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Source: United Nations Palestine Commission (UNPC)
9 April 1948

Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York

Press Release PAL/155
9 April 1948


The following is the text of a letter addressed in the name of the Palestine Commission by Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, Principal Secretary of the Commission, to John Fletcher-Cooke of the United Kingdom Delegation, concerning urgent outstanding matters with relation to Palestine:

"Dear Fletcher-Cooke:

In view of the short period of time remaining until the Special Session of the General Assembly convenes, and in the light of your telephone conversations with me concerning the views of the Mandatory Power on the subject, the Commission has decided for the time being to defer action on the proposal that it proceed to London for the purpose of carrying on negotiations with His Majesty's Government there.

Irrespective of the ultimate decision of the United Nations on the future government of Palestine, there are a number of matters of considerable urgency, which should be disposed of in order to preserve the greatest possible measure of order and the essential services in Palestine. The uncertainty of the situation created by the convocation of the General Assembly at this advanced stage before 15 May increases the urgency of the need for arrangements to be made to prevent a complete breakdown of administration in Palestine.

Among the matters requiring immediate attention are the following:

A. Security

B. Administration

C. Economic and Financial

The Mandatory Power has recognized the Commission as the successor authority in Palestine. The Commission is of the opinion that its legal status and its duties remain substantially unaltered until changed by action of the General Assembly. In view of the short period of time remaining until 15 May, the prospect that the General Assembly might make provision for advance arrangements in regard to the above matters seems remote. Accordingly the Commission, believing that the Mandatory Power does not intend to abandon Palestine to complete chaos after 15 May, is prepared to hold itself at the disposal of the Mandatory Power to discuss the necessary arrangements that should be made immediately with respect to the above matters. The Commission would appreciate receiving the views of the Mandatory Power in this regard.

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