Home || Permalink
U N I T E D N A T I O N S

General Assembly
Distr.
RESTRICTED

A/AC.21/UK/61
8 March 1948





8 March 1948



UNITED NATIONS PALESTINE COMMISSION

REPORT OF SENATOR FRANCISCO

on the

COMMUNICATION OF UNITED KINGDOM OF 27 FEBRUARY

REGARDING MILITIA


It will be recalled that on 4 February 1948 we held a consultation with the representative of the United Kingdom respecting preliminary steps to be taken by the Commission prior to the termination of the Mandate for the formation of the future militia.

The following are the specific provisions of the General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947 regarding militia:

(1)

In one of the answers given to the Commission by Sir Alexander Cadogan he stated that the Mandatory Power will not permit formation of any militia prior to the termination of the Mandate; but he also stated that the Mandatory Power will not object to preliminary steps being taken to prepare for the formation of an armed militia. In the consultation alluded to, Mr. Fletcher-Cooke in answer to the question whether the Mandatory Power would permit the Commission to take the following preparatory steps,

designation of cantonment areas; recruiting; training; equipping; and establishment of cadres, he said that his own personal view was that his government will not likely agree to any of those four preparatory steps for the formation of a militia, and that he would refer the question to London for a definite answer. According to the communication of Mr. Cooke of 27 February, the answer of the United Kingdom to said question to the following:

I wish to call the attention of the Commission that in this answer there is no definite assurance that the Commission will be allowed to take some preliminary steps during the last fortnight of the mandatory period. The answer expresses a possibility only that some preliminary steps might be taken during the last fortnight of the mandatory period.

As to what those preliminary steps are, the communication does not say.


(2)

In the course of the consultation, Mr. Cooke was asked whether at the termination of the Mandate, the Mandatory Power would turn over to the Commission the arms, equipment, and stores of the Palestine police force; Mr. Cooke answered this question as follows:

“As far as we are concerned they are merely left behind.” (p.6, Verbatim Record)

Mr. Smith said, “They will be left with the successor authority, and that, of course, means the Commission”.

Mr. Cooke added, “1 think you could safely say that the government of Palestine would certainly not hand over the arms with any other authority...they will merely leave it there” (p.7, ibid).

Mr. Smith made this clarification, “As you know, the plan at the moment is that the Commission should arrive in Palestine two weeks in advance me the date of termination. One of the questions to be negotiated between the Commission and the Palestine Administration during that two weeks would be the taking over of the Commission or its representatives of these stores and equipment”. (P.8, Verbatim record)

When Mr. Cooke was asked whether the Mandatory Power would be willing to deliver to the Commission the keys of the stores instead of leaving them in the keyhole, Mr. Smith answered “I think the answer is yes”.

Mr. Falla said: “We would have to take instructions from London on that”.

Mr. Cooke added: “We would have to take instructions on the circumstances and in particular on the point raised here as to the date”.

In the Communication of the United Kingdom delegation of 27 February we find the following statement:

(3)

The following question were also asked during the consultation:

“Would the Mandatory Power allow the Commission to build up a stock of arms and equipment in Palestine to be stored under seal until termination of the Mandate?”

Mr. Cooke’s answer was, “I am afraid it would certainly require reference to London”. (P.5)

In the communication of 27 February, the following appears to be the answer to that question:

I am of the opinion that, in view of the answer of the United Kingdom just quoted, the matter of storing arms and equipment in Palestine by the Commission before the termination of the Mandate should not be pressed further.

(4)

This is another question propounded in the course of the consultation: Here is the answer of Mr. Cooke: Mr. Smith added: The answer of the United Kingdom which was transmitted to the Commission (Communication of February 27) is as follows:
(5)

This is also another question propounded during the consultation: Mr. Cooke: “…I will find out from Palestine how long it will take and whether they can take an inventory prepared to be sent here, or whether it would not be ready until the The communication of February 27 contains the following statement:
(6)

To the question: Mr. Cooke answered; A definite answer to this question may be found in the communication of 27 February. It states: Another question propounded during the consultation was this: Mt. Cooke answered: The answer appearing in the communication of 27 February is the following:
“(g) There is no objection to the arrival at any time of Military or Police advisers to be sent to Palestine by the Commission, provided that they are few in number and that they confine themselves to matters connected with the formation of future Security Forces.” (p.3)
(8)

Another question asked was the following: In the communication of 27 February, the following appears to be a definite answer to the question: The communication stresses the fact that upon the Commission will fall task of forming its own security force to guard their members up to the termination of the Mandate. It says: It is my considered view that no useful purpose could be served in pursuing any further consultation with the representative of the Mandatory Power on the object of militia.

VICENTE J. FRANCISCO (signed)
Philippine Representative

Lake Success, New York
March 8, 1948

Document in PDF format