab by virtue of countries of permanent occupation. The Balfour Declaration, and the Mandate, he said, were framed in the absence and complete ignorance of the indigenous population of Palestine. Furthermore, he added, there is nothing in either the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate that can be construed as enabling the Jewish Agency to establish a Jewish State in any part of Palestine.

As a democratic State, said Mr. Husseini, Great Britain is bound to hand over the administration only to one Palestinian government representing the majority of the population of Palestine. The Arab Higher Committee, he added, is prepared to take over the government of Palestine and to give full protection to all minorities.

Mr. Husseini declared that while the United Kingdom Government’s refusal to participate in the implementation of the Partition Plan was morally and legally sound, the Mandatory’s similar attitude to the plan for a unitary state was neither morally nor legally sound.

Mr. Husseini said that the United States and the Soviet Union had both contributed to make the Palestine problem more acute, the former by allowing America money and material to be sent to illegal Jewish organizations, and the latter by permitting tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to go to Palestine.

Palestine cannot become the home of the millions of Jews, he said, and he characterized Zionism as an imperialist movement. It will be idle to think, said Mr. Husseini, that the partition of Palestine will no arouse a general uprising in the Arab world.

The Committee adjourned to 8:30 p.m.


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For information media - not an official record