REPORT OF SENATOR FRANCISCO
COMMUNICATION OF UNITED KINGDOM OF 27 FEBRUARY
The following are the specific provisions of the General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947 regarding militia:
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:
As to what those preliminary steps are, the communication does not say.
“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:
“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:
“(d) As regards the similar question which was raised in respect of a Police Force for Jerusalem to be recruited outside Palestine, it is presumed that the Commission will concert arrangements for a Security Force for Jerusalem with the Trusteeship Council, since it is upon the Governor that the responsibility under the Plan of recruiting such an International Police Force to assist in maintaining law and order in the City fails.”‘(p.2, ibid)
Mr. Cooke: “...The Mandatory Power does not consider itself in any way responsible for maintenance of security after the date of termination of the Mandate, except insofar as the General Officer Commanding will have certain powers which, as you know, will be brought to the notice of the Commission as soon as we have received them from London, but which will, so far as I understand it, limit his functions to those steps which he may find necessary to take in order to facilitate the withdrawal of the British forces.” (p.2)
“3. The Mandatory Power, as has already been stated, will take whatever steps may be possible in regard to the protection of the Commission during the overlap period up till 15 May.”