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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/C.1/PV.48
7 May 1947

UNITED NATIONS

OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE FIRST SPECIAL

SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

VOLUME III

MAIN COMMITTEES

Verbatim records of Meeting

28 April - 13 May 1947

Lake Success, New York



TABLE OF CONTENTS

First Committee

...

FORTY-EIGHTH MEETING

...

Held at Lake Success, New York, on Wednesday, 7 May 1947, at 11 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. L. B. PEARSON(Canada).

The CHAIRMAN: The forty-eighth meeting of the First Committee is called to order. I note that it is now 11.17 a.m. and the meeting was supposed to begin at 11 a.m. Eleven o'clock is not really very early in the morning, and I hope that we can begin punctually at 11 a.m. and at 3 p.m. And, if the Committee will allow me, by the presence of a quorum, I propose to start as sharply on time as possible.

I think I should announce to the Committee that following the passage of our decision (document A/C.1/151) yesterday,1/. I sent, as Chairman of the Committee, a communication to the Secretary of the Palestine Arab delegation as follows:

"Sir:

"I have the honour to transmit the following resolution adopted by the First Committee of the General Assembly at the forty-seventh meeting on 6 May 1947:

"The First Committee resolves:

"1. To grant a hearing to the Jewish Agency for Palestine and to the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine ..."

The rest of that resolution followed in the letter. The final paragraph of my letter is as follows:

"In view of this resolution, you may wish to reconsider the withdrawal of the request of the Palestine Arab delegation to be heard with regard to the constituting and instructing of the special committee referred to in the above resolution."

I should also like to announce to the Committee that a communication for a hearing has been received from the Committee for Freedom of North Africa (document A/C.1/152). That communication has been referred to the Sub-Committee which was appointed yesterday, and which will hold its first meeting at 10 a.m. this morning.

The subject on our agenda this morning, item 4, is the constituting and instructing of a special committee to prepare for the consideration of the question of Palestine at the second regular session (document A/C.1/136).

We made considerable progress yesterday, and I hope that on this item of the agenda we will be able to make equal progress today. In view of the discussion yesterday of our terms of reference, and particularly on this item of our terms of reference, I think it might be well to read once again what this item covers in the resolution adopted by the plenary Assembly, which binds us in our discussions.

The resolution (document A/C.1/136) is:

"The General Committee,

"Having considered at its twenty-eighth meeting the item on the provisional agenda (document A/293) entitled 'Constituting and instructing a special committee to prepare for the consideration of the question of Palestine at the second regular session,' submitted by the Government of the United Kingdom.

"Recommends that the item be placed on the agenda of the General Assembly and referred for consideration to the First Committee."

Yesterday in the discussion, some fear, as a matter of fact also some confidence, was expressed that the Chairman would be unable to restrict the discussion on this item on the agenda and that it would be impossible not to talk about the whole substance of the Palestine problem. Therefore, I think it is well just to recall again that our subject of discussion is the constituting and instructing of a special committee, and only that. On this item we have received two resolutions, one from my colleague of Argentina, in document A/C.1/149, which you have before you, a draft resolution concerning a special committee on the question of Palestine; the other resolution, A/C.1/150, from my colleague the representative of the United States, is a draft resolution concerning the establishment of a commission of inquiry on Palestine. These two resolutions differ somewhat both in regard to the constitution and the terms of reference of the proposed special committee.

I do not know how the Committee wishes to deal with this item on the agenda, but I should like to propose, myself, that it might be desirable, unless the Committee feels otherwise, to have in the first instance a short, I hope, general discussion on this item on the agenda, both as regards the constituting and the instructing of a special committee, after which general discussion we would be in a better position to decide how to deal with the special resolutions which we have before us, and any other resolutions or specific proposal which may arise out of the general discussion. I wonder whether that procedure would commend itself to the Committee. If so, then we might begin our general discussion on the constituting and instructing of a special committee of inquiry on the Palestine problem.

The first speaker I have on my list is the representative of the United States of America.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America):

I am about to explain, briefly, the resolution offered by the United States. Before doing that, permit me to express my deep appreciation of the service rendered by the representative of Argentina in offering the resolution which we have before us on the part of Argentina. The purposes of both resolutions are the same, and the choice between the two is one of good judgment. Neither of these resolutions, in our opinion, could lead to harm, but there are strong reasons why we take our position, not-withstanding the confidence expressed by the representative of Argentina in providing that the investigating committee should consist of eleven Members, namely, China, France, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, United States and other States described therein.

We recognize the confidence expressed in bringing into the committee the permanent members of the Security Council. There are some advantages in that, but from our point of view, the superior advantages in having a neutral committee, in the beginning, caused us to adhere to our suggestions which we have made that the permanent members should not be on the committee. Our thought in the matter is that although the permanent members could contribute to the work of that special committee some things that, perhaps, the non-permanent members could not contribute, yet the special interests involved among the five great Powers is a strong reason for not putting them on the committee.

We wish to make a record here that for all time, for all posterity, will be one of sound judgment, and to make our beginning one that sets up as nearly an independent body as we can devise. We would hardy recognize that a body which contains the five great Powers was entirely independent and most removed from bias. We would have to admit in the beginning that we had mingled in this committee opposed interests and opposing biases which might delay and interfere with a unanimous agreement in that special committee, which is so necessary for us to start our work in the September meeting of the General Assembly.

Therefore, I regret that I find myself obliged to adhere to the position of the United States on that point. However, I thank the representative of Argentina for his confidence in saying that, notwithstanding these interests, the permanent members could assume a position of fairness and freedom from any ulterior pressures. This is a great compliment to the great Powers.

It may be quite true that we could start off with our minds cleared of fixed ideas, free from bias. Nevertheless, would it suffice in our appearance before the world upon this very difficult question? Must we not also, besides being neutral, give the appearance of being neutral?

It is with this purpose in mind that the United States has offered in its resolution to establish a committee of inquiry on Palestine consisting of one representative of each of the following Governments: Canada, Czechoslovakia, Iran, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay.

You will note that this is quite a small committee. Possibly the Committee may wish to enlarge it somewhat. However, from our point of view, a small committee could act more expeditiously in an inquiry which will virtually take it round the world.

This selection is made with regard to the geographical distribution of the States as well as with the idea in mind of having States which do not have apparent close interests involved in the problem they will have to study. I believe I need say no more about that at this time.

With regard to the fourth paragraph, instructing the special committee, the United States proposes the following:

"To instruct the committee to assemble, analyse and collate all pertinent data on the question; to receive testimony from interested Governments and from such non-governmental organizations and individuals as the committee in its discretion may deem appropriate; to study the various issues which are involved and to submit to the next regular session of the General Assembly such proposals for the solution of the problem of Palestine as it may determine to be useful for the effective consideration of the problem by the General Assembly."

The idea here tried out is to give to this committee a direction which is neither too broad nor too narrow, but one which is calculated to bring to us the very best type of report, to enable us to make a choice, if necessary, between two or more alternative plans. Of course, it might be that such a committee would come out with a unanimous single plan. That would be a rather remarkably good result, I should say. However, whatever recommendation this committee were to make, should it be constituted as we have suggested here, it would have the benefit of both actual impartiality and independence and the appearance of impartiality and independence.

Therefore, the report of the committee, with as many alternatives as it chooses to make, would command the respect and gain the support of the conscience of all men. In our opinion, that is more important than anything else. We believe that, unless the work which we do in this matter can have the approbation of all men, or nearly all men, it will not have power enough in and of itself to be a real solution of the problem. On the other hand, if we are fortunate enough to get out a report which is free from the criticism of unfairness and has the merit of justice and good balance, as well as being a practicable plan, we will serve humanity in a great degree.

The other parts of this resolution relate to the implementation of the committee, so as to facilitate its work, namely,

"To authorize the committee, in consultation with the Secretary-General, with a view to ensuring adequate administrative services and economy, to sit wherever it may consider necessary or desirable for the fulfilment of its functions." In this respect the General Assembly:

"Requests the mandatory Power and other Members to make available to the committee, on its request, any pertinent data or factual information which it believes may be useful in the preparation of its report;

"Requests the Secretary-General to enter into suitable arrangements with the proper authorities of any State in whose territory the committee may wish to sit or to travel, to provide necessary facilities, and to assign appropriate staff to the committee;

"Authorizes the Secretary-General to reimburse travel and subsistence expenses of a representative and an alternate representative from each Government represented on the committee on such basis and in such form as he may determine most appropriate in the circumstances;

"Authorizes the Secretary-General to advance from the Working Capital Fund such funds as may be required to finance the expenses of the committee without regard to existing limitations on such advances."

What I have to say on behalf of the resolution introduced by the United States is not in criticism of the other resolution, and we do not hold any views regarding the other resolution that could be resented in the slightest degree by anybody truly interested in the solution of this problem. What we seek is a sound decision, a decision as. nearly perfect as our human frailties will permit. Certainly we wish to have this record show so that the entire world will know from the beginning, that we aim at an impartial, independent and just solution of this question.

Mr. ARCE (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): The draft resolution which has been circulated by the Secretariat sums up the Argentine delegation's views on the composition and powers of the special committee of investigation which is to prepare for the consideration of the question of Palestine by the General Assembly in September.

Our viewpoint is based on a number of general principles, the impartiality of which cannot be questioned, even by those who do not agree with them.

First of all, the committee must be representative of the Assembly, which is composed of fifty-five Members. It should have one representative for every five Members of the Assembly and ought, therefore, to consist of eleven members. Six Members, or an absolute majority, would constitute a quorum, and would make it possible for the committee to function.

But in order that it should be really representative of the United Nations, its members should be chosen in such a way that all of the continents would be represented in proportion to the number of Member States within their boundaries.

The Member nations are fifty-five in number: of these, twenty-two are in America, sixteen in Europe, ten in Asia, four in Africa and three in the Pacific area, or what is referred to geographically as Oceania. The American countries ought therefore to have four members, the European countries three, the Asiatic countries two, Africa one, and Oceania one.

We have spoken of constituting a committee of neutrals. I do not doubt that the countries to whom this difficult task will be assigned will endeavour to be neutral, and will be able to show neutrality in this matter. But to be quite frank, I do not believe any countries can be really neutral whether by reason of direct relation with the political interests at stake, or by reason of political ties with Powers directly concerned in the problem.

That is why I thought it might be better to leave it to the judgment of God, deciding by lot which countries should serve on the committee. If we proceed in this manner, nobody will be able to accuse us of partiality, and the members who make up the committee will enjoy complete independence.

We are, however, dealing with a problem which requires the presence of certain countries. The permanent members of the Security Council have more responsibility in this problem than the other Members of the United Nations, and I feel that they should not try to evade it.

The five countries of Arab origin are entitled to exactly one representative, since they constitute one-eleventh of the United Nations. That leaves five members to be chosen by lot.

Apart from the United States, which would in any case be included on the committee, three more of the twenty-one American countries would have to be chosen by lot to complete the representation of this continent.

Europe, which is entitled to three members, already has its full number of representatives with France, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.

The Member countries of the Pacific area are entitled to one representative, who should be drawn by lot from among Australia, the Philippines and New Zealand.

Before determining the representation of Africa and Asia, it would be advisable to decide by lot which of the countries of Arab origin ought to belong to the Committee. If Egypt were chosen, Africa would have its representative and it would be necessary to draw lots to decide which of the non-Arab countries of Asia, Afghanistan, India, Iran and Turkey, should, together with China, make up the representation of Asia.

If, on the other hand, one of the four Asiatic countries were chosen to represent the Arabs, Asia's representation would be complete, and it would be necessary for Ethiopia, Liberia and South Africa to draw lots for the position of representative of the African continent.

To bring together in one hall the so-called Big Five, a representative of the Arab States and those of five other States chosen by lot is to place the problem in the hands of all those who have some interest in it and ought therefore to make an effort to find a solution for it.

Arabs and Jews from Palestine and the Jewish Agency will be able to attend the meetings of the committee of investigation, and will have a voice though, of course, no vote. The mandatory Power will also have to be heard.

The committee should have absolutely unlimited powers, not only to collect information and record the facts, but also to propose solutions. The committee should be empowered to propose any solution, ranging from the maintenance of the status quo to the independence of Palestine, for it is in order to find a solution for this difficult problem that the committee is being set up.

The report and recommendations or solutions which the committee may reach will have to be submitted to the Secretary-General by 1 September next in order that he may communicate them to the Member States and place the report as the first item on the agenda of the second regular session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The committee of investigation ought, of course, to hear the United Kingdom in its capacity as mandatory Power, and the parties concerned: namely, a representative of the Arabs residing in Palestine, a representative of the Jews residing in Palestine and a representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

The Argentine delegation wishes to fulfil its duty by co-operating, with the greatest impartiality, in the solution of this problem. It has no interests at stake. It believes that its proposal for the constitution of the committee is the best way to be just and respect the rights of all. It does not, however, think that it has any monopoly of the truth, and consequently, in submitting this proposal for your consideration, it is prepared to hear arguments and to consider points of view which may have escaped its attention and which may upset or modify its opinion. What it desires is a just settlement of this problem at the earliest possible date, so that the committee of investigation may begin its work without delay.

We have just heard the representative of the United States, who told us quite clearly that the United States would prefer not to be on the committee and suggested a smaller committee. I should have no objection to the second point.

As regards the first, I must say that if one or more of the permanent members on the Security Council would prefer not to be on the committee, or would object to being on it, for reasons such as those expressed by Mr. Austin, or for other reasons which may appear later, the truth is that neither I nor the members of the committee could oblige them to be on it and we should respect their attitude.

I wish, however, to point out that in that case my proposal could not be maintained or proceeded with since it has a unity of conception and structure which allows only very slight modifications.

If one or two of the permanent members on the Security-Council do not wish to be on the committee, we cannot replace them by any two other States, since my proposal is based on the premise that the five permanent members should be included on the committee. Our proposal would have failed, not because it was unjust the representative of the United States himself recognized this fact but for causes over which we have no control. This ought not to tie our hands. We should have to seek another solution.

This is what I wish to say to my colleagues, for the moment, asking them to take into account not only the details of my proposal, but also the fact that it has a unity of structure and conception, and that if this is destroyed, the whole proposal will fall to the ground.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I am sure that the Committee will be grateful to the two delegations which have submitted definite proposals, and grateful that action on their part enables us to embark upon the work which this Committee has to perform and will tend, I hope, to facilitate and canalize our discussion.

I will not at the moment go into the details of either of these two proposals that are before us, but I want to make one general point, and that is that my Government is in favour of a small, so-called neutral committee on the lines proposed by the representative of the United States. Of course, it is agreed by everyone here that the committee of investigation we set up will hear witnesses from all sides, representatives of all interests. But my Government thinks that for that reason, it would be better that all interested parties should be excluded from participation in the investigating committee itself, for if they were included, that would', it seems to me, involve an alternation between the witness stand and the jury box that would not be altogether seemly.

Thinking along those lines would lead us to the conclusion that the committee should not include any representative of the Arab States. It would mean further that my Government, the United Kingdom, should also be excluded. That might lead also to the conclusion that the other permanent members of the Security Council should not serve on the committee.

We feel very strongly, along with Mr. Austin, that the aim should be to attempt to get a report produced by a body which the world would recognize as being composed of representatives whose Governments had no direct interest in the problem at issue.

We believe in that manner, if the committee were properly selected, we should get a purely objective, disinterested and, I should even hope, unanimous report which would facilitate enormously the work of the General Assembly in September. Therefore, without going into the details of the two proposals now before us, I feel bound to state, at the outset, that is the feeling of my Government in regard to the composition of the committee.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): On behalf of my Government I propose to keep strictly to our proposal that we have a general discussion on the question of constituting and instructing the special committee. Those are the terms of reference for this Committee. I, personally, would have anticipated that we all would have had an opportunity of expressing our views on the question of hearing the thoughts and opinions of the organizations representing the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine.

I am not sure whether we are supposed to deal with these two papers as a basis of discussion. To our mind, it seems entirely wrong in principle that, before any views are heard at all, we should have two papers with preconceived ideas before us, and in one case, even before this Committee met, the terms of one paper were given out to the press. To my mind that seems very uncomplimentary to this Committee.

I make those general observations because I think we should all have had a chance to hear the various views before definitive proposals and resolutions were put before us. Our mind goes back to the past eight days when most of the argumentation and disputation was caused by premature resolutions.

As to the views which have been put forward, and I gather they are generally held, or there is a large measure of acceptance, by the representative of the Argentine, that the composition of the committee should include the five permanent members of the Security Council, it is the view of my Government that this committee should consist of eleven neutral members. We cannot accept the argument that the inclusion of the five permanent members will give greater authority to the proposed committee. Any committee which is constituted will have the whole authority of the General Assembly of the United Nations. We have in mind certain committees. For example, the Military Staff Committee, which has taken all these months to produce certain reports, failed to reach agreement on important points. We have in mind the four great Powers, alone or comprising a committee, which have been so slow, say, in connexion with the Austrian and German peace treaties. We had a similar situation arising in the case of the Italian and satellite peace treaties.

It seems to us that any committee which has the five great Powers on it may be unconsciously influenced by political interests, by defence or strategical interests or by economic interests. A completely neutral committee will not have those considerations in mind.

Here we have one of the first occasions in the history of the United Nations when two of the great Powers, the United Kingdom and the United States, say to the rest of us, "You have talked a lot about our failure to reach agreement; now, here is a chance for you to accept real responsibility." We feel that responsibility should be accepted.

To our mind the compromise suggestion just made by the representative of the Argentine, that if all the permanent members of the Security Council are not prepared to act, then two or three of them should, is incorrect. If this Committee accepts the proposition that all the permanent members of the Security Council should be included, then, it seems to me, in that case they all have to accept that responsibility, and whether they like it or not they are duty-bound to accept the responsibility of sitting on that committee. Our view is that they should not be.

As to the terms of reference, the views of my Government are that they should be wide and elastic and capable of a liberal interpretation. They should not be detailed. Those of you who have served on inquiries and Royal Commissions know too well how long enumeration of terms of reference can circumscribe the actions of a committee. In other words, members are always apt to see if their investigation, their report and their recommendation are within the ambit of their terms of reference.

We feel the terms of reference should be wide, without limitation as to scope and with no restriction as to the manner or method for the conduct of the inquiry. We, as a Committee, should not lay down any rules of procedure to guide them. For example, they should be completely free to go to Palestine or any other place. We assume, also, the terms of reference will provide for definite recommendations toward a solution.

We further assume that if there is no unanimity, we will have a majority report and a minority report.

Finally, we feel that the committee should be free to take evidence from any source. In the course of the discussion, our views are that this Committee should first consider the terms of reference. We must know clearly what the terms of reference are to before example, whether the committee's duty is purely to collate information and be a fact-finding committee, or whether it will bring in recommendations. We say that until you know the terms of reference, you cannot really go into the question of the composition of your committee. It might well influence the type of members and the constitution of the committee to deal with the terms of reference laid down by you in this Committee.

Therefore, without prejudging the case, or the issues, or the views of other members in any way, we give these preliminary observations.

Mr. MOE (Norway): The Norwegian delegation has asked for the floor in order to draw the attention of this Committee to one aspect of this problem before us which has so far not been touched upon. In the opinion of the Norwegian delegation, the difficulty of finding a just and satisfactory solution to the Palestine question are increased by the linking together of two problems which are not necessarily interdependent.

The first problem is the question of the future status of Palestine; the second problem is the question of the homeless Jews in Europe. These two problems are usually linked together in every discussion of the Palestine question. It is taken for granted that the only solution of the humanitarian problem of Jewish homelessness is immigration to Palestine and it is thus dependent upon a solution of the political question of the future status of Palestine.

It must be manifest to everybody that the only effect of linking together these two problems is to render more difficult the solution of each. It is evident that the appalling tragedy of the homeless Jews in Europe makes it much more urgent to find a solution to the question of Palestine, as long as Palestine is considered to be the only place where Jewish refugees can find a home.

On the other hand, it does not make it easier to solve the question of the status of Palestine as long as a solution is linked up with the possible influx of new waves of immigrants. For these reasons the Norwegian delegation ventures the opinion that the task of this special session of the General Assembly and, also, the task of the regular session this autumn, would be less difficult if we could make the problem of Jewish homelessness in Europe the object of special study, which naturally does not preclude its study in connexion with the Palestine question.

This is not only desirable, it is necessary, because it is a fact that even under the most favourable political conditions Palestine is not able to absorb, for a long period, all the Jewish refugees and all the homeless Jews in Europe.

The Anglo-American Committee states in its report that the hundred thousand certificates for Palestine will provide for only a comparatively small proportion of the total number of Jewish refugees in Europe. This means that even if one arrives at a satisfactory solution of the problem that has now been put on the agenda of the United Nations, the Organization will nevertheless be faced with the responsibility for those refugees and homeless Jews who cannot go to Palestine.

In the memorandum submitted to the President of the United States in September 1946, Mr. Edwin W. Pauley proposed that without compromising the immediate movement of one hundred thousand Jews into Palestine, a programme should also be undertaken at once to deal with the larger problem of finding homes for the one million remaining.

This problem of Jewish homelessness can only be eased if the Member States will grant Jewish refugees a temporary or a permanent home. If the question of the political future of Palestine is mainly a question for the Governments directly concerned, the question of what to do with the Jewish refugees is one with regard to which every Member State is free to take its part of the responsibility with which the Organization of the United Nations is faced.

Norway has tried to do its part. A year ago— not a full year after the country was liberated, and in spite of the difficulties in connexion with the reconstruction of the country—the Norwegian Government declared its willingness to admit six hundred Jewish refugees from the displaced persons camps in Germany. Some of the Jewish refugees have already received their papers. The Norwegian Government is fully aware that six hundred is not many, even for a small country Me ours. But the Government was of the opinion that in accord with the best traditions of Nansen, Norway should show its willingness to alleviate the sufferings of the refugees, of whatever race, creed or colour they might be.

I stated that the problem of Jewish homelessness could be eased only if the Member States would grant Jewish refugees a temporary or permanent home. The problem of Jewish homelessness can only be solved by finding places for large-scale colonization somewhere within the overseas areas of the freedom-loving nations. In this respect, the Norwegian delegation wants to pay its tribute to the Government of the Netherlands and the authorities of Dutch Guiana who have shown their readiness to accept and assist in large-scale Jewish colonization in Surinam. We also want to pay tribute to the British and French Governments which are studying similar projects in some of their overseas areas.

It is not intended that these Jewish settlements should become separate political entities. Their members should become citizens of the country of refuge and the settlement should become an organized part of the political structure of the country.

It would be a step backward if the United Nations were to accept the assumption that peoples of different races, creeds and colours could not live peacefully together within the borders of one country and, that as a result of this the world would be more divided, instead of more unified. In this respect, one might profit from the experience of the Soviet Union and of the United States of America, an experience which has shown the world how a great variety of nationalities can live and work together. It is therefore a great pleasure to see that the large and influential part of Jewish opinion, irrespective of its attitude toward the Palestine question, is working in this direction. I will mention only the Freedom League, to whose persevering efforts are due the possibilities for large-scale colonization which have been opened in Dutch Guiana.

The point the Norwegian delegation wants to make is this: Besides studying the question of the future status of Palestine and the proposed immigration into Palestine, the General Assembly should, in fulfilment of the humanitarian pledges laid down in the Charter, at the same time make a study of the problem of Jewish refugees and the possibilities of temporary or permanent immigration and colonization. The Norwegian delegation is convinced that such a separate study of the problem of the refugees will also make it easier to arrive at a satisfactory solution of the political problems because the element of urgency, the background of suffering and misery will, if it will not disappear from the political picture, at least not distort the political picture to the same extent as now.

Lately, many doubts have been expressed as to the power and possibilities of the United Nations to carry out some of its most important tasks. -A small country like Norway, a country for which a new war would mean total ruin and death, cannot, even if it is worried, share this pessimistic attitude. It may take time, it may require an almost unbearable patience, but this great venture into national peace with collaboration, which is the United Nations, has to succeed, must succeed, if humanity shall not at the height of its technical development be thrown back into the dark ages. But, whatever one thinks of the political tasks of the United Nations, it should be possible for fifty-five Member States to find a means to put an end to the tragedy and the misery of the Jews in Europe. It should be possible, in a spirit of humanitarian solidarity, to find the means to help those whose only request is to have a place to live in this great world.

The Norwegian delegation wishes, therefore, to suggest that the terms of reference should include a study of the problem of the Jewish refugees and its possible solution. This could perhaps not be an exhaustive study, but it would give some indications as to how this problem could be solved, and I repeat, this would certainly make it easier to find a solution to the purely political problem of the future status of Palestine.

The CHAIRMAN: I hope that with all respect I might be permitted to point out to the member from Norway that no matter what we should be discussing, our instructions from the General Assembly are to discuss only the constitution and work of a special committee. I take it from his statement that the Norwegian representative would propose that as one item of the terms of reference of that special committee, there should be the whole question of the Jewish situation in Europe, though our duty is to discuss the constitution of this special committee, to prepare a report for the consideration of the Assembly on the question of Palestine.

Mr. MOE (Norway): I think my remarks and my suggestions are appropriate because no one can deny that the whole political problem of Palestine is closely linked up with the question of immigration to Palestine. It is quite evident that the investigating committee will have to look into the problem of immigration into Palestine.

Mr.GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I think that of all the representatives who have spoken at this meeting, only the representative of Norway has spoken to the point. The Australian representative's remarks were in part relevant. I think that the other speakers were irrelevant in the sense that they began at the end.

I do not think that we should begin our discussion at the end,, that is to say, by discussing the composition of the committee. The Chairman made a correct suggestion at the beginning, when he said that the question of discussing the resolution should be considered after the general debate. The subsequent discussion at this meeting took a somewhat different turn. I think that the Chairman's first suggestion was the correct one.

The CHAIRMAN: It is quite true that the Chairman suggested that we should begin our work with a general discussion of the constitution and work of a special committee. Of course, it is quite in order for any member of the Committee, in discussing that subject, to refer to any resolution before the Committee. As a matter of fact, I think it is quite in order, and not only in order, but of considerable assistance to the Committee to have movers of the resolutions on this subject explain their resolutions to the Committee. They have only done so in general terms, and I suggest that is in order.

As to the remark by the representative of Norway, I agree, of course, that the point he has made might well be considered as a point for the terms of reference of this special committee. I was just expressing the hope once again—and I think I might as well stop expressing this hope— that in discussing these points for inclusion in the terms of reference, it might not be necessary at this stage of our proceedings, or, indeed, at this special Assembly, to go into the whole history behind each special point.

Mr. VAN ROIJEN (Netherlands): The Netherlands delegation has read with interest and appreciation the draft resolutions of the Argentine and the United States delegations concerning the constitution and instruction of the special committee to be set up by the General Assembly. Both draft resolutions contain provisions regarding the composition of the committee, and Also provisions regarding the terms of reference to be given to that committee.

In respect of the composition of the committee, my delegation wishes, for the moment, to reserve its attitude and to hear all the arguments to be put forward here for or against the inclusion of representatives of all or some of the five permanent members of the Security Council on this special committee, before deciding our stand.

We believe at first approach that there is a great deal to be said for the contention that there are very definite advantages attached to keeping the committee small and limited to the so-called neutral smaller States. We are of the opinion, with regard to the instructions to be given to the special committee, that if some such terms of reference as those prepared and proposed by the delegation of the United States could be adopted for that committee, we shall have taken a long step in the right direction.

My delegation has held, and still holds, the opinion that any terms of reference for the special committee should be as broad and as comprehensive as possible. We believe that the committee should be empowered to go anywhere it deems fit, to hear any Government or person or groups of persons that it may desire to, and finally, to make recommendations to the General Assembly, and not to be in any way limited to only selecting facts and figures. In all these respects, we feel that the American draft resolution before us answers the purpose.

The Netherlands Government just as, I am sure, all other Governments represented on this Committee, is extremely anxious to reach a wise and equitable solution for the painful and unfortunately complicated problem of Palestine. The Netherlands, through the centuries, has felt friendship and warm sympathy for the Jewish people. The Netherlands has always had at the same time, largely, though not exclusively, through her seventy million Indonesian nationals, of whom the large majority are Mohammedans, strong and friendly ties uniting her with the Arab world. A solution acceptable to all parties concerned, and therefore to world opinion in general, in our opinion is well within the realm of possibility.

It was for this very reason that my Government so warmly welcomed the initiative of the Government of the United Kingdom in placing the problem of Palestine before the United Nations, because doing so, it was felt, had brought the solution a step nearer.

It is, of course, essential, if such a solution is to be found, that all parties be heard, that all facts and pertinent data relating to the question be ascertained, and that recommendations accordingly be made to the General Assembly. But it is no less essential that the committee entrusted with this task should in no way be restricted. On the contrary, it should be given very broad instructions.

It is for this reason that the Netherlands delegation will give its support to this part of the United States draft resolution before us.

I should like, before ending these brief remarks, to say one more word. A few days ago my neighbour from New Zealand made a very stirring appeal to the General Assembly for all parties concerned to refrain, at any rate for the present, as long as the matter is under consideration by the United Nations, from any deed of violence. Yesterday we listened to a similar and extremely eloquent plea from the representative of Haiti2/. I desire to associate myself wholeheartedly with both my colleagues and to add my voice to theirs in appealing to all those concerned for patience and forbearance.

Mr. KOSANOVIC (Yugoslavia): I intended to express the Yugoslav view in connexion with the proposals of the United States delegation and the Argentine delegation on the composition of the committee of inquiry, but if you think it would be better to speak on that later, I could wait.

The CHAIRMAN: No. It is quite in order to speak on that now; it is part of the general discussion on constitution and work.

Mr. KOSANOVIC (Yugoslavia): Let us be completely sincere. Is it possible to be neutral in this problem? I do not think there is any neutrality here. Neutrality means no opinion. Dante puts neutral opinion in his Inferno. Those who are neither with God nor with the devil are in the inferno.

We have our opinion. We are impartial perhaps, but our neutrality is the result of a compromise. That is our neutrality. Together we make up the United Nations. We have to find a compromise view on a very important problem, a problem involving peace in a very important place in the world.

Therefore, the Yugoslav delegation thinks that it would be useful to have a committee composed of, I do not know how many smaller States with the participation of the Big Five or of the permanent members of the Security Council, who would participate forthwith in the thorough discussion of this committee on the spot. We would then have a report prepared for the General Assembly in September.

If we do not put the permanent members of the Security Council on this committee of inquiry, I am sure in September we will have a very, very prolonged discussion on this entire problem. Why not avoid that now?

I agree with the representative of Argentina in the part of his resolution which states that the Big Five should be included, but I cannot agree with this: that if some of the Big Five refuse to participate, we will not be able to choose them. I think if an appeal is made to them by this First Committee to participate in the committee, they will not be able to refuse to participate.

The Yugoslav delegation agrees that there should be perhaps nine or eleven members on this committee, but we think that the European countries are more directly interested in the right solution of this problem than those from some other continent. Therefore, the European countries should be represented by a larger number than that proposed by the Argentine delegation.

To turn back again to the matter of neutrality, I should like to quote the representative of the United Kingdom. He used the words "so-called neutrals", and the representative of the United States used the words "giving the appearance of being neutral." Therefore, the representatives who propose the non-participation of the Big Five admit there would be only so-called neutrals. Why not be clear and open and participate directly?

As to the terms of reference, in general, that part of the United States resolution, with some amendments, could be taken as a basis for discussion. This is, at this time, the opinion of the Yugoslav delegation.

The CHAIRMAN: I am impressed by the arguments of the representative of Yugoslavia — and Dante — that we should not refer to the committee mentioned in the United States proposal as a committee of neutral powers. Perhaps, it would be better to call it a committee consisting of Members of the United Nations other than the permanent members of the Security Council, a committee of compromising powers.

Mr. PALZA (Bolivia) (translated from Spanish ): I am somewhat confused by the manner in which we have begun this session, and I hope the Chairman will be able to clear up my doubts.

I believe the resolutions ought to represent the end of our work. The resolution (document A/C.1/151) which we adopted yesterday gives us the directives or general lines which we are to follow in constituting and instructing the committee. We ought not to begin where we should leave off, for supposing we had adopted either the United States or the Argentine resolution—I do not mind which—what would the position have been? We should have completed our work in half an hour, because the resolution said, amongst other things, that we should hear, for example, the Jewish Agency. Having approved the resolution, we should have heard the interested parties and then perhaps we should have had to go back on our resolutions.

As far as I am concerned, I am desirous of hearing certain elements of the population and of obtaining certain data in order that we may know how to constitute that committee. We should not begin by constituting the committee and then hearing the Arab and Jewish agencies, etc.

In my opinion, therefore, we ought to begin with a general discussion, which would give us sufficient material on which to base our opinion, and then draw up the resolutions which are under discussion today.

That is why I say I am somewhat confused, for I think that we are starting our work at the wrong end. I repeat that I believe that what should be done is, first, to listen to the parties concerned, and then, when we have all the data, we should be in a position to constitute the committee.

The CHAIRMAN: The point made by the representative of Bolivia is a very important one, but I do not think, myself, that there need be any confusion about this discussion. Of course, we are bound by the resolution adopted yesterday, and it would be impossible under that resolution for this Committee to make any final decision in this matter until we had heard the representatives of the organizations, the Jewish Agency and any others that the Committee might decide to hear. A procedure for determining that matter and reporting to this Committee has been established. The procedure in regard to the hearing of the Jewish Agency is awaiting a reply from the Jewish Agency as to who will appear for them. As soon as we get that reply, they can be invited, if the Committee so desires, to state their case at once. But, no final decision could, of course, be made on this matter until we do hear from them. Though it might be useful to have their views first, nevertheless, I think it is also quite in order for the members of the Committee to express their own views, if they have views, on the constituting and instructing of the committee. They are in a position to state these rules before they hear the interested organizations. We are merely giving them the opportunity to do so.

I would also point out that when the representatives of the agencies appear, they will be stating their views only on the same subject that we are dealing with now, the constituting and instructing of a special committee. But, I can give the member an assurance, as far as the Chair is concerned, that no decision can be made on this point until we hear the representatives of those agencies.

Mr. BELT(Cuba) (translated from Spanish): There are at least two proposals before this Committee concerning the manner hi which the special committee for the study of the Palestine question should be constituted: one, the proposal submitted by the United States, which advocates a committee of neutrals; the other, that of the Argentine, which advocates a committee including among its members the Big Five.

I fully agree with my Yugoslav colleague, when he says that it is very difficult to find any country which is neutral in this question. As a distinguished writer has said: "Only the stars are neutral."

Meanwhile, we are wasting precious time.

For my part I wish to say that the Cuban delegation makes a distinction between countries which are neutral and those which are partial. There are no neutral countries, but there may be some that are partial, and I believe such countries ought to be expressly excluded from the committee.

It seems to me that we ought to include in that committee, which should not be very big, not more than seven members, some countries such as the United States, the Soviet Union and France. Afterwards we could discuss who the others should be, but I think that if these three countries were on the committee, it would be in better position to find the right solutions or make the proper recommendations.

Mr. ASAF ALI(India): I have been listening to the debate, almost with impatience, while eminent sense has flowed from all directions. There is much to be said about the two proposals which have originated in two quarters, namely, the United States and Argentina, and although there is a great deal to be said about both of them, I have, a feeling along the same line as the feeling of the representative of Bolivia.

I feel that we are putting the cart before the horse. The representatives of Palestine, whether' Jew or Arab, have not yet been heard. We do not yet know what their feelings are. We do not know what is happening as far as these representatives are concerned, whether they are coming before us or not.

We are discussing the constitution of the committee which is going to be set up and we are trying to consider the terms of reference which must be provided for this committee. It appears to me that the whole of this discussion will become infructuous if the representatives of Palestine before us and disagree with the decisions which we are now making. We shall then have to go over the entire ground with them and modify our views in order for us to be able to create an atmosphere of calm and amity, an atmosphere free from acrimony, an atmosphere free from any kind of feeling that justice will not be done.

If that is our object—and it should be our object—by far the best course for us to pursue would be to suspend this discussion for a little while and at least satisfy those who appear to be hesitant in appearing before this Committee. I have been given to understand that the Arab Higher Committee is not likely to come before this Committee until the General Assembly has endorsed the resolution (document A/S./151) that this Committee should hear them.

It is, therefore, quite obvious that if we proceed in their absence, we shall certainly be prejudicing the entire case, and all our discussions will end in smoke because, if they do not appear here, if they continue not to cooperate, even if your committee is appointed, do you think it will achieve any results? The result will be that all these discussions will end in nothing and we shall be where we are at the present time. The entire problem will continue to hang fire.

My request, therefore, is that either this discussion be suspended and the President of the General Assembly be requested to summon the General Assembly to endorse the resolution that the Arab Higher Committee be heard by the first Committee, or, for the time being, we continue to discuss this problem in a wholly impartial manner.

I suggest we approach the President to summon the General Assembly to a meeting this afternoon. It will be a matter of barely five minutes. All of us are here. Only notice has to go out. It is merely a matter of procedure. We can sit here. Instead of you, Mr. Chairman, the siding. He will put the resolution to the Assembly; it will be endorsed, and then we can convert ourselves into this Committee and continue our discussion.

That will secure, at least, one objective, namely, the appearance of the Arab Higher Committee (which is absolutely essential) before the Committee. I feel certain that the representative of the United States and the representative of the United Kingdom will not differ with me on this point.

In regard to the subject matter of the proposal, I do not think it is necessary for me to enter the lists at this moment because I should like to know the result of the proposal I am putting forward before I proceed to say anything about the other proposals. However, there is one small point about which I must say a word or two.

I have heard quite a bit about neutrals here. I would be very sorry, indeed, to be considered anything but a neutral in the sense in which it is being used. My country is just as neutral as any of the other countries which profess to be neutral, and which are considered neutral by the Committee. Therefore, I should not like this term to be used in any resolution for the simple reason that those who will be chosen will be considered neutral, and others will be dubbed "partial". Why have this invidious distinction?

It would be infinitely better, I think, to consider the point of view which was put forward by the representative of Australia in a very incisive speech. And, also, it would be better to consider the point of view of the eminently reasonable proposal put forward by the representative of Argentina. If we could again concoct another "cocktail" which would not be a "Manhattan" but might be even better, it would be a good thing. For the time being, I desire to have an answer to the proposal which I have put forward and which might be worded as follows (document A/C.1/153):

"The First Committee resolves:

"That it be proposed to the President of the General Assembly that a plenary meeting be called at once to consider the following resolution :

"That the First Committee grant a hearing to the Arab Higher Committee on the question before the Committee." It is a perfectly innocuous proposition and I am perfectly certain that it will be acceptable to all.

The CHAIRMAN: The representative of India has submitted a resolution which will be circulated in a moment or two. I should add, if we discussed it and adopted it at this moment, that resolution would put an end temporarily to the discussion which we are presently carrying on. That is a matter for the Committee to decide.

On the other point made, that it would be more useful to have the representatives of the organizations here before we continue our discussion, I can only say what I have already said, namely, that we passed a resolution yesterday day on that point. I have no doubt that a representative or representatives of the Jewish Agency will be ready to appear very shortly indeed.

On the other point, regarding the representatives of the Arab Higher Committee, we have not yet heard from them because, as you know, they withdrew their application yesterday. We have given them an opportunity to reconsider it. However, I take it that that reconsideration is not likely to be effective from the point of view of the representation unless they are invited by the General Assembly in plenary session and not by this Committee. That is an important point.

I should like to ask the Committee, without prolonged debate, whether it would like to interrupt the discussion we have been carrying on in order to put forth-this new resolution, which is short and which, I believe, is under-and if it is adopted, I will be very glad to get in touch with the President of the General Assembly and ask him to hold what, I hope, will be a very short plenary session in this room immediately after lunch.

Can we decide on this resolution at once without any prolonged discussion? I shall read it again to the Committee.

"The First Committee resolves:

"That it be proposed to the President of the General Assembly that a plenty meeting be called at once to consider the following resolution:

" 'That the First Committee grant a hearing to the Arab Higher Committee on the question before the Committee.' "

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I am going to abstain from voting and I should like to explain the reason for my abstention.

It is my belief that the statements and declarations made here yesterday in this Committee should be considered amply satisfactory by the Arab Higher Committee and that the decision to hold a special meeting of the General Assembly, by request of the First Committee, for the purpose of instructing the First Committee to make a decision which it has already made, has very little meaning.

I believe that none of the Arab representatives here has the slightest doubt that there was no intention to hurt the feelings of the Arabs on the part of the Assembly and on the part of the delegation which proposed the resolution which was approved, regardless of whether the Arabs were represented here by the Arab States or by the Arabs of Palestine.

I do not wish to obstruct the resolution, but I am going to abstain. However, it is my feeling that a vote with regard to this resolution, together with this sort of comedy in respect to changing chairs, would have very little meaning and would be totally unbecoming to an Assembly consisting of fifty-five nations.

Mr. ARCE (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): I am sorry to disagree with my colleague, the representative of Colombia. Circumstances may force us into situations such as the one which has just arisen. But my understanding is that the Assembly has been convened in order that we should study this problem and do everything in our power to solve it.

In the proposal which I drafted for submission to the Assembly, I included the representatives of the Arabs of Palestine and of the Jewish population of Palestine on the same footing and with the same status as the Jewish Agency.

It was the so-called "cocktail" resolution approved by the Assembly which brought about the consequences which we are now experiencing. But we are dealing with facts and, when dealing with facts, the best thing is not to stand on one's dignity, even if this means admitting that we have made a mistake.

I wholeheartedly support the proposal made by the representative of India because I should like to have the absolute assurance that we are going to have the co-operation of the Arab population. Despite the fact that the statements we made yesterday were heard and even welcomed by the Arab States, they nevertheless maintain their abstention. The facts clearly show that they are not disposed to co-operate if the General Assembly does not place them on an equal footing with the Jewish Agency. We must recognize that in such a case, even at the expense of our pride, we ought to go back a step because what we have to aim at is the solution of the problem. And if the Arabs abstain, there will be no solution to the problem.

I therefore strongly support the suggestion of the representative of India and request that we vote on the proposal to ask the President of the Assembly to consider it.

I am not, however, in agreement with the representative of India when he says that for this reason we shall have to suspend our discussion. Let us vote on the request made by the representative of India and go on with our work.

Mr. PAPANEK (Czechoslovakia): I do not believe there is any member of this Committee who, in an effort to secure a right and just solution, desires to prevent any interested party from Palestine from speaking. However, we are now being asked to make a decision on suppositions.

We made a decision yesterday. As a result of that, the President has sent an invitation to the Arab Higher Committee. As long as we have not received an answer, it is my feeling that we should not take any other action. When we receive such an answer, we can discuss the matter and arrive at a decision.

I therefore propose we should go on with our discussions.

Mr. ANDREWS(Union of South Africa): I hope, for the duration of this Assembly, the delegations around this table will cease to indulge in any more "cocktails". It is quite clear that they have an extremely confusing effect on the mind.

It seems to me that yesterday, hi a spirit of conciliation and of the utmost goodwill, this Committee passed a resolution, the effect of which would be to have the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee appear before us and state their case. I express the hope that the two parties will take advantage of that invitation. I hope that they will take advantage of it at the earliest possible* moment.

I very much share the views expressed so lucidly by my colleague from Colombia that, in effect, we would be reducing our proceedings here to a farce, were this Committee, having passed the resolution which we did yesterday, to proceed to the Assembly to ask it to authorize us to do what we have already agreed to do.

For those reasons, in every spirit of conciliation, hi every hope that the two parties whom we have invited will take advantage of that invitation, I find myself compelled to oppose this resolution placed before us.

Mr. HAGGLOFF (Sweden): The Swedish delegation, from the beginning of this special General Assembly, has taken the view that it is of the greatest importance for the success of our work that both the interested parties of the population of Palestine should be given an equal right to state their views before this Assembly. It has never been our idea that there should be any distinction made, whatsoever, between those two parties. It is in this spirit that we have taken part in the proceedings of the Assembly.

The other day the General Assembly, after a very full discussion, adopted a resolution (document A/C.1/144), inviting the Jewish Agency, and giving this Committee the right to grant a hearing to the other party. At our meeting of yesterday, after a most interesting and full discussion, we decided not only to give effect to, to implement, the decisions of the General Assembly, but also to extend an invitation to the Arab Higher Committee. The Swedish delegation thinks that this is enough. I do not think it would be right to go back to the General Assembly. For my part, I have too much respect for the authority of that high body to be able to vote in favour of a resolution which would mean that the General Assembly would take up a matter again which it has already fully considered.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): I do not wish to go back into past history, but on Saturday afternoon3/ this debate was considered closed. The ruling of the President was objected to by the representative of Lebanon for reasons which were very convincing.4/ The Australian delegation voted against that. The reasons were very clear.

The Australian delegation on Friday afternoon put its name down to speak on the report of the General Committee, and the Polish resolution as amended by the Czechoslovak resolution. The list of speakers was closed. That meant that the list of resolutions and amendments was closed too, because those speakers were referring to them only. But on Monday we had a new list of resolutions. The President himself, in our opinion, reopened the debate by admitting those resolutions. That viewpoint, that it be closed, was upheld by the Assembly's decision.5/

It seems to me that you have largely brought this on yourselves, and I think we ought to be graceful, retrace our steps, as it was intended that afternoon when there was going to be just a short amendment to place the Arab Higher Committee on the same plane as the Jewish Agency; and that is the intention of the present resolution of the representative of India. We have all agreed to it in principle. I think if we impose a self-denying ordinance on ourselves this afternoon, there will be no discussion; we can formally adopt the resolution he has put in and then we can immediately .get on with our task, so I will support the resolution of the representative of India.

The CHAIRMAN: I hope we can resolve this matter without going into a discussion of what happened in the plenary session last week. I hope that we can vote without too much delay.

Mr. VAN ROIJEN (Netherlands): I wish to associate myself with what has been said by the representative of Australia. I think that the Assembly in its plenary session voted in a way which may have given rise to certain misunderstandings. I do not think that there is anything humiliating in referring the matter again to the plenary session of the General Assembly, not in any way to go back on any decision that has been taken, but in order to adopt a new resolution which will entirely clarify the situation. I believe that the representatives from Colombia, Czechoslovakia and Sweden are right from a purely formalistic point of view, but I am inclined to think that we can permit ourselves to take a large view of this matter and to refer it back to the General Assembly.

The CHAIRMAN: This Committee is rapidly establishing a custom of getting into trouble at lunch time. Perhaps we should lunch a little earlier.

If there are no other speakers, the First Committee can vote on the Indian draft resolution:

"The First Committee resolves:

"That it be proposed to the President of the General Assembly that a plenary meeting be called at once" — and by at once the mover means immediately after lunch — "to consider the following resolution:

" 'That the First Committee grant a hearing to the Arab Higher Committee on the question before the Committee.' "

Those in favour of this resolution will raise their right hands.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

The CHAIRMAN: The resolution is carried and I shall, therefore, take great pleasure in turning over the Chair to the President of the Assembly at 3 p.m. this afternoon in this room for a special session of the Assembly.

The President of the Assembly is anxious, before any plenary meeting of the Assembly is called, to discuss the matter with the General Committee of the Assembly. Therefore, there will be a meeting of the General Committee of the Assembly called at the request of the President for 2.30 p.m. in the office of the Secretary-General.

If the General Committee agrees with the President that there shall be a plenary meeting it will convene at 3 p.m. The President of the Assembly does not like to take the responsibility for calling a plenary meeting entirely upon himself. Announcement of the plenary meeting will be made immediately after the meeting of the President and the General Committee.

Mr. ZEPHIRIN (Haiti) (translated from French): On a point of order, Mr. Chairman. I abstained from voting and I shall also abstain this afternoon, since I do not wish to obstruct or hold up the debate.

Nevertheless, I would appeal to all my colleagues to cast their vote in future after careful consideration and with a full sense of responsibility. I think that this practice of continually reversing decisions we have already taken is incompatible with the prestige of the Assembly. The Assembly is being asked either to reverse a decision it has already taken, which is detrimental to the authority of its deliberations, or to confirm a previous decision, which is completely useless.

I wish to make this appeal to my colleagues in view of future deliberations.

The CHAIRMAN: The meeting is adjourned.

The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.

FORTY-NINTH MEETING

Held at Lake Success, New York, on Wednesday, 7 May 1947, at 5.30 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. L. B. PEARSON (Canada).

The CHAIRMAN: The forty-ninth meeting of the First Committee is called to order.

In view of the hour, I should merely like to find out whether the Committee would prefer to continue working now or to adjourn until 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Since no one has asked for recognition, the sense of the Committee seems to be in favour of an adjournment until tomorrow at 11 a.m.

The meeting rose at 5.31 p.m.

FIFTIETH MEETING

Held at Lake Success, New York, on Thursday, 8 May 1947, at 11 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. L. B. PEARSON (Canada).


The CHAIRMAN: The Committee will recall that yesterday it adopted the following decision (document A/C.1/153):

"The First Committee resoles "That it be proposed to the President of the General Assembly that a plenary meeting be called at once to consider the following resolution:

" 'That the First Committee grant a hearing to the Arab Higher Committee on the question before the Committee.'" That resolution was referred to the President of the Assembly, who requested the General Committee to advise him with regard to it. As a result, a plenary session was held yesterday afternoon at which the following resolution (document A/C.1/155) was adopted:

"The General Assembly

Affirms that the decision of the First Committee to grant a hearing to the Arab Higher Committee gives a correct interpretation of the Assembly's intention."

It is satisfactory to know that the Committee is carrying out the Assembly's intention in this matter.

In connexion with the decision of the Assembly, the representative of Guatemala has asked whether the Committee will permit him to make a short statement explaining his vote. It is, of course, a somewhat irregular procedure to explain in this Committee a vote cast in the Assembly, but I am sure the Committee will not object to extending that privilege to the representative of Guatemala.

Mr. ZEA GONZALEZ (Guatemala) (translated from Spanish): I have the honour of speaking in my capacity as representative in order to avoid misinterpretation with regard to this matter. It lent itself to such misinterpretation when doubt was raised with quite unnecessary emphasis concerning confidence in the President of the Assembly. This incident has since become so involved that I felt bound to give a full explanation of my negative vote. I intended to give such an explanation, but the Chair did not recognize me and I was unable to speak.

I wish, therefore, to state very clearly that the delegation of Guatemala will always be opposed to abnormal and devious procedures. Guatemala maintains an absolutely impartial position with regard to this problem, as can be clearly seen from her support of the opinion that all the parties concerned should be heard; this impartiality, I must emphasize, is not only an official attitude, but also the personal attitude of the members of my delegation.

The CHAIRMAN: We will now return to the item oh our agenda which we were discussing yesterday, when the representative of India introduced his draft resolution. Several members of the Committee, I know, are still anxious to speak on that item. Before calling on them, I should like to inform the Committee that I have received the following telegram, addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, from the Secretary of the Jewish Agency for Palestine:

"Replying to your kind telegram of May 6 informing us of the text of the telegram sent simultaneously to Jerusalem, permit us to state, in the name of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, that we are pleased to accept the invitation of the General Assembly, and designate the following as our authorized representatives - namely, David Ben Gurion, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, Moshe Shertok, Hayim Greenberg, Mrs. Rose Halprin, Nahum Goldmann, Emanuel Neumann."

The Jewish Agency has indicated that it is now ready, through its authorized spokesman, to make the statement which it has been invited to make by decision of the Assembly. I would suggest that it might be desirable to hear that statement now, if no member of the Committee objects to that procedure.

At the end of that statement, members of the Committee may wish to address oral questions to the representatives of the Jewish Agency on points arising out of it. I think it might be desirable to take advantage of their presence at this time to address such questions as may be in the minds of the members. I also venture to suggest that if any points are made in the statement of the Jewish Agency on which the Committee desires further information, those points might be submitted as written questions to the Chairman of the Committee, who could transmit them to the representatives of the Jewish Agency. It might then be desirable for the Committee to invite the delegation of the Jewish Agency to a subsequent meeting to deal with the points contained in those written questions.

Those are merely my suggestions with regard to the procedure for dealing with this matter. If they commend themselves to the Committee, I shall ask the spokesman for the delegation of the Jewish Agency for Palestine to take his place at our Committee table.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I find the procedure suggested perfectly agreeable and a very good resume of all that has been said regarding the method of hearing the various agencies. If you have no objection, I should like you to extend that procedure to any other agency which may be heard by the Committee, so that we may have a uniform method of handling this problem.

The CHAIRMAN: I think that is a very sensible suggestion, and if the procedure I have outlined is agreeable, it might well be extended to cover any statements made by any other non-governmental agency which may be invited to appear before the Committee.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): I wish to be clear on this point. You said "oral questions"; then you went on to refer to "written questions". Do you mean that we may ask the oral questions, through you, while the representatives of the Jewish Agency are here, and subsequently, if we so desire, follow them up by written questions? I am not quite clear on the point.

The CHAIRMAN: That is the idea I submitted for the consideration of the Committee. The Committee will decide. I thought that at the end of the hearing some members of the Committee might wish to address oral questions to the spokesman. On reflection, and after reading the statement of the spokesman for the Jewish Agency, other questions may be raised, and some Members may wish to put written questions through me. Consequently, it might become desirable to call on the spokesman for the Jewish Agency for a further statement.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): If you have in mind written questions to supplement the verbal statements which the representatives of Jewish and Arab organizations intend to make before the Committee, then such a procedure would be correct. In any case, there is no reason to object to members of the Committee putting oral questions to the representatives of these organizations and asking them to reply.

On the other hand, if you intend to substitute written questions and answers for the verbal statements which these representatives wish to make to the Committee, such a procedure would not be suitable and would not be in conformity with the decision to allow these representatives to express their views before this Committee.

I hope that you were not contemplating the latter procedure, since this would mean a withdrawal of the rights granted to the representatives of the Jewish and Arab organizations. This would be an extremely rigid and bureaucratic procedure.

I hope that you contemplated the first procedure—namely, the possibility of supplementing the oral statements which the representatives of the Jewish and Arab organizations are about to make by written questions and answers; that is, by questions which members of the Committee may wish to put, and which may be answered in writing by the representatives of the Jewish and Arab organizations.

The CHAIRMAN: In reply to the representative of the Soviet Union, I am sorry I did not make it clear that I had in mind the first alternative: that the written questions, to which replies might be received later, would be supplementary to the oral questions and replies, and would not in any way replace them. If that procedure is agreeable, it might be applied to the representatives of other agencies when the occasion arises.

I will now call on the spokesman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. After his statement, there may be oral questions. When those questions have been dealt with, the Committee will proceed with its discussion of the item on the agenda, as there are several members on the list of speakers.

If there is no objection, I shall ask the spokesman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and his colleagues to take their places around the table.

At this point, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, took a seat at the Committee table.

The CHAIRMAN: I wish to extend to Rabbi Silver a very sincere welcome to our Committee. We are glad of the opportunity of hearing him, as the spokesman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, on the question which is now before the Committee, the question of the constitution and instruction of a special committee of inquiry on Palestine. If Rabbi Silver is ready, we shall call on him to make his statement now.

Rabbi SILVER(Jewish Agency for Palestine): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and representatives of the United Nations.

I should like to say at the outset that were Mr. David Ben Gurion, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, here this morning, he would be making this statement. Unfortunately, the arrival of Mr. Ben Gurion has been delayed. He will be here tomorrow, and I hope that he will have an opportunity to participate in the deliberations.

Permit me to thank the Assembly of the United Nations for granting the Jewish Agency for Palestine a hearing on the question which is before this Committee. We are grateful for the opportunity to take counsel with you in the matter of constituting and instructing a special committee which is to study the problem of Palestine and to make recommendations for the future government of that country. We trust that our participation in these deliberations will be helpful and will prove to be a contribution to the just solution of this grave international problem which this international community is now earnestly seeking.

Such a successful solution will not only prove a blessing to Palestine and to all its inhabitants, to the Jewish people and to the cause of world peace, but it will also enhance the moral authority and prestige of this great organization for world justice and peace, upon which so many high hopes of mankind now rest. We are pleased that the Palestine problem will now be reviewed by an international body and that the thought and conscience of mankind will now be brought to bear on a situation which for some years now has been made extremely difficult by unilateral action and by decisions made, presumably within the terms of a mandatory trust, but actually without the sanction or supervision of the international body which established that trust and which defined both its limits and its purposes.

Since the outbreak of the war, the administration of Palestine has been conducted by the mandatory Power as if it were vested with the sovereignty of that country, whereas, in fact, it is expected to administer Palestine, of which it is not the sovereign, as a trustee for carrying out the purposes of the mandate, which clearly defined its rights and its obligations.

The problem of Palestine is, of course, of paramount importance to the Jewish people; that fact, I take it, motivated the General Assembly of the United Nations to extend an invitation to the Jewish Agency for Palestine to present its views. We thank all those who so warmly urged our audition for their goodwill and their gallant action.

The Jewish Agency, you will recall, is recognized in the mandate for Palestine as a public body authorized to speak and act on behalf of the Jewish people in and out of Palestine in matters affecting the establishment of the Jewish national home. It is the only recognized public body mentioned in the mandate. It is recognized as such, to quote article 4, "for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country".

Under article 6, the Jewish Agency is entitled further to cooperate with the Administration in permitting "close settlement by Jews on the land"; by article 11, it is given preferred status in respect to the construction and operation of public works and the development of the natural resources of the country.

The Jewish Agency, which we have the honour to represent, therefore speaks not merely for the organized Jewish community of Palestine, the democratically elected National Council of Palestine Jews, who are today the pioneering vanguard in the building of the Jewish national home; it speaks also for the Jewish people of the world, who are devoted to this historic ideal, for it was charged, by the same article 4 of the mandate, "to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home".

I have spoken of "the Jewish people" and "the Jewish national home". In defining the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry which you are to appoint, and in all the committee's future investigations, these, in my judgment, should be regarded as key terms and basic concepts. They were the key terms and the basic concepts of the Balfour Declaration and of the mandate under which Palestine is, or should be, administered today. To proceed without relation to them would be to detour into a political wilderness as far as Palestine is concerned. To treat the Palestine problem as if it were one of merely reconciling the differences between two sections of the population presently inhabiting the country, or of finding a haven for a certain number of refugees and displaced persons, would only contribute to confusion.

The Balfour Declaration, which was issued by His Majesty's Government as a "declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations", declares: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

The mandate, in its preamble, recognizes "the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine" and "the grounds for reconstituting" —I call your attention to the word "reconstituting"—"their national home in that country".

These international commitments of a quarter of a century ago, which flowed from the recognition of historic rights and present needs, and upon which so much has already been built in Palestine by the Jewish people, cannot now be erased. You cannot turn back the hands of the clock of history.

Certainly, the United Nations, guided by the great principle proclaimed in its Charter, "to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained", can never sanction the violation of treaties and of international law.

With this situation and similar situations in mind, a specific provision, you will recall, was written into the chapter of the Charter of the United Nations which deals with territories which might become trusteeship territories, and which is therefore especially applicable to territories now under mandate. This is Article 80 of the Charter, which reads: "Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any States or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."

It is the perspective of your committee of inquiry on the entire problem which, in our judgment, will prove decisive. It will give direction to and greatly expedite its work, and its conclusions will prove of constructive significance, only if it always maintains the proper perspective.

A generation ago, the international community of the world, of which the United Nations today is the political and spiritual heir, decreed that the Jewish people should be given the right, long denied, and the opportunity to reconstitute its national home in Palestine. That national home is still in the making; it has not yet been fully established. No international community has cancelled or even questioned that right. The mandatory Power, which was entrusted with the obligation to safeguard the opportunity for the continuous growth and development of the Jewish national home, has unfortunately, in recent years, grievously interfered with and circumscribed it. The opportunity must now be fully restored.

When will the Jewish national home be an accomplished fact? The answer to that question may well be given by the man who was Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time that the Balfour Declaration was issued. I am quoting the testimony of Mr. Lloyd George, given before the Palestine Royal Commission in 1937:

". . . There could be no doubt as to what the Cabinet then had in their minds. It was not their idea that a Jewish State should be set up immediately "by the peace treaty . . . On the other hand, it was contemplated that, when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them . . . and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish commonwealth.

"The notion that Jewish immigration would have to be artificially restricted in order to ensure that the Jews should be a permanent minority never entered into the head of anyone engaged in framing the policy. That would have been regarded as unjust and as a fraud on the people to whom we were appealing."

This same answer could also be given by Mr. Winston Churchill, who was an important member of the Government which issued the Balfour Declaration; by Field Marshal Smuts, who was a member of the Imperial War Cabinet at the time and who foretold an increasing stream of Jewish immigrants into Palestine and "in generations to come, a great Jewish State rising there once more"; by Lord Robert Cecil, and by many others.

American statesmen shared this view of the Jewish national home. Thus, President Wilson, on 3 March 1919, stated: "I am persuaded that the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish commonwealth."

That the Government of the United States does not now consider the Jewish national home as already established is clearly stated in the letter of President Truman to King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, dated 28 October 1946. President Truman wrote as follows:

"The Government and people of the United States have given support to the concept of a Jewish national home in Palestine ever since the termination of the First World War, which resulted in the freeing of a large area of the Near East, including Palestine, and the establishment of a number of independent States which are now Members of the United Nations. . .

"The United States, which contributed its blood and resources to the winning of that war, could not divest itself of a certain responsibility for the manner in which the freed territories were disposed of, or for the fate of the peoples liberated at that time. It took the position, to which it still adheres, that these peoples should be prepared for self-government, and also that a national home for the Jewish people should be established in Palestine. . . .

"I am happy to note," declared the President, "that most of the liberated peoples are now citizens of independent countries. The Jewish national home, however, has not as yet been fully developed."

It should, of course, be clear—and I regret that statements made by certain representatives in recent days have tended to confuse what should be clear—that when we speak of a Jewish State, we do not have in mind a racial State or a theocratic State, but one which will be based upon full equality and rights for all inhabitants without distinction of religion or race and without domination or subjugation. What we understand by the Jewish State is most succinctly stated in a resolution adopted in 1944 by the British Labour Party, now represented in the present Government of the United Kingdom which requested this special session of the United Nations. I quote from that resolution: 6/

"Here we halted halfway, irresolutely, between conflicting policies. But there is surely neither hope nor meaning in a Jewish national home unless we are prepared to let the Jews, if they wish, enter this tiny land in such numbers as to become a majority. There was a strong case for this before the war; there is an irresistible case for it now."

When your committee of inquiry comes to consider proposals for the future government of Palestine, this inescapable and irreducible factor—the international obligation to ensure the continuos development of the Jewish national home—should in our judgment be kept constantly in mind. I believe it would be extremely helpful to the committee of inquiry if the mandatory Government would present the account of its stewardship of the Palestine mandate to it rather than wait for the next Assembly of the United Nations. It would assist the committee in thinking through the problem and in arriving at helpful recommendations for the future government of Palestine.

It is illogical, I fear, to ask the committee of inquiry to consider the future government of Palestine without first making a thorough study of the present government to discover what is faulty in the present administration, what neglect and what deviations have occurred to bring about a condition so dangerous and explosive is to necessitate the convening of a special session of the United Nations Assembly to deal with it.

I believe that the committee of inquiry should most certainly visit Palestine. Written documents are important, but infinitely more instructive are the living documents, the visible testimony of creative effort and achievement. In Palestine, they will see what the Jewish people, inspired by the hope of reconstituting this national home after the long, weary centuries of homelessness, and relying upon the honour and the pledged word of the world community, has achieved in a few short years against great odds and seemingly insurmountable handicaps.

The task was enormous: untrained hands, inadequate means, overwhelming difficulties. The land was stripped and poor, neglected through the centuries, and the building took place between two disastrous world wars when European Jewry was shattered and impoverished. Nevertheless, the record of pioneering achievement of the Jewish people in Palestine has received the acclaim of the entire world. And what was built there with social vision and high human idealism has proved a blessing, we believe, not only to the Jews of Palestine, but to the Arabs and to other non-Jewish communities as well.

That the return of the Jews to Palestine would prove a blessing not only to themselves, but also to their Arab neighbours was envisaged by the Emir Feisal, who was a great leader of the Arab peoples, at the Peace Conference following the First World War. On 3 March 1919, he wrote the following:

"We Arabs . . . look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organization to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through; we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home. ... I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilized peoples of the world."

Your committee of inquiry will conclude, we are confident, that if allowed to develop uninterruptedly, the standards of life which have been developed in Palestine, the concepts of social justice and the modern scientific method will serve as a great stimulus to the rebirth and progress of the entire Near East, with which Palestine and the destinies of the Jewish national home are naturally bound up.

Your committee of inquiry should also consider the potentialities of the country, which, if properly developed, can, according to the expert testimony of those most qualified to speak on the subject, sustain a population much greater than the present one. Many more projects, which will result in great economic and social improvement not alone in Palestine but in all the neighbouring countries, are awaiting development pending a satisfactory political solution.

The committee of inquiry should, while in Palestine, also look into the real, the fundamental causes of the tragic unrest and violence which today mar the life of the Holy Land to which our Jewish pioneers came, not with weapons, but with tools. It will inquire, I am sure, why the members of a peace-loving community, whose sole interest was in building a peaceful home and future for themselves and their children, are being driven to a pitch of resentment and tension; why some of its members are being driven to actions which we all deplore.

The members of the committee will ask themselves, I am sure, why shiploads of helpless Jewish refugees-men, women, and children who have been through all the hells of Nazi Europe— are being driven away from the shores of the Jewish national home by a mandatory Government which assumed, as its prime obligation, the task of facilitating Jewish immigration into that country.

They will also investigate, I hope, how the mandatory Government is carrying out another of its obligations—to encourage close settlement of the Jews on the land—whereas, in actual practice, it is severely restricting free Jewish settlement to an area which represents less than six per cent of that tiny country, and is enforcing in the Jewish national home discriminatory racial laws which the mandate, as well as the Charter of the United Nations, severely condemns.

By way of digression, let it be said - if it need be said at all—that we are not engaged, nor shall we be engaged, in any criticism or condemnation of the people of the United Kingdom. We have no quarrel with them. On the contrary, we have the highest regard and admiration for that people and for its monumental contributions to democratic civilization; and we shall never forget that it was the United Kingdom which first among the nations gave recognition to the national aspirations of the Jewish people. We condemn only a wrong and unjustifiable policy which contradicts and tends to defeat the far-sighted British statesmanship of earlier years.

We hope most earnestly that the members of the committee of inquiry will also visit the displaced persons camps in Europe and see with their own eyes the appalling human tragedy which mankind is permitting to continue unabated, two years it is exactly two years today since V-E Day—after the close of the war in which the Jewish people was the greatest sufferer.

While committees of investigation and study are reporting on their sad plight, and while inter-governmental discussions and negotiations are going on, these war-ravaged men and women are languishing in their misery, still waiting for salvation. They ask for the bread of escape and hope; they are given the stone of inquiries and investigations. Their morale is slumping terribly. A spiritual deterioration, I am afraid, is setting in among them. It is only the hope that tomorrow, perhaps tomorrow, redemption may come that keeps their spirit from breaking utterly. Most of them are desperately eager to go to the Jewish national home.

I hope that the conscience of mankind, speaking through you and through your committee of inquiry, will make it possible for these weary men and women to find peace at last and healing in the land of their fondest hopes. I hope that their liberation will not be delayed until the report of the committee is finally made and the action of the Assembly is finally taken, but that, pending ultimate decisions and implementations, these unfortunate people will be permitted forthwith to migrate in substantial numbers to Palestine.

There is a desperate urgency about this tragic human problem, my friends, which brooks no delay. An immediate relaxation of the restrictive measures on immigration into Palestine, and a return to the status which prevailed before the White Paper policy of 1939 was imposed, will not only be a boon to these suffering humans, but will greatly relieve the present menacing tensions in Palestine, will wash out much of the bitterness and will enable the deliberations of your committee of inquiry and of the next Assembly to be carried on in a calmer spirit, in an atmosphere of moderation and goodwill. We are all eager for peace. We must all make a contribution to achieve it. But the decisive contribution can only be made by the mandatory Government.

I hope that I have not abused your patience, Mr. Chairman, and the patience of the representatives of the United Nations here assembled. Permit me to conclude with this observation.

The Jewish people places great hope upon the outcome of the deliberations of this great body. It has faith in its collective sense of justice and fairness and in the high ideals which inspire it. We are an ancient people, and though we have often, on the long, hard road which we have travelled, been disillusioned, we have never been disheartened. We have never lost faith in the sovereignty and the ultimate triumph of great moral principles. In these last tragic years, when the whole household of Israel became one great hostelry of pain, we could not have built what we did build had we not preserved our unshakable trust in the victory of truth. It is in that strong faith and hope that we wish to cooperate with you in the task which you have undertaken.

The Jewish people belongs in this society of nations. Surely the Jewish people is no less deserving than other peoples whose national freedom and independence have been established and whose representatives are now seated here. The Jews were your allies in the war, and joined their sacrifices to yours to achieve a common victory. The representatives of the Jewish people of Palestine should sit in your midst. We hope that the representatives of the people which gave to mankind spiritual and ethical values, inspiring human personalities and sacred texts which are your treasured possessions, and which is now rebuilding its national life in its ancient home-land, will be welcomed before long by you to this noble fellowship of the United Nations.

The CHAIRMAN: Does any member of the Committee wish to address questions to Rabbi Silver on any points arising out of his statement which concern the item on our agenda?

Mr. ASAF ALI(India): I shall confine myself strictly indeed to the statement made by Rabbi Silver.

I must first of all. congratulate him on his eloquence and the moderation born of long centuries of suffering. I assure him that truth will win in the last resort, and human conscience will not abandon its function. He will permit me, therefore, to put to him just a few questions which arise out of his statement.

The first question which I should like to ask him is this. What number of Jews from outside were in Palestine in 1900, again in 1930, and finally in 1939 when the White Paper of 1939 was issued by the British Government?

The CHAIRMAN: Rabbi Silver will no doubt make a note of that question. I do not suppose we can expect him to produce all these facts without a little consideration. We might go on to the next member of the Committee who has expressed a desire to ask a question.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I have six questions.

The CHAIRMAN: You may ask the other five. Rabbi Silver might make a note of all these questions and answer them at his convenience.

Rabbi SILVER(Jewish Agency for Palestine): I should prefer, if I may, to collect all these questions and at some proper moment perhaps to request the opportunity of answering them, because I should like to give as complete and satisfactory replies as I can.

The CHAIRMAN: I think that would probably be better; the questions will be addressed to you now and, if you see fit, they may be answered later, either orally or in writing.

Mr. ASAF ALI(India): My next question is whether Rabbi Silver recognizes the fact that there is a very clear distinction between a Jewish State and a Jewish national home, which last term is mentioned in the mandate. Does he also recognize the fact that even the statement, to which he made a reference, which was made by the representative of the Labour Party, referred not to a Jewish State, but to a Jewish national home?

My third question is concerned with Rabbi Silver's reference to European Jewry. Will he be so kind as to provide us with some idea of the age of the various communities of national Jewry living in Europe who would now like to go back to the national home; how long they have lived in Europe; and whether they are easily assimilable in Palestine.

My fourth question is as follows: Rabbi Silver made a statement to the effect that at Paris in 1919 an extremely conciliatory statement was made by a great Arab leader who welcomed the Jews to Palestine. Is there any reason why the Arabs are resisting immigration now?

My fifth question relates to the refugees from Nazi oppression. The Nazi Government in Europe has been completely suppressed and Nazi Germany is now under the control of the Security Council, or, at any rate, the United Nations. If that is so, is there any reason why these refugees cannot be resettled in their natural German home, where they speak the language of the country and where they find themselves far more easily assimilable?

My sixth and last question concerns the conditions currently prevailing in Palestine. It is very gratifying to learn that Rabbi Silver, on behalf of the Jewish Agency, has paid tribute to the noble role which the people of the United Kingdom have played in recognizing the urgency of the Jewish problem. May I know why public servants of the Government of the United Kingdom, who are doing their duty under extremely difficult circumstances, are being picked off today by violence?

The CHAIRMAN: Most of those questions, not all of them, are factual in character, and the information can no doubt be obtained and possibly circulated in written form. One or two of them are not quite so factual. I hope the replies to those will not provoke a debate on issues which are not yet within the terms of reference of this Committee and I hope will not come within its terms of reference.

There are further questions that some members would like to address to you, Rabbi Silver, on points which will, I hope, help us in our work of constituting and instructing the special committee of inquiry.

Dr. FIDERKIEWIGA (Poland): I should like to ask the representative of the Jewish Agency two questions.

First, whom does the Jewish Agency represent, how many organizations, how is the Executive Committee established and organized, and how does it work? Secondly, have there been any attempts at collaboration between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine?

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I am not quite sure, Mr. Chairman, that I shall be in order. I was not strictly intending to address a question to Rabbi Silver, but rather to make a comment on a certain passage in his speech. In a sense, I should be rather replying to a question he put to me. I did want to make a very short declaration in one sentence which I thought might be helpful.

The CHAIRMAN: I think this questioning process ought to work both ways.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I merely wish to say that I should like to dispel any misunderstanding which may still exist, which may have arisen,out of the terms of the letter in which I had the honour to request the Secretary-General to summon a special meeting of the General Assembly. In that letter there was a passage stating that my Government would be prepared to give full and complete information to the Assembly. I wish to make it quite clear, and to state formally that if the General Assembly sets up a special investigating committee, my Government will, of course, be entirely at the disposal of that committee and will give all possible information, including an account of its stewardship.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I hope I shall be in order, Mr. Chairman. According to our resolution, we are going to hear the views of the various agencies with regard to constituting and instructing this committee. With your permission, I should like to ask Rabbi Silver, not that it will influence our final judgment, but simply as a matter of information, what the views of the Jewish Agency for Palestine are regarding the composition of the investigating committee. Until now, we have had two proposals on this subject presented in a formal manner and a suggestion presented by another delegation. I should like very much to know the point of view of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

The CHAIRMAN: No doubt Rabbi Silver will take cognizance of that question too.

Mr. ANDREWS(South Africa): I should like very briefly to join with my Indian colleague in complimenting Rabbi Silver on the very moderate, eloquent, and precise address that he has made to this Committee. I am sure that it is going to be extremely helpful to us in our deliberations on the question of instructing and setting up this committee of inquiry. I should hope too that, if this Committee hears any further representatives, the high standard which Rabbi Silver has maintained will be continued.

I should like to ask him only one question with regard to the terms of reference which we may give this committee of inquiry. Rabbi Silver has referred to the homeless Jews in Europe. He said that the committee of inquiry should look into their condition. To clarify my own thinking, does he mean that the committee of inquiry should look into that situation as a whole, or only in relation to the question of continuing immigration into Palestine?

The CHAIRMAN: Rabbi Silver, you have given the Committee something to think about, and the Committee has given you a few questions to think about. There may be additional questions submitted in writing, which we will pass on to you. Consequently, we may request you or another representative of your Agency to appear once more before this Committee, and we should be most grateful if you were to hold yourself in readiness for that purpose.

Rabbi SILVER(Jewish Agency for Palestine): I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for the courtesy you have extended to me.

The CHAIRMAN: We should now proceed, I suppose, with further discussion of the item on the agenda: constituting and instructing the committee of inquiry. You will recall that yesterday we had two resolutions on this point, one from the United States, (document A/C.1/150) and the other from Argentina, (document A/C.1./149) but that we were engaged in a general debate, not specifically on any particular resolution. Since yesterday, however, an additional resolution, (document A/C.1/156) which is now being circulated, has been submitted by the delegation of El Salvador. We shall now continue the general discussion on the matter.

Mr. PONCE (Ecuador) (translated from Spanish): The delegation of Ecuador has studied rather carefully the important draft resolutions submitted by the delegations of the United States and of the Argentine Republic, both of which aim to organize in the best possible way the special committee which is to study the problem of Palestine.

The delegation of Ecuador sincerely regrets that it is unable to support the Argentine proposal. In general, it accepts the United States draft, for the following reasons.

One of the fundamental characteristics of the United States proposal, which our delegation supports, is that it excludes from the special committee the countries directly concerned in the problem of Palestine in order that the special committee may have as much impartiality and independence as possible. I do not mean that absolute impartiality and independence are attainable; but the countries not directly concerned in the problem, the countries whose rights are not under discussion, and which consequently have no political, economic, strategic or other interests at stake, are closer to impartiality and independence of judgment than those that are defending their rights or trying to protect their interests.

The representative of the United States said yesterday before this Committee: "This selection is made with regard to the geographical distribution of the States, as well as with the idea in mind of having States which do not have apparent close interests involved in the problem they will have to study."7/ This will make it possible for the report which the committee is to prepare to win the respect and support of all peoples or of nearly all peoples—a condition necessary for the attainment of an effective solution.

The high degree of impartiality and independence with which the special committee will be endowed will give its report an incontestable moral force, and the solution which the United Nations Assembly finally recommends on the basis of that report can hardly be vetoed by the mandatory Power.

As our representative said a few days ago in the General Committee, the special committee, constituted with a view to impartiality and independence, will not be just another of the many committees which have already studied the Palestine problem, nor can its report be considered as one more report to be added to those already in existence.

Three countries of America are included in the seven on the special committee suggested by the United States. They are Canada, Peru and Uruguay, and our delegation will vote with pleasure in favour of including them. We should also be well satisfied to see Sweden, Holland, Czechoslovakia and Iran as members of the special committee.

As regards the terms of reference, the delegation of Ecuador approves of the wide powers recommended in the American proposal.

Among the most important points which the special committee will no doubt have to study is the question of the mandate itself, for we have heard some countries deny its validity. We need to know the significance and scope of the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917, of the mandate of 1922, and of the term "Jewish national home in Palestine". We need to know the significance, scope and legality of the White Paper of 1939. We also need to know the situation of the Jews in Europe, as well as the conditions now prevailing in Palestine.

The report which the special committee will have to submit to the General Assembly in September should point the way towards an acceptable and immediate solution of the problem.

The most equitable and just solution will be that which imposes the least sacrifice upon the parties, for there are bound to be sacrifices. The most equitable and just solution will be the one that can be carried out without the use of force or with a minimum use of force.

Only the moral authority of the United Nations, duly supported, can bring about an early solution to this problem, which is casting new shadows upon world peace, as yet so precariously restored.

It is now the responsibility of the small neutral countries to study the problem of Palestine with as much impartiality and independence as possible, so that the General Assembly of the United Nations may later adopt an equitable and effective solution. The time for that decision, and more important, the time for carrying it out, will be the time of gravest responsibility for the great countries. Upon them will depend, in the last analysis, the future of this international organization. The United Nations is faced with a very serious situation, the results of which are closely related to the maintenance of peace, security and the continued progress of humanity.

Mr. PALZA (Bolivia) (translated from Spanish) : My object in taking the floor is to support the proposal just made by our colleague, the representative of Ecuador.

The Bolivian delegation's view on the matter under discussion is the following. There is a substantial difference between the two proposals before us, the United States proposal and that of Argentina. Whereas the Argentine proposal gives the Big Five a place on the committee, the United States proposal is based on the opposite view that the committee which is to undertake the study of the Palestine problem must not include any representative of the five great Powers.

The Bolivian delegation supports the latter point of view, in view of the elementary concept that no one should be both party and judge in any case.

Moreover, the United States proposal contains a briefer and more concise statement of the objective which is also sought by the Argentine proposal. In other words, both resolutions have the same purpose: to constitute a committee which will be sufficiently impartial to study this serious and delicate problem in as comprehensive and complete a manner as possible. But the United States proposal has the merit of being more comprehensive and clearer.

With all due respect to the Argentine proposal, the delegation of Bolivia, I repeat, associates itself with the delegation of Ecuador in support of the United States proposal and requests that it be put to the vote.

Mr. STOLK (Venezuela) (translated from Spanish): The delegation of Venezuela feels that the decision adopted yesterday by the General Assembly has settled the preliminary questions that have been delaying consideration of the problem for which the delegations of the fifty-five Member nations were called together. We feel that it is possible to study without further delay or hindrance the advisability of constituting the committee requested by the United Kingdom Government, and to discuss its composition and powers.

We have heard the interesting statement made by the representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and we all hope that the Arab Higher Committee will also be afforded an opportunity of speaking on the matter now before us, so that. we shall be able to make a decision after hearing the statements of the parties concerned.

At the meeting yesterday morning, two interesting proposals were submitted by the representatives of the United States and of Argentina. A new proposal has now been circulated by the delegation of El Salvador concerning the terms of reference of the committee which we propose to constitute.

We have heard the explanation of the first two proposals given by the representatives who submitted them, and the opinions of some of our colleagues concerning them. To these comments I should like to add a few observations which I feel are indispensable to enable those who are in a position to do so to clarify certain aspects of the problem, and those who have not yet formed a definite opinion to determine their position with a full knowledge of factors which will no doubt have a bearing on the criteria to be adopted in constituting the committee. On these factors will no doubt depend the success of the delicate task which is to be entrusted to the committee and the support given to its decisions.

The two proposals have some points in common and others which may complement each other; for example, those which concern the broad scope of the committee's powers and its freedom in exercising them, the guarantee that the parties will be heard by the committee, the budgetary questions and the time limit for submitting the report. But these drafts were based on different conceptions, as has been pointed out by all the speakers who have preceded me.

One proposal advocates that the committee be composed of "neutral" countries; I should prefer to call them "less interested" or "more impartial", for I do not think that at the present time, after the terrible experiences of the last great war, it is appropriate to use the term "neutral".

We have heard, with all due respect, the ponderable reasons put forward in defence of that thesis, and we have heard, with no less sympathy, the appeal made by two of the permanent members of the Security Council, that the so-called medium and small Powers should in fact assume exclusive responsibility for the investigation of facts, the collection of data and the formulation of recommendations on the Palestine question, and that they should contribute in a serene spirit to the solution of the great post-war problems.

The other draft is based on a different conception, that which guided the authors of the San Francisco Charter when, in view of the grave responsibilities of the Big Five to make and maintain peace, they agreed on the now famous unanimity rule, which is known as the "veto right" and is applicable to questions of substance in the Security Council.

This conception is really no more than a recognition of the fact that the permanent members of the Security Council are obliged by reason of the position in which fate has placed them, owing to their political, demographic and economic power, to assume grave responsibilities. What is more important, they must try to examine and solve the serious problems of principle confronting humanity, in an atmosphere of mutual confidence, in order to find equitable solutions inspired by the lofty ideals of peace and justice, and able to command the understanding and unconditional support which are indispensable for their enforcement. In these circumstances, the other States would no doubt play a very useful part by cooperating to the fullest extent in the formulation of these decisions.

In the case before us, we know that two of the five permanent members of the Security Council do not wish to take part in the committee of inquiry. I respect, I repeat, the reasons set forth in support of that position, and I also respect the position taken by the representative of the Argentine Republic when he stated that he would not insist upon his proposal, which is based on the cooperation of the five great Powers, if one or more of them did not wish to serve on the committee.

But I wonder if we ought not first to be clear on the import of the statements made by the representatives of those two countries. What is the exact meaning of the position they have taken? If a Member of the United Nations were chosen to serve on the committee of inquiry, would this Committee consider such election obligatory, or would the Member State be given the choice of accepting or declining? For unless we decide on these matters, it seems to me that it will be difficult for us to go ahead with our work and reach suitable and firm decisions.

I should therefore like to know whether the Governments of the United States and of the United Kingdom would be disposed to be represented on the committee of inquiry, if this First Committee and the General Assembly were to decide that it should include the permanent members of the Security Council, or if the respectable criterion which they have maintained up to now would prevent them from admitting the contrary thesis, should it be accepted by a majority of the Members of the United Nations.

In asking this question, I wish to say in all sincerity that I cannot form a definite opinion on this matter, because I realize that there may be reasons or scruples-or personal convictions— which may prevent a Member of the United Nations from accepting a majority vote appointing it to a committee such as we propose to constitute at this special session of the General Assembly.

The CHAIRMAN: The representative of Venezuela has addressed a rather important question to the permanent members of the Security Council, and they may in due course wish to reply.

Mr. HAGGLOF (Sweden): I assume that this general discussion in which we are engaged is meant to be a preliminary discussion. The Swedish delegation, for which I have the honour to speak, would be very happy to have an opportunity of listening carefully to other delegations before it comes to a definite opinion on this question, which, after all, is the principal question of this special session.

Today I can only offer remarks of a very general nature. There are, of course, two main questions before us. The first question concerns the terms of reference, and the second question concerns the constitution or the composition of the special committee. I fully agree with what was said yesterday by more than one representative that the first question is, in a way, the more important one. Anyway, it is the first question, and we have to agree on the.terms of reference before we can take any final decision on the composition of the special committee.

In the view of the Swedish delegation, the terms of reference should be as wide as possible. The committee should not be merely a fact-finding committee, but a committee with the duty of making definite recommendations. As far as I can see, this point is not quite clear in the Argentinian draft resolution, which states only that the committee should study the situation in Palestine and submit a report to enable the Assembly to consider the question. It seems to me that the American draft is clear on this point, for it states that a committee should prepare for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly of the future government of Palestine. Later on, this is amplified by the phrase "proposals for the solution of the problem of Palestine". I think it is important that in those terms of reference we should not exclude any possible alternative such as the independence of Palestine, the cessation of the mandate, etc.

I wonder—and this is only a suggestion-whether it would not be useful to speak not only of the future government, but also of the future status of Palestine. All this, of course, may be much clearer when we have listened to the other parties today. This point may be clear to us after we have heard the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee.

With regard to the second main problem before us, the problem of the composition of the committee, it is not possible at the present stage to reach any definite decision. The draft resolution presented today by the representative of El Salvador concerns, as far as I can see, only the terms of reference. However, the two drafts which we have before us also contain recommendations as to the composition of the special committee. They give us a very clear-cut choice between two different methods. I am uncertain as to whether or not it is possible, in the course of these deliberations, to combine the two drafts and to arrive at a compromise between the methods, but I think that, for the sake of argument, it is good that we have two drafts with two very clear-cut alternatives.

The representative of the United States pointed out yesterday that either method has its advantages and disadvantages. It is clear to me that if the special committee is going to be composed solely of representatives of—I would not like to say neutral countries, because neutrality is a term which has very little to do with this matter—representatives of countries which have no direct interest in the matter, then the work of the committee will be carried on more smoothly and, at least from a technical point of view, in a more effective manner. Moreover, a committee of this kind, composed of representatives of, may I say, disinterested States, will be more sheltered from accusations of partiality.

On the other hand, it is clear that there are many questions of high policy involved in the Palestine problem and that whatever solution the special committee may recommend to the Assembly will require the very material support of the great Powers. The discussions we have had in this Assembly already have, I think, only confirmed the impression that the Palestine question can be solved within the framework of the United Nations only if the great Powers are agreed as to the course to be followed.

There are certainly many more arguments, but I shall confine myself to saying that it seems difficult at the present stage of our deliberations to strike a true balance between the advantages and disadvantages of the two methods. There is, however, one point which seems to me to be of great importance. We take it for granted that if we, in this Committee, should finally decide in favour of a committee composed only of representatives of smaller Powers, such a decision would presuppose that the great Powers are agreed in not wishing to participate. I should like to express that in a more positive way. Only if the great Powers declare that they find it useful and in the interest of the United Nations to abstain from participation, would the smaller Powers I think, have sufficient reasons for undertaking this difficult task.

Finally, the Swedish delegation would like to point out, as I think other representatives have done before it, the necessity of keeping the number of committee members as low as possible. We all know by experience that it is easier to work within a small body. It seems to us that the membership should not go beyond seven, or perhaps nine.

The Argentinian draft resolution states that the committee should transmit its report to the Secretary-General not later than 1 September. I fully agree, and I should like to express the hope that we shall be able, today or within the next few days, to fix the date for the committee to start its work.

Mr. DE LAVALLE (Peru) (translated from Spanish): In this preliminary general debate, the delegation of Peru wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the delegations of the Argentine Republic and of the United States for the important proposals which they have submitted for our consideration. They are a valuable contribution to this Assembly's essential task of constituting a special committee of inquiry into the Palestine question.

The principles inspiring the United States proposal with regard to this committee's composition are in accordance with my Government's views, inasmuch as. it feels that they would facilitate the harmonious, impartial and constructive work required for the fulfilment of the task for which the committee is to be created—namely, to investigate all the facts relating to the question and to .submit to the next General Assembly of the United Nations proposals for the solution of the Palestine problem.

In the present case, the term "neutrality" cannot mean indifference, passivity, or lack of interest with regard to this question, which is obviously one of universal import. Indeed, its importance and urgency are the reasons for our meeting here. We are deeply stirred and grieved by the blood which is being shed every day in Palestine, and the passionate and eloquent appeal for peace made before this Assembly by the representative of New Zealand is in the hearts and on the lips of us all. That kind of neutrality cannot exist in the world today in face of a human problem of such significance; it can exist still less among the Members of the United Nations. In this case we understand by neutrality the absence of any economic or other interests or ties and freedom from prejudice with regard to the question, which might compromise or mar the impartiality and spirit of justice which are indispensable for the study, investigation and consideration of solutions to the Palestine problem.

Peru appreciates the mention made of her in the United States proposal together with six other States which deserve our highest esteem. We all know how desirable it is, from the human standpoint, to fill honourable and profitable positions, and we well understand that while a post on the Palestine committee would no doubt be a great honour, it would also be a tremendous responsibility, to be neither desired nor sought after. In any case, whatever States the Assembly chooses, we are all confident that the Members of the United Nations will not evade or refuse the duties and responsibilities entrusted to them.

The delegation of Peru wishes particularly to express its agreement with the clause of the United States proposal referring to the functions and powers of the special committee. It is well drafted technically and has the broad scope necessary for the fulfilment of the great task entrusted to the committee.

Mr. HENRIQUEZ-URENA (Dominican Republic) (translated from Spanish) : The two main Proposals which have been submitted to this Committee for examination are the most interring and most important feature of the debate at the present moment. They show a very careful and thorough study of the problems involved.

The suggestion has been made that it might be possible to combine them. There is one point on which they differ radically, as has already been pointed out: whether the five permanent members of the Security Council should be included in the committee which is to be appointed. I am personally inclined to favour their inclusion. There remains the fact that one or two of them have expressed the desire not to serve on the committee. Either they should all be on the committee, or else it would be better to support the United States proposal which excludes them and considers that the committee should be confined to a group of nations which are impartial on this question.

I agree with many of my colleagues that in the case before us, the word "neutral" does not have the same meaning as it might otherwise have. In this connexion, I recall the ban mot of a Spanish-American statesman when an election was being contested between the liberals and conservatives, and everyone said that the neutrals would decide the issue. He said, simply: "Neutrals? Those I know are conservative neutrals or liberal neutrals."

In this case, therefore, it would be well to take into account the need for impartiality, for not taking sides, that is, for being impartial. We are seeking nations which, by reason of their interests and their own situation, whether geographic, economic or political, are not directly concerned in the question.

If certain permanent members of the Security Council maintain the attitude that they should not be included on the committee, we should be inclined to accept the formula so aptly proposed by the United States.

It might be possible to reconcile it with the idea suggested by Argentina for a more equitable geographic distribution, by perhaps increasing, by two or three at the most, the number of members on the committee. Instead of seven, there might be nine, perhaps even ten. This does not alter the situation substantially, and would allow for a geographical distribution in greater conformity with the rules of procedure of the United Nations.

Some parts of the world are not represented in the short list of seven members. Despite the small number of seats available for the nations of Europe and America, it is a pity that no nation of southern Europe is included. Even if there were one member from North America and another from South America (Uruguay or Peru), America would not be fully represented, for the inter-tropical zone, more specifically the

West Indies and Central America, would not be taken into account.

This difficulty can be solved, as I have said, merely by increasing the number of members of the committee. This would help reconcile the Argentine proposal with that of the United States.

The proposal submitted by the delegation of El Salvador, which has just been circulated, touches on another important aspect of the question—the committee's terms of reference.

We might feel that if we proceed to a vote, a solution adopted on the basis of the United States proposal would be confined to the ideas contained therein regarding the terms of reference. It might, however, be necessary to amplify, modify, or add items to the terms of reference, such as those which have been suggested, in order to define more clearly some of the questions on which the committee is to make recommendations.

It seems to me that when the United States proposal has been approved, with some modification, as I have suggested, there should be nothing to prevent a clear definition and amplification of terms, of reference by means of separate proposals rather than by amendments. Some delegations, including my own, may consider it desirable to specify some of the points on which the committee is to make recommendations.

We have before us the proposal made by El Salvador regarding an aspect of the question which has not been considered in any of the speeches made until now. Some of the matters on which the committee is to consult and to gather information, such as those raised by the delegation of India, may call for concrete suggestions with respect to the committee's work. In addition to the matters suggested by the delegation of India, I also wish to refer to the points which other delegations raised hi the questions they put to the representative of the Jewish Agency, who spoke here this morning and outlined the Agency's position.

The Swedish delegation has also made a suggestion with regard to the manner in which these terms of reference might take account of the legal status to be accorded to Palestine or to its future government.

These and other points or aspects of the question might be examined and might perhaps be considered of sufficient importance to be specifically listed for study. In any case, it seems to me that the only way to settle these two questions of procedure would be to make it quite clear that once the United States proposal is adopted, as I think it can be, with slight modifications, the Committee could, if it considers necessary, add, in a supplementary proposal, any concrete points which it may be deemed desirable to specify clearly in the terms of reference. The combined proposals would then become a resolution.

Mr. PAPANEK (Czechoslovakia): I should like to make a few observations in this general discussion, only with regard to the composition of the special committee. The delegations of the United Nations propose that a special committee to prepare for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly of the future government of Palestine should be constituted. In our opinion, the proposals that such a committee should prepare and bring to the General Assembly should be just. But it is not sufficient that they be just; they must be acceptable, and they must be acceptable, first of all, to those who will be charged with carrying them out.

It seems to me that, in the first place, the great Powers and the mandatory Power will be charged with carrying out the proposals emanating from that committee. Therefore, why should they not participate in the preparation of such proposals? If they are ready to accept the proposals of a committee of disinterested Powers, it seems to me that they should be ready to prepare, or help prepare, a proposal for the next session themselves. In that way they would facilitate the discussions and decisions of the General Assembly.

The proposal of the United States is based on the thesis of the impartiality of decisions by those who are not participating in the conflict or directly interested in the problem. This principle is at the basis of the exercise of justice in every civilized country. However, we must not forget that behind every decision of a judge or a court, there is an executive State power. Without such a State power, ready to enforce the execution of that decision, any decision is useless. Unfortunately, the United Nations have not gone that far. The committee, whatever it proposes, will not have the backing of a Power which would enforce the execution of its decisions.

The United Nations is based on the principle of agreement and of collaboration, not only among those who do not participate directly in the problem, but among those who are directly participating. The Security Council is based on this principle. There has to be agreement among the great Powers. If we establish a committee whose authority will be based on the decision of disinterested Powers, we are endangering, instead of facilitating, the work of the United Nations, and especially of the General Assembly. Yesterday it was stated that the decisions or discussions in the Security Council— the Peace Conferences were mentioned—do not give us any assurance of such agreement. The same observation was made in connexion with the report of the Military Staff Committee. I agree. But even if there is no agreement on every problem, I have yet to hear anyone propose that the peace treaties should be concluded without the participation of the great Powers, or that the military force of the United Nations should be prepared and created without the participation of the great Powers.

That is why I feel that although the committee should be a very small one, those who will be called upon to carry out its decisions should help to prepare those decisions. Therefore I agree with the first part of the proposal of the representative of Argentina. Unfortunately, I cannot agree with the second part of it, which leaves the composition of the committee to mere chance. If we leave it that way, we might happen to include in the committee, in addition to the five great Powers—if we agree on that—four other members of the British Commonwealth. I do not think that the United Kingdom Government had this in mind when it proposed that this special session of the Assembly should be convened. We must not leave this important decision to mere chance; we must take decisions and we must take responsibility for these decisions.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I asked your leave to speak at this stage only in order to answer the question put by the representative of Venezuela.

He asked whether my Government, which is among the permanent members of the Security Council, would refuse to serve on the investigating committee. My answer is that my Government is as good a Member of the United Nations as any other, and if this Assembly decided to request us to serve on the committee, we should not, of course, refuse to accede to that request. But having said that, I should like to remind the Committee of a short intervention I made the other day on this subject.

Apart from our objections to the inclusion in the investigating committee of the permanent members of the Security Council, I would ask the Committee to remember that my Government is in rather a particular position. It would find itself, if it were a member of that committee, at times on the witness stand, and then a moment or two later it would resume its seat among the members of the jury. It is a principle, of course, that we have always held—as I think everybody has—that no man should be judge in his own case, and I think we should be put in a somewhat embarrassing and difficult position.

I should like to make a short reference to observations that have been made regarding the inclusion of the permanent members of the Security Council in the investigating committee. It has been said that it is unreasonable to exclude from the investigating committee those Powers which will bear the greatest responsibility in carrying out any decisions or recommendations. I would point out that the investigating committee is not a final body; it is merely preparing the case for ultimate decision. That decision must rest with the Assembly, including all the Members of the United Nations, who will all have to assume their share of responsibility in carrying out its decisions.

Mr. AUSTIN(United States of America): I was asked to answer a question, and I should like to associate my answer with the reply of the representative of the United Kingdom, since the question was put to both of us at the same time by the representative of Venezuela.

The reason for our position in this matter is to expedite a report presenting all substantial claims and all probative facts; that is, to hasten it, to get it back to the Assembly in time for the meeting in September. Our fear is that opposing views and debate over details among the permanent members, if they were included on that special committee, would cause delay by the intrusion of other interests which are perfectly obvious here. Everybody knows about them. They are constantly arising on mere details.

It would be better to have the permanent members of the Security Council, who will participate in the ultimate decision, reserve the presentation of their views until after a special committee has settled details and reported facts. We believe that they will be reported impartially by any committee, but the probability of arriving at an impartial decision is greatly enhanced by starting off right and by having that committee as nearly free as possible from these strong adverse interests that we constantly encounter when the permanent members of the Security Council participate in the debate and in the decision reached.

We recognize our responsibility. We will face it. It will come at the right time—that is, after this preliminary investigation and the reporting of the facts. The permanent members should not be divided on this question; their unanimity should not be shattered and their responsibility avoided in this case. We think it would be unwise to deviate from the policy and the principles of the Charter by including any one of the permanent members on this special committee, unless all of them are included.

The position of the United Kingdom is understood by all of us. We respect it. The United Kingdom is trying to adhere to an attitude of impartiality by not sitting on both sides of the same table at the same time. We think that an unbalanced arrangement of permanent members, with the special obligations which they have under the Charter, would not be wise in this case any more than in any other case. All or none seems to us the best arrangement, and the United States adheres to the idea of a special committee which excludes the permanent members.

The United States will not now—and I hope, never—adopt an intransigent attitude and refuse to cooperate. I am sure the Committee understands that that is our attitude. Nevertheless, we do hope that the First Committee will find it possible, as the representative of Argentina has done, to understand and take into consideration the strong conviction expressed by the United States that none of the permanent members of the Security Council should be appointed to the special committee.

The CHAIRMAN: The Committee stands adjourned until 3 o'clock.

The meeting rose at 1 p.m.

FIFTY-FIRST MEETING

Held at Lake Success, New York, on Thursday, 8 May 1947, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. L. B. PEARSON(Canada).


The CHAIRMAN: The representatives of Brazil and Nicaragua have been good enough to yield their places on the speaker's list to the representative of Haiti.

Mr. ZEPHIRIN (Haiti) (translated from French): First of all, I should like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the kindness you have shown in calling upon me amongst the first speakers. I asked you to do me this favour because I have to catch a train to Washington this afternoon.

My statement will be very brief and will relate to the proposals before us regarding the establishment of a special committee of investigation which will deal with the Palestine question.

First of all, I should like to pay a tribute to the wisdom of my colleagues who have made use of the time available before hearing the parties concerned to make up their minds on certain points which, nevertheless, will only be settled definitely after the hearing of these parties.

We have three proposals before us. It is very difficult to choose one of these proposals rather than the others at present. They are all equally interesting. That of the United States delegation (document A/C.1/150)— and I must admit that I am inclined to favour this proposal-is more rapid and more expeditious than that of the- Argentine delegation (document A/C.I/ 149), which is certainly more rational and more profound.

I think, however, without proposing that we should make of this what has humorously been called a cocktail, that these proposals are complementary to each other. Indeed, although I do not quite understand why the great Powers, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, should refuse to take part in the special committee, I must admit that it would be discourteous of the Assembly to impose its choice upon representatives who state that they do not wish to take part in the committee of investigation for reasons of conscience and in order to ensure the impartiality of the work.

Since the Argentine proposal depends entirely upon the acceptance by the great Powers of participation in the special committee, the explicit statements made both by the United States representative and the United Kingdom representative seem to me to rule out this proposal, and this is somewhat regrettable, for the Argentine proposal contains certain points which are not mentioned in the United States proposal. That is why I said at the beginning that I was in favour of an adjustment of these texts.

The Argentine proposal rightly provides for setting a time-limit for the committee to submit the results of its work. I think -that this is a very important point and that we should not risk losing the benefit of this suggestion by rejecting the Argentine proposal.

On the other hand, the United States delegation's proposal includes the provision of ways and means, if I may so express myself, which would enable the representatives appointed to perform their task expeditiously and in the most favourable circumstances.

I hasten to add that I fully approve of the choice which has been proposed, namely, the representatives of Canada, Czechoslovakia, Iran, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay. I think that this membership would provide full guarantee of impartiality, and I subscribe to it willingly.

Nevertheless, I should like to take the liberty not of protesting, but of drawing the Committee's attention to the fact that the procedure used to appoint the members of the committee, without an Assembly vote, in a sense somewhat forces the hand of the other representatives. I repeat that in this case the choice made was a happy one. This time chance settled the matter satisfactorily, but in future I should not like this procedure of proposing names to be used with regard to a question as vital as that of the membership of a committee, particularly of a committee as important as the committee of investigation on the Palestine problem.

Diplomats are supposed to be somewhat tricky, it is true, but they also have the reputation of being very courteous, and it is easy to understand that it would be awkward for a representative to speak against the appointment of a colleague whose name had been proposed for this approval, even if he had extremely good reasons for this. That is why I would suggest that in future, when dealing with such important questions, we should vote by secret ballot, which would be more logical, more normal and more regular.

I repeat once again that I subscribe to the choice which has been made and that I agree with it because, by chance, it is a happy choice, but, as a matter of principle, we should adopt a different procedure in future.

I said that the proposals were complementary, because, for my part, I am in full agreement with the proposal made by the delegation of El Salvador (document A/C.1/156). This proposal is not concerned with the question dealt with by the United States and Argentine delegations. It deals rather with the terms of reference of the committee of investigation, whereas the first two proposals deal with its membership.

That is why I think that, by adopting what is fundamental and practical in the United States proposal—and I shall vote for such a proposal—we might add to it several points contained in the Argentine proposal, such as the time-limit set for the committee to submit its report. We should also specify more clearly the purposes of the committee of investigation.

Of course, we shall not adopt a definite attitude until we have heard the parties who have been summoned here before us. I wished to make these remarks in order to help my colleagues to view the question as clearly as possible, and in order to form my own convictions with a good knowledge of the subject.

Mr. MUNIZ (Brazil): The problem submitted to our consideration is of very grave importance. It offers, on a small scale, all the elements of the essential problem of our time, which consists in reconciling and finding a possible method for the co-existence and collaboration of different and divergent forms of political thought.

The fact that it is the first time our young Organization is assuming the responsibilities of finding a solution to a problem such as this should impress upon our minds the importance of exercising the utmost diligence and prudence in approaching this matter and in endeavouring to bring about a just settlement. This will be a source of progress and well-being for the populations concerned; will enhance the prestige of the United Nations and ensure the cause of world peace.

I think we all agree that the failure of our efforts in this matter is likely to jeopardize the efficiency of the United Nations as an instrument of international collaboration for the peaceful settlement of conflicts.

We are dealing with one of the most painful and stirring dramas of all time. We must bring to that human suffering the assuaging balm of our solidarity, and spare no effort in its alleviation and final suppression. By doing this, we will enlarge and deepen the human conscience, to which nothing human should be indifferent. We will contribute to endowing man with a greater sense of solidarity, a greater interest in eliminating unjust suffering and a greater understanding of social problems. The measure of our success in coping with this problem will be an important factor in advancing the cause of peace and international collaboration.

The first condition of success for our task is to assure an ample hearing to all parties having a relevant interest in this matter before we are able to frame the terms of reference for the investigating committee.

I want to thank Rabbi Silver for his able and eloquent statement on behalf of the Jewish community of Palestine; I shall welcome similar statements by the Arab Higher Committee.

It is obvious we should not prejudge the deliberations and final recommendation of the investigating committee. Having that in mind, we should define its terms of reference in a broad manner in order to permit it to investigate and recommend any alternative plan.

In formulating the terms of reference, I think the particular interest of Christianity in the definite settlement of the Palestine question should be considered. We must not forget, in approaching this problem, that we are dealing with sacred ground from which some of the highest conceptions of our civilization have originated.

In that respect, I wish to endorse the point raised by the draft resolution put forward by the representative of El Salvador.

As to the composition of the investigating committee, the Brazilian delegation favours the constitution of a small body instead of a larger one, on the assumption that a small committee is in a better position to master all the facts involved and reach a consensus among its members than is a larger and more representative committee.

The Brazilian delegation accepts, therefore, the composition of the committee as outlined in the proposal submitted by the United States delegation on the grounds that it offers the least difficulty for its acceptance, and safeguards entirely the impartiality and objectivity of the findings of the special committee.

We are inclined to believe that the permanent members of the Security Council are wise to abstain from participating in the investigating committee, in order to ensure a greater impartiality, and to avoid bringing into its deliberations difficult questions of power which would otherwise inevitably come before the consideration of the investigating committee.

In view of the fact that the final recommendation of the investigating committee will have to be passed upon and approved by the General Assembly at its next session, we do not see the need for a large and more representative committee as suggested by the Argentine proposal, the merits of which I recognize and duly praise.

Mr. MARTTNEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): On behalf of the Nicaraguan delegation I strongly support the proposal submitted by the distinguished representative of the United States of America, Mr. Austin.

Much has been said here about the very serious problems of Palestine but it is no use merely talking about these problems. My view is that they must be studied and investigated without delay.

I am a defender of the rights of man and all my life I have counted it an honour to defend them; I also believe that in the world of today time is money. I therefore urge my colleagues of this Committee and of the Assembly to deal speedily and concisely with all the points on the agenda and to set up as quickly as possible the investigating committee which is to furnish our Governments with a report on the true position in Palestine.

Each day we spend here means one day less for the investigating committee. Let us stop parliamentary oratory and vote for the committee which is to present the report, as proposed by the United States delegation.

Mr. RODRIGUEZ FABREGAT(Uruguay) (translated from Spanish): The Uruguayan delegation wishes to express its point of view, now that we are really beginning to discuss the matter which was the reason for holding this special session of the United Nations General Assembly.

It is the desire of the Uruguayan delegation that we should appoint an investigating committee, relatively small in number, whose report and conclusions will provide the basis for consideration of the Palestine problem at the next General Assembly in September.

We also consider it desirable that the committee should be composed of nations not directly involved in the problem. On these grounds the Uruguayan delegation supports, in general, the proposal of the United States delegation.

Although some of the points of the proposal submitted by the Argentine delegation seem contrary to the views of the Uruguayan delegation which I have just expressed, it is clear that the former does contribute greatly to the study and solution of the matter before us.

I do not know exactly what voting method will be followed in this case, but whether it is a comprehensive vote or a general one followed by a consideration of each point separately, the Uruguayan delegation will be guided by the principles it has already expressed here.

As the representative of Venezuela pointed out this morning,8/ it is not right to say that this committee will be composed of neutrals. I do not know what "neutrality" means in modern times-in the face of the problems which have so distressed, and continue to distress, mankind. The real solution—and here I give the specific view of the Uruguayan delegation—is that the committee should be composed of representatives of countries not directly concerned in the problem.

Perhaps the membership of the committee as suggested by the United States could be somewhat enlarged, as the representative of the Dominican Republic also suggested today.9/

Uruguay for its part deeply appreciates the inclusion of its name in the United States proposal. But perhaps the important point is that of the functions to be assigned to the committee: an investigating committee with full powers, and with freedom of movement and action to visit the places where the problem is most acute, to listen to all sides, assemble and record information, and offer its solution for consideration by the United Nations General Assembly hi September.

The Uruguayan delegation accordingly intends to vote, in general, in favour of the proposals submitted, but desires that each of them should be considered separately.

In what I have said I am not only expressing the reasons for my delegation's vote; I am also expressing the deeply felt hope that this long dispute may be brought to an end, and that the principles of justice and peace which are the basis of the Charter and the work of the United Nations may be applied to this problem.

Dr. FIDERKIEWICZ(Poland): At this stage of the discussion, I wish to talk only about the composition of the committee of inquiry on the Palestinian problem. It is too early yet for the Polish delegation to speak on the substance of the question. Only today we heard the point of view of the Jewish representative,10/ and we expect to hear representatives of the Arabs as soon as possible.

The Polish delegation wishes to hear the Arab statement and to give the most careful study to all points of view which will be expressed before this Committee, before it can state its views on so important a matter as the terms of reference to be given to the committee of inquiry.

We hesitated to enter into discussion on this subject. However, it has been brought forward by the American and Argentine resolutions and several speakers have discussed it. Therefore I feel completely justified in entering the discussion at the present stage, for the purpose of stating our views on the composition of the committee we are to establish.

We believe that, taking into account the rather brief experience of this Organization, the best composition of the committee would be one based on geographical distribution as much as possible. We do not believe that it is a question of neutrality or partiality. Every member elected to the committee will represent not only his Government, but the interests of the United Nations as a whole whether or not his Government has any connexion with Palestine. Should it be otherwise, I think the committee would fail in its purpose.

The Palestine problem is a difficult one and ranks among the most important problems this Organization has dealt with. Therefore, I believe there would be no justification to exclude from the committee the five big Powers, permanent members of the Security Council. On the contrary, they should be included first of all, because the Charter entrusts to them special duties in the task of maintaining peace and security. It is no special privilege to be a member of such a committee of inquiry. In our opinion, it is a duty, a very earnest and difficult duty, and from the performance of this duty no one can withdraw and at the same time, no one can be barred.

I was pleased with the statements of the representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom that they are prepared to serve on this committee, because I believe it is the wish of the majority of this Committee to see them, together with others, solving the difficult problems, not only at this Committee table, but also in the investigating committee. The Polish delegation believes that their participation in the work of the committee will bring a much speedier solution of the problem before us and will give strength to the committee's recommendations.

We agree in general with the Argentine proposal. We find, however, that this proposal does not provide for the best geographical and political distribution.

For this reason the Polish delegation suggests the following composition. The committee should be composed of eleven members: the five permanent members of the Security Council, two representatives of the Latin-American countries —and we leave it to them to select the countries—one Arab country (in our opinion it should be Syria), one representative from Africa or Asia, one from western Europe, and one from eastern Europe. As the representative of eastern Europe we would suggest Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia. In our opinion such a composition of the committee of inquiry would include all the elements; it would be powerful, and would lead to a just solution of this difficult problem.

Mr. DE PAULA GUTIERREZ(Costa Rica) (translated from Spanish): The delegation of Costa Rica wishes briefly to place on record its position on the matter under discussion.

As this special session of the Assembly was convened for the sole purpose of constituting and instructing a special committee to prepare for consideration of the Palestine question at the second session of the Assembly in September, it seems clear that we should try to solve the problem not only as wisely but also as speedily as possible.

The committee we are going to appoint will have to perform a highly responsible task, and I fear that the limited time available will be a serious obstacle to success. That is why, with all respect, I take the liberty of drawing the attention of my fellow representatives to this aspect of the matter.

It is for the same reason that I wish very sincerely to congratulate the representatives of the United States, the Argentine Republic, El Salvador, and now Poland, for the notable service they have rendered to the Committee in proposing concrete formulas for the composition of the investigating committee and the instructions to be given to it.

I am very sorry not to agree with the proposal of the Argentine representative, for in principle we fully support that of Mr. Austin, the United States representative.

The Government of Costa Rica considers that the committee to be set up should be exclusively composed of countries as far removed as possible from any direct interest in the question.

The representative of the United Kingdom put this very clearly this morning when he said that one could not be both jury and witness in the same dispute.11/

Objection has been taken to the use of the word "neutral" in this connexion. In fact, there is one thing in which all of us without exception have a very direct interest, namely, that a prompt and successful solution should be found to bring peace and tranquility once more to this ancient country of Palestine. But there are many countries and many eminent personalities who have no direct interest in the problem, as I have already pointed out, and it is from those countries or those persons that we should choose the members of the committee.

That is why, I repeat, we support the suggestion of the United States.

As regards the terms of reference, I think we should be in favour of making them as wide as possible, giving the committee complete freedom of action to investigate and propose solutions. But we do not insist upon this and we support the United States proposal.

Mr. Quo Tai-Chi (China): I wish to make a short statement to clarify the attitude of the Chinese delegation on the various proposals that the delegations have placed before this Committee.

Of the various draft resolutions submitted, our delegation finds itself in agreement with the draft resolution presented by the United States delegation. We believe it is clear, concise and comprehensive. I want to express my agreement particularly with the composition of the committee suggested, and with the non-inclusion of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

Let me state very clearly that this is not due to any desire to evade our responsibility. China yields to none in its desire to contribute to the working of the United Nations whenever and in whatever way possible. But on the present occasion, the attitude*" of the United Kingdom, as a fellow permanent member of the Security Council, must be respected. Its desire not to be included in this committee of investigation is well known, and the reasons it has advanced demand our consideration and respect.12/ As the mandatory Power for Palestine and as an interested party, I submit it is highly desirable that it should not be included.

In addition, the reason given by the United States representative this morning is a most practical one;13/ that the rule of unanimity among the five permanent members of the Security Council must and should be observed at all times. Inasmuch as it is not advisable to include the United Kingdom, I think the other four permanent members of the Security Council should likewise not be included. I will not say "excluded". I should prefer to use the word "non-inclusion" rather than "exclusion".

This is really a very practical point which must be considered by all the members of this Committee. It is highly essential for the expeditious functioning of the committee, as well as for the final report that is to be produced. This report should command the confidence not only of all concerned but of all the world for its objectivity and disinterestedness. I submit that the names of the countries suggested by the United States resolution would command such confidence and such respect.

With regard to our delegation's attitude, there is a point which I should like to emphasize; namely, the composition of the special committee of inquiry, and the non-inclusion of the five permanent members of the Security Council. I reserve my delegation's right to make other comments on the project, if and when it considers it necessary.

The CHAIRMAN: I take ,it that the argument of the Chinese delegation on the composition of the committee, in so far as the permanent members of the Security Council are concerned, is a sort of modification of the laws of baseball—one out, all out.

Mr. ARCE (Argentina) (translated from Spanish) : I should have preferred not to have to draw the Committee's attention again to some observations I made yesterday, which seemed to me sufficiently clear.14/

The Argentine delegation's proposal was very carefully thought out; it was submitted for the consideration of the Member States even before this special session of the General Assembly met. It is based on perfectly clear general principles and it is divided into four quite distinct parts.

One of these is concerned with organization. Contrary to many of the opinions expressed here, I considered that the best way of solving this matter was to bring together all the interests involved, including the great political interests. For this reason I proposed the inclusion of the five permanent members of the Security Council, an Arab State to be drawn by lot and five other States, also to be drawn by lot. The eleven members thus selected would represent the fifty-five nations in a ratio of one to five.

It is true that mathematics and technical methods hi general cannot be strictly applied to politics, but we should not forget that mathematics is the most exact of all the sciences known to civilized man. So I chose the number eleven, which has the additional advantage of being the number of members making up the Security Council, and from these eleven, as the representative for the United States said today, we should all like to see the Big Five excluded.

But if the committee is not to be formed on these lines, then my proposal loses its point. I think Mr. Austin put the matter very clearly (and he interpreted my own feelings) when he said "all or none."15/ And in this connexion I do not wish to be accused of any political move or manoeuvre, for my plan and my intentions are far removed from that.

To make that clear, and because of the great respect I have for the Press in general, I should like to point out that an important New York newspaper yesterday made a brief remark to the effect that the Argentine delegation had sup ported the Soviet delegation's view that the Big Five should be represented on the committee.

Before I had the pleasure of knowing the point of view of our colleague, Mr. Gromyko, the New York papers had already referred to my proposal. Naturally, I do not claim that my proposal influenced the Soviet delegation to take a similar point of view, though I should have been greatly honoured if it were so. But at all events I have not taken points of view from any other delegation, though other delegations may have taken my point of view.

Having corrected this obviously unintentional mistake in the newspaper in question, I wish to emphasize that my proposal was a fair and balanced one, and here I take the liberty of correcting my Polish colleague, who considers that it was not so. He proposes a committee of eleven, like mine, which makes comparison easier; but he proposes a committee in which Europe will have five representatives, America three, Asia one, Africa one and the Arab States one, and in which our colleagues from the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia will not be represented.

Although Europe has only sixteen Member countries, he gives it five representatives. America has twenty-two Member countries, and he gives it three. Arithmetic and algebra, as I studied them—a long time ago unfortunately— can hardly approve of that proportion. Asia, on the other hand, is left with only one representative; Africa with one; the Arabs with one (here I agree) and, I repeat, Oceania or the Pacific States are un-represented.

I cannot insist upon my own proposal, but I do wish to draw the Polish representative's attention to its proportions, for they are fairer than those he suggests.it

The system of drawing by lot has also been criticized, and the Czechoslovak representative, always well-disposed, pointed out that the lot might fall to three or four members of the British Commonwealth to be elected to the committee.16/ I do not suggest that the Czechoslovak representative cast doubts on the impartiality of the States of the British Commonwealth, because it is common knowledge that frequently Canada, New Zealand, Australia (quite often), and South Africa disagree with Great Britain's point of view, and state their reasons for so doing. Any country present and represented here, if drawn by lot, would not forget that the United Nations Charter obliges it to think not in terms of its own political interests, but in terms of the purposes and principles of the United Nations. And I believe that any one of the States of the British Commonwealth would act with as much impartiality as any other State.

Having said this, in order to prevent any possible doubts about certain questions, I would repeat, lest I have not been rightly understood, that as far as the so-called great Powers are concerned, it should be all or none. I do not want to give way on the question of the veto, for I am absolutely against the veto, and I do not call them great Powers, but so-called great Powers. In the United Nations Assembly, the United States, Russia and Great Britain are Powers on the same footing as Costa Rica, Haiti or Argentina.

But, as to my proposal, which on this point is no longer applicable, if the representatives compel me to vote I shall do so against my own proposal because I do not propose to play anybody's political game. My proposal, I repeat, has three other points which concern the duties of the special committee, the persons to be heard before the committee begins its duties and the date on which the committee should present its report.

In this connexion the Swedish representative said that Mr. Austin's proposal was clearer than mine.17/ Will the United States representative allow me to say that in my view my own is clearer, for it establishes the terms of reference quite definitely, its words being "the committee shall have the widest powers"—and I do not enumerate those powers because, if you begin to do that, you may leave out one, two or three points; "it shall have the widest powers," that is to say, all the powers reasonably attributable to a committee appointed to investigate the problem of Palestine. It adds that these wide powers shall be both to record facts and to make recommendations or suggest solutions.

If anything could be clearer and fuller than that, I challenge any of the fifty-four representatives here present to produce it.

My proposal states, in paragraphs 4 and 5, that the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power in Palestine, shall be heard, also the Arabs and the Jews. I think that is sufficiently clear. I have put it in the fewest possible words, and it is my practice to be very objective; perhaps my Latin American colleagues will excuse me, if in my objectiveness I am not very florid or "tropical" in my manner of expression, for I use only the essential words without adjectives or superfluous additions.

Finally, in paragraph 6, my proposal states that the investigating committee shall transmit its report to the Secretary-General not later than 1 September so that he may have time to print and circulate it and we may all be duly informed.

So paragraph 2 of my proposal is now dead and buried. Three of the so-called great Powers refuse to be represented on the committee and, as far as I am concerned, it is enough if one refuses, because all or none .should be represented.

In the other paragraphs, I have clearly stated the committee's terms of reference. I have also stated who should be heard and the time limit for the presentation of the report.

So I waive the second paragraph, but I maintain the others and I shall fight for their approval in the form in which I proposed them because, if you will pardon my lack of modesty, I consider that I have submitted them very clearly, in the fewest possible words, and in a manner which I believe has received the approval of all here present.

Having given these explanations, I hope there will be no need for the Argentine delegation to speak again until the time for voting comes.

The CHAIRMAN: I must not yield to the temptation the Argentine representative has extended to me of following him into the mystique of the British Commonwealth of Nations. I should also like to assure him that all the proposals which have been submitted to this Committee, and will be submitted in the future, are marvels of lucidity, wisdom, and political intelligence; and that certainly includes his own.

Mr. ASAF ALI(India): We have just listened to an extremely lucid, compelling and persuasive speech by the representative of Argentina who has undoubtedly given distinct proof of the fact that his approach here is impartial and objective. However, we have four proposals before us and it appears that some way must be found of reconciling these proposals in such a form that a composite whole may be acceptable to all.

May I invite the attention of the Committee to a fact which appears to have been lost sight of in the general discussion that has taken place today. Before we proceed to think of the constitution and composition of the committee, we ought to be able to make up our minds about the terms of reference. We must know what the body which we are going to constitute will be called upon to do.

Certain terms of reference have been proposed by all the four sponsors of the four proposals. Will it not be conducive to economy of time if we appoint a sub-committee, to consider the terms of reference and submit its final draft which may be the result of a happy compromise of the four proposals. That will give us some basis to work on. The next step, which would naturally follow, is to consider the question of the composition and constitution of the committee.

I do not wish to say very much at this stage of the discussion concerning the first point because if the appointment of a sub-committee is likely to be accepted, the entire discussion we may carry on today will become unnecessary.

But in so far as the next point is concerned, I do feel that although there is forcible logic in the proposition of the representative of Argentina there is equally forcible logic in the case which was put forward by the representative of the United States, as well as in the statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom. They maintain that the five Powers who sit permanently on the Security Council—and here I am following the lead of the representative of Argentina by omitting the word "great", by eliminating the adjective because all the Powers here are great in themselves—cannot possibly participate in the work of this committee for the simple reason that at least two of them, by their own profession, are considered interested parties.

The United Kingdom, particularly, is in a very awkward position. One party accuses it of maladministration. Another party accuses it of holding a mandate which is ultra vires. Therefore, the United Kingdom becomes an accused person and has to go into the dock. In the next moment, it is required to sit on this committee, a kind of fact-finding committee which is to marshal facts for others. The next step will be for it to come and sit here as the jury; and finally, I suppose it will have to become a judge.

It is impossible for a party to be an accused person and, at the same time, to become a jury and a judge and a marshaller of facts. I am afraid that position becomes untenable. Therefore, the United Kingdom has very rightly decided not to be a party to this committee. The United States has also excused itself for similar reasons.

That leaves three more permanent members of the Security Council to consider. So far as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is concerned, by virtue of the fact that it is in close proximity to this particular area, and might also be interested in the developments which are taking place there, both in the Arab world and in Palestine, it would be much the best for the Soviet Union to refrain from participation in the work of the committee.

Two more permanent members are left. France was a mandatory in Syria, and we can see even now that although it has abandoned that mandate, France too may be considered an interested party in one way or another, with respect to trade, and to many other connexions with that part of the world.

That leaves only China. China is always ready to cooperate, and has already said that it would not mind keeping out if it were called to serve upon this committee. I, personally, would advise China to keep out, because the

other four Powers are, for some reason or other, either standing away from this committee, or in any case, imposing upon themselves a self-denying ordinance. It would be only courteous to its colleagues to say: "All right, friends, we have been on the Security Council all this time. We sit together and we discuss matters there. Now let us stand by your side, stand away and see what is going to happen."

That means that the five permanent members of the Security Council are eliminated. Once these five are eliminated, we are left with the fifty. Therefore the mathematics and. algebra, to which our great and learned friend from Argentina was referring, will have to be modified accordingly, and some other proportion will have to be considered. I entirely agree with him that the proposal that has come forward from Poland somehow omits (I imagine by sheer inadvertence, perhaps) a great part of the world; namely, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

Let us think in terms not merely of Powers but of human beings. Asia happens to contain more than half of the population of the entire globe. If only one representative is to come from Asia, it would appear that he will carry with him— (whoever he happens to be)—at least the votes of the people whom he represents. Supposing it were China, it would be five hundred million people; supposing it were India, it would be four hundred million people, and so on. I should be quite satisfied if the committee were to take into account not merely Powers but the actual population of the world and reflected the conscience and the votes of so many people. Any suggestion that may be made with regard to the committee must, in my opinion, be based on some consideration being given to what I have just stated. It is only a matter of principle.

At this stage I am not prepared to suggest any names, because that would become invidious, but I would request the Committee, when making any decision with regard to the constitution and composition of the special committee, to take these principles into consideration. At this stage I shall be content if you will be so kind as to narrow down the issue for the immediate future, namely, whether it is not desirable at this stage to appoint a subcommittee to settle the terms of reference and to frame the issues which have to be referred to the committee which is to be established.

The CHAIRMAN: I should be very glad to narrow down the issue, but I think the time has not yet come for that. We will have to proceed with our general discussion. At the close of that discussion, this afternoon, I hope, we may be in a position to narrow down the issue along the lines suggested by our colleague from India, and we can return to his suggestion at that time.


For instance, the Soviet delegation sees no grounds for objecting to the inclusion in the composition of .this committee of one of the Arab States, which, of course, show great interest in the Palestine problem. Naturally there can be no objections against the inclusion in the committee of representatives from the Latin-American States and from other parts of the world.

I have already pointed out that this committee must be representative. In establishing the committee, therefore, we should take into account certain political and geographical factors.

I should also like to draw the Committee's attention to the following. It is enough to ask oneself the question: in what circumstances will it be easier to reach agreement on the Palestine problem at the forthcoming session of the General Assembly? Will it be if the five great Powers participate in the preparation of proposals and decisions, or if the five great Powers stand aside? It is obvious that there will be fewer difficulties in reaching agreement on the Palestine question at the next regular session of the General Assembly if the five Powers take part in the preparation of the relevant recommendations for the General Assembly.

I think it would be very difficult to contest this view. I think it is self-evident. If this is so, why should we not endeavour to ensure the easiest method of reaching agreement at the forthcoming session of the General Assembly? I think that by deciding to include the five great Powers in the composition of the committee we should create the most favourable conditions for reaching agreement when we come to take definite and final decisions on the Palestine problem.

Would the inclusion of the five great Powers in the committee in any way prejudice the prestige of the small States? No, it would not. The small States co-operate with the five great Powers in all the organs of the United Nations. They have worked together in the Security Council, in the Economic and Social Council and in some other organs. Hence, there can be no question that the participation of the great Powers in the committee would in any way prejudice the prestige of the smaller States. This question does not arise here.

If, on the contrary, there were any question of setting up a committee composed only of the great Powers, we might indeed be asked for what reason we were recommending the establishment of a committee composed only of the great Powers. But this is not the case. It is a question of setting up a committee consisting of representatives from large and small States. Thus, considerations of prestige simply do not exist.

I should now like to say a few words with regard to the Argentine proposal. The remarks I have just made define the attitude of the Soviet delegation in relation to the proposal submitted for our discussion by the representative of the United States.

In one respect, the Argentine draft compares favourably with that, submitted by the United States, since it provides for the establishment of a committee composed both of the representatives of the five great Powers and of the representatives of a number of small States. In this connexion we must admit that the draft submitted by the Argentine delegation has the advantage, since it is based on the fact that the five Powers should not be deprived of the responsibility of participating in the preparation of decisions on the Palestine problem.

There is another side, however, to the Argentine draft with which the Soviet delegation is unable to agree unless it is duly amended and modified, which I think is possible. The Argentine draft proposal prejudices the interests of the countries of eastern Europe. I have already pointed out that this committee should be a representative one and that political and geographical considerations must be taken into account when it is established; if we base ourselves on this contention—and I think that this is in conformity with the interests of the United Nations—we must admit that from the point of view of representation on this committee the Argentine draft proposal is adverse to the eastern European States.

We all know the part they played in the struggle against our common enemy and we know that these States are interested in the maintenance of peace and in the peaceful regulation and settlement of all kinds of political or other disputes or situations arising in various parts of the world. I do not think that anyone will question the wish of these countries—including, of course, the Soviet Union—that the disputes, friction, or situations which may arise in various parts of the world and which are worthy of the attention of the United Nations should be settled by peaceful methods, in the interests of universal peace and in the interests of our Organization.

I have already pointed out that, in my opinion, it is possible somewhat to amend the Argentine draft proposal, so that the composition of the committee which we are about to set up may really be called equitable. I think that the proposal submitted by the representative of Poland18/ is an equitable one, and that it corresponds with the need of establishing a representative committee. This proposal takes account of all the considerations we should bear in mind.

Finally, I should like to draw the attention of this Committee to the fact that we have several examples of the establishment of specific organs of the United Nations, and examples of how these organs are set up with a view to making them really representative. For in stance, it would suffice to take the example of the Security Council to see that in the establishment of that organ we indeed took into consideration those factors which should be borne in mind. I do not think anyone can assert that the composition of the Security Council is unsuitable or unsatisfactory from the point of view of the representation of definite groups of States, —if I may so express myself,—and of various parts of the world. In any case, I have never heard any such complaints.

I think that in discussing the question of establishing other subsidiary political organs of the United Nations, we should bear in mind the same factors which were taken into account, for instance, when the Security Council was established. This might lighten our task and might increase the possibility of reaching agreement on the composition of this committee and also on other questions.

Of course, if we do not base ourselves on this consideration, namely, that of an equitable approach to the establishment of the committee or of any other subsidiary organ of the United Nations, but if we unduly emphasize or give undue significance to possible combinations of votes-even if we do this tacitly—this would, of course, be highly undesirable, and would lead us not to an agreement, but, on the contrary, to disagreement on various questions. By doing so, we should, if I may so express myself, be chopping away the branch on which we are sitting, for it is impossible to seek agreement, to seek a correct and, if possible, unanimous decision of the question, and at the same time not to be guided by the interests of an equitable decision of the question of the composition of the committee which is to prepare the relevant proposals.

Perhaps I have spoken more frankly than some other representatives in discussing the question of the composition of the committee. My only purpose in doing so, however, was that we should understand each other better, that we should try to find a possibility of reaching agreement and, at any rate, should try to reduce our differences to a minimum, since this is particularly important at the initial stage of the discussion of the problem.

We should base ourselves, from the very beginning of the discussion of this question, on our common interests, and should endeavour to settle all these questions equitably without prejudicing the interests and rights of certain States, but on the contrary, by duly taking into account the interests of all the States. We should also endeavour to make those proposals and recommendations which may be prepared by the committee conform to the greatest possible extent with the interests of all States Members of the United Nations.

The Soviet Union is not materially interested in the Palestine problem. It is not necessary for me to enlarge on this, since I think that this is self-evident. The Soviet Union is not directly interested in the Palestine problem from the point of view, let us say, of the emigration of Jews to Palestine, since, as far as I am • aware, the Jewish population of the Soviet Union does not show any interest in emigration to Palestine. The Soviet Union is interested in the Palestine problem from the point of view of the political aspect of the question; it is interested in this problem as a Member of the United Nations and as a permanent member of the Security Council. The Soviet Union is interested in this problem, in so far as it is interested in taking decisions on the Palestine question which would be in conformity with the interests of the population of Palestine and, at the same time, would be in conformity with our common interests, the interests of the United Nations, the interests of the maintenance of peace and international security.

Mr. CARIAS (Honduras) (translated from Spanish): I wish to speak only in order to state my complete agreement with the attitude adopted and so clearly expressed by various Latin American representatives, in particular the representative of Ecuador, in support of the United States proposal.

To avoid redundance, and for the sake of brevity, a virtue much talked of but rarely practised in our discussions, I shall confine myself simply to stating the way in which Honduras will vote.

We are all aware that as we sit here thousands of human beings are suffering terrible distress of mind, and that in addition to, the many we know of, there are countless other nameless and destitute victims. The main emphasis of our thought should be upon the urgent and deeply human aspect of the problem now before us.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I hope, Mr. President, you will note that I am very consistent in my purpose of supporting your initial plan of work for the Committee. I have been consistent throughout in trying to keep within the lines of your initial suggestion.

I believe that the proposal for the establishment of a sub-committee to try to amalgamate the different proposals under discussion and to draw up a draft of the terms of reference of the special committee to be established is a little premature. Of course, as I have pointed out several times, I believe that according to the plan you proposed to us, the agencies concerned should be heard first; then the question of the appointment of the committee and the definition of its terms of reference could be considered. I do not by any means, of course, mean that we should not go ahead in this general discussion, which I believe is most useful, but I should like to consider it rather a preliminary discussion of the problem we have to resolve. Therefore, I am not opposing this general discussion. "Vs a matter of fact, I should like to contribute some remarks to it.

First, I should like to express how much I regret that my colleague from Argentina has suggested that the first part of his proposal be abandoned or discarded. This may be done during the initial stage of our discussion, but I hope he will allow us to come back to it later on. We feel that this proposal has a very important aspect, namely, the inclusion among the members of the committee to be established of the five permanent members of the Security Council. We believe that the five permanent members of the Security Council should be present in any enterprise initiated for the sake of peace and security in the world. They should be included and present from the very beginning.

It may be pointed out that the direct interest of some of them in the question under discussion should prevent them from participating, but I think that, on the contrary, that would be an argument in favour of their participation, because if they are interested, they are as much entitled as any other nation to be present from the outset during the development of any process.

I also think the world expects of the United Nations and the great Powers that they should shoulder their responsibilities under the Charter and take those responsibilities when they are called upon to take them.

There is another argument which I have, heard, and which particularly refers to the United Kingdom's participation. It is true that you cannot be a judge and a party in a dispute. But as far as I can see, it is not a question of a judicial settlement, or even of a judicial inquiry. The terms of reference of the committee to be established may lay down as its principal task a clarification and study of the situation. Therefore, there would be no juridical decision. The committee would rather give advice to the Assembly, after examining all the facts pertaining to the question. In that case, the position of the United Kingdom would not be that of a judge and a party to the dispute.

There is another point which has been raised, that the small Powers would be in an even better position to expedite the work and carry out the study. If I may be allowed to say so, in the past work of the Organization, we have noticed for some time that things go slowly. Of course I am not complaining about that; it is quite natural. The Organization is just starting, and the problems under study are very difficult and very serious. But I venture to ask whether, if the great Powers were absent from this committee, the work of the committee would not be slower and more difficult without their guidance.

It is feared that with the participation of the great Powers in the work of the investigating committee, opposing points of view might be raised, because there would be interested parties and non-interested parties. It has already been said that there are no neutrals. I do not want to deal further with that, but it is a point which we should consider. There are a number of factors which influence the judgment of even a very faraway country which has no direct interest in a question. However, if we take for granted that there would be non-interested and interested members of this investigating committee, I think it would be quite advantageous, if they could not reach an agreement, to have two different reports presented to the Assembly. The Assembly would then have heard two very definite points of view at the very outset of its meetings, instead of having them raised later on in the course of the discussion.

These are the remarks which I wanted to make for the purpose of contributing to the general discussion.

Mr. KOSANOVIC (Yugoslavia:): I should merely like to make some brief remarks. When I spoke yesterday,18/ I expressed the Yugoslav opinion on the composition of the investigating committee. I should just like to outline some opinions on what I have heard today. I have listened very carefully to all the speeches which were made yesterday and today. I am glad that it is the accepted opinion that we have no neutrals in this problem, that we are all interested. As I said yesterday, the only neutrality that we could achieve would be a compromise between the extremes; that is our task and the purpose of our work.

I agree fully with the representative of Colombia. He expressed the same view as I had intended to express.19/ After listening to all the arguments that have been expressed today against the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council in the work of this investigating committee, I was not convinced. The strongest argument used was that of the United Kingdom. But the representative of the United Kingdom said that the United Kingdom is an obedient member of this great Organization and will accept the decision of the Assembly.3/ The same view was expressed by Mr. Austin in the name of the United States Government.20/ I think these arguments should not be used. They should not be repeated.

The representative of China said that without participation of the big Powers the work would be more expeditious.21/ I do not think we can agree with this. Sir Alexander Cadogan said this morning22/ that the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power, would do its best to help the investigating committee in its work. If this is so, I think it could give the most help by being a member of the committee and participating in its work. I think it would hamper the work if, during the investigation, the committee had to ask for advice or information from the mandatory Power. It would be better for it to participate in the work of the committee.

The representative of India used the many times repeated argument that by participating in the work of any committee, the United Kingdom would be, in turn, the accused person, the jury, and the marshaller of facts23/. This is a fact-collecting committee and it would be better not to exclude the mandatory Power.

In the opinion of the Yugoslav delegation, the United Kingdom shoulders a greater responsibility by its participation in this Committee's discussion as well as in the deliberations of the General Assembly, where we are going to take a decision on this matter. If we exclude the United Kingdom today because, as the mandatory Power, it is directly interested in what is happening in Palestine, we should exclude it even more from the regular General Assembly tomorrow when we take a decision. Would this be possible? No. It would be absurd.

I think it would be much better to include the five permanent members of the Security Council in the fact-finding committee from the beginning. Naturally, the small Powers will participate and give their help in this work. Moreover, it is very probable that we shall arrive at a joint opinion, or perhaps at views different from that of this fact-finding committee, but it will be easier for the Assembly to discuss it. The work will be much easier than if we postpone the whole task for the General Assembly in September. As Mr. Austin said this morning,24/ if the Big Five are there in the commission, they are going to discuss procedure and other matters. I am not convinced that this will not happen in September, which would postpone the solution of this very important problem. We are all interested in reaching a right and just solution of this problem as soon as possible, or at least, to see the end of this discussion. That is why we strongly support the idea of the participation of the Big Five.

It was remarked with regard to the proposition of the Polish delegation concerning the composition of the committee that the geographical distribution was not equitable.25/ May I draw the attention of those who made these remarks to the American proposal? In the American proposal there are seven members: three from the Americas, three from Europe, and one from Iraq. I think this is a less equitable geographical distribution. Therefore the Yugoslav delegation is for the original proposal made by the representative of Argentina, which was for participation of the Big Five and in favour of the amendment made by the Polish delegation.

Mr. BELT(Cuba) (translated from Spanish}: I am very much afraid that if we continue at our present rate we may suddenly find this special Assembly has become the regular Assembly of the United Nations. At our present slow pace we shall reach 15 September without having appointed the special investigating committee for Palestine.

After hearing the arguments of Great Britain, the United States and China, I am inclined to think that it would be best not to have the so-called Big Five represented on the special committee. These Powers rarely manage to agree; the unanimity rule, or as it is better known, the veto, rarely operates successfully. If the Big Five have not succeeded in agreeing in the Security Council or in the recent conferences, they will hardly do so in this special committee.

Furthermore, I do not share the view expressed here a short while ago that it would be easier to reach agreement under the direction and guidance of the Big Five. On the contrary I think that we should support the medium and small sized countries and encourage them to take the responsibility for investigating the Palestine problem and speedily submitting a report to.the next General Assembly.

Meanwhile I think the most practical way would be to organize our discussion and arrange for the appointment of a committee of seven, chosen from the medium and small-sized countries.

Mr.ANDREWS (South Africa): The discussion this afternoon can be summed up as bearing upon the composition of the committee of inquiry and the question of whether or not the great Powers should be included in that committee. This Committee will ultimately decide upon the composition of that committee of inquiry, but I do feel that we should express our views here, however briefly, on that point at this stage.

I think the representative of Cuba has hit the nail on the head when he said that at the rate we are going now, we shall still be discussing this question when the time for our next General Assembly comes around. That, to me, is a very potent argument.

I have very carefully thought over what the situation would be if the five great Powers were on this committee of inquiry. Of course we must come to some conclusion in the light of our experience in this United Nations over the past eighteen months. I think it is a matter of history. It will be generally admitted that we can come to no encouraging conclusion to the effect that if the five great Powers were members of this committee of inquiry, we should rapidly conclude the inquiry into the situation in Palestine, and much less receive recommendations for consideration before the General Assembly next September.

I say with great respect, perhaps even with a little trepidation, that the great Powers have shown themselves very tardy in coming to agreements, and even more so in coming to unanimous decisions.

On those grounds, I feel for my part, at this point of the discussion, that I should prefer not to have them on this committee of inquiry. I would say more positively that the small Powers in this United Nations Assembly have shown a growing sense of responsibility and international cooperation during the past eighteen months. It is on that broad principle—it does not need very much elaboration, and I shall not attempt to elaborate it here—it is on that broad principle that the South African delegation would be prepared at this stage to give great weight to the idea of the composition of a committee consisting of the small Powers. At this moment, I would confine myself to saying that the South African delegation supports, in their general principles, the recommendations formulated by the United States delegation.26/

Mr. PARODI (France) (translated from French]: Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask you a question regarding the progress of our work.

I would hesitate somewhat to take a definite attitude on the question we are discussing at present, because we have only just begun the hearings we decided to hold. We also decided that it would be wise for these hearings to be as extensive as possible for each of the organizations.

On the other hand, in the course of our session we have only two problems to solve— namely, the membership of the committee and the terms of reference it is to be given. If we decide upon these questions before hearing the representatives of all the organizations, I cannot see what purpose will be served by their statements, unless these merely constitute an explanation of the substance of the problem, which would be a sort of preamble to the work of the General Assembly which is to meet next September. Nevertheless, I do not think we contemplated the question from this angle.

In these circumstances, I think it would be advisable if the organizations we are to hear were to give their opinion on the membership of the committee and the terms of reference it is to be given. Do you think, Mr. Chairman, according to the information at your disposal, that these hearings may take place within a very short time? If not, how can we organize our work, in view of the fact that we wish to enjoy the advantage of being well informed before taking a decision?

The CHAIRMAN: I should be glad to endeavour to answer the question asked by the representative of France as soon as we come to the end of this general discussion. Possibly that point has arrived, unless any other representative wishes to speak.

Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): I listened very attentively to all the points of view presented by the delegations today, and I really think it was very profitable to see the issues presented by the opposing groups.

I should like to say that we have before us two problems. One is that of the formation of the committee. The other is that of the terms of reference. I wish we had separated the two problems and dealt with each of them individually, because quite varied emphasis was given to each. It seems to me that the emphasis in our discussion today was placed mainly on the formation of the committee, while consideration of the terms of reference was omitted in most of the speeches.

With regard to the formation of the committee, my delegation remains open-minded. It sees strength and weakness in both arguments. Therefore, we shall take time before making a final decision, although I wish to emphasize one aspect which was referred to by many speakers— namely, that of geographical representation. I should like particularly to uphold the argument advanced by the representative of India with regard to the importance of Asia, the fact that Asia contains about half of the population of the world and should be well represented on this committee.28/ Let us not forget that Palestine, after all, is one of the principal western gates of Asia. However, my main purpose now is to comment on the terms of reference of the committee.

I read with great interest the terms of reference as formulated by the delegation of the United States and by that of Argentina, as well as by that of El Salvador. With regard to the first two, I find there is a good deal of vagueness and generality. I do not contend that the terms of reference should not be as wide as possible, but they should be set forth, with clarity. There should be outstanding points, directing points. I think the terms of reference as expressed by the proposal of El Salvador are much more concrete, and more pointed.

I should like to see the committee take into consideration the fundamental issue of Palestine. I should like it to study how this problem arose and why it arose, to study the essence of the mandate. Is the mandate valid legally? Does it conform to the Covenant of the League of Nations? Is it valid morally? Is it valid from a human and political point of view? Is it proper for a peaceful world to thrust one people upon another without their consent and without consulting them? Is it proper to keep one people under subjugation to serve the designs of another people?

These are issues which, I think, deal with the essence of the whole question. These are pointed issues. In other words, we must point out the principles, human, political, legal and moral, which underlie the whole issue. We want all these problems to be mentioned in the terms of reference.

One of the questions which should be put to the committee, to be included in the terms of reference, is to study why other Arab States obtained their independence while Palestine did not. Is it because the people of Palestine are inferior? Is there anything wrong with the people of Palestine that prevents them from being free and independent, or is it simply because there is a mandate which is not workable, which is not just, which is not in consonance with human principles? These questions, to my mind, should be included in the terms of reference.

I will not go into any further discussion of the subject at this time. I shall revert to it at a later stage.

The CHAIRMAN: Is there any other speaker?

If not, I think we may consider this phase of the general discussion of our agenda concluded. It might be desirable now to return to the point raised some time ago by the representative of India,29/ in an effort to see where we now stand and where we should go from here. Does the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics wish to speak now? I am about to sum up the debate and make certain proposals for further procedure; therefore, if he wants to speak on the subject I should be glad to hear him.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I should like to ask a question Mr. President. You said that the general debate was closed. Do you mean the general debate on the composition of the committee, or that on the question of the agenda for the General Assembly?

The CHAIRMAN: I think I can explain that. The discussion we have had has been very useful and helpful, and I do not think it has been illogical to conduct our proceedings by having a preliminary discussion of the whole subject on our agenda, that is, both the composition and terms of reference of the committee of inquiry. Nor would it have been possible for us to delay that discussion until we had heard statements from non-governmental agencies, unless we had been willing to do nothing until those agencies decided whether or not they were going to appear before us. We have heard a statement from one non-governmental agency, the Jewish Agency for Palestine. A sub-committee was set up to examine the other communications received, with the exception of that of the Arab Higher Committee. That sub-committee is to meet tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., and the deadline for the submission of communications is today, at midnight. The sub-committee expects to be in a position to report tomorrow, after lunch, when all agencies other than the two we have specifically mentioned will have been heard from.

The third phase of this subject of non-governmental agencies, the position of the Arab Higher Committee, could not have been discussed previously because we have only just received that Committee's reply to the further communication which the President of the Assembly sent it yesterday. It was put on my desk just a few minutes ago, and I should perhaps read it now. It is addressed to the President of the General Assembly, and it is from the Secretary of the Palestine Arab delegation. The letter reads as follows:


We shall make arrangements for the Arab Higher Committee to appear before this Committee with the least possible delay. We shall get in touch with it at once and try to arrange for it to appear as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we should proceed with our work, and for that purpose I suggest that we might consider this first phase of our discussion closed. I do not mean by that that the Committee will not be able to return to it and have ample opportunity to discuss both the composition and terms of reference of the special committee. That subject is not closed at all. The preliminary survey of that subject is closed.

It was suggested yesterday by the representative of Australia,30/ and I think the suggestion has also been made today, that it would be logical to divide this item in our agenda into two parts: (1) the terms of reference of the special committee; (2) the composition of the special committee. It is also logical to deal with the terms of reference first, because to some extent the decision in regard to the composition of the committee depends upon the decision in regard to its terms of reference. In any case, the two questions are related.

The terms of reference should come first. If that is a sensible position, then we might proceed to as early a decision as possible with regard to the terms of reference of the special committee. On that point, we have before us draft resolutions from Argentina, the United States, and El Salvador, as well as certain suggestions which have arisen during the course of the discussion. We could attempt to decide in full Committee on the terms of reference. There is no very great difference among the various proposals with regard to that subject, but there is some difference.

In order to resolve that difference and to. formulate one document rather than three on which we might decide concerning the terms of reference only, it has been suggested by the representative of India that we might expedite rather than delay proceedings if we set up a small sub-committee which might reconcile the three draft resolutions, and submit to the main Committee a single working document on terms of reference. Then the Committee could make a decision on that part of its agenda: the terms of reference of the special committee of inquiry. By the time the sub-committee has made its report, we may have heard all the non-governmental agencies, because that will have some bearing on this part of our work, too.

I should like to secure the sense of the Committee on that procedure. Should we set up this sub-committee which could go to work at once, or should we rather attempt to deal with the terms of reference in full Committee? My own view, for what it may be worth, is that we would probably save time in the long run if we set up a small sub-committee now and it started its work this evening.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): Is the purpose to have the sub-committee produce a working document?

The CHAIRMAN Just one working document instead of three.

Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): Would that preclude the submission of further documents?

The CHAIRMAN: Not at all. After that one working document has been submitted to the Committee, it would be open to the Committee, and any member of the Committee, to suggest any amendments or additions to that working document. But, we should be dealing with one document—a concrete document on which we could make decisions. That is all I had in mind.

If that procedure is agreeable, I might suggest to the Committee—and it is purely a suggestion—the following working sub-committee: the representatives of Argentina, Australia, China, Egypt, El Salvador, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. That would be a working sub-committee of nine members. Are there any observations to be made in regard to that suggestion?

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): I respectfully suggest that, if we are to proceed in that manner, it would be helpful if the Chairman of this Committee were to be the Chairman of that sub-committee. I make that as a definite proposal.

The CHAIRMAN: I think that is a rather bad idea. The sub-committee would then be even-numbered, and ten is a very bad number for a sub-committee.

Mr. MARTINEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): On behalf of the Nicaraguan delegation I wish to state that I am in full agreement with what has been said by the United States representative. We are wasting a great deal of time here and we must come to a decision.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): If there are no objections, I should like to propose the inclusion of another member in the composition of this sub-committee—namely, the representative of Czechoslovakia.

The CHAIRMAN: It has been suggested that the representative of Czechoslovakia be added to the subcommittee. If the earlier suggestion that the chairman of this Committee be added to the sub-committee is accepted, that would make a sub-committee of eleven.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia) : Do you not visualize that the drafting sub-committee, if I may call it that, may be working concurrently with the First Committee? In other words, those representatives chosen for the sub-committee might well leave a competent draftsman to do their job while they are participating in the work of the First Committee. If that is how you visualize the situation, in order to enable the First Committee to proceed with its work in the meantime, it may be difficult for the Chairman to act in both capacities.

The CHAIRMAN: It would not only be difficult; it would be impossible.

That seems to me to be a very important point: whether the sub-committee is to work concurrently with the full Committee, or is to finish its job and report to the full Committee. I wonder whether it would be possible for a sub-committee of that character, which is trying to produce a working document for the full Committee, to meet concurrently with the full Committee; or whether it might not be better to have the sub-committee go to work at once and possibly report tomorrow afternoon to the full Committee. If the sub-committee could be riven this evening and tomorrow morning, it might finish its work. Is that agreeable?

I hope what I have said deals with the point raised by the representative of France a few moments ago. That is about all the elucidation we can give him at the moment: that we might look forward to the report of the sub-committee tomorrow afternoon. The full Committee will therefore meet, unless it decides otherwise, at 3 p.m. tomorrow, either to receive the report of the sub-committee or to hear a statement from the representative of the Arab Higher Committee, if they are ready; one, or the other, or both.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian]: I have made a concrete proposal. How many members of the sub-committee are there already?

The CHAIRMAN: There will be eleven members on the sub-committee, including Czechoslovakia.


If not, the sub-committee will meet here for a few moments after this meeting in order to organize its work. The full Committee will meet in this room tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock. The meeting is adjourned. The CHAIRMAN: I should like to call on the Chairman of Sub-Committee 5 of the First Committee, which has been considering communications from non-governmental organizations. It has completed its report, which will now be presented to the First Committee by the representative of Sweden. The report, which you have before you, is contained in document A/C.1/164.

Mr. HAGGLOF (Sweden): Sub-Committee 5, which was appointed by this First Committee at its forty-seventh meeting, has held two meetings to consider the requests presented for a hearing before the First Committee. You will find the report which the Sub-Committee has decided to submit to you at this meeting in document A/C.1/164 of today's date. The report reads as follows:

"The First Committee, at its forty-seventh meeting, decided to appoint a sub-committee, composed of the representatives of Colombia, Poland, Iran, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and entrusted it with the task of advising the Committee whether any organization other than the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine represented a considerable element of the population of Palestine.

"The Sub-Committee held two meetings, on 7 May and 9 May, under the chairmanship of Mr. Hagglof, representative of Sweden. In these two sessions, the Sub-Committee examined the following requests sent in to the Secretariat of the United Nations before midnight on 8 May: Agudas Israel World Organization; Political Action Committee for Palestine; Progressive Zionist District 95 of New York, Zionist Organization of America; Hebrew Committee of National Liberation; Committee for Freedom of North Africa; Palestine Communist Party Central Committee; Institute of Arab American Affairs; Young Egypt Party; League for Peace with Justice in Palestine; Union for the Protection of the Human Person; United Israel World Union, Inc.; Church of God, Faith of David, Inc.; Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

"The Sub-Committee took note of the fact that the First Committee had already decided to grant a hearing to the two main organizations representative of the population of Palestine, i.e., the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine.

"The Sub-Committee found, after careful consideration:


"In consequence, the Sub-Committee has decided unanimously to advise the First Committee not to grant a hearing to the organizations which have lodged applications.

"It is the understanding of the Sub-Committee, however, that this decision does not exclude the possibility of all these organizations being heard by the committee of investigation once it has been established."

The CHAIRMAN: The Committee has heard the report of Sub-Committee 5 on this matter. Is there any discussion on that report? If not, I declare the report adopted.

The Committee will recall that, at its session yesterday, it set up a Sub-Committee of eleven members to reconcile, if possible, proposals submitted by three delegations which included suggestions for the terms of reference of the com-

mittee of inquiry. This was Sub-Committee 6, which was set up to deal only with proposals that concerned the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry. It was set up also merely to reconcile proposals that had been made in order to reach agreement, if possible, on a working text for submission to this Committee as a document for discussion.

The Sub-Committee has held two meetings, and has succeeded in producing a text for discussion on this subject. Of course, the production of this text does not commit any member of the Sub-Committee to the support of any or all of its clauses, nor does it in any way limit the debate on the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry. It was thought, however, that the debate and discussion would be expedited if we had a text before us. We now have that text, which has just been circulated as document A/C.1/165, and which consists of six proposals.

I should also point out that, as members of the Committee will have noticed, there is no .executive proposal in this text for setting up a committee of inquiry. That, of course, will come later, when we deal with the other part of our agenda on the composition of the committee of inquiry. In other words, if we agree on this text, or something like it, later on we shall have to discuss and agree on a text which will deal with the composition of the committee of inquiry and which will include a proposal to set it up. Finally, we shall have to put the two texts together to get a resolution on both the constitution and the composition of the committee of inquiry.

I suggest, therefore, that we should discuss this text before us, and that we should use it as the basic document, which can be altered or amended in any way in order to reach agreement in the full Committee on this very important matter.

I am not sure whether the Committee would prefer to discuss this working text as a whole, or whether it would prefer to take the text paragraph by paragraph. Are there any views on that subject?

Mr.GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I believe that your explanation regarding the nature of this paper is absolutely correct and satisfactory. However, I would suggest that the title of the paper should be changed. If we approve it, it will become a resolution, but it should now be called "draft resolution" or "working paper for a resolution," or something of that sort.

The CHAIRMAN: I think we might call it "working paper concerning the terms of reference for the special committee". After that paper, or something like it, or even something unlike it, has been adopted by this Committee, it can be absorbed into the final resolution. If the Committee agrees, we shall change the word "resolution" to "working paper".

Mr. ENTEZAN (Iran) (translated from French): We have just received a document. Since it consists of a resolution submitted by the Sub-Committee, I ask that this draft resolution be read and that we then proceed to a discussion of the text, paragraph by paragraph.

The CHAIRMAN: It has been suggested that the working paper should be read and then discussed paragraph by paragraph. If there is no objection, I shall ask the Secretary of the Committee to read the working paper to the Committee.

Mr. PROTITCH (Secretary of the First Committee): The text of document A/C.1/165 follows :

"Whereas the General Assembly of the United Nations has been called into special session for the purpose of constituting and instructing a special committee to prepare for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly of the future government of Palestine.


"1. That the special committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts;

"2. That it shall receive testimony, by whatever means it considers appropriate in each case, from the mandatory Power, from representatives of the population of Palestine, and from such other Governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals, as it may wish to consult;

"3. That the committee shall bear in mind the principle that independence for the population of Palestine should be the ultimate purpose of any plan for the future of that country;

"4. That it shall prepare a report to the General Assembly, and shall submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine;

"5. That its report shall be communicated to the Secretary-General, if possible by 15 August 1947, but in any event not later than 1 September 1947, in order that it may be circulated to the Member States of the United Nations in time for consideration by the second regular session of the General Assembly;

"6. That the special committee shall give most careful consideration to the interests of all the inhabitants of Palestine and also to the religious interests in Palestine of Islam, Jewry and Christendom."

The CHAIRMAN: I should have explained that this working paper replaces those parts of the resolutions introduced by the Argentine delegation, the United States delegation, and the photographers would probably not be flattered by the description you have given of him. He is the representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

Mr. ARCE (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): Good. I thought he was a most important person, judging from the attitude of the photographers. But I now want to say something else.

Of course we ought not to force the representatives to express an opinion if they do not wish to do so. The Chairman of this Committee has clearly ruled that they may speak in general, in particular, or in any way they think fit. If none of the representatives ask to speak, they cannot be made to do so, so what we must do is get on with our work. No time will have been lost; on the contrary, we shall have saved time.

I find here an interesting amendment proposed by the representative of the Soviet Union (document A/C.1/166) for the working paper which we have just approved in the Sub-Committee. We might advance the work by speaking of all these things.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): Mr. Chairman, your explanation has somewhat clarified the situation, in the sense that you do not insist that we should discuss the text of the resolution paragraph by paragraph.

I consider that we naturally cannot discuss the text now and adopt the resolution, paragraph by paragraph or as a whole, for the simple reason that we have not yet concluded the discussion of the question which is on the agenda of the General Assembly. We have not even yet heard the representatives we invited to the First Committee, and the Chairman has pointed out that our discussion was of a preliminary nature. I would repeat that he said the discussion was of a preliminary nature. Nevertheless, we begin it all over again at almost every meeting, and we try to persuade each other that we have not yet concluded the discussion. I would ask why we should waste time disputing a question which seems to me self-evident?

Let us end the discussion of this question in the First Committee. Then, when this discussion is ended, we can proceed to a discussion of this draft resolution and also of other proposals, paragraph by paragraph or as a whole. This does not mean that we cannot, in the course of discussion, touch upon the concrete text of the resolution and upon the points included in this resolution prepared by the Sub-Committee or in other texts prepared by delegations. It is quite natural that, insofar as these drafts contain concrete proposals, it would be possible and useful to deal with these proposals in the course of the discussion.

But, in any case, we should not accept or adopt the resolution, as a whole or paragraph by paragraph, until we .have exchanged views on this question and concluded our discussion. I think it would be advisable not to start at each meeting from the beginning to convince one another that we have not concluded our discussion.

The CHAIRMAN: We shall continue the general discussion of the terms of reference of the special committee of inquiry, a discussion which I thought had been more or less closed since I had no speakers on my list when we finished the last meeting. If the Committee agrees, we shall continue that discussion until 5 p.m. and then hear the representatives of the Arab Higher Committee. I believe they will be here at that time.

Mr. PALZA(Bolivia) (translated from Spanish) : I do not quite understand this business of discussing a thing in general terms or in parts. Logically, a whole is constituted by the parts, so that when one begins studying the parts, one is really referring to the whole; and conversely, when one is studying the whole, one is also studying the parts.

Hence, in my view, what the Committee has to decide here is whether we are going to wait to hear the Arab Higher Committee or whether we are going to discuss the document or documents which have been placed before us. This, it seems to me, is the problem which must be correctly solved.

I repeat: either the Committee must decide to hear the Arab delegation first, or it must start to study the problem itself.

Mr. ASAF ALI(India): I am afraid there seems to be a storm in a teacup.

As a matter of fact, when I proposed that a sub-committee should be appointed to look at all the draft resolutions which had been submitted to the Committee yesterday and to produce a consolidated draft, I felt that perhaps we were trying to economize our time. Unfortunately, the Sub-Committee has produced a draft resolution which should really be looked upon as the report of the Sub-Committee. It appears that the Soviet representative has already taken this draft into consideration and has proposed an amendment, which means that he has already taken notice of this report and has also come forward with an amendment. Both documents are before us.

Before we consider them, however, it is of course agreed among us all that the Arab Higher Committee should be heard before we come to any final decision. I may add, too, that we must also obtain replies to the questions we have asked the Jewish Agency representative; I am perfectly certain that he has something to tell us about the questions which we put to him.

When all these matters have come before us, it will be easier for us to judge whether the terms of reference which have been drafted by the Sub-Committee will cover the entire ground contemplated by the persons most interested in the question of Palestine.

In the meantime, Mr. Chairman, you have told us that we should wait until 5 o'clock, until the representatives of the Arab Higher Committee appear before us. What are we to do in the meantime? Are we to carry on the discussion on these documents, or are we to adjourn?

For the sake of clarification of ideas, I would suggest, inasmuch as some sort of tentative draft has come before us, that we should continue to discuss it until the witnesses appear. Otherwise, all that remains for us to do is merely to fold up our papers and recess.

The CHAIRMAN: It will soon be five o'clock. It is a simple problem for the Committee to decide whether it wishes to adjourn until then or to continue with the general discussion of the terms of reference, either on the basis of the working paper, on the basis of the Soviet draft, or on any other basis. If any representative wishes to speak on this general subject of terms of reference, the floor is his. If the Committee wishes, however, to adjourn until 5 p.m. that will be for the Committee to decide.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : If it is agreeable to the Committee, I would suggest that we adjourn.

The CHAIRMAN: The representative of the Soviet Union has suggested that we adjourn until 5 o'clock. Does any representative wish to speak on this matter between now and 5 o'clock, I know that if representatives do not speak on the matter now, they will speak on it afterwards, and I hate to waste this hour and a quarter.

Mr. ANDREWS (Union of South Africa): Mr. Chairman, you have been so encouraging in regard to our making suggestions that I venture to make this suggestion.

We have a working paper in front of us, the work of the Sub-Committee. The Soviet delegation has been good enough to propose certain amendments to it. I wonder if it would not be helpful to the Committee if the Soviet delegation would be so kind as to explain the reasons for these amendments.

The CHAIRMAN: That would be most helpful. Does the representative of the Soviet Union care to do that?

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I can give some explanation of the proposals submitted to the Committee in writing (document A/C.1/166). I also submitted a proposal to Sub-Committee 6 in the form of an amendment to the United States resolution. In the course of the discussion of the three draft resolutions in the Sub-Committee, a new joint draft was drawn up. The amendment of the Soviet delegation, therefore, now takes the form of an amendment, not to the United States draft, but to the Sub-Committee's joint draft.

I must say, first of all, that the Soviet delegation has no objection in principle to the draft resulting from the discussion of the question in the Sub-Committee. The proposals prepared by the Sub-Committee are, on the whole, acceptable; they give a general definition, in a more or less suitable form, of the functions of the special sub-committee or committee of inquiry which we are now about to establish. The Soviet delegation thinks, however, that the text prepared by the Sub-Committee can still be somewhat improved. In the first place, the text can be improved by the addition of the first paragraph of the Soviet amendment, which reads: "... to ... study in detail the situation in Palestine by carrying out an investigation on the spot".

It would be very useful if one of the tasks of the special committee which we are about to set up were to institute the relevant investigation and study the facts and the situation on the spot, that is, in Palestine itself. I think that it would be difficult not to agree with this contention. I think it would be difficult to object to the assertion that only an on-the-spot study of the situation by the committee of inquiry could be of use. In any case, this would be considerably better than to study the situation in Palestine from documents.

With regard to the second paragraph of the Soviet amendment, this paragraph contains only a somewhat different wording of basically the same idea as that expounded in the proposal submitted by the Sub-Committee. There are no differences of principle between the Sub-Committee's draft and the draft of this paragraph in the Soviet amendment.

With regard to the third paragraph of the Soviet amendment, we think it would be useful to include this paragraph in the enumeration of the terms of reference and functions of the special committee of inquiry. Indeed, in the course of the debate in the General Assembly and here in the First Committee, an opinion was expressed which was apparently not disputed in principle, namely, that the question of the establishment of an independent State of Palestine was worthy of study and serious consideration.

If this is so, then why should the special committee not be instructed to prepare a proposal to this effect on this subject? This paragraph of the Soviet amendment is worded so as to instruct the special committee to prepare a proposal on this question, among other proposals. In any case, there is no provision that the committee should prepare proposals on this question alone. This paragraph of the Soviet amendment reads: "That it shall prepare and submit to the next regular session of the General Assembly proposals on the solution of the problem of Palestine which the committee will consider useful",—I repeat: "which the committee will consider useful, including a proposal on the question of establishing without delay the independent State of Palestine". I think it is difficult not to agree with such a proposal. I would ask the First Committee to discuss these Soviet amendments.

As I have already pointed out, the Soviet delegation thinks that the adoption of these amendments might improve the text prepared by the Sub-Committee, and might make the text more suitable for its purpose. This could only be useful from the point of view of the special committee's perspective in preparing its proposals. The Soviet delegation thinks that the adoption of these amendments would be highly desirable.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I should like to ask the representative of the Soviet Union a question. Would it satisfy him if the first paragraph of his amendment were amalgamated with the first paragraph of the draft resolution produced by the Sub-Committee (document A/C.1/165)? If so, it would read as follows:


Perhaps the purpose which the Soviet representative has in view can easily be served by amending paragraph 3 of the draft resolution only verbally and very slightly. Paragraph 3 reads as follows: "That the committee shall bear in mind the principle that independence for the population of Palestine should be the ultimate purpose of any plan for the future of that country". Suppose we substitute the word "primary" for the word "ultimate". Would it meet his purpose? I think it certainly would, because the paragraph would then read as follows: "That the committee shall bear in mind the principle that independence for the population of Palestine should be the primary purpose of any plan for the future of that country".

Finally, if we substitute for paragraph 5 of the Sub-Committee's draft, paragraph 3 of the Soviet delegation's draft, the amendment would be useful and would implement the purpose which he has in view.

As regards paragraph 6 of the draft resolution of the Sub-Committee, I very much fear it would become, more or less, a sort of basis for a "cocktail". It would be better to leave it out, because if we specifically introduce religions into this matter, by name, it would become a rather cumbersome business. Inasmuch as the interests of the people of Palestine are already mentioned elsewhere, I take it that the word "interests" would certainly cover the religious interests also.

I need not detain the Committee any further over these questions. These are just some of the points which I have raised for the consideration of the representative of the Soviet Union. I would request him to consider them and let us know whether they would meet his purpose.

Mr. PARODI (France) (translated from French): I should like to make some very brief remarks, relating both to the draft resolution before us and to the report of Sub-Committee 5 (document A/C.1/164). When this report was submitted, I did not have the French text before me, and the purpose of my remarks it to avoid a contradiction between the two documents.

In the draft resolution of Sub-Committee 6, it is stated in paragraphs 1 and 2 that the committee of inquiry shall have the widest powers, and in particular, the power of hearing such non-governmental organizations and individuals as it may wish to consult. This means that the special committee will have very wide latitude.

The last sentence of the report submitted by Sub-Committee 5 causes me some anxiety. It reads: "It is the understanding of the Sub-Committee, however, that this decision does not exclude the possibility of all these organizations being heard by the committee of investigation . . ."

I do not think there is any contradiction between the two documents. I think that the report of Sub-Committee 5 means that the organizations not recommended for a hearing at present may ask to be heard by the committee of investigation, and that the latter will have the power of deciding whether or not to grant this hearing.

If that is the meaning of the text, we are faced, in the French text at least, and perhaps in the English text also, with an ambiguity relating to the word "all" in the sentence: "It is the understanding of the Sub-Committee, however, that this decision does not exclude the possibility of all these organizations being heard by the committee of investigation. . . ."

It should read: "• . . . does not exclude the possibility of all these organizations, or some of them, being heard by the committee of investigation." The text would be clearer and we should thus avoid an apparent contradiction between the two documents.

The CHAIRMAN: I think that the point raised by the representative of France is a matter of drafting and concordance of text. We shall have to look into that, and make sure there is no contradiction between the resolutions of Sub-Committee 5 and Sub-Committee 6 or between the English and French texts of the resolution.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I refer only to the remark made by the representative of France. I believe that the word "possibility" is precisely what is meant by the opportunity that may be open to some of the different agencies, or to all of them, to be heard by the committee of investigation. It does not exclude the possibility, but it does not give any certainty that all will be heard.

The CHAIRMAN: Inasmuch as he was Chairman of Sub-Committee 5, it may be that the representative of Sweden can remove any doubts on this question and any others that the representatives may have.

Mr. HAGGLOF (Sweden): The task of Sub-Committee 5 was to advise this Committee whether, in the opinion of the Sub-Committee, the organizations that had lodged applications represented a' considerable element of the populations of Palestine. You have seen from our report that we found that none of those organizations represented a considerable enough element to justify hearing before this First Committee.

In taking this decision, the Sub-Committee felt obliged to point out that this negative decision would, of course, not prevent those organizations from applying to be heard before the special committee of inquiry. At the same time, we realized that this was not really within our competence. Therefore, we decided to insert a phrase, just to remind this Committee of the possibility that the organizations might be heard before the special investigating committee. So, we have in no way taken a position on the question whether one or all of those organizations will be heard. We only felt it our duty to point out that we thought it possible that they might be heard by the special committee. The question is really left open in our document.

Mr. P. PALZA (Bolivia) (translated from Spanish) : For good order in our discussion, I would suggest that we proceed with the approval of the report paragraph by paragraph. Once all views have been expressed, each of the points should be approved, amended or rejected.

Thus, in this case, I want to refer specifically to the first point beginning with the words: "That the special committee . . .", and the first point of the amendment proposed by the delegation of the Soviet Union beginning: ". .. To study in detail the situation ..."

In reality the latter does not, in my opinion, represent a substitution of one item or one idea for another, but rather an item or an idea which completes another. For if you are giving me the honour of your attention, you will find that the document proposed by the Sub-Committee proposes to give the special committee the "widest powers to ascertain and record facts", whereas, on the other hand, the Soviet Union amendment says that the committee should "study in detail the situation in Palestine." Thus, there is actually no substitution but a complementary clause.

Consequently, I think that the amendment should consist of the addition of a single word, the conjunction "and" and the text would read as follows: "That the special committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record the facts, and to study in detail the situation in Palestine by carrying out an investigation on the spot."

That is to say that the special committee would have the double task of ascertaining and recording the facts, on one hand, and of analysing and studying those same facts on the spot, in Palestine, on the other.

I repeat: I think we are dealing here not so much with an amendment as with a complementary clause, and if the two texts are joined together by the word "and", as I have suggested, there would be no question of substitution.

In my opinion, to amend means to substitute one thing for another. In this case, however, in the light of the explanation given to us by the representative of the Soviet Union, there is no substitution but the completion of one thing by another. And that is how the document submitted to us as an amendment should be understood.

For the proper order of our discussions, it would be better for us to proceed paragraph by paragraph. If we do so, either we accept the report of the Sub-Committee or accept the amendment, or lastly accept the formula which I propose for the completed text. Then we must go on to the second paragraph.

Mr. A. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): For the moment, I should simply like to answer the questions put to me by the representative of India.

The first question was whether I considered it possible to combine the first paragraph of the Soviet amendment with the first paragraph of the Sub-Committee's proposal. I consider such a combination possible. One provision can supplement the other.

I do not exclude the possibility that the second paragraph of the Soviet amendment can be combined with any paragraph of the text prepared by Sub-Committee 6. I think it would be easiest to combine it with the second para. graph of the Sub-Committee's text, or, perhaps, even to substitute the second paragraph of the Soviet amendment for the second paragraph prepared by the Sub-Committee, in view of the fact that the wording of the Soviet text is more flexible. But, as I have already pointed out, there is no difference of principle, nor is there ever a considerable difference in substance. I think, however, that the text proposed in the Soviet amendment is more precise and more flexible.

With regard to the third paragraph of the Soviet amendment, it would be extremely difficult to combine the text of that paragraph with the third paragraph of the Sub-Committee's proposal; and, a fortiori, it would be even more difficult to join them in a purely mechanical way since the Soviet amendment provides for the

study by the committee of inquiry of the possibility of submitting a proposal on establishing without delay an independent State of Palestine. On the other hand, the third paragraph submitted by the Sub-Committee provides for the preparation by the committee of inquiry of a proposal which includes independence as the "ultimate purpose" of any plan for the future of Palestine. No reference is made in the Sub-Committee text to the possibility of establishing an independent State of Palestine; still less is there any mention of a study by the special committee of the possibility of establishing without delay an independent State of Palestine.

I would draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that the difference between these paragraphs is more substantial. It is therefore difficult to combine, and a fortiori all the more difficult to join in a purely mechanical way, the third paragraph of the Soviet text with any paragraph proposed by the Sub-Committee.

As I have already pointed out, it would be highly desirable for the draft of the third paragraph of the Soviet amendment to be included in the document defining the competence, functions and tasks of the committee of inquiry.

The CHAIRMAN: The reply which the representative of the Soviet Union was good enough to give to the representative of India also covers, "at least in part, the point made by the representative of Bolivia, and will be helpful to the Committee.

I have received a request which I should like to put to the Committee from the Jewish Agency for Palestine that its representative should be allowed to make a short statement now in respect of the terms of reference of the committee of investigation which the Committee is discussing at the present time. In making this request, the Agency mentioned to me, through the Secretary of the Committee, that it attached very great importance to the statement on the particular point which it wishes to make at this time.

Of course, this is a matter for the Committee to decide. I should like to know if any member of the Committee has any views in this regard.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : I think it would be entirely appropriate to hear the Jewish Agency representative.

The CHAIRMAN: Is there any objection to hearing a short statement on this point from the representative from the Jewish Agency? If not, —and it is, of course, a matter for the Committee to decide,—I should be glad to ask the spokesman for the Jewish Agency, on this occasion Mr. Shertok, to make a short statement on the point which we are discussing now, a statement which he thinks will be of value to the Committee. No objection having been voiced, Mr. Moshe Shertok, representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, took his place at the Committee table. Mr. SHERTOK (Jewish Agency for Palestine): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving us an opportunity to make a brief statement by way of, first, a preliminary comment on the draft before us. You will appreciate that we have had very little time to formulate a considered opinion on these proposals. I shall limit myself to emphasizing a few outstanding points.

The mandatory Government has submitted the problem of Palestine for the consideration of the present session of the General Assembly, in view of a crisis which has unfortunately arisen in the administration of that country. That crisis is the result of the fact that the present policy of the mandatory Government conflicts with its obligations to the Jewish people. The crux of the matter is the problem of Jewish immigration to Palestine.

What is involved in regard to that issue is not merely the rights and interests of the Jews already in Palestine, or of the present inhabitants of the country hi general, but also, and primarily, the rights and interests of the Jews outside Palestine who desire to and must emigrate.

The formulation before us, we very seriously fear, lends itself to an interpretation which would go a long way towards prejudging the entire issue which should form the subject of investigation by the special committee to be appointed by this session of the Assembly. We feel sure that no such prejudging of the issue was intended, but it may be that the implications of certain formulae contained in the present draft have not been fully realized. We should like to draw, with all respect, the attention of this body to such unintended imperfections of drafting.

We welcome the reference to the mandatory Power in the present draft, because we regard it as implying that the position created by the mandate on Palestine must be fully borne in mind by the Committee. On the other hand, we feel and fear that the language of paragraph 3 limits the issue in a direction which may work to the prejudice of fundamental Jewish interests at stake. We naturally agree that independence must be the ultimate goal of the political evolution of Palestine and of its peoples. On the other hand, independence was not the sole purpose for which the present regime in Palestine was established.

The terms of the international trust under which Palestine has been governed—and has to be governed, to our mind, today—included as the primary objective the establishment of the Jewish national home. It is, to our mind, impossible to consider the problem of the independence of Palestine without direct reference to, without an organic connexion with, that primary purpose of the mandate.

We would therefore suggest that a phrase contained in the original United States Government proposal for the terms of reference (document A/C.1/150), and which we see reproduced with a slight modification of wording in the proposal submitted by the Soviet delegation, should be added to paragraph 3, namely, "... to study various other issues connected with the problem of Palestine." The paragraph, therefore, in our submission, should read:


I should also like to comment on paragraph 6, which says:
Naturally, we have not the slightest objection to the underlining of the basic historical fact that Palestine is a land holy to the three faiths, and that all the three faiths have religious interests in it. But coupled with the emphasis put on that positive point, there is here a suggestion that what is also basic is the interests of all the inhabitants of Palestine. Naturally, these interests are fundamental and fully relevant to the purpose of the inquiry, but again, I would submit, not they alone. It is the interests of the Jewish people which are. also fundamentally relevant to the purpose of the inquiry, and we should like this stated in paragraph 6. That is to say the paragraph should read:
Should this formulation not be found acceptable, we would then alternatively suggest to limit this paragraph merely to the stressing of the religious interests of the three faiths, and to delete the reference to the interests of the inhabitants of Palestine, which may well be accepted as something that goes without saying, as a subject which must be fully present in the special committee's mind.

I should like to add that, in Article 80 of the Charter of the United Nations, the rights of all peoples in territories under mandate, pending the transformation of mandates to trusteeship, have been insured. While the special committee is now going to study the problem created, we submit that it would not be right and proper to appear to prejudge the issue by disregarding the rights involved of all the peoples that have today a stake in the country's future.

I should like to conclude by saying that the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the organized Jewish community in Palestine are most sincerely anxious to co-operate in the inquiry upon which the United Nations is now about to embark. They are most sincerely anxious to lend their fullest support to the success of that inquiry, and to place their experience and knowledge freely at the disposal of the committee of investigation. We should not like to find ourselves in a position where the danger of our fundamental rights being prejudiced in advance by the terms of reference of the Commission of inquiry would militate against our full and effective cooperation. I say again that we feel sure nothing of the sort has been intended, but we simply should like respectfully to warn against any such complication arising.

These are the brief and preliminary comments which we have taken the liberty of making at this early juncture. We naturally reserve the right to make additional comments, should they be necessary later on.

The CHAIRMAN: The Committee will be glad to take note of the statement on this point made by the representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

Does any other member of the Committee wish to speak on the documents that are before us or on the general question of the terms of reference of the committee?

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNAN (Colombia): I should like to make some remarks regarding paragraph 3 of the working paper and the proposal of the representative of the Soviet Union.

I believe that paragraph 3 of the working paper is very broad and gives the necessary liberty to the committee of inquiry to decide what recommendations it should make. The paragraph contains a very clear reference to the ultimate purpose of any investigation but does not give a very specific mandate to establish without delay the independent State of Palestine. I believe that the Soviet proposal would be prejudging the issue for the committee of inquiry, and that the latter might find another solution; we do not know. The committee would have to make a recommendation about establishing without delay the independent State of Palestine, when it might not wish to do so.

I think, therefore, that paragraph 3 of the working paper gives much emphasis to the fact that the ultimate purpose should be independence for the population of Palestine, but does not make it also definite and pressing, and that, therefore, paragraph 3 of the working paper should be kept instead of the Soviet proposal.

Mr. MOE (Norway): I take it that when this working paper mentions the problem of Palestine, it includes the problem of the homeless Jews in Europe which was mentioned by the representative of the Jewish Agency a few minutes ago.

As a matter of fact, it is mainly the problem of immigration which has made the problem of Palestine so acute and has brought it before the United Nations. I think no one would deny that it has become urgent to find a solution to the question of the future status of Palestine, because the White Paper of the United Kingdom puts limits upon the immigration into Palestine, and because there are hundreds of thousands of Jews in Europe who are trying to get into Palestine legally or illegally. It is not without reason that Rabbi Silver the spokesman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, asked that the committee of investigation should visit the camps for displaced persons in Germany.

In the opinion of the Norwegian delegation, the problem of the Jewish homeless in Europe is an integral part of the problem of Palestine. I take it, therefore, to be the sense of this resolution that the committee of inquiry should be instructed to investigate the problem of the Jewish refugees, and that the committee would be entitled to present such proposals as it may deem useful for the solution of the problem of Jewish- refugees.

Without entering into the substance of the matter, it might be permissible to say that it is doubtful if any solution that would be proposed to the General Assembly by the committee of investigation would be sufficient to take care of all the Jewish refugees immediately. That leaves to the United Nations the responsibility for the problem of what to do with those who cannot go to Palestine.

It seems evident, therefore, that the committee of investigation will have to take this question into consideration; and if there is no statement to the contrary, the Norwegian delegation takes it that the terms of reference should be understood in that sense. But to make this quite clear, the Norwegian delegation would support the expression used in the amendment put forward by the Soviet Union delegation, that is, the statement that the committee should "study various other issues connected with the problem of Palestine".

Mr. ANDREWS (Union of South Africa): The South African delegation endorses the point of view expressed by the Norwegian delegation.

The CHAIRMAN: I think we may run into difficulty if we try here to interpret the words used in the resolution. I think the words "problem of Palestine" have a normally broad meaning, and will be given a reasonably broad interpretation in the sense that the Norwegian delegation indicates is desirable.

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): Some time last week, the representative of the United Kingdom was asked—by the representative of India, I think— about the attitude of the United Kingdom Government, as the mandatory Power, towards the ultimate proposals that will emerge from the investigations of the contemplated committee. At the time, as I remember, the representative of the United Kingdom answered that, in the course of a few days, he would be ready to make a formal statement expounding the position of His Majesty's Government on that question.

To my knowledge, the representative of the United Kingdom has not yet made that statement. I think such a statement would be exceedingly helpful to us in the consideration of the terms of reference of the special committee; it would give us an indication as to the likelihood that the proposals emerging out of the investigations of the committee of inquiry would actually be adopted by the mandatory Power.

May I therefore ask whether such a statement by the United Kingdom is likely to be made before this assembly?

The CHAIRMAN: I do not know whether the representative of the United Kingdom desires to answer that question now.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom):I am ready to do the best I can now.

The CHAIRMAN: I think the question was merely whether you expect to make that kind of statement. It was not necessarily a request that you make it now.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I can make a statement now.

The CHAIRMAN: If the Committee would like to hear that statement now, I suppose it could be construed as coming within the framework of our discussion of terms of reference for the committee of inquiry. Therefore, if the representative of the United Kingdom would like to make the statement now, it might save time.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): If it would help, I think I can state the position of my Government in a few sentences. I think my Government can claim to be as good a Member of the United Nations as any other, as I said the other day in another connexion. I would remind the delegations that, in the Security Council, we have gone to great lengths to avoid exercising our right of veto. In fact, we have avoided ever exercising it.

We have tried for years to solve the problem of Palestine. Having failed so far, we now bring it to the United Nations, in the hope that it can succeed where we have not. If the United Nations can find a just solution which will be accepted by both parties, it could hardly be expected that we should not welcome such a solution.

All we say—and I made this reservation the other day—is that we should not have the sole responsibility for enforcing a solution which is not accepted by both parties and which we cannot reconcile with our conscience. Is there any other Member of the United Nations which, in our place, would not make so reasonable a stipulation?

But if the question is addressed to us concerning our acceptance of any recommendation which the Assembly may make, I suggest that it might also be addressed to other interested parties and, indeed, to all other Members of the United Nations.

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I had not intended to ask for the floor. However, after the statement made by the representative of Norway and endorsed by the representative of South Africa, I find it necessary to make a short statement on the subject which they have brought up.

The representative of Norway wishes to connect the question of the displaced persons and refugees in Europe with the question of Palestine. We find that there is no way to connect the two. In this regard, I think, the attitude of the representative of Norway, as expressed at our last meeting, is not in conformity with his attitude today.

The refugees of Europe are covered by the constitution of a special body set up by the United Nations, the International Refugee Organization, and there are certain resolutions in regard to refugees which were adopted unanimously by the General Assembly. The representative of Norway was among those who adopted these resolutions.

One of the resolutions concerning the refugees and displaced persons in Europe, which was printed on page 110 of the Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at the second part of the first session, states clearly that the resettlement of displaced persons should not be undertaken in any Non-Self-Governing Territory without the consent of the population of that territory, and that resettlement should not be contemplated in any place where friendly relations between States would thereby be disturbed.

The organization set up to care for refugees is already established, and it is going on with its work. The resettlement or repatriation of the refugees and displaced persons in Europe should be considered by that organization, and not by the special committee which is to be established here.

Palestine are not responsible in any way for the persecution of the Jews in Europe. That persecution is condemned by the whole civilized world, and the Arabs are among those who sympathize with the persecuted Jews. However, the solution of that problem cannot be said to be a responsibility of Palestine, which is a tiny country and which has taken enough of those refugees and other people since 1920.

The representative of Norway said yesterday, that his country has shown its liberalism and hospitality by taking 600 of these refugees. I do not think that taking 600 shows any liberalism or hospitality. If he sympathizes with those refugees who remain, and wishes to have them re-established or resettled, he might propose taking them into his own country. Any other delegation which wishes to express its sympathy has more room in its country than has Palestine, and has better means of taking in these refugees and helping them.

There are now a few million displaced persons in Europe and, as I understand it, the displaced Jews in Europe do not constitute more than one-seventh of the total. The International Refugee Organization is to take care of all of them on an equal footings I think the displaced Jews in Europe have better opportunities to be helped than any of the other displaced and persecuted peoples there. Everybody knows about the hundreds of millions of dollars which have been collected for the help of the Jews. Consequently, there are ways and means of assuring their tranquillity or their resettlement in some other place.

For this reason, I should like to call the attention of the First Committee to the resolution adopted by the General Assembly in connexion with the International Refugee Organization, which states that resettlement will not be undertaken without the consent of the population in territories which are not self-governing.

HASSAN Pasha (Egypt): It was not my intention to take the floor, because I did not think that any of the representatives here would raise a question of interpretation. However, since the representatives of Norway and South Africa have raised it, I do not wish to have it appear as though I were acquiescing in their interpretation.

In that connexion, I must emphasize that the Egyptian delegation believes—and with reason, I think—that the question of the displaced persons and world Jewry is the concern of another organ of the United Nations. I must point out, in this connexion, that the displaced persons of the world constitute some hundreds of thousands of people, and that the Jewish displaced persons constitute probably one-seventh or one-eighth of the displaced persons of the world. I therefore do not see why we should worry about one-eighth of the total number, when there is an organ of the United Nations which is taking care of displaced persons generally.

As my colleague from Syria pointed out, there has been a great amount of money raised in order to aid the Jews. It is natural that, with these funds, the Jews can be re-established in their homeland on a more privileged footing than the other displaced persons who have to start from scratch.

I do not see why we should complicate the question of Palestine by stepping on the rights of the original inhabitants of that country and allowing an invasion by an alien racial group. It is my belief—and I think this should be borne in mind by all the representatives—that the question of Palestine is independent of the question of the displaced persons. I have already, on several occasions, pointed out the distinction between these two questions.

I want to emphasize here again, in answer to what has been said by the representative of Norway—though I believe this is not the occasion for it, since we are discussing only the items which are before us—that it is, of course, correct and admissible for the representative of the Jewish Agency to come here and state his case. We have no objection to that at all.

However, I did not think it was the intention of this meeting to interpret such items as are up for discussion now and to add an interpretative view on the matter. It is most unjust, and clearly opposed to the Charter of the United Nations, to single out Palestine from among all the countries of the world and make its independence conditional upon the Jews becoming a majority against the wishes of the present majority of Palestine.

I thought we had clearly stated our views on this subject, and I had the firm belief that we would not have to come back to it and waste the time of the Assembly in order to establish these facts. Since you have been kind enough to permit the representatives to discuss it, we do not want to be silent so that our silence would be interpreted in any way as acquiescence to what has been said on this floor.

The CHAIRMAN: I merely venture to express the hope 'that we do not become too involved in this question of interpretation, especially the interpretation of the words "problem of Palestine".

Mr. MOE (Norway): First of all, this is not a question of interpretation, because, as a matter of fact, I concluded by saying that the Norwegian delegation would support the proposal of the Soviet Union that the study of the various other issues connected with the problem of Palestine should be included in the terms of reference.

I am very sorry if I did not succeed in making the position of my delegation clear. It was really not my intention to enter into a substantive discussion of the matter. It is very difficult, however, to discuss this problem without touching upon the substance. May I therefore be permitted to say that the Norwegian delegation has not by one word indicated that the only solution of the problem of the homeless Jews in Europe is immigration into Palestine.

In order to make clear the position of the Norwegian delegation, I shall repeat one statement—and I stress it—that there are other solutions, and that we should look into those other solutions. I hold to that statement. In order to make the position of the Norwegian delegation clear, I shall repeat one paragraph from the statement I made earlier this afternoon. I stated:

"I take it, therefore, to be the sense of this resolution that the committee of inquiry should be instructed to investigate the problem of the Jewish refugees, and that the committee would be entitled to present such proposals as it may deem useful for the solution of the problem of Jewish refugees."

Those were my remarks. That instruction would leave the committee entire liberty to deal with this problem as it may deem fit.

I think the representatives of Syria and Egypt cannot deny that this problem of Jewish homelessness is linked up with the problem of Palestine. The conclusion to be drawn need not therefore be that all the homeless Jews must go to Palestine; however, I do not think any reasonable person here can deny that this is just one aspect of this very complicated problem.

Mr.JAMALI (Iraq): Just this afternoon I came across a very significant statement made by the Honourable Harry S. Truman, President of the United States, to the United States Congress on 12 March 1947. The statement reads as follows:

"I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure."

I should like to replace "the United States" by "the United Nations." I hope it will be the policy of the United Nations "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure".

This statement is the very essence of traditional democracy. It is the very essence of traditional democracy that no people shall be subjugated by any group, and that no imposition shall be made upon any people by outsiders and outside pressure.

It seems to me that it behoves the committee which we are going to appoint to look very thoroughly into that principle, and see how it applies to Palestine. In Palestine, we have a free people who are resisting domination and invasion by a people who want to come in, who will become the majority, and who will rule these free people.

It is very important when we think of immigration into Palestine to look into the motive behind it. What is the motive behind it? Is the motive—and I hope the committee of inquiry will study that—really humanitarian? Is it a question of refugees? No, it is not a question of humanitarianism, nor a question of displaced persons. It is a question of determination to come in and dominate.

That brings me to another point.

The CHAIRMAN: I am sorry to interrupt the speaker. I hope the next point will be related to the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry.

Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): I hope that point will be studied by the committee of inquiry.

I have another point. This will to dominate will bring about a great disturbance of peace and harmony in the Middle East, in the Arab world. I do hope that the committee will go to Palestine to study the situation on the spot, to study the effect of this invasion, of this imposition on peace and harmony in the neighbouring Arab States because—as I have said, and as the committee, I hope, will discover—Palestine is an integral part of the Arab world. It is what New York is to the United States of America. You cannot separate them. So I do hope that the question of the bearing of the Palestine problem on the Arab world will be thoroughly studied by the committee.

I should like to address a word to my colleagues who have referred to connecting the question of the immigration of displaced persons to that of Palestine. I submit that the two questions are quite separate. Palestine should not suffer for the crimes of Hitler. The Arabs should not suffer for the crimes of Hitler. There are some who propose that Palestine should bear part of the burden. To these gentlemen, I would say that Palestine has already taken much more than its due. It has taken approximately one-half million of Hitler's refugees and displaced persons.

Please let the committee of inquiry look into the question of peace and security in the Middle East. Let them put themselves in our place; I hope that they will open then- own doors to those displaced persons much more than they have been doing so far.

The CHAIRMAN: The representative of the Arab Higher Committee has arrived. If the Committee desires, we could receive him now and hear his statement on the constitution and composition of the special committee of inquiry. Is that agreeable to the Committee? In that case, I shall ask Mr. Henry Cattan to take his place at the table.

Mr. Henry Cattan, representative of the Arab Higher Committee, took his place at the Committee table.

The CHAIRMAN: Mr. Cattan, we are very glad to have you with us. We shall also be very glad to hear a statement from you regarding our agenda which, as you know, is concerned with the constitution and composition of a special committee of inquiry into Palestine.

At the end of your statement, it may be that some members of the Committee would like to address questions to you. We should be very glad, if you saw fit, that you should answer them at that time or in writing later on. It may also be that members of the Committee would like to send you supplementary questions in writing. We should also be glad to have the answers to those questions in due course.

Mr. CATTAN (Arab Higher Committee): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

First of all, allow me to express to you—and through you, to the General Committee and the General Assembly—the sincere thanks and deep appreciation of the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine for the 'opportunity you have given us to appear before you today. We are also grateful for the great efforts you have spent on the preliminaries of this discussion and for the interest you have expressed hi hearing the Arab case, which are evidence of your desire to do justice in this cause.

I propose to limit my remarks to the fundamental elements of the problem, only to those elements which would assist the Committee in its task of determining the terms of reference of the proposed special committee. Before doing so, however, I ask your indulgence, for I am not a public speaker and I am speaking in a language other than my own.

I come to you as a representative of the people of Palestine, as an Arab whose roots are deeply imbedded in that tortured land. The Arab people are deeply anxious to find a just and lasting solution to the problem before you, because it is their own problem, the problem of their present life and their future destiny. No one is concerned with it as much as they are, since it involves their very existence as a people. With this existence threatened, with the future of our children in doubt, with our national patrimony in danger, we come to you, the representatives of the organized community of nations, in the full assurance that your conscience will support us in our struggle to hold that which is dearest to any people's heart: the national right of self-determination, which stands at the basis of your Charter.

It may be well to start by sketching a picture of Palestine prior to the First World War. Palestine was then included in the Ottoman Empire as part of the province of Syria; but this inclusion did not in any way alter or affect the Arab character of Palestine. It had been inhabited for several centuries by Arabs; its customs, traditions, and culture were Arab; its towns and villages were Arab. Those are the facts. No amount of propaganda or distortion can change the Arab character, the Arab history, and the Arab national characteristics of Palestine.

Other small communities lived in the midst of the Arabs inhabiting Palestine and the other Arab countries: Jews, Armenians, Kurds, and others. In all those Arab countries, the Jewish communities lived in peace and security. They even found for centuries amongst the Arabs more tolerance, more security, and more happiness than they had encountered among some of the nations of Europe.

In Palestine, in particular, the Jews represented in 1914 a small fraction of the population, about six to seven per cent of the total. They had their own schools, synagogues, and communal institutions. But one important fact should be noted: They had no national or political aims antagonistic or hostile to the Arabs. On the contrary, while retaining their religious, cultural and racial characteristics, the Jews merged harmoniously in the Arab structure. That explains why there was then no friction between the Arabs and Jews, no riots, no disturbances. The contrast between the old era and the present day provides an understanding of the problem.

Politically, the Arabs of Palestine, like the Arabs of neighbouring countries, were not then independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity. They shared, however, the sovereignty of an independent country and enjoyed full rights of citizenship equal to the rights enjoyed by the Turkish citizens of the Ottoman Empire. In fact, Arabs rose to the highest executive, legislative, and administrative positions.

Notwithstanding their enjoyment of full political rights, the Arabs wished to establish a purely Arab State independent of the Ottoman Empire. There were already several undercurrents aiming at the achievement of that objective. These undercurrents rose to the surface and gained strength and violence during the First World War. The Allied Governments encouraged the struggle of the Arabs for then- independence, since it fitted into their plans for a victorious termination of the conflict. In particular, the United Kingdom made several pledges for the recognition and establishment of Arab independence.

In 1915, there was a pledge of Sir Henry McMahon, the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Egypt, to King Hussein of Hedjaz, then Sherif of Mecca, declaring that the United Kingdom was prepared to recognize and uphold the independence of the Arabs in all regions lying within frontiers proposed by the Sherif of Mecca. Sir Henry McMahon purported to exclude from the pledge certain portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Horns, Hama and Aleppo. The portions excluded fell within the then French sphere of interest and claims. There was, however, no exclusion of that part of Syria now known as Palestine.

On 2 November 1917, the United Kingdom Government issued the Balfour Declaration without the consent or even the knowledge of the Arabs, and in contradiction to the McMahon pledge made in 1915. When news of this declaration reached the Arab world, doubts were created in the minds of the Arabs as to the sincerity of Allied aims concerning the future of the Arab countries. Sherif Hussein asked for an explanation. To allay Arab fears, the United Kingdom Government delivered to King Hussein what is known as the "Hogarth Message", which pledged that Jewish settlement in Palestine would be allowed only in so far as would be consistent with the political and economic freedom of the Arab population.

In other words, the Balfour Declaration was to be secondary and subservient to the political freedom of the population.

Again, in February 1918, the acting United Kingdom agent in Jedda, Lieutenant-Colonel Bassett, wrote to the Sherif of Mecca:

"His Majesty's Government and their allies stand steadfastly by every cause aiming at the liberation of the oppressed nations, and they are determined to stand by the Arab peoples in their struggle for the establishment of an Arab world in which law shall replace Ottoman injustice and in which unity shall prevail over the rivalries artificially provoked by the policy of Turkish officials. His Majesty's Government reaffirm their former pledge in regard to the liberation of the Arab peoples. His Majesty's Government have hitherto made it their policy to ensure that liberation, and it remains the policy they are determined unflinchingly to pursue by protecting such Arabs as are already liberated from all dangers and perils, and by assisting those who are still under the yoke of the tyrants to obtain their freedom."31/

Then again, in June 1918, the United Kingdom Government, in what is known as the Declaration to the Seven, made the following pledge:

George Antonius, The Arab Awakening, appendix C. G. E. Putnam Co., New York, 1946.

"In regard to the areas occupied by allied forces ... it is the wish and desire of His Majesty's Government that the future government of these regions should be based upon the principle of the consent of the governed, and this policy has and will continue to have the support of His Majesty's Government."32/

In November 1918, the Anglo-French Declaration was issued, which stated that the objective of France and the United Kingdom in prosecuting the war in the East was the following:

"... complete and definite emancipation of the peoples . . . and the establishment of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the initiative and free choice of the indigenous populations.

"In order to carry out these intentions, France and Great Britain are at one in encouraging and assisting the establishment of indigenous Governments and administrations in Syria and Mesopotamia, now liberated by the Allies, and in the territories the liberation of which they are engaged in securing, and recognizing these as soon as they are actually established.

"Far from wishing to impose on the populations of these regions any particular institutions, they are only concerned to ensure by their support and by adequate assistance the regular working of Governments and administrations freely chosen by the populations themselves . . .'"

One of the matters which the special committee to be set up will therefore have to investigate will be the various pledges given to the Arabs before and after the Balfour Declaration with regard to the recognition of their independence.

The struggle which had as its backbone the will and determination of the Arabs to realize their independence was spurred on and encouraged by the assurances of the Allied Powers regarding independence, political freedom and the establishment of governments freely chosen. The Arabs, in fact, made a substantial contribution to the Allied victory in the First World War. King Hussein of Hedjaz joined the Allied armies; and Arabs from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine answered his call for revolt, joined the ranks of the Allies, and fought with them.

To quote from the report of the British Military Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate causes of the disturbances in 1920 in Jerusalem:


I do not wish to comment on the denial or breaking of pledges, nor on the ethics or legality of making contradictory promises. I wish to emphasize, however, that the claim of the Arabs for termination of the mandate and recognition of their independence does not rest on promises or pledges. The Arabs of Palestine are not claiming their country on pledges made to them, for it belongs to them. Nor are the Arabs claiming their independence on assurances; they are entitled to such independence as their natural and inalienable right.

The value of those pledges, however, is two-fold. In the first place, they nullify any contradictory assurances given to the Jews, if the Balfour Declaration is to be read as meaning more than a cultural home. In the second place, those pledges show that the administration of the country in a manner inconsistent with and contrary to the wishes of the large majority of the inhabitants is a glaring injustice.

I have mentioned the Balfour Declaration. It is at the root of and the very reason for all the troubles. It is the cause of the problem into which you are inquiring. It is the cause of the disturbance of peace and security in Palestine and the Middle East. Several commissions of inquiry into the disturbances in Palestine have invariably found that the Balfour Declaration and its policy of immigration were the primary and fundamental causes of such disturbances.

When we remember that the Balfour Declaration was made without the consent, not to say the knowledge, of the people most directly affected; when we consider that its making is contrary to the principles of national self-determination and democracy, and contrary also to the principles enunciated in the Charter of the United Nations; when we know that it was inconsistent with the pledges given to the Arabs before and after its date, it will be the duty of the special committee to inquire into the legality, validity and ethics of that document.

Out of the conflict of the First World War, there emerged certain high principles which were to govern the organization of international relations and serve as the basis of the structure of modern civilization.

l Section 5, The Palestine Arab Case, a mimeographed statement issued by the Arab Higher Committee, April 1947.

The principles propounded by President Wilson—namely, the rejection of all ideas of conquest, and recognition of the right of self-determination—were incorporated in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Covenant laid down that, to the peoples inhabiting territories which have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the State which formerly governed them, there should be applied the principle that their well-being and development form a sacred trust of civilization.

Moreover, in particularizing certain communities detached from the Turkish Empire, namely, the Arab nation, Article 22 laid down in regard to their development, the following: ". . .'their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone."

Notwithstanding the pledges of the United Kingdom and the Allied Governments, notwithstanding Wilson's Fourteen Points, notwithstanding Article 22 of the Covenant, notwithstanding the riots in the country and the expressed opposition of the people of Palestine, the mandate was formulated in a manner embodying the Balfour Declaration.

One of the points which the special committee of inquiry will have to consider will be the inconsistency of the mandate with Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Article 22 is the primary and enabling instrument from which the mandate can derive its force and validity, if any. If, therefore, the mandate for Palestine has, in its inception or in the interpretation of its objects or in its practical application, deviated or departed from the primary objectives of Article 22 of the Covenant, then it is ultra vires and null and void. There is no power in Article 22 of the Covenant which enables the embodiment in the mandate of provisions prejudicial to the interests of the people of the country.

A further issue which the special committee would have to inquire into is that the mandate was intended to be a provisional and transitory form of administration. The neighbouring Arab countries—Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and TransJordan—were similarly and at the same time placed under mandate. They are now making their contribution to the organization and maintenance of world peace and security.

Mr. Bevin declared on 25 February 1947, in the House of Commons:


There is therefore no justice in the denial to the people of Palestine of the elementary rights of self-government and independence. If, with a view to continuing this injustice, it is argued that the cessation of the mandate might lead to bloodshed between Arabs and Jews, and even if that were at all true, it is no reason which carries any convincing force, since the whole history of the mandate since its inception is a history of troubles, disorders, and bloodshed.

Another point which we suggest that the special committee inquire into is the effect of the dissolution of the League of Nations on the Palestine mandate. It was specifically provided in Article 22 of the Covenant that the mandate should be exercised by the mandatory "on be-half of the League of Nations", this being the primary condition under which the mandate was granted.

The powers of a mandatory cannot legally outlive the existence of the person or body delegating such powers. The mandatory cannot be said today to be exercising its powers on behalf of the League, a body which has ceased to exist.

Article 80 of the Charter of the United Nations has a negative operation in not interfering with existing rights. It has not the positive effect of conferring validity on, or retaining in full force, an agency or mandate which has ceased to have any validity. Even if the mandate can be said to be still in existence, the special committee should, in my submission, be asked to consider the conflict between the provisions of the mandate imposing the obligation to facilitate Jewish immigration and the obligation undertaken by the United Kingdom Government on becoming a party to the Charter of the United Nations. The obligations in the mandate relating to the Jewish national home and the facilitation of Jewish immigration, if such are to be construed as implying their discharge against the will of the original inhabitants of the country and the majority of the population, are clearly in conflict with the purposes and principles of the Charter.

They are again in conflict with the resolution which the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted at its meeting on 15 December 1946. This resolution disapproved of the resettlement of displaced persons where the resettlement would be likely to disturb friendly relations with neighbouring countries. The resolution further states that due weight should be given, among other factors, to any evidence of genuine apprehension and concern felt inter alia by the indigenous population of non-self-governing countries35/.

Another term of reference would be an inquiry into the practical application of the mandate which, in our contention, would show:

(a) That it was not exercised within the scope and for the purposes contemplated by Article 22 of the Covenant;

(b) That is was not exercised for the benefit of the original inhabitants of the country;

(c) That its further continuation is creating a situation which is affecting peace and good order in Palestine and threatening peace and security in the Middle East.

That inquiry will show, moreover, how the Arabs have lost the civil and political rights which they enjoyed prior to the mandate, and how the immigration initiated and facilitated under the mandate is threatening the very existence of the Arab nation. It will show how that immigration has led to troubles and bloodshed which have soiled the Holy Land. It will show how the United Kingdom Government is giving administrative advice and assistance to another United Kingdom Government calling itself the Palestine Government. It will show how no trace can be found of self-governing institutions, and much less of any trace of the development of such institutions. It will show how many lives were lost as a result of the policy of enforcing the mandate, and how much money has been spent on police posts and fortresses as compared with schools and hospitals.

Another aspect of the practical application of the mandate will show how, during the last twenty-five years, more than one half million Jews were allowed to immigrate into the country against the wishes of its inhabitants, and how the United Kingdom Government not only used its best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of the Balfour Declaration, but fully and completely achieved it at the expense of many lives and suffering.

Further, in formulating the terms of reference of the proposed special committee of inquiry, it is not sufficient to point out what the problem is. It is equally important to invite attention to what the problem is not, so as to avoid confusion of issues.

In the first place, the problem is not an Arab-Jewish problem. The Arab opposition to immigration and to the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine is not based on any racial prejudice against Jews as Jews, but would be equally strong whatever the race or religion of any group which might attempt to wrest the country from its Arab inhabitants or to force immigrants into it against the will of the Arabs.

In the second place, the problem is not economic. It is often contended that the Jews of Europe can develop the country by colonizing it, better than its inhabitants could develop it. Even if the premises on which this argument rests were true, it would still be worthless, because it is an unacceptable and immoral argument. Such reasoning, if accepted, could justify any aggression by the more advanced against the less advanced nations of the world.

In the third place, the problem is not connected with the refugee problem. The problem of the refugees and of displaced persons is not limited to any special religion or race. It is a humanitarian problem, and it is the duty and concern of the civilized world to treat it as such. Indeed, this has been done, as is evidenced by the establishment of the International Refugee Organization. The linking of the refugee problem with Palestine has made and will continue to make the solution of both problems infinitely, more difficult, if not impossible.

These are two different and distinct problems; each must be solved on its own merits, and all countries of the world must participate and share in the responsibility for their solution.

The Arab Higher Committee deems it absolutely essential that a recommendation should be made to the mandatory to take immediate steps for the complete stoppage of all Jewish immigration into Palestine, whether termed legal or illegal. For, in the view of the Arab population, all immigration of Jews into Palestine is illegal.

In the fourth place, the problem of Palestine cannot and should not be regarded as one of historical connexion. The Zionist claim Palestine on the grounds that at one time, more than two thousand years ago, the Jews had a kingdom in a part of it. Were this argument to be taken as a Basis for settling international issues, a dislocation of immeasurable magnitude would take place. It would mean the redrawing of the map of the whole world. It has been said that you cannot set back the hands of the clock of history by twenty years. What should then be said when an effort is made to set the clock of history back by twenty centuries in an attempt to give away a country on the ground of a transitory historic association?

These are the observations which we wish to put before you at this stage. I hope I have succeeded, without overtaxing your patience, in indicating the real cause of the disease. I trust that the committee of investigation, and later on the General Assembly, will be convinced that this apparently complex problem cannot be solved except on the basis of principles already agreed upon by all the civilized world and sanctioned by the Charter.

It is high time that Palestine's right to independence should be recognized, and that this tormented country should enjoy the blessing of a democratic government. It is high time, also, that a policy which has been impairing the ethnological and political structure of the country should be brought to an end by the highest body in the world.

We are not asking something which is out of line with what humanity has striven for throughout the ages. We are asking nothing more than what each of you would wish for his own country; nothing more than what is consecrated by

the lofty principles and purposes of your very Charter; nothing more than what the greatest of Masters, who arose from that holy but today tortured land, taught every one of us when He said: "Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you."

The CHAIRMAN: Does any member wish to direct any question to Mr. Cattan on any points with which we are concerned in our Committee, and on which he touched hi his statement?

Dr. FIDERKIEWICZ (Poland): I should like to ask the representative of the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine the same questions that I asked the Jewish Agency representative.

First, how many organizations in Palestine does the Arab High Committee represent? How was its executive committee established and organized, and how does it work?

Secondly, have there been any attempts at collaboration between the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency for Palestine?

The CHAIRMAN: We do not necessarily expect you to answer those questions at this moment, Mr. Cattan. We should be glad to have them answered in writing for Circulation to the members, but if you wish to answer any of them now, of course, we shall be glad to hear your answer. We leave the decision to you.

Mr. CATTAN (Arab Higher Committee): I should like to use the privilege of answering in writing, if I may.

Mr. GARCIA GRANDADOS (Guatemala): I have just one question. It has been said on several occasions, but never officially by Arabs or Jews, that bad feeling exists between Arabs and Jews in Palestine. On the other hand, the Jews say there is no such bad feeling. What is the truth of the matter? Do the Arabs of Palestine take sides in the tense political situation actually existing in that country?

Mr. CATTAN (Arab Higher Committee): I should be pleased to answer that question in writing, too.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNADEZ (Colombia): I should like to ask Mr. Cattan this question: What are the views of the Arab Higher Committee regarding the composition of the proposed committee of investigation?

CHAIRMAN: That, also, I take it, will be answered later in writing.

Mr. CATTAN (Arab Higher Committee): I should like to make just one remark. I shall reply to that question in writing, but after various

statements of representatives that there is bias and absence of any neutrality, this becomes a very difficult question for me to answer. In any event, -I shall make an attempt to answer it in writing.

The CHAIRMAN: It is a very difficult question for us to answer too, Mr. Cattan.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): May I be permitted to repeat, word for word, what I said to the representative of the Jewish Agency? I congratulate the representative of the Arab Higher Committee on the very impressive statement which he has made. I should like to ask just two questions, which he may take down and answer later on in writing.

He has made a reference to the pledges made to the Arabs from 1915 to 1920—that is, before and after the Balfour Declaration—and he has said something about the Jewish national home, which term appears in the mandate as well as in the Balfour Declaration. Does he or does he not realize—and this was the question which I. put to the representative of the Jewish Agency—that a Jewish national home is easily contradistinguishable from a Jewish State, that a Jewish national home, as mentioned in the mandate, is not inconsistent with a completely independent and sovereign Arab Palestine State? This is my first question. "

I am not commenting on the Tightness or wrongness of the promise which was made to the Jews for the establishment of a Jewish national home; that is an entirely separate matter. I am drawing only a legal distinction between these two entities, a Jewish national home and a sovereign Jewish State.

My next question, concerning immigration, is again the same as I put to the representative of the Jewish Agency. Is it or is it not a fact that up to 1900, not more than 4,500 Russian or other Jews who had been driven out of Czarist Russia went to Palestine? Is it or is it not a fact that prior to 1920, not more than about 45,000 Jews from outside entered Palestine? Is it or is it not a fact that by 1930, the number of immigrants had risen to over 150,000? Again, is it not a fact that by 1939, the population of Jewish immigrants had risen to about 600,000, when the White Paper restricting the immigration was issued?

Finally, I should like him to tell us whether all these immigrants are Arab-speaking, Hebrew-speaking or Yiddish-speaking immigrants. Is Yiddish, by any chance, a Hebraic language, or is it a mixture of Polish, Lithuanian, Roumanian, et cetera and Hebrew—Hebrew being the script and the spoken language being something else.

Is it a fact that these immigrants are easily assimilable in Palestine? Finally, I should also like the representative of the Arab Higher Committee to tell us whether it is or is not a fact that by 1915 it was well known that the Dead Sea contained chemicals valued at about $5,000 millions? And is it a fact that now it is understood that the Dead Sea contains minerals and chemicals amounting to about $3,000,000 millions? Is it a fact that many people outside are interested in these figures?

Mr. KOSANOVIC (Yugoslavia): Mr. Cattan, at the beginning of his speech, stated that in 1914 the Jews constituted six to seven per cent of the population of Palestine. May I ask him what would the relations be, in the event of the formation of an independent sovereign State of Palestine, between the various national groups and between the Arabs and Jews in Palestine? Has any plan been worked out for the constitutional organization of the future sovereign State of Palestine?

The CHAIRMAN: Are there any further questions? Thank you very much, Mr. Cattan, for giving us the benefit of the views of the Arab Higher Committee on the matter before us. In return, we seem to have given you some home-work. The Committee and I should be grateful if you would hold yourself available in case we wish to secure further information from the Arab Higher Committee.

Mr. Cattan, representative of the Arab Higher Committee, left his place at the Committee table.

The CHAIRMAN: We may now, I suppose, return to the general discussion which we were having on the terms of reference of the special committee. On that point, we have received an additional document from the representative of India; it is now being distributed.

Does any representative wish to contribute at this time to the general discussion of this matter? If not, does this mean that the general discussion is over, or that the Committee is just exhausted for the moment? I have no more speakers on my list, and if no other representatives wish to speak this evening, they may do so tomorrow.

We shall not declare this discussion closed, but we might adjourn our Committee until tomorrow morning at 11 o'clock. I should like at this time to secure the views of the Committee as to whether we should not meet tomorrow afternoon as well.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : I should like to obtain the full text of the statement made by the representative of the Arab Higher Committee. I think it would be helpful if the Secretariat could provide us with the text.

The CHAIRMAN: The text will be available and will be circulated very shortly.

If there is no objection, the meeting is adjourned until 11 a. m. tomorrow on the understanding that we also meet at 3 p.m.

The CHAIRMAN: We were discussing the proposed terms of reference of the special committee on Palestine. Our discussion on this subject was general. We have certain documents before us. I suggest we continue that discussion this morning and, if the Committee agrees to the termination of the general discussion, we might consider the working paper (document A/C.I/165) and decide to amend, add to, or alter its paragraphs in any way the Committee desires. I hope we may be able to come to a decision in regard to the terms of reference without too much delay. Then we shall proceed to a discussion of the other part of the agenda which concerns the composition of the committee of inquiry. It is difficult to reach a decision on this subject until we have decided on the terms of reference.

The discussion is open on the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry.

Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): Since the beginning of the debate, the position of the United States on the terms of reference for the special committee has consistently been to maintain the simple principle that they should be as wide as possible. We have given much serious thought to the suggested amendments of the representative of the Soviet Union and the representative of India in particular, since the First Committee received the working paper from the drafting Sub-Committee yesterday.

When we examine the amendment suggested by the representative of the Soviet Union (document A/C.1/166) and the draft alternative resolution proposed by the representative of India (document A/C.1/167), we find, from our own point of view, that there is very little difference in substance between what they propose, what we have suggested and what has been suggested by other representatives. It is quite clear from the texts of all these papers that we have a common purpose and that we vary only in our opinions on certain details of how best to accomplish that purpose.

The United States feels strongly that nothing mandatory should be placed upon this special committee, except to investigate the Palestine situation in all its aspects and to formulate such proposals as it might think practicable for the solution of this question and present them for the consideration of the General Assembly in September. Our delegation does not feel that the insertion, in the terms of reference, of specific mandatory ideas, however acceptable those ideas might be in principle, would be of real help to the committee.

Furthermore, by inserting an idea, on which we might all agree, and not inserting other ideas held by differing members, we might tend to prejudice the final issue of this case. The committee is bound to feel itself under strong moral obligation to pay strict attention to any injunction given by the General Assembly which may be contained in the terms of reference. I venture to suggest to this Committee that we should proceed with full reliance on the high sense of responsibility which will animate the committee we are going to create, and that it is not necessary to specify even certain obvious points in the terms of reference.

For example, paragraph 3 of the working paper which was presented to the First Committee yesterday by the drafting Sub-Committee stipulates "that the Committee shall bear in mind the principle that independence for the population of Palestine should be the ultimate purpose of any plan for the future of that country". No one in the General Assembly, and least of all the United States, has any quarrel with that proposal. We fully support it. However, to insert it specifically in the terms of reference raises the question whether we are not thereby doing a moral injustice to another point of view. The stipulations in paragraph 3 are really made obligatory by the terms of the League of Nations mandate. The ultimate aim of all class A mandates is independence.

There is a very substantial opinion, however, the Jewish opinion, which has another idea as to the solution of Palestine. The Jewish representatives are proponents of the Zionist State. I am not now arguing for the Zionist State. I am merely suggesting for the consideration of this Committee that, if we insert a paragraph in the* terms of reference containing the idea stated in paragraph 3, we are giving utterance to a view, strongly held by certain interested parties and we are not giving the same limelight, so to speak, to views held by other organizations.

I come now to the conclusion which my delegation wishes to suggest to the Committee in regard to that point. There should be nothing mandatory in the terms of reference; everything should be permissive. I like very much the phraseology used by the representative of India in his suggested paragraph 1 which reads:

"That the special committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts, and study in detail the situation in Palestine by carrying out an investigation on the spot."

That wording, when combined with the subsequent wording regarding the report and recommendations, seems to me to cover the situation.

I do not wish to indicate an intransigent attitude on the part of the United States regarding the terms of reference. I am merely trying to place before the members,of the Committee our views, in the hope that some of the arguments which we think are persuasive may be considered valuable by the other members of this Committee.

I may have something to say later, but that is all I wish to say at this moment on the subject.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I have studied the draft prepared by the representative of India at yesterday's meeting pi our Committee. This draft takes due account not only of the proposals submitted to us by the Subcommittee but also of the Soviet amendment. The relevant points are combined in the draft in such a way so as to include the essential points of the Soviet amendment.

After studying the draft submitted by the Indian representative I can say now that I have no objection to the version which he has put forward, that is to say the version which is based on the Sub-Committee's proposals and the Soviet amendment.

It seems to me, however, that it would be desirable to add the phrase which is contained in paragraph 2 of the Soviet amendment. This phrase reads: to study various other issues connected with the problem of Palestine". Whether we like it or not, and however each one of us may interpret this phrase, the Committee will have to examine very carefully many questions bound up with the Palestine problem. It would, therefore, be necessary, when defining the tasks and functions of the committee to use a wording which would be sufficiently elastic to enable it to study all aspects of the question. That is why I should like to include at least this phrase, taken from paragraph 2 of the Soviet amendment, in the appropriate passage of the version submitted by our colleague from India.

I think there should be no difficulty in agreeing to the text submitted by the Indian representative. I am afraid I cannot share the opinion expressed by the representative of the United States regarding the last sentence of the Soviet amendment, which is also reflected in paragraph 5 of the draft prepared by the Indian representative.

According to paragraph 3 of the Soviet amendment the committee shall submit proposals on the question of establishing without delay an independent State in Palestine. This paragraph reads as follows:

"To prepare and submit to the next regular session of the General Assembly proposals on the solution of the problem of Palestine which the committee will consider useful, including a proposal on the question of establishing without delay the independent State of Palestine".1

Is this wording not sufficiently elastic to enable the committee to study the Palestine problem in all its aspects? I consider that this wording is sufficiently elastic to enable the committee to study and thoroughly analyse various alternative solutions of the Palestine problem. This does not impose on the committee the study of only one version. There is no such compulsion. This version is broad, elastic, and at the same time fulfils our purpose in as much as no representative speaking on the question of Palestine has raised any doubt as to the final aim being a decision which would permit the creation of an independent State of Palestine in one form or another.

If this is so, there is consequently no contradiction between our common desire and the wording suggested by the Soviet delegation. I repeat that it would be extremely desirable to provide for such a wording in the relevant document laying down the tasks and functions of the committee to be created.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I think we all agree that the committee should have the widest possible powers, and therefore from the beginning I was very favourable to paragraph 1 of the draft proposed by the Sub-Committee.

The point was raised of carrying out an investigation on the spot. I think that this is included in paragraph 1, but I see no difficulty in accepting it if the members of the Subcommittee agree on it. On the other hand, we have learned from the very interesting, very dignified statements by the two representatives of the agencies for Palestine that there are a number of problems. There is an economic problem, there is a demographic problem, there is a racial, problem—no, perhaps not a racial problem—but there is some study to be given to the various problems raised by those different aspects of the question of Palestine. I believe such a study would be greatly helped if we included a phrase in the second part of paragraph 36/, as proposed by the Indian delegation. It would read: ". . . and study in detail the situation in Palestine in all its aspects by carrying out investigation on the spot." I think that would reaffirm the broadness of the terms of reference and would give the committee the feeling that it could investigate any of the aspects of the Palestine problem.

On the other hand, paragraph 3, as I remarked yesterday, is more elastic and more comprehensive in the s working paper prepared by the Sub-Committee than in the proposal made by the Soviet delegation. Both paragraphs tend to the same end, but I believe that if we included any reference to establishing without delay, or within a reasonable period, an independent State of Palestine or any instruction to the committee to look into its establishment, we would be prejudging the work of the committee. If we leave paragraph 3 as it stands in the working paper of the Sub-Committee, we will be giving full latitude to the committee to suggest any arrangement as to the future government of Palestine, without prejudging the fact that an independent State should be founded without delay.

Therefore, I strongly support paragraph. 3 of the working paper, and I suggest that in paragraph 1 of the draft proposal of the Indian delegation the words "in all its aspects" be inserted after the word "Palestine".

The CHAIRMAN: I want to have quite clear in my own mind the exact meaning of your suggested change. You mean that if you insert the words "in all its aspects" after "Palestine" in paragraph 1 of the Indian proposal, in your view, that would make unnecessary any reference to a study of the issues connected with the problem of Palestine in paragraph 3?


Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): I support the view expressed by the representative of Colombia on the matter, and I should like to say further that my delegation feels that it would be very unwise to include, in the terms of reference, any injunction to the committee that, among its recommendations, there must be one for the immediate independence of Palestine. That is to prejudge the issue entirely, and it is being prejudged in more than one of the points of view which have been expressed here.. Independence is the ultimate goal, but a recommendation in that sense, if the special committee should find it wise to make such recommendation, is entirely permissive under the formula suggested by the representative of India and amended by the representative of Colombia. In my opinion, every end of justice would be served by that formula and by the elimination of any specific injunction to the committee that it must make such a recommendation.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India) : I think I had better deal with the points which were raised by the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics regarding the last part of paragraph 2 of his draft. I feel that if we accept the amendment proposed by the representative of Colombia, this point would be covered, and I am quite prepared to accept the Colombian amendment in so far as it relates to that point.

I should now like to deal with another point raised by the representative of Colombia. He said something about an alternative. I believe an alternative of the type he has hi view can be conceived even in retaining paragraph 5 of my amendment, which is really a repetition of the amendment proposed by the representative of the USSR.


"That it [the committee] shall prepare and submit to the next regular session of the General Assembly proposals" — not the proposal "on the solution of the problem of Palestine which the committee will consider useful, including a proposal on the question of establishing without delay the independent State of Palestine."

When you read the paragraph in that sense, it is perfectly obvious that even the point which has been raised by the representative of the United States is completely covered. There is no injunction there that the committee should bring forward only one solution and no other.

Obviously, paragraph 5 of my draft contemplates also an affirmative solution. However, we appear to differ in paragraph 3 of my draft where I have substituted the word "primary" for the word "ultimate" used in the draft submitted by Sub-Committee 6 for discussion in the First Committee. By saying "primary", we direct the attention of the committee to be created to the task we have in view. "Primary" naturally includes "ultimate". I am only speaking tentatively. If it was amended in the way the representative of Colombia desires, L feel that the draft, in so far as paragraph 1 is concerned, would express exactly what most of us have in mind, and we need not unnecessarily strain the language and think that if we maintain paragraph 5 of this draft, it will mean an injunction to the committee to bring in a verdict favouring the immediate establishment of an independent State of Palestine.

I want to make it perfectly clear. If the mandate has any meaning whatsoever, it must go right back to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations from which it derives power. If that is so, I do not see how anyone can ever evade the fact that Palestine must be an independent State. Whether it will be so tomorrow, or the day after, or after the next session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, is another matter. However, the report of the committee will come back to us; we shall consider it at the General Assembly when it will be possible for us to weigh all the recommendations submitted by the committee and come to our own conclusion.

Naturally, if these terms of reference are laid down for the committee, its report will contain, among other recommendations, a proposal on the question of establishing, without delay, the independent State of Palestine. It will be for the next session of the General Assembly to see whether such a proposal is practicable. Therefore, I do not see why we need fight shy of it today.

Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): If I have understood the representative of India correctly, I am afraid that I was not entirely clear in stating my objection to the latter portion of paragraph 5 of his proposal.

I do not object to it because I think he is suggesting that immediate independence is the only solution which should be proposed by the committee; but I am expressing the United States delegation's view that we should not give a guiding injunction—for by whatever name it may be called, it is an injunction—to the investigating committee that among the various solutions and proposals which it may. put forward to the General Assembly, there must be a proposal on this question of establishing without delay the independent State of Palestine.

The United States delegation's private view is that it would be better to omit -paragraphs 3 and 5 altogether, as the ideas expressed therein are not at all excluded from the competence of the committee. However, as we entirely agree with the principle expressed in paragraph 3, if it is the desire of the Committee to retain it, we shall make no objection.

We cannot agree, however, that there should • be such a limitation put on the judgment of the investigating committee as is implied in paragraph 5. No investigating committee would be able to escape from the moral imperative contained in paragraph 5. It would hamper it in reaching an entirely objective recommendation or set of recommendations for the General Assembly. If paragraph 5 were not included, the committee would in no way be precluded from making that recommendation if the facts, as it finds them, justify such a recommendation, without doing injustice to any of the groups of people involved.

Mr. MARTJNEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): 1 do not wish to be thought to be impatient; what I do wish is to be thought practical.

We have before us the working paper submitted by Sub-Committee 6 containing six points; the proposal of the Soviet representative, in the form of an amendment in three parts, and the proposal by the Indian representative, containing five points.

Why should we not discuss these point by point, and then put the whole matter to the vote?

The CHAIRMAN: That is a very practical suggestion. I hope that before very long, we shall be able to consider these documents, paragraph by paragraph, vote on any amendments to each, and ultimately on the paragraph as amended. When we have completed that, we shall be able to vote on the whole resolution.

However, there are still two or three speakers who have expressed a desire to make general remarks on the subject of the terms of reference, in connexion with the documents before us. We will have to exhaust that list before we take a decision on these paragraphs.

Mr. KOSANOVIC (Yugoslavia): I do not think it necessary to stress that we are all deeply devoted to the principles of the United Nations, to the safeguarding and strengthening of peace and international co-operation on the basis of mutual regard for independence and freedom. We must try to establish our relations with the peoples of the world in accordance with these principles. It is in this manner that all problems of international life which might threaten world peace, international co-operation and independence of peoples must be settled. The United Nations should consider the Palestine problem in the light of these principles.

Yugoslavia has always interpreted mandatory relations as being in the sense of duty of the mandatory Power, as a highly civilized nation, to advise and assist the mandated countries with a single aim: so that the mandated country may reach, as soon as possible, that degree of development which will fulfil the conditions for its independence. As a matter of fact, many countries which belonged to the Ottoman Empire before the First World War and which, in the sense of Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant, belonged to the category of mandated countries and whose existence as independent nations was previously recognized, have already attained their independence and are now Members of our Organization.

Palestine alone remains a mandated country which has not attained its independence in spite of the fact that its economic and political development and its desire for independence are not less than those of the former mandated countries. The analysis of all the reasons for which Palestine finds itself in this situation would carry us too far, although this analysis would be, without a doubt, of great importance hi dealing with the substance of this question. We know that there were many conferences on the Palestine question which unfortunately proved futile. There were many attempts in commissions to study the further development in this or that direction. But, as we read in the Economist of 25 May: "There is one thing in Palestine which has never been tried: it is self-government".

The fact that the Palestine problem is brought before the United Nations today by the mandatory Power itself is a recognition that the mandate has not succeeded.

The Palestine question is therefore before the United Nations, among whose principles are the provision for basic rights of great and small nations and the establishment of independence of all nations. This time it is not a matter of whether there is to be one more conference on the Palestine problem, which may or may not provide for a just and final settlement of this question, because the very authority and prestige of the United Nations are at stake. Therefore, every measure must be taken to ensure the final settlement of this question at the regular session of the General Assembly. On the other hand, we must be sure it is settled in accordance with the basic principles of the United Nations, aiming at the establishment of independence.

The Yugoslav delegation therefore considers that the basic task of the committee is to gather, analyse and critically evaluate all those facts which could point to the readiness of Palestine for independence.

Secondly, in this connexion, I should like to draw attention to the particular position of the mandatory Power as to the gathering of this data. Today we do possess a great deal of literature on this Palestine question, but unfortunately, we have hardly any official data either on the actual degree of development of Palestine or on the great and responsible role of the mandatory Power, because mandatories were prevented by the war, and later by the liquidation of the League of Nations, •from submitting the annual report provided for in Article 22, paragraph 7, of the League of Nations Covenant.

The mandatory Power has undoubtedly made great efforts for the further development of Palestine. However, I have been impressed by some figures concerning the expenditures in Palestine. According to the Spectator of 3 May 1946: "In the years 1944 to 1945 there were spent, in Palestine, £700,000 for education; £550,000 for public health; and £4,600,000 for the maintenance of public order."

I have been greatly impressed by these figures. The Yugoslav delegation considers it necessary that the committee, with the full co-operation of the mandatory Power—of which the representative of the United Kingdom has given very positive assurance—should investigate the maturity of Palestine in order to be able to evaluate whether Palestine is capable of independence and self-development.

Much has been said here about the independence of Palestine. A proposal was submitted that the question of Palestine's independence be put on the agenda. Yugoslavia supported, in principle, the proposal for the recognition of the independence of Palestine, for it is so eagerly desired and required by the peoples of that country. Not a single representative took the floor against this recognition of independence in principle. It is natural, however, that such a decision should require prior study of all the necessary data.

One of the prerequisites for the independence of Palestine would be that country's ability to maintain order and peace with its own forces. Yugoslavia sees the necessity for an objective and impartial examination into the causes which have compelled the mandatory Power to maintain in the past, and which have led it to continue to maintain such a great number of troops in Palestine. The Yugoslav delegation also sees the necessity for the committee to examine the possibility of an early evacuation of these troops, except for those forces which would normally be needed to maintain order and peace.

Yugoslavia is deeply devoted to the principles of the United Nations, to the principles of international co-operation and independence. It has sincere sympathy for and agrees with the wishes of the peoples of Palestine. I am also convinced that it is your wish to see Palestine independent and free.

It is impossible to separate the problem of Palestine from that concerning the fate of the Jewish people. In the name of the Yugoslav delegation, I proposed in the General Assembly that a representative of the Jewish people be invited to speak before it. I also said that I considered that there should be a symbolic gesture of sympathy for the first victims of Nazi persecution.

On the other hand, it is impossible to solve the problem of Palestine without taking into consideration the Arab peoples. We must find a compromise solution. We are quite convinced that the peoples of Palestine are mature and able to govern themselves in a democratic way, and that all misunderstandings between the Jewish and Arab populations can be settled to the mutual satisfaction of both by the mutual acknowledgment of their right to full growth and development.

We have witnessed, on many occasions, Jewish-Arab co-operation in Palestine. We are deeply convinced that this co-operation will find even greater expression when the peoples of Palestine are in a position to settle their lives according to their desires and then- own interests, in a democratic way. To this effect, in the final stage of their struggle for independence, the peoples of Palestine must increase all their efforts for mutual co-operation, thus facilitating the work of the committee whose composition and terms of reference we are now discussing.

In conclusion, because we consider this problem so important, I stress again that the Yugoslav delegation considers it necessary that the five big Powers participate in the fact-finding committee.

The CHAIRMAN: When I mentioned a few moments ago that we were beginning a general discussion, I meant, of course, a general discussion on the specific question of the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry. I hope that we will be able to restrict our remarks, as closely as possible, to that specific question, and I venture to suggest that the time for general observations on the whole problem which the committee of inquiry will have to deal with, is coming to an end, if it is not already over.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): First, I must apologize for taking the Committee's time so often, when it could be hearing more authoritative and wiser statements. I am prompted by the very sincere and unbiased intention of being helpful.

I thank the representative of India for having accepted my suggested modification to paragraph 1 of his proposal. I think, strictly from the point of view of language, the wording of paragraph 1 is a little defective, and I might suggest that its final wording in the working paper be as follows:


As to the reference made by the Indian representative to my observations, I regret that although we formed a Sub-Committee to draw up a working paper, we are nevertheless again dealing with three working papers. I do not propose to suggest the formation of a new sub-committee, but I wanted to explain that in my observations I was referring to paragraph 3 of the Soviet proposal and not to the Indian proposal.

In the Indian proposal, I find the same difficulty that I find hi the Soviet proposal, namely the attempt to give to the work of the committee of investigation a very definite purpose, and to establish, as has been pointed out very clearly, a sort of moral obligation for this committee to give a report or to give advice on a very definite point. Of course, we all agree, and no one has contested the fact that the aim of this committee and the ultimate aim of this Assembly, is to study the possibility of granting full independence to Palestine. I think that point is already included in paragraph 3 of the working paper of the Sub-Committee. I think it should be satisfactory because it is very broad and it leaves the door open for the committee to make any suggestion, be it for immediate or ultimate independence or anything else.

Of course, the ultimate purpose or as the Indian draft proposal says, "primary purpose" is very acceptable and we all agree that it should in fact be the aim of the committee in its work. But why should we specify any single point on which the committee is to give advice? We would then have to list all the different possibilities. We would have to say: continuation of the mandate, establishment of a trusteeship, establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine, establishment of an independent State of Palestine, and so forth.

I really believe that if we left paragraph 3 as it stands in the working paper, and 5 we introduced these modifications to paragraph 1 of the Indian proposal, the matter would be covered in the broadest possible way, which is our desire. I think we should not hinder the committee by any reference to any definite point. The committee should study all facts and all aspects of the Palestine problem. In studying the facts and aspects of the Palestine problem, the committee will have to take into consideration all the points raised by those agencies which will have been heard by the Committee. Therefore, those agencies can bring up for the committee's study any points they wish to bring up, including the question of Jewish immigration from Europe. That is included in the terms of reference, as they stand.

As to the final outcome of the committee's study, if we leave paragraph 3 in its present form in the working paper of the Sub-Committee, the committee will be in a position to propose any solution which it deems fit, convenient and advisable.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): I shall keep strictly to the matter before the Committee, that is, the consideration of the various proposals. We have to consider the working paper of the Subcommittee, the Soviet text, the Indian text, and verbal suggestions made by the representative of Colombia. We have to keep them in mind simultaneously.

As to paragraph 1 of the Indian text, my delegation is prepared to accept the suggestion of the Colombian representative to add the words "in all its aspects". We would also like some words added in that paragraph; this is a proposal which has not been advanced at any stage in this Committee, though it has generally been agreed that there should be no limitation whatever on the various sources of information and no limitation on how the committee shall conduct its inquiry. However, we think that the method of procedure should be specifically provided for in the terms of reference. If you look at the working paper, you will see that the only authority for the conduct of the committee's proceedings is stipulated in paragraph 2 by the words "that it shall receive testimony by whatever means . . ." That authority as to procedure covers only the hearing of testimony.

We think a method should be laid down generally to cover not only the hearings, but the whole of the committee's proceedings, the consideration of general principles, the writing of its report, and the formulation of its recommendations.

Therefore, when we consider the final proposal, paragraph by paragraph, we would propose the following wording for paragraph 1:


As to the working paper, my delegation agrees generally with the rest of it, with the exception of paragraph 6, to which we shall refer in due course.

I am now going to speak generally on the two proposals which are mentioned in the Soviet and the Indian papers. In paragraph 2 of the former, it says "... to study various other issues connected with the problem of Palestine." To some extent, the suggestion of Colombia, which my delegation accepts, covers that notion. But to accept that proposal as it stands imposes on the special committee an interpretation about which they may argue for weeks. It is a matter of interpretation; it is vague and it is indefinite. Yesterday you heard the representatives of Norway and South Africa interpret that phrase as giving the special committee authority to investigate the wide problem of Jews and displaced persons in Europe.

How can the committee make a survey like that if it does not know the will and intention of this Committee and—although it certainly has wide discretion—if it has not decided whether it shall visit all those camps?

In our opinion very exhaustive investigations and surveys of all those camps have been made by UNRRA, by the IRQ, and by the Inter-Governmental Committee on Refugees. That information is or will be available to the special committee.

The incidental question arises: will there be time to do all the work of investigation as well as a survey? Furthermore, if it is the intention of this Committee that the special committee shall go to those places, shall it investigate the conditions, the position and the numbers of Jews only? Shall the committee discriminate against all other nationalities in those camps?

Therefore, we feel this should be left to the committee under the wide terms of reference in the original paragraph 3 of -the working draft, and we do not consider that the Soviet proposal to study various other issues should be accepted by this Committee.

I come now to the other proposal which has been advocated, both by the Soviet delegation and by the delegation of India: that we should include in the terms of reference that phrase dealing with the independence of Palestine as an injunction to this special committee.

The general reasons for objection to this phrase have been advanced by the representative of the United States. But in our opinion he did not go far enough, because this is also a matter of interpretation. If my delegation, for example, happened to be serving on that committee, we would ask ourselves the question: What did this Committee mean by the "independent State"? For example, I listened carefully to the representative of Yugoslavia. Did he mean an Arab State, or did he mean a Jewish State when he spoke about independence? We do not know.

The Yugoslav representative indicated a few more possible solutions. I shall be very frank. There are many people in the world today who are suggesting as the only practical solution two independent States, one Jewish and one Arab.

If you are going to say to this special committee "an independent State", what is the committee going to infer from that? It may argue for weeks and never get down to its investigation, the writing of its report and the formulation of its recommendations.

There are other solutions being proposed, such as a federal State with a special provision for holy areas and so on. Therefore, as has been said about the five permanent members of the Security Council: one in, all in; one out, all out.

Therefore, the Australian delegation is opposed to imposing any such restriction or any particular injunction on the special committee.

We now come to paragraph 6 of the working paper. I think we should tell this Committee frankly that the Sub-Committee had more trouble over this paragraph than over the whole all the other paragraphs combined There were about twenty-five suggestions, about thirty different wordings, about five attempts to redraft it, and several of us, including the Australian delegation, came to the conclusion that it was so vague, so indefinite, that it would cause so many arguments, disputes and trouble in its interpretation by the special committee, that it would be better to omit it altogether. We all agree with the sentiments behind it, but they are a sine qua non. The whole object of this special Assembly is to find a solution in the interests of the people of Palestine, and the interests of the people cover political interests, economic interests and religious interests. Therefore, in our opinion, that paragraph is unnecessary and we shall vote against its inclusion.

General ROMULO (Philippine Republic): The Philippine delegation takes the floor for the first time today to express its views on the terms of reference which have been proposed for the special committee on Palestine. After sitting quietly and patiently through the meetings of the past ten days, our delegation is pleased to note that we have come at last to the heart of our purpose. We are especially gratified to see that there is hope of general agreement among the members of the Committee on the basic principles underlying the terms of reference of the special committee, and that the divergencies of opinion so far expressed are of a character that can yield to adjustment and compromise.

In this spirit, I would like to use as a basis for my observations, the working paper prepared by Sub-Committee 6, the amendments proposed by the Soviet and the Indian delegations, as well as certain pertinent suggestions made by the representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and of the Arab Higher Committee.

The working paper prepared by Sub-Committee 6 has the great merit of providing an excellent framework for a resolution embodying all the essential elements that have emerged in the course of our discussions. Such a resolution should, in our view, include the following parts: first, the preamble which, in this case, is quite useful and important; second, the composition and purpose of the special committee; third, the scope of its functions and powers; fourth, the methods to be employed in carrying out its functions; fifth, the basic principles by which it is to be guided in the performance of its mission, and sixth, the manner and date of transmission of its report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and through him, to the States Members of the Organization.

In accordance with this logical division into parts, and drawing freely, as I have said, from the previous drafts and from the testimony of the two spokesmen who have appeared before us, my delegation has prepared a new consolidated draft resolution, (document A/C.1/168) now being distributed by the Secretariat, to which I now have the honour to invite the attention of my fellow representatives.

The preamble is identical with that of the working paper prepared by Sub-Committee 6, except for the insertion of a phrase which I shall explain, and which reads as follows: "Whereas the General Assembly of the United Nations has been called into special session . . ." and this is the phrase that the Philippine delegation would desire to insert " . . . at the request of the Government of the United Kingdom for the purpose of constituting and instructing a special committee to prepare for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly of the future government of Palestine."

It is not only to keep the record straight that we request the insertion of the words "at the request of the Government of the United Kingdom". We believe it to be strictly just and proper that the credit for initiating consideration by the United Nations of this important problem should go to the United Kingdom and that the General Assembly should, for its part, make absolutely clear the circumstances under which it has been seized of the problem.


After the resolving clause comes the first paragraph, which formally establishes the special committee and sets forth its membership as follows:


We will include the names of those members to be elected, and insert them when we have decided on the composition of the committee.

Paragraph 2 of our proposed draft concerns the scope of the functions and powers of the special committee. It embodies paragraph 1 of the Sub-Committee's draft and the last part of paragraph 2 of the Soviet amendment in what we consider to be a more logical combination; it reads as follows:


In paragraph 3, concerning methods of investigation, we have attempted to reconcile the two analogous,paragraphs of the Sub-Committee and the Soviet amendment by preserving the substance of the first and what our Soviet colleague has described as the subtlety of the second,1 to read thus:
We believe that the provision for on-the-spot investigations more properly belongs to this paragraph than to the preceding one, and we agree with the Soviet delegation that the phrase "as it may deem proper to grant a hearing" is somewhat more subtle than the words "as it may wish to consult".

Paragraphs 4, 5, and 6 of our proposed draft embody what, to our mind, should be the three major principles which should guide the special committee in carrying out its mission.

Paragraph 4, which is identical with paragraph 3 of the Sub-Committee's working paper, sets forth the principle of independence:


Paragraph 6 is of a similar tenor, being paragraph 6 of the Sub-Committee's working paper in every way and form:
We have been moved to suggest or support these two implementing principles by the realization that, at the present moment, the problem of Palestine is more than a matter of terminating a mandate and granting independence. That the independence of Palestine is a question of simple justice none will deny. But precisely because we care deeply for justice, we have a duty to make certain that, in correcting one act of injustice, no other equally grievous injustice will result. We are especially concerned that an independent State of Palestine should be firmly established on democratic principles, its government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed, respecting the equal rights of the inhabitants without distinction of race or creed, and especially affording adequate protection for the rights of minorities.

For this purpose, we have proposed, in para' graph 5, the careful study of various necessary arrangements whereby an interim government, possibly under the supervision of the United Nations—I say, only possibly-might be established to guarantee the proper observance of the existing rights of all peoples and Governments concerned, including those of the mandatory Power, which may require settlement or liquidation by peaceful agreement.

Finally, paragraph 7 of our proposed draft reads as follows:


I have taken the liberty of speaking at some length on the terms of reference of the special committee, because I believe that we have now come to a point where final agreement on the essentials is in sight.

The Philippine delegation has held its peace these past days, not for want of sense or feeling on this difficult and tormented problem of Palestine, but precisely because the profound agitation of our heart and mind made all the more highly imperative an attitude of seeking earnestly for the truth and of wanting to do only what is just.

Much has been said here of neutrality or impartiality. My country is remote from Palestine, and to our people, both Christian and Mohammedan, Palestine is but an ancient and faraway Holy Land. But all of us know what freedom means, not perhaps so much because we have it now, but because we were deprived of it for nearly four hundred years. We cannot, therefore, on the basis of our experience, pretend to be neutral in this question, if to be neutral is to be indifferent. To us the problem of Palestine holds a challenging and painful immediacy, and because it is so, I would like to express, before closing, my appreciation for the quiet dignity and moderation with which the representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and of the Arab Higher Committee have testified before us, and also to congratulate the representative of the United Kingdom for his forbearance in the course of the debate and especially for his reassuring statement yesterday on the attitude of his Government in reply to my colleague from Lebanon.

They have all shed light on this problem, and I have no doubt that we shall now more quickly approach the end of our labours.

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): The Arab States have already presented a request to the General Assembly of the United Nations that the item on the independence of Palestine should be inserted in the agenda so that such an object should find a place in the inquiry which is to be conducted by the special committee. I am glad now to see that, although our request was not adopted by the General Assembly, the members of this First Committee have all agreed that the independence of Palestine is the principal purpose which is to be achieved.

I want to comment on a statement made today, and also several times before, by the representative of the United States, that he does not believe we should insert any item in the terms of reference regarding the creation, without delay, of an independent State in Palestine. In principle, he recognizes that independence is essential and must be attained, but in his view, it should be deferred or delayed to an unknown future, without stipulating any specific date.

Since the final independence of a mandate. or trust territory was admitted by the Covenant of the League of Nations, and since it is one of the primary principles in the Charter of the United Nations, we cannot conceive of any other issue regarding the question of Palestine besides the independence of Palestine as a State. If we consider how the mandate for Palestine was created, we come to the conclusion that it ought to be terminated as soon as possible, without any further delay. When we know that the mandate for Palestine was created in contradiction to the Covenant of the League of Nations and hi contradiction to the principle which was adopted by the League in its Covenant, we feel it is necessary to take immediate steps in order to put an end to that illegality which was prevalent in the past.

The mandate system was supposed to be imposed on Non-Self-Governing Territories attached to enemy States. While Palestine was an integral part of the Ottoman Empire, it was not a Turkish colony. It participated in all the functions of government on an equal footing with all the other provinces in that huge Empire. In Europe, there were other States which were defeated in the First World War. Territories were detached from those States, but no mandate was imposed upon them, because no mandate should be imposed on integral parts of defeated countries.

The same object and the same principle has been adopted in the Trusteeship System which we have now established. When we set up the Trusteeship System on the Pacific islands before the peace treaty with Japan was signed, it was on the consideration that the islands were trust territories given to Japan by the League of Nations but not integral parts of Japan. Otherwise, no trusteeship or mandate could have been imposed on any territory before the signing of the peace treaty.

We know that the mandate for Palestine was imposed some two years before the peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire was concluded while Palestine was considered an enemy-occupied territory. That is one point which should be kept in mind by the special committee: to what extent it should remain so.

Statements have been made by some of the representatives that a variety of solutions may be envisaged in solving the question of Palestine: the continuation of the mandate, trusteeship, setting up different States, and many other things. But we do not agree that there are any issues at stake in connexion with the problem of Palestine other than the one issue of the independence of Palestine as a State.

Some representatives have stated that Palestine should prepare itself to attain independence. Until what time or until what date shall it wait? They say that peace should be harmonized in Palestine, but they do not say anything about harmonizing peace and security in the various neighbouring States and in the Near and Middle East. International peace and security should be taken into consideration by the committee which is to study this problem so that it may determine its effect on peace and security not only in Palestine but also throughout the Near East and the Middle East countries which are waiting impatiently to see this question solved soon and to see Palestine enjoying its independence like any other State.

It has been asked on what basis this independence should be established. It was clearly stated by the representative of Yugoslavia that it was to be on a democratic basis. Democracy is now the prevailing principle in the United Nations. All the principles and purposes of the United Nations are clear to everybody. No State could be established now except on the basis of democracy, with equal rights to participate in the administration and legislation of the country given to all elements, irrespective of religion or race.

It was asked whether Palestine is to be a, Jewish State or an Arab State. We say it would be a Palestinian State. The people of Palestine, who are legitimate citizens of Palestine, would participate in all the rights and duties to be exercised by all loyal inhabitants of the country.

It was said that if we mentioned that, we would be prejudging the work of the committee. I do not see it in that light. There is no prejudgment here. The First Committee and the General Assembly would be in the right in giving their views as to the objective of all investigations and, in this matter, the final aim is the independence of Palestine. That is not prejudging. It is a principle which is obligatory. It is compulsory. It is not optional, either to the committee of inquiry or to anybody else. This is a sacred principle. It is a pledge of the United Nations to give self-determination and self-government to all peoples who are worthy of it.

I did not hear any denial, or.any implication that the Palestinians are not worthy of self-determination or self-government. They may be compared to any other State in that respect. In that case, we would draw the attention of the First Committee to the fact that, in giving such instructions to the committee of inquiry, it will not be prejudging or stating anything which it has no right to state. We consider it something essential which cannot be avoided.

Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): I have read all these papers from the various representatives, explaining the terms of reference, and I appreciate many of the facts which they contain, but I should like to submit that they lack some pointedness, and they have on the whole some vagueness in certain respects. That is why I should like to make a short statement and then make a proposal of my own in the name of my delegation.

In the first place, I should like to say that in this First Committee we are dealing with a question which has much to do with the establishment of peace based on justice. We have here two documents which guide our proceedings at the present moment.

The first is the request of the United Kingdom Government for constituting a committee and instructing it. The terms of that document are very well known to us. It wants a committee formed to deal with the future government of Palestine. The duty and function of the proposed committee are quite definite and clear.

The other document which guides us and from which we cannot deviate is the United Nations Charter. We certainly must abide by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. I am sure we are all here because we adhere to the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter. Therefore, I should like to see some direct reference made in the terms of reference to these two documents.

When we speak of collecting all relevant facts, we must ask ourselves: relevant to what? I should like to say: relevant to the future government of Palestine, for that is the purpose of our meeting. That is why the special session was called. Then I should like to have special reference made to the United Nations Charter, to its purposes and its principles. They should be the guide, and no committee should work without being guided by the specific principles of the United Nations Charter. These principles are very well expressed, both in the first Articles of the Charter and in subsequent Articles dealing with dependent countries. There we find definite reference to independence. We find definite reference to peace based on justice; these clauses should be mentioned in the terms of reference.

Reference to harmony and peace should be made in the terms of reference. Reference to international cooperation and friendship must also be made. With regard to independence, I think that is one of the natural rights of every people in the world. I cannot see how anybody can shrink from openly referring to that principle. It should be the guiding principle of any activity, any function of the United Nations.

I should like to see specific reference made to the relation of Palestine to peace and harmony in the Arab world, because that is a very important function of the United Nations, to see to it that peace and harmony prevail all over the world. In the light of these remarks, I should like to make the following proposal. The terms of reference should read as follows (document A/C.1/169):


We are not going to ask the committee to dig the ground of Palestine for archaeological purposes. It is not going to study the archaeological history of Palestine or anything of that sort. It should deal quite specifically with the purposes of this Committee. It is a Committee on political and security questions, and the committee we want to appoint should collect facts relevant to the future government of Palestine.
We cannot create peace based on justice unless we are guided by the principles of the Charter and unless we assess the rights of one party and the claims of the other.
The CHAIRMAN: Is the representative of Iraq in a position to circulate these amendments to the working paper we have before us? Have they been typed and circulated?
Mr. HAGGLOF (Sweden): I shall only make a few brief remarks regarding the substance of the matter before us, that is, the character of the terms of reference to be given to the special committee. The Swedish delegation has declared, from the very outset, that it favours very wide terms of reference; that is to say, the terms of reference should include the discussion of any possible solution of the Palestine problem in independence, cessation of the mandate, etc.

From the discussion in this Committee, I get the impression that there is wide agreement on this point, that very many representatives are in favour of giving the special committee those very wide terms of reference. The question which we are discussing is, I take it, more a question of how we should formulate the terms of reference.

The Swedish delegation would favour a very brief statement. We believe it possible to express the terms of reference in a fairly short sentence. For instance: "The committee shall report on the possible solutions to the problem of Palestine", or "shall submit proposals for the future status of government in Palestine". In our view, such a short sentence would be sufficient.

I have the impression, on the other hand, from the discussion here and from the papers which have been submitted, that many representatives would favour a more detailed statement. We have nothing against that, provided such a detailed statement were clear and were elaborated in such a way as to facilitate the work of the special committee. Therefore, I have two points which are merely drafting points. I shall refer to the paper presented by the representative of India, as that paper amalgamates on one hand the working paper presented by the Sub-committee and, on the other hand, the amendments submitted by the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

When I read document A/C.1/167, I find that paragraph 3 states: "That the committee shall bear in mind the principle that independence for the population of Palestine should be the primary purpose of any plan for the future of that country."

On the other hand, I find that paragraph 5 states that the special committee should be requested to submit proposals, "including a proposal on the question of establishing without delay the independent State of Palestine."

I wonder whether it is necessary, under paragraph 3, to urge the committee to "bear in mind the principle that independence for the population of Palestine should be the primary purpose" when under paragraph 5 the committee is requested to elaborate a proposal on the specific question?

My second point is this: Paragraph 4 states that the committee "shall prepare a report to the General Assembly and shall submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine". Immediately after that, paragraph 5 states that a committee shall "prepare and submit, to the next regular session of the General Assembly, proposals on the solution of the problem of Palestine which the committee will consider useful".

To my mind, those two phrases state exactly the same thing. The only difference, as far as I can see, is that in paragraph 4 we employ the word "appropriate", and in paragraph 5 we use the word "useful", which I think amounts to the same thing. I, therefore, feel that paragraphs 3 and 4, together, state approximately the same thing as paragraph 5. I wish to know if that is not so. That is my first question. Would it not be possible, if we are going to carry on the discussion on the basis of this paper, to condense the two paragraphs into one paragraph which would correspond roughly to the present paragraph 5?

My second question is this: Paragraph 5 states that the proposals to be submitted to the Assembly should include a proposal "on the question of establishing without delay the independent State of Palestine". I am not quite clear, frankly speaking, as to the meaning of that phrase. To my mind, it could mean two things: either that the committee should submit a proposal on the establishment of an independent State, or that the committee should render a judgment on the proposal that has been made here many times—the establishment of an independent State. That is, I think, a rather important point, and one about which it would be useful to have some clarification.

Before we reach the stage in our discussion when we are required to vote one way or another, the Swedish delegation would be pleased to have explanations on the two questions I have just asked.

The CHAIRMAN: We have two speakers yet to be heard. I think we could hear them now and, at the end of their statements, I shall suggest a procedure which may possibly expedite our work. Then, if the Committee agrees, we shall adjourn.

Mr. SANTA CRUZ (Chile) (translated from Spanish): Although this is a general discussion, we have in fact begun to discuss details.

Various suggestions have been made amending one point or another in the different proposals. It is also a fact that after the representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee had made their statements, some questions on the substance of the matter were put to them. I think the replies of these representatives may considerably influence the representatives' opinions, at any rate the opinions of those who put forward the questions.

Hence I think that before entering upon a detailed discussion, or before continuing this detailed discussion, it would be better to wait for these replies.

Next I should like to point out that in the various suggestions and statements made by the different speakers, there seems to be agreement on certain points, which I shall enumerate:

1. That a full investigation of the Palestine problem should be made on the spot.

2. That a hearing should be given to the population of Palestine (Arabs and Jews) and also to the mandatory Power.

3. That the independence of Palestine should be the ultimate objective of any plan submitted by the committee.

4. That the committee should submit information and recommendations on the situation in Palestine, the future government of the country and the way to ensure peace.

We have all been in agreement on these points and all the proposals deal with them in more or less the same way. There have been differences on only two matters of substance: on the proposal of the Soviet Union and India, supported by Syria and Yugoslavia, that the terms of reference should include instructions to the committee to present a plan for the immediate independence of Palestine; and on the suggestion of the Norwegian delegate, supported by the Yugoslav delegate, that the committee should also study the question of the Jews in Europe.

To expedite the debate, I think that when we have heard the answers of the representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee to the questions put to them, the general discussion might be declared closed and we might begin a detailed discussion on the two points I mentioned: first on the Soviet proposal relating to the independence of Palestine and, second on the question whether or not the committee is to study the problem of the Jews in Europe.

Once agreement is reached on these two points, the same Sub-Committee which drew up the preliminary draft, with the additional membership of those who presented other proposals, could draw up a final draft text of the terms of reference.

Mr. NISOT (Belgium) (translated from French): The Belgian delegation considers that the special committee should be given the widest discretion and every facility for acting on its convictions. It would be prejudicial to its freedom of judgment to give it imperative terms of reference likely to influence it in a sense which might not be in accordance with the conclusions it would reach spontaneously after studying the facts.

The Belgian delegation thinks that the dictates of impartiality should lead us to refrain from suggesting solutions or from taking up any position on the substance of the matter at the present stage. The purpose of the investigation is to clarify the situation completely. It is important that this investigation should be conducted under conditions of absolute freedom.

The Belgian delegation therefore wishes to indicate its preference for the text of the working paper, which seems to it to be quite adequate because it lays due emphasis on the principle that the independence of Palestine should be the ultimate aim of any plan relating to the future of that country.

The CHAIRMAN: Since I spoke last, two other representatives have asked for permission to speak. Therefore, we will hear them before we adjourn.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I would like to say only a few words. I have already said that it would be very desirable to include in the document defining the tasks and functions of the committee, a clause providing for the preparation by the committee of a proposal for the urgent creation of an independent Palestinian State. I express my satisfaction that such an amendment found support from numerous delegations. The Soviet delegation in submitting this amendment was guided by the fact that this aim—the creation of an independent State of Palestine—judging by our discussion, would appear to be in conformity with the wish of all the delegations and consequently all the States Members of the United Nations represented in the Assembly.

Obviously, if it should appear that all the delegations or an overwhelming majority did not wish to mention the need for the committee to prepare a proposal regarding the urgent creation of an independent State for Palestine, I would not consider it possible to insist upon this proposal or on a vote being taken on it. But I should like to state that the Soviet delegation still considers it very desirable to include a clause of this kind in the document as this would impart a definite purpose to this document, and consequently to the tasks and functions of the committee, and would give an indication regarding the aims it should bear in mind in preparing its proposals.

Obviously, if the proposal, which has found support from many delegations, is put to the vote, the Soviet delegation will vote for it, as it does not want to place itself in a position in which it might be understood that the Soviet delegation did not want in any way to support the creation of an independent Palestine. The Soviet delegation prefers more definite language in the document prepared by us and, instead of speaking in symbols and hieroglyphs, it prefers to speak of the concrete problems which face the committee.

Mr. RODRIGUEZ FABREGAT (Uruguay) (translated from Spanish): As I stated on another occasion, and I feel I must repeat it now, the Uruguayan delegation will vote in favour of the following points: that a committee be set up, with full powers to investigate the Palestine problem and report to the General Assembly in September; that the committee should receive, hear and collect written testimony from all the parties concerned; that the committee should proceed to Palestine in order to study and investigate the facts on the spot.

As to the actual composition of the committee, the Uruguayan delegation will explain its attitude at the appropriate time. But we really do need to return to our starting point: the Members of this Assembly were convened to consider the possibility of appointing an investigating committee on Palestine to present its report and conclusions to the Assembly in September.

At first, we began without any intention of going into the substance of the problem, and were concerned simply with how to appoint an investigating committee. As a body responsible for considering this question factually, we should adopt the attitude of investigators. From that point of view it is perhaps preferable not to indicate specific, or remote, objectives for the committee. In fact, the best thing from our point of view is for the committee to be given such powers—powers to study, investigate and travel—as will enable it to assemble all the necessary information and make recommendations which it considers right, rather than merely expedient.

It follows that as we see it, the first paragraph of the Sub-Committee's working paper is in-adequate. It is complemented by the Soviet delegation's first proposal; that is to say, by the idea that in addition to its powers of study and investigation the committee should also have the power of proceeding wherever it thinks fit, as stated in point 1 of the Indian representative's proposal.

The fact that we confine ourselves to these considerations does not mean that we are prejudging any other question. If we do not include in the committee's powers, for instance, the point referring to Palestine's independence, that does not mean that we are prejudging that point. If we do not include all the other questions put forward as possible solutions for the problem, such as termination of the mandate for Palestine, the establishment of the Jewish national home, a trusteeship, etc., that does not mean that we are pronouncing an opinion upon any of those points just now. In fact, we are giving the committee the fullest freedom and scope so that it may be able to suggest a definite solution.

That, I think, is our real task at the moment. We have heard here—and I for my part with great satisfaction—the statements of the representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the representative of the Arab Higher Committee. I say with great satisfaction, because each has explained the real situation as he sees it, and has undoubtedly done so very well.

This attitude of ours towards these speakers and their individual statements is the same as our attitude to the problem before us, which is the first of three stages. This first stage is the appointment of an investigating committee; the second will be the committee's work; the third— and let us hope it will be the last hi this tragic drama—the final decision by the United Nations.

Although hi the final stage we shall have to consider the substance of the problem and make our decision, at this stage our view is that we should maintain the attitude of a body which is not studying the whole range of the problem itself, but will do so through a committee to whom it delegates authority.

Thus, this is the Uruguayan delegation's position on this point: we should give the committee of investigation full powers so that it may consider the problem as comprehensively as possible. Theoretically, this does not mean handing over to it an investigation without limits, but instructing it to study specifically the facts of the case and seek a solution.

It would be possible to study, in some way, all aspects of the problem whether they be practical, concrete or even remote in nature. Such a study might eventually lead to a solution of the problem. But the committee is not going to work without relation to time and space; it will have a precise directive from which to start, and that directive is represented by our discussions here in the First Committee. It will not be merely confined to the terms of reference we shall give to it or to the powers we shall confer upon it. It will have behind it a useful back-ground, that of the discussion which has taken place and will continue to take place in the First Committee, as a result of which the special committee will be formed.

Here we have heard all points of view. With-out offence to anyone, it may be said that on more than one occasion we have strayed into the consideration of the substance of the Palestine problem. That is useful; it will have its usefulness in the future because all the possible solutions have been given concrete expression. The investigating committee will be able to draw precise and valuable preliminary information from the First Committee's discussions. If the independence of Palestine is to be its objective, that has already been discussed at length in this Committee. If other solutions are preferred or right, those have already been discussed here.

The Uruguayan delegation therefore continues to adopt the attitude of an investigator— I can find no better word to describe it—and it is the right attitude at this stage when our task is to set up a committee with freedom to investigate and power to make proposals.

It is in that sense that Uruguay will vote on the proposals now before us.


I should like to make one suggestion. If we are to get ahead with our work and come to a ' decision on this aspect of it, the time for the receipt of new proposals for inclusion in the terms of reference is now over and we must confine our discussions from now on to the proposals before us. Therefore, if any representative is submitting new proposals for the terms of reference, I hope they can be circulated at once.

Mr. MARTINEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): Mr. Chairman, do you not think it would be better to appoint a sub-committee composed of Argentina, the United States, El Salvador, the USSR, India, Colombia, the Philippine Republic and Iraq, with our present Chairman, the Canadian representative, as its Chairman, to propose definitely what we are to approve or ratify?

The CHAIRMAN: I was coming to that point. If we can agree that no new proposals shall be submitted, we will, at least, have made that decision this morning. I think that is not an unreasonable request, in view of the length of time we have had to discuss this matter.

Any discussion or decision we make now will be confined to those proposals which have been submitted. I take it we can agree on that. If so, there are two courses open to us. We can take the original report of the working group, come to a decision on it in full Committee, adding -the amendments to the paragraphs that have already been submitted and vote on them in turn in relation to that report; and at the end, any new proposals that have been submitted will be voted upon as well. That means taking a decision this afternoon, or as soon as possible, on the proposal that we have before us in full Committee without reference to a sub-committee.

The second proposal, which has just been submitted by the representative of Nicaragua, is that a sub-committee be set up to examine all proposals before the Committee and try to reach some agreement about them, so that an acceptable proposal may be referred to the full Committee.

That, I suggest, is more than the task of the original Sub-Committee, which was merely to put three proposals together. If we establish a new sub-committee now, it should, I think, have the power and the duty to attempt to produce an acceptable document for the full Committee.

mission.

I do not know which procedure the Committee would prefer: to decide on these proposals in full Committee or to refer them, as suggested by the representative of Nicaragua, to a sub-Committee.

Mr. ENTEZAN (Iran) (translated from French): I think the most practical procedure is that proposed by the representative of Nicaragua. What we really need is a drafting committee. We know that it is almost impossible to draft a text hi a committee of fifty-five members. It would therefore be wiser to appoint a sub-committee such as that which has been proposed, and to refer to it all our texts, so that it can submit to us a draft resolution on which we can take a decision.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I should have thought it might have been possible and, perhaps, best for this full Committee to proceed with the discussion. After all, the work has, to a certain extent, been prepared for us by the Sub-Committee. It did good work in putting three texts together.

The proposals that have been made since then are not really new proposals. There is nothing very novel in any of them. The only differences from the single text given to us by the Sub-Committee are in the form of variants or amendments.

I should have thought that this Committee would not have found it too difficult if it took the single text given to us yesterday by the Sub-Committee as a basis for its discussion, paragraph by paragraph, and, in relation to each, considered any passage in any of the other documents which might be relevant to it, or which might be hi the form of an amendment to or modification of it.

The CHAIRMAN: That is what I had in mind, that we take one document and put alongside the proposals of that document all the new proposals having a bearing on each particular point, and that we decide on them in turn.

Mr. SANTA CRUZ (Chile) (translated from Spanish): I made a similar proposal a few moments ago. I said that all the proposals had certain points in common and that they only differed in then- wording. I proposed that this should be done by the same Sub-Committee that was appointed a few days ago, with the addition of the representatives who have submitted proposals, and that that Sub-Committee should discuss only those points on which there were differences of opinion, namely, those which I indicated. Then, as soon as those two points were settled, the Sub-Committee would consider the subject as a whole and bring to us, in complete form, the report on which we are to work.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I have not been able to catch your eye for a long time, Mr. Chairman; otherwise part of the discussion might have been avoided.

The amendment which I proposed was really intended to reconcile the two drafts which had the attention of the Committee: the draft of the Sub-Committee and the draft of the Soviet Union. I tried to produce a result which was more or less agreed to even by the United States, with one little exception. Perhaps I should not call it a little exception, but a big exception, namely, paragraph 5. The rest of the paper has already been agreed upon by all sides. I accepted the amendment from Colombia.

I can immediately explain why I disagree with the position taken by the representative of Australia. His position, I am afraid, was due to the simple fact that the words of paragraph 1 were, perhaps, not fully taken into consideration. The representative of Australia said that the matter of procedure should be left to the special committee, and it should be stated clearly that it should determine its own procedure. May I invite his attention to these words in paragraph 1: "That the special committee should have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts." The ascertainment and recording of facts means nothing else but determining procedure. Therefore, the amendment which was proposed by Australia appears to me to be unnecessary.

If we dispose of that little point, we go right down to paragraph 5, which is the only contentious point here, because the United States maintains that it really includes an injunction to the committee that it should bring forward a proposal on the question of establishing, without delay, the independence of Palestine . .-.

The CHAIRMAN: I would ask the representative of India to restrict his remarks, at the moment, to the question of setting up a sub-committee to discuss these matters or leaving them to the full Committee this afternoon.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I am trying to make out a case against a sub-committee.


Mr. ASAF ALI (India): A very short one, I can assure you.

I am of the same opinion as the representative of the United States, that we have debated the whole question. We have come down to the practical text and we should dispose of it here and now instead of sending it back to a sub-committee which may redraft the whole thing.

The only point which remains contentious is paragraph 5. We can take a vote on it immediately, if you like.

The CHAIRMAN: I suggest to the representative of India that there have been additional proposals made since his reconciliation effort, and they include some very new ideas; I refer particularly to the proposal from the representative of Iraq.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I have looked at that, and I am not unaware of the fact as you state it. However, after having looked at it, I feel the proposal which has come from Iraq rather weakens the position which has been taken1 in this draft. This is my honest view, and I would beg him to withdraw his proposal because it waters the whole thing down. He is talking about the Charter of the United Nations. We are really bound by Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Therefore, there is no question of making reference to the Charter here.

The CHAIRMAN: Does the representative of Iraq wish to withdraw his proposal?


The CHAIRMAN: A strong case has been made against referring the matter to a sub-committee.

Mr. PARODI (France) (translated from French): We now have before us a series of documents consisting, on the one hand, of different texts of ideas which are more or less common to us all and, on the other hand, of a certain number of fundamental disagreements.

I think it would be difficult for us to reach a decision on the few items on which there is fundamental disagreement and on which different opinions are being expressed, before we have concluded the hearings of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee.

As regards the questions on which there are only verbal differences, they might well be studied by the sub-committee, which would prepare a joint draft and endeavour to make it as complete, as concise and as clear as possible. This sub-committee might also be instructed to prepare different formulations of our points of disagreement, expressing the two or three different opinions which we have heard here.

At our next meeting, we might again hear the two organizations, which will have to reply to the questions which have been put to them. We shall then have before us a text upon which we shall only have to take a decision. I think this is the best procedure; it might enable us to adjourn on Monday.

The CHAIRMAN: I think the majority of the Committee is in favour of having a sub-committee. If that is true, the question arises whether there should be a new sub-committee or the former sub-committee, with the addition of those members who have made concrete proposals. The representative of Nicaragua suggested a new sub-committee.


It was 6,300 seconds ago that I proposed that we should go ahead and we are still at the same stage and so we shall remain today, tomorrow, and for another whole week perhaps.

I request that we put to the vote the question whether a sub-committee should be appointed or whether we should continue the discussion in the present committee.

The CHAIRMAN: I have just stated that I think the majority of the Committee are in favour of having a sub-committee. If there is no appeal from that decision, we will not have to vote on it. Two members have spoken against, the representative of the United Kingdom and the representative of India; other members have spoken in favour of it.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics): I am not certain that there is a majority.

The CHAIRMAN: Will members of the Committee hi favour of the establishment of a sub-committee please indicate this by raising then-right hands.


The CHAIRMAN: Thirty-two members are in favour of establishing a Sub-Committee, and twelve members voted against it. The question will have to be referred to a Sub-Committee. There are two proposals for the formation of the Sub-Committee: one is to retain the original group; the representative of Nicaragua has suggested a new Sub-Committee.

Mr. MARTINEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): I do not object to it being the same Sub-Committee as the one which submitted the working paper now under discussion.

The CHAIRMAN: I think that the proposal of the representative of Nicaragua is that the redrafting be referred to the same Sub-Committee, plus members of the Committee who have suggested resolutions, the representative of Iraq and the representative of the Philippine Republic. It would therefore be the original Sub-Committee, plus the representative of Iraq and the representative of the Philippine Republic, and, I think, the representative of Colombia.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I did not propose any draft, but simply a change of wording in the first paragraph.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics): I would suggest we include the representative of India.

The CHAIRMAN: The representative of India did not submit a proposal, but he did attempt to reconcile several proposals.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): As the representative of Australia, I should like to know precisely what the terms of reference are for that Subcommittee, because as a member of the original Sub-Committee, I do not know what we are going to do. The representative of France said we were to produce a text on which we will vote. How can we vote on a text on which there are fundamental points of disagreement not resolved by this Committee?

The CHAIRMAN: That is a very important question I should like to clear up. In the first place, the composition of the Sub-Committee will be the original Sub-Committee plus the re presentatives of Iraq, the Philippine Republic, India and Colombia. Secondly, as to its terms of reference, I suggest to the Committee that its terms of reference be to produce, if possible, an agreed text on this subject. If it is not possible, the Sub-Committee should produce a text with alternative proposals as the representative of France has suggested. Is that agreed?

Mr.NISOT (Belgium) (translated from French): I thought that the working paper would remain separate and would not be incorporated in the other documents.

The CHAIRMAN: The working document will be one of four or five documents before the Sub-Committee as a distinct document. The representative of Poland has now submitted new terms of reference, amendments to the. terms of reference, and they shall be circulated and available to the Sub-Committee and to the full Committee. We shall try to get answers to the questions addressed to the Jewish Agency for Palestine in time for consideration by the full Committee on Monday morning.

I suggest that the Sub-Committee meet this afternoon at three o'clock and that the full Committee be excused until the Sub-Committee has completed its work, at the latest, Monday morning.

Mr. ARCE (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): Are we to continue receiving new proposals once the Subcommittee has presented its report? If so, our discussion might go on until Doomsday!

The CHAIRMAN: The time for presenting new proposals is now closed and the Sub-Committee will consider only those now before it.

The Subcommittee will meet in committee room 11 at three o'clock this afternoon.

The meeting rose at 1.40 p.m.

Held at Lake Success, New York, on Monday, 12 May 1947, at 11 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. L. B. PEARSON (Canada).

The CHAIRMAN: The Committee will recall that on Saturday it appointed a Sub-Committee, Subcommittee 6, which was the old Sub-Committee 6 with two or three additional members, for the purpose of examining the various proposals which had been submitted to the Committee, with regard to terms of reference, in the hope that the Sub-Committee might report an agreed text on which the Committee could take a decision.

The Sub-Committee met on Saturday afternoon and had a long and vigorous discussion of the various proposals which were before it. It was not possible at that meeting to agree unanimously on a single text covering all paragraphs of all the proposals which had been submitted. However, considerable agreement was reached and, where agreement could not be reached, alternative texts were reported.

You will find the results of the meeting hi document A/C.1/171, "Report of Sub-Committee 6 on the terms of reference for the special committee on the question of Palestine". If you study that report, you will notice that certain proposals made by delegations have been dropped. Some of them were dropped because of the discussion we had in the Sub-Committee; others were dropped—and I am thinking particularly, in this connexion, of one or two proposals made by the representative of Iraq— because they were considered unnecessary or already covered by paragraphs which appear in the document before you.

I think it might save time later if I made one or two general observations concerning some points that arose in connexion with this report.

In the first place, I would refer to paragraph 4. It reads: "The special committee shall conduct investigations in Palestine . . ." That is not to be. understood as meaning that the special committee of inquiry shall not conduct investigations in other places if it so desires; but wherever it may conduct investigations, Palestine must be included.

When we come to paragraphs 5, 6 and 7, you will note that there are alternative proposals. At the proper time, I shall suggest how we might deal with these alternative proposals in order to ascertain the sense of the Committee in respect to them. In connexion with paragraphs 6 (a) and 6(b), you will note that these are minority paragraphs from the Sub-Committee because the majority of the members of the Sub-Committee considered them unnecessary and were in favour of the omission of both texts or any reference to this matter in the report.

I would express the hope that as we are now entering the third week of our work here, and the date of 15 August or 1 September, on which the special committee of inquiry will have to report is rapidly approaching, we may be able to take a decision in respect of this matter during the day. We have already debated all these points at some length, and I should think it might be possible to come to a decision today in respect of the terms of reference. After that decision, we shall proceed with the discussion and decision on the next phase of our terms of reference, the composition of the committee.

The discussion this morning will be on document A/C.1/171. However, before it begins, I should announce to the Committee that I have had a request from the Jewish Agency to make a further statement or statements. Its representatives wish to answer the questions that have been submitted to them and to deal once more with the terms of reference of the special committee. In connexion with the answers to the questions, I would hope that they may be received by the members of the Committee for their information and guidance in their vote, but that they do not touch off another general debate on substance. If we do that, we might be here for many days.

After the representatives of the Jewish Agency are heard, I hope we shall be able to receive the answers to the questions addressed to the Arab Higher Committee. Then we can go ahead, I suggest, and decide about this document A/C.1/171.

Before proceeding further, however, I have had requests to speak from the representative of Argentina and from the representative of Nicaragua.

Mr. ARCE (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): With regard to the functions of the investigating committee, the Argentine delegation wishes to point, out that its original proposal contained all the points included in working paper A/C.1/171, prepared by the Sub-Committee, and now before the First Committee of the Assembly.

Allow me to point out also that in our original proposal these points were very fully and clearly expressed. I am very much afraid that approval of document A/C.1/171 may result in some restriction of the work of the investigating committee; if that happens we hereby disclaim responsibility for it.

As you will readily understand, I do not wish to challenge the representatives' exercise of their right to make new proposals and to suggest amendments. I only wish to place on record my view that the method which we proposed for determining the powers of the investigating committee was more suitable because, without ignoring the political aspects of the problem, it gave expression to these powers in broad, fair and humanitarian terms which conformed with the purposes and principles of our Charter.

I had occasion to emphasize this fact in the Sub-Committee when I referred to the suggestions of all or almost all the members, who whilst stating that their intention was to give the widest powers to the investigating committee, in practice tended to restrict and limit those powers by enumerating the committee's duties.

In my opinion any enumeration of duties was unnecessary, since anything not mentioned was implicitly excluded, or at least it could with justification be claimed to be excluded.

Our original proposal, (document A/C.1/149), stated that "the investigating committee should have the widest powers both to ascertain and to record the facts and to make recommendations, should hear the United Kingdom as the mandatory Power, a representative of the Arabs resident in Palestine, one of the Jewish representatives in Palestine and a representative of the Jewish Agency.

It is true that the above has been included in the first paragraph of document A/C.1/171 but other functions are also enumerated:

1. To investigate all questions relevant to the problem of Palestine;

2. To receive and examine written or oral testimony, whichever it may consider appropriate in each case, from the mandatory Power, from representatives of the population of Palestine, from Governments and from such organizations and individuals as it may deem necessary;

3. To be guided by the principle that independence for the people of Palestine should be the ultimate purpose of any plan for the future of that country.

All these additional functions are included in our original proposal. I emphasized the width of its terms in the speech I made when submitting it at the forty-eighth meeting. I said on that occasion that the widest powers should be given, without any limitation, not only to gather information and to record facts, but also to present solutions, including among them the status quo and the independence of Palestine.

My statements today, in addition to exempting us from responsibility in the event of later difficulties, may also serve to explain our attitude now in this Committee and later in the General Assembly.

That is to say, we shall abstain from voting or vote against certain formulas which seem to us premature and liable to be interpreted as a prejudgment before the results of the investigating committee's work are known. We shall do so on the grounds that we consider the simple formula we proposed was strictly impartial and better suited to the difficult circumstances of the problem.

In conclusion, and as proof of the wisdom of what I have said, I wish to inform you that we have received a telegram from the Jewish associations in Argentina requesting that the points to be considered should include the Balfour Declaration and the way in which it has been applied, and the position of displaced persons in European camps, on the grounds that the Declaration was ratified by the fifty-two member States of the League of Nations and that displaced persons should have free entry into Palestine.

As you know, both those claims were energetically opposed here and in the Assembly on the grounds that they were contrary, first, to the Covenant of the League of Nations, and second, to the terms of our Charter. How is it possible, then, to grant this request without being suspected of partiality or prejudice? Both points are covered, however, by the "wide powers" which the Argentine delegation proposed to grant to the investigating committee and which happily have been granted it by document A/C.1/171, even though in a form which led the Argentine delegation to place on record the above comments.

Our attitude to document A/C.1/171 and to the above-mentioned telegram is thus justified.

At the regular session in September when the investigating committee has collected all the necessary information upon which to judge the case, we shall make our decision. I think that is all I have to say today.

Mr. MARTINEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): With the intention of speeding up the work of the United Nations General Assembly, the Nicaraguan delegation proposed the appointment of Sub-Committee 6, which has been good enough to prepare the proposals now before us.

In the face of all the differences of opinion here, the Nicaraguan delegation, in spontaneous expression of' its regard for democracy and peace, has maintained and will continue to maintain by every means in its power the principle of absolute impartiality, respecting no other criterion but that of universal justice in expressing its opinion and in voting.

With this as its attitude, and in order to expedite the work in view of the shortness of time between now and 16 September 1947 when the United Nations General Assembly is to consider and give its verdict on the Palestine situation, the Nicaraguan delegation urges the Chairman to indicate the precise procedure to be followed from now onwards in considering and voting the proposals prepared by Sub-Committee 6.

The Nicaraguan delegation takes the liberty of suggesting that we should deal with each point separately, either accepting, rejecting or amending it, with as little speech-making as possible, so that we may speedily reach an understanding and so.give manifest proof of the desire—which undoubtedly the majority of us feel—to achieve complete peace for Palestine and its inhabitants, and bring to an end the serious disturbances in the Holy Land by civilized and peaceful means.

Voicing the feelings of its own people, the Nicaraguan delegation denounces the right to use force and violence to acquire or maintain territory and impose sovereignty.

Let us maintain our devotion to peace and equal rights for all members of the international community and let us strive to attain racial harmony among all peoples of the earth.

The CHAIRMAN: In reply to the representative of Nicaragua, the procedure which I was going to suggest a few minutes ago was that we should hear delegations this morning and the representative of the Jewish Agency. We must also obtain a reply to the questions addressed to the Arab Higher Committee. I am informed its representatives will have that reply at three o'clock. I would suggest that immediately after the reply to the questions from the Arab Higher Committee, we proceed to vote on this document paragraph by paragraph, with a minimum of further discussion. That, however, is for the Committee to decide.

General ROMULO (Philippine Republic): I should like to say a few words concerning the draft resolution, together with the alternative texts of some of the articles which the Sub-Committee is presenting for the consideration of the full Committee this morning.

In the first place, my delegation highly appreciates the decision of the Sub-Committee last Saturday to use the Philippines' consolidated draft resolution as the basis of discussion of the terms of reference of the special committee of inquiry. We should feel most gratified, indeed, if in this manner we have facilitated the reconciliation of differing or conflicting points of view and the presentation of a draft on which we shall be able to vote.

My second object is to testify before this Committee to the conciliatory atmosphere which prevailed over the deliberations of the enlarged Sub-Committee. Without intending criticism of the press reports of our meeting, I must say that the seeming emphasis upon the conflicts among the members of the Committee, especially among certain big Powers, does not do justice to the spirit of moderation and conciliation which has so greatly facilitated our work during the last few days.

I make special reference to this spirit of conciliation because I feel it has not received the praise and publicity it deserves, and I hope it will continue to abide with us until the end of our labours.

The press and radio, I am sure, want to help us get on with our tasks. They can do so effectively by playing up the area of agreement which is continually expanding and playing down for a while the so-called conflicts among certain Powers.

The CHAIRMAN: I might echo what the representative of the Philippines has just said about the meeting last Saturday afternoon. It was a most amiable and conciliatory, as well as a very frank meeting. There was no indication of any kind that we were not all trying to work together to produce a document on which the Committee could agree.

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I have read with interest the paper presented by the Sub-Committee with regard to the terms of reference together with the alternative texts it contains, and I am sorry to say I do not find in it any explicit or definite recommendation for the realization of independence for Palestine as soon as possible.

The Syrian delegation has said repeatedly that the termination of the mandate and the independence of Palestine should be the objective of any inquiry, investigation, or study of the subject. We do not object to any of the forms or methods of this study. We shall help in all its operations as long as it is directed towards that end. But while the principle of independence is unanimously admitted by all the members of the Committee, we find that some delegations are unwilling to include in the terms of reference an imperative clause to that effect.

One may fail to understand the motive for this hesitation, but when we consider the Zionist programme as explained boldly and clearly by the spokesman of the Jewish agency here, the motive for deferring independence indefinitely becomes obvious. The representatives of the Agency wish that continuous Jewish immigration on a larger scale, under the guidance and protection of a mandatory or trustee or any other Power, should be effected until the Jews become a majority. Then and only then will Palestine be declared independent as a Jewish sovereign State promising fairness to the Arab minority.

In the face of such upsetting aspirations, the Arabs in all the Middle East have reason to be excited and to resort to their right of self-defence. Under the present circumstances, the United Nations would be expected to take a decisive attitude against such outrageous extravagance.

How can it be imagined that in the middle of the twentieth century and under the authority and the auspices of the United Nations and its Charter, such a religious Jewish crusade to the Holy Land could be contemplated? Such a programme is not only likely to be dangerous to peace, but it is sure to lead to lamentable results, not only in Palestine, but in the whole Middle East.

We appeal to this Committee to adopt a positive attitude by bringing reason to bear on the entertainment of such a fatal dream. The Arabs will never allow that wedge to be driven into the heart of their fatherland, nor will they allow the establishment of a bridgehead for future aggression. Any solution other than establishing Palestine as one democratic independent State, and stopping any future or further immigration shall not be accepted by the Syrian Government and the Syrian people. Any terms of reference which would not recommend the committee of inquiry to act in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, cannot be acquiesced in by our delegation. The Charter of the United Nations is not mentioned in this paper, while we know that the only factor which made us unite and meet here together is the Charter. There would be no link between the States and Powers assembled here if they did not take the provisions of the Charter as a basis for all their resolutions and their arrangements for any future State,' not only in Palestine, but over all the world.

In order to show that the attitude of the Syrian Government is not nonconciliatory, I would call attention, for the information of the members of the Committee, to an event which took place during the past year. The Government of Syria—Syria which is so intimately connected with Palestine that the latter can hardly be comprehended separately—is not less desirous than His Majesty's Government, or any other Member in this Assembly, to see the Palestine problem justly solved, and peaceful lives protected in the Holy Land. To attain this end, we submitted to the United Kingdom Government early last summer a demand that they hold a conference with the States of the Arab League to discuss this question in the hope of reaching an agreement under the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

The United Kingdom Government acquiesced in that request, and the conference was held in London from 9 September to 2 October 1946, and resumed again from 23 January to 14 February 1947. The situation was thoroughly studied, and all views were exchanged hi detail. But, after examination by the Arab and British delegations of all the contemplated schemes and proposals, no agreement was reached.

During the discussion, the Arab delegation made known the maximum compromise which it would accept. Although these concessions were made on a very liberal basis and contained the substantial elements for a workable and acceptable plan, the obstinate, capricious fantasy of the Zionist programme stood as an insurmountable obstacle in the way of success. The Arab concessions contained the following bases and principles:

Creation of a provisional executive council to be composed of Arabs and Jews, and presided over by the British representative; summoning by free election in which all citizens of Palestine, without discrimination as to nationality, creed, or faith, would participate, of a constituent assembly to promulgate an organic, democratic constitution guaranteeing: the unity of the State with the elected legislature; the sanctity of the holy places with freedom of access and worship; religious courts for matters of personal status, and rights of citizenship; the right to employ the Hebrew language as a second official language in areas where speakers of that language form an absolute majority; communal parliamentary representation in proportion to the number of citizens; further immigration to be prohibited until the independent Government of Palestine provides otherwise; supervision by the United Nations over the status of the holy places and shrines; after the election and convocation of parliament, the elected head of the State to assume power under the constitution, thereupon terminating the mandate, and declaring Palestine a completely independent State.

It was contemplated that these procedures should be completed during a transitory period lasting not more than two years. The full text of these Arab proposals was then published and made known to all concerned. But, as they were not accepted, the Arabs do not consider themselves still bound by them.

I should like at this time to make the maximum proposals of Arab compromise, and, if the delegations would prefer, I should be willing to submit the text of these compromises to the Secretariat for printing and circulation, in order to show that the Arabs went thus far to find a conciliatory basis, and to have a good, right, and just solution for the problem of Palestine. The situation is not that the Arabs dislike the Jews, or that there is anything between them. There are now in Palestine a certain number of Jews who are citizens. Under such circumstances, we should find some way to live together peacefully and in a friendly way without any conflicts in the future. Any solution other than that would certainly lead to difficulties and to a breach of peace and international security, not only in Palestine but in the Middle East as well.

I should like to state here, and make it a part of the record, that the Syrian Government would not acquiesce in any solution other than a solution in conformity with the principles which I have already stated.

Dr. FIDERKIEWICZ (Poland): The Polish delegation regrets that it finds the report of Sub-Committee 6 far from satisfactory.

The Polish delegation reserved its remarks until it heard the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee, and requests a little time in this important Committee to make a statement on behalf of Poland.

Various views have been expressed before this Committee on the Palestine problem. The Polish delegation has given all these views most careful attention and study. Our approach to the Palestine question and the problems connected with it is determined by our strong desire for world stability, peace and security, and by our belief in the right of self-determination for all groups everywhere. These principles have been guiding the Polish Government from the very moment of its establishment up to the present. We can have no other approach to this question. As a State, we have neither strategic nor special economic interests in Palestine, and we are motivated by a keen desire "to establish the most friendly relations with the peoples of the Middle East. We realize fully that Palestine has become a centre of international trouble which at the moment threatens the peace and security of the world, and we want to do everything we can to promote an ultimate solution of' the problem and transform the land, sacred to a great part of the human race, once more into a centre of peaceful life and development.

It is most regrettable that during the debate before this Committee some of the most important aspects of the question have been lost sight of. Let us remember that the case before us was brought here at the request of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, when British statesmanship did not succeed in settling the problem. It is quite clear that the problem before us is not merely a dispute between Jews and Arabs but between Jews and Arabs on the one hand, and the mandatory Power on the other.

Under the terms of the mandate, the mandatory was to promote the development of self-governing institutions, safeguard civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants, irrespective of race or religion. At the same time the administration should have encouraged the economic and political development of the country, which would lead to the establishment of a free and independent State. What is the situation today? Palestine is once again the scene of a struggle in which violence and terror are used by both sides. This small and peaceful country has now become a police State. The expenditures for so-called law and order amount to $18,500,000, as compared with $2,200,000 for health and $2,800,000 for education. Censorship is absolute. Civil rights are non-existent. A description of the situation is very vividly given in the report of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry. I quote:


According to the same report, there are over 15,000 police and prison personnel, exclusive of the usual police force. The military forces stationed in Palestine are equivalent to two and a half divisions, in addition to a number of naval and air force units. In 1945, over £4,600,000 were spent by the Palestine Government for police purposes, as compared with £5,600,000 spent for all other governmental services.

Our task now is to find a new solution. As one of the first steps towards this end, the Polish delegation supports the idea of the establishment of a committee of inquiry selected on as wide a geographical basis as possible. This committee should study all the facts available and bring recommendations to the next session of the General Assembly.

The Polish Prime Minister, Mr. Osubka-Morawski, in his exposé on 26 April 1946, before the National Council of Poland declared: "In view of the greatest tragedy which has befallen the Jewish people, help should be extended to those Jews who are trying to realize their national aspirations in Palestine." This statement which expresses the position of my Government is not merely accidental. It results from the close relations which Poland enjoyed and continues to enjoy with the Jewish people.

A large part of the Jewish people throughout the world comes from Poland—a fact which our Republic cannot ignore. The Jewish life, economy and institutions which have been built up in Palestine resulted to a large extent from the work and efforts of Polish Jews who were citizens of our country, Jews who speak the Polish language and whose life has been closely connected with that of our own nation. This is an important fact which cannot be overlooked, a fact which creates an inevitable bond of sympathy between my nation and the Jewish people and their national aspirations in Palestine. For this reason, we feel very bitter about the fact that brutal force is used by the Palestine administration to destroy the accomplishments which have often changed deserts into blooming lands.

During this war a very close bond was formed between Jews and Poles in their common struggle against the Nazi oppressors, whose ultimate aim was the extermination of Jews and Poles alike. Jewish partisans in the forests of Lublin, the uprisings of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, as well as the accomplishments of the Jewish soldiers who fought with the Polish armies on all fronts, played a considerable part in the struggle for independence.

But there is also another bond, a most tragic bond which has been formed between my nation and the Jews. This bond was created by the Nazis. You are very well aware of the tragedy of extermination of three million Polish Jews, citizens of our Republic, in the notorious extermination camps of Majdanek, Oswiecim, Tremblinka and others. Polish Jews were not the only Jews to be exterminated there. Hitler and his accomplices in mass murder chose Poland as the place where all the Jews who fell under Nazi rule were to be exterminated. From all over Europe, from Germany, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Czechoslovakia, Austria, France, Holland, Hungary and other countries, Jews were brought into the extermination camps erected by the Nazis on Polish soil and perished there in the gas chambers. I was there myself and I saw one and a half to two million burned in crematoriums.

Our people were witnesses of this mass tragedy. We cannot forget it and we shall not forget it. With the memory of this mass tragedy of a people deeply engraved in the mind and soul of our nation, we cannot help being interested in the fate of those unfortunate displaced persons who lost their families and who find it psychologically impossible to return to the places which to them are cemeteries where they are haunted by the memories of their dear ones killed by the Nazi barbarians. We sympathize with these displaced persons. We understand their situation, their mentality, and their aspirations. We understand their desire to begin a new life in a new land. We shall therefore support their right to establish new lives in countries in every part of the world.

We understand that by linking the Palestine problem with that of the Jews in displaced persons' camps in Europe, we make this already difficult problem even more complicated. No doubt, if we could discuss these two problems separately the solution would be easier. Unfortunately, however, it is impossible to separate these two problems, because a great majority of the Jews in the displaced persons' camps desire to go, to Palestine; moreover, the Palestine Jewish community is the only one which is prepared to accept Jews in great numbers.

While we support the idea of Jewish immigration to Palestine, we do not look upon it as a solution of the Jewish refugee problem as such. We understand that only a certain proportion of displaced Jews can immigrate into Palestine; the fate of the others is closely connected with the solution of the acute problem of refugees and displaced persons generally. This problem is becoming more and more acute, and in our belief it should be given the most careful study by the United Nations. Recommendations for its solution should become the subject of an early discussion in our Organization. It is most unfortunate that the International Refugee Organization is based on a principle which cannot in our opinion bring about a proper solution of the refugee problem and is unable to cope with this question. Therefore, the immigration to Palestine will represent a solution for only a portion of the displaced Jews. We hope that every country will do its best to admit a number of those unfortunate Jews, and give them the privilege of starting a new life among new people and different surroundings. The only restriction should be the capacity of the country for economic absorption of the immigrants.

My own country is doing all it can in this direction. We encourage all Polish Jews to return and establish themselves in Poland. We have adopted special legislation which makes anti-Semitic agitation a crime. We have established a special office for the resettlement and rehabilitation of returning Jews, and I must say that they are returning. We have repatriated about 160,000 Jews from the Soviet Union where they found refuge during the war. I can state with great satisfaction that several thousands of our Jewish fellow-citizens who were in displaced persons' camps have decided to return to Poland, and to link their fate with the fate of the Polish democracy which guarantees equal rights to all. New Jewish communities in Silesia are the best proof that a new life is possible under new conditions for the Jews returning to Poland.

However, we understand that there are many among these displaced persons who find it psychologically impossible to return to their country of origin or to go to any other country but Palestine, where, among their own people, they expect to build a new Jewish national life of their own. They consider Palestine as the historical homeland of the Jewish people. We sympathize with their aspirations and we give them our full support. For these reasons, we consider essential the right of extended immigration of Jews into Palestine, which found support both in the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry and in the statement by President Truman.

Our position has nothing to do with our approach to the solution of the Palestine problem or with our attitude toward certain political movements and ideas current among the Jews, and begun, rightly or wrongly, many years ago. It is a practical position, born of the practical consequences of the mass extermination of the Jews by the Nazis, and of the special position of the Jews among other displaced persons. It is a requirement of life more powerful than political doctrines of which we may approve or disapprove.

Therefore, we favour Jewish immigration and Jewish national aspirations in Palestine. In doing so, we do not want to encroach upon the rights and privileges of the Arab inhabitants of that country. We know that with the aid of proper investments, a large proportion of Jewish refugees can be absorbed by Palestine and that the resulting economic development must also benefit the Arab inhabitants. We hope, therefore, that a method can be found by which Jewish immigration and the realization of Jewish national aspirations in Palestine will be made compatible with the legitimate aspirations of Palestine's Arab inhabitants. In order to bring about such compatibility, we consider it necessary that economic aid be given not only to the Jewish settlers, but directly to the Arab inhabitants, so as to avoid a permanent disparity between the living standards of Jews and Arabs in Palestine. Such projects as could directly benefit the Palestine Arabs should be developed under the responsibility of the United Nations and its affiliated specialized agencies.

We know, however, that the aspirations of the Arab inhabitants in Palestine are not merely economic. They are political and cultural as well. We have always been in full sympathy with the aspirations and the struggle of the Arab people for their national freedom and independence, and we consider that this right of freedom and independence must be guaranteed to the Arab population of Palestine. When I speak of Arab freedom and independence, I mean real independence, free from the protectorate of certain great Powers and free from subservience to foreign oil interests, an independence which is based, to quote a recent statement by President Truman, "on representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression". And, may I add, economic freedom as well. Any struggle of the Arab people for such national independence will always have our fullest sympathy and support.

We believe that ways must be found whereby close collaboration between Arabs and Jews will be made possible for the benefit not only of Palestine and the peoples of the Middle East, but in the interests of world peace as well. This will be in the spirit of our Charter. Such possibilities have been implemented by the great Arab statesman, Amir Faisal, by collaboration of Jews and Arabs in the municipality of Haifa, by many attempts of Jewish and Arab workers to organize a common effort for a better standard of living.

The Arab people of Palestine deserve independence just as ^the Jews deserve the right of immigration and fulfilment of their national aspirations in Palestine. I shall not enter here into the discussion of how these two objectives can be reconciled. That is the main task of the committee which is to be constituted by this General Assembly for the study of the Palestine problem. We do not want to prejudge the results of this investigation and the recommendations which the committee will make. We give our opinion for the purpose of raising certain points when the terms of reference of this committee are being formulated.

In the opinion of the Polish delegation the committee should have the widest powers possible and should not be limited by means, place or resources. It should examine the economic, political and social conditions in Palestine and elsewhere, with the main objective of establishing a free democratic State in Palestine. It is quite understandable that such a State will have to guarantee equal political, national, cultural and language rights to both nations. The committee should make recommendations as to how and when such independence is to be introduced. In the opinion of the Polish delegation the United Nations as a whole, perhaps under the terms of a trusteeship agreement for a limited period, should be entrusted with the task of transforming Palestine into an independent State. The committee should also investigate the feasibility of alternative solutions such as the formati6n of a separate Arab and a separate Jewish State in Palestine. While we consider such alternative solutions less preferable, we nevertheless do not want to prejudge the issue, and we believe full consideration should be given to them.

The committee must examine the credentials of various political groups which claim to speak in the name of different sections of the population of Palestine. In particular, it is necessary to examine the political role and influence of former Nazi collaborators whose very political records make Arab-Jewish co-operation impossible, and whose political records forbid any real co-operation with them by the United Nations. The position of political ostracism which our Organization has imposed on Franco and his pro-Nazi regime must apply to all Nazi collaborators, whoever and wherever they may be. With this exception, the committee must give a hearing to all groups of the Palestine population, including those who are known under the name of the Jewish Resistance Movement. The committee must examine the position of the Jews in the displaced persons' camps and recommend as soon as possible the transfer of those Jews to Palestine who desire to go there. The committee must give most careful study to possibilities of an economic action by the United Nations, by specialized agencies, and particular States to raise the standard of living of the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine and to prevent the development and perpetuation of disparities in the standard of living of the various sections of the population in Palestine. The committee must give careful study to economic action by the United Nations or particular States to facilitate Jewish immigration.

The protection of Christian, Jewish and Moslem religious interests in various holy places located in Palestine should be a subject for study by the committee as well. The committee may make such other recommendations to the United Nations as may be necessary to meet the immediate needs arising from the conditions subject to their examination.

In the spirit of the above remarks, we submitted to this Committee amendments to the working paper on the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry. Since there was no session of the Committee in the afternoon, I was unable to give a full explanation of the reasons for which we consider these changes important and necessary. Therefore, I have done it today; and, although I have heard that the Sub-Committee has rejected them, I should be happy if this Committee could discuss the points raised there today.

Particularly, I should like to present an amendment to the first paragraph of the resolution, (document A/C.1/165). According to that amendment, which appears in document A/C.1/170, the first paragraph should read: "That the special committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts and study in detail the situation in Palestine by carrying out an investigation on the spot and elsewhere whenever necessary, including the displaced persons' camps and Cyprus," and I may add, all territories.

Paragraph 3 should read: "That it shall prepare and submit for the next regular session of the General Assembly proposals on the solution of the problem of Palestine which the Committee will consider useful, including a proposal on the question of establishing by the United Nations the independent, democratic State of Palestine."

As to paragraph 6, we would agree on the new statement put forth by the Sub-Committee.

Our delegation is deeply concerned with the Palestine situation, not merely because of its bearing upon both the Jewish national aspirations and the national aspirations of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, but mainly because we know that this situation is a source of international trouble and misunderstanding. We therefore sincerely hope that the special committee which we are going to appoint will do its utmost to present recommendations which will eliminate these misunderstandings. For this purpose, it is necessary to remove Palestine from the game of big Power politics and from questions having to do with strategic outposts or monopolistic oil interests. In order to assure that, the responsibility for Palestine must be vested not in a single Power or two Powers, but in the United Nations.

Several speakers in this Assembly have appealed for peace in Palestine in the name of humanity and in the name of God. I wish to join their appeals. In particular, I wish to implore the mandatory Power to show its good will and desire to arrive at a satisfactory solution in Palestine by releasing the many hundreds of political prisoners there, by suspending all death sentences, and by admitting those who helplessly keep knocking at the closely guarded doors to the land of their hopes. By removing these tensions, the mandatory Power will make its greatest contribution to the proper solution of the problem.

The people of Palestine deserve to be treated not as pawns on the chessboard of big Power politics, but as human beings about whose welfare we are deeply concerned. I earnestly appeal to the representatives here: Let us not think of strategic considerations and of oil. Let us think of the common people of Palestine—Christians, Jews, Moslems—and let us keep their welfare always in our minds. We have been called here to fulfil a noble task, the task of helping the people of Palestine who have found themselves at the cross-roads of an international conflict. Let us think, first of all, of the simple people of Palestine, whatever their religion or race or nationality may be; in dealing with this situation, let us think of people who wish to live in peace and realize their national aspirations for freedom and independence.

The CHAIRMAN: When I opened the meeting this morning, I expressed the hope that we might do three things today: hear the replies to the questions addressed to the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee; make comments on document A/C.1/171; and then vote on the document.

I suggest that we have now had two general statements which, interesting though they may have been, are far removed from document A/C.1/171 in some of their aspects. If we continue on that path, we will never get to document A/C.1/171 today, and perhaps not this week. I therefore hope that other speakers will confine their remarks to this particular document, so that we may carry out our original objectives if we have to meet here tonight until midnight—of voting on it.

The representative of the Jewish Agency has now asked for the floor, in order to give the answers to the questions addressed to his organization. If the Committee has no objection, I shall call on him now. The representatives of the Jewish Agency may wish to take advantage of this opportunity to make certain observations with regard to document A/C.1/171 which they have requested permission to make. I shall now call on the representative of the Jewish Agency, if the Committee does not disagree.


Mr. SHERTOK (Jewish Agency for Palestine): I am here to reply to the questions which were put to Rabbi Silver after the conclusion of his address to the Committee. In so doing, I hope I may be permitted also to clear up some of the underlying issues, in order to bring out the meaning of my replies a little more clearly.

I would begin with a question asked by the representative of Poland as to the organization, composition and functions of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. In the mandate, the Zionist Organization was recognized as the Jewish Agency, with powers to advise and co-operate with the mandatory administration in matters concerning the Jewish national home and to take part in the country's development. At the time, the World Zionist Organization, founded fifty years ago, was already twenty-five years old. Subsequently, certain non Zionist groups joined in forming an enlarged Jewish Agency, but the Zionist Organization has remained the main driving force. The World Zionist Organization has today local organizations in more than sixty countries—with a few exceptions, in every country where Jews live.

Within the Zionist movement, as in any democratically organized society, there are parties: the Labour Party and other labour groups, the Centre or General Zionists, the Mizrachi or the orthodox religious Zionists, and the Revisionists. This party division is reflected in our Congresses, which are held once every two years after a general election in all countries. The Congress elects our executive; the present executive was elected by the 360 delegates to the twenty-second Zionist Congress in Basle last December, who, in turn, were elected by nearly two million Zionist voters throughout the world. The executive has headquarters in Jerusalem and branches with resident members in New York, London and Paris.

Two things must be stressed. First, the Agency is the spokesman, not merely of Jews already settled in Palestine, but of all Jews throughout the world who are devoted to the idea of the Jewish national home. The entire Jewish people, I might say, hold the Jewish Agency responsible for the success of that great enterprise. Secondly, the Agency is not merely an organ of national representation, but an instrument^ of nationbuilding, an institution of immigration, development and settlement. It mobilizes the energies and resources of our people for national reconstruction, and in Palestine it directs large-scale practical development work.

It has been responsible for bringing hundreds of thousands of Jews to Palestine and settling them there. It has carried out an extensive programme of settlement on the land. It has stimulated major industrial development. It has supplied guidance and coordination to the vast volume of free initiative and enterprise in the work of Jewish resettlement. Our Jerusalem headquarters is divided into departments: political, financial, immigration, agricultural settlement, trade and industry, labour, etc.

During the war, the Jewish Agency acted, in a way, as a recruiting authority. It mobilized the Jewish war effort in Palestine in the cause of the United Nations. It has supplied 33,000 volunteers for armed service within the British forces. They defended Palestine, served in most Middle Eastern countries, and fought in the campaigns of Africa and Europe. All industrial, technical, and scientific resources of Jewish Palestine were harnessed to the war effort.

So much for the Jewish Agency as such. Politically, its primary function has been to uphold and defend Jewish rights under the mandate. Immigration is the crux of the problem and several of the questions put to Rabbi Silver bear on that issue. In answering these questions, I must make one basic point clear by way of background.

If it is granted that the Jewish people are in Palestine as of right, then all the implications and corollaries of that premise must be accepted. The foremost is that Jews must be allowed to resettle in Palestine hi unlimited numbers, provided only they do not displace or worsen the lot of the existing inhabitants who are also there as of right. If that basic premise is not granted, then there is very little to discuss. It may sound quite plausible to argue that if the right of the Jews to return to Palestine is admitted on the grounds of ancient history, then the whole map of the world would have to be remade and chaos would ensue. But does the question really arise? Do the descendants of the Romans, for example, claim entry into England? Do they need England? Does their future, their very existence depend on settling there? Or do the Arabs, for that matter, press to return to Andalusia in Spain? Is it a matter of life and death for them? The analogy is fallacious and misleading.

The great historic phenomenon of the Jewish return to Palestine is unique because the position of the Jewish people as a homeless people and yet attached with an unbreakable tenacity to its birthplace is unique. It is that phenomenon that has made the problem of Palestine an issue in international affairs airs, and no similar issue has ever arisen. Were it not for the presence in Palestine today of over 600,000 Jews who refuse to be left in a minority position under Arab domination; were it not for the urge to settle in Palestine of hundreds of thousands of homeless and uprooted Jews in Europe, in the Orient, and elsewhere; were it not for the hopes and efforts of millions of Jews throughout the world to re-establish their national home and build it up into a Jewish State, the United Nations would not be faced with the problem of Palestine as it is now. The problem is real and pressing. It cannot be made to disappear by conjuring up non-existent difficulties alleged to be involved in its solution.

When the representative from India asks how many Jews from outside there were in Palestine at certain dates—the operating words being "from outside"—I must confess I am somewhat baffled. I can give him the round figures for the Jewish population in those years: 50,000 in 1900, 165,000 in 1930, 475,000 in 1939. Now it is about 630,000. Incidentally, there are more Jews in Palestine today than there were Arabs at the end of the First World War. But as to Jews "from outside", I cannot say. In a way, they are all from outside; they are practically all immigrants.

There was but a tiny Jewish community in Palestine prior to 1880. In the early 1880's, the return started, almost simultaneously, from Russia and Roumania, from Morocco and southern Arabia, and since then it has been practically continuous. It -started because the Jews had always believed it to be their inalienable right to resettle Palestine, That right was subsequently internationally recognized and enshrined in the mandate. But quite apart from the mandate, nothing will eradicate from the hearts of Jews the conviction that it is their right to return. So in that deeper sense, they are not from outside at all, but sons of the country.

By the way, my Arab countrymen make much of the fact that Palestine has already taken in so many immigrants. These immigrants, they said, were received by the Arabs. We are very sorry but we cannot concede them that credit. Conversely, they say that the Jews have settled in Palestine at the expense of the Arabs. That debit item, too, we cannot admit. There has been no receiving of Jewish immigrants by Arabs nor any settlement of Jews at the expense of the Arabs. The Jews did not come as guests of anyone. They came in their own right. They received themselves and then-brothers; and they did so by their own efforts and at the expense of no one else. Every acre of land we tilled was bought and had to be wrested from wilderness and desolation. Nothing was taken away—not one house, not one job. A tremendous amount of work, wealth, and well-being was presented to the Arab population.

The representative from India also asked what was the age of the Jewish communities in Europe; and whether, since the Hitler regime had been crushed, the Jewish displaced persons would not be better advised to stay in Germany.

As to the age of European Jewry, it is on the whole quite venerable, but age has not made for security. Three-quarters of that Jewry—six million people—are no more. But let us go back into the past. Jews had lived in Spain for a whole millennium when, in 1492, they were despoiled and expelled, and only those who gave up their Jewish identity and became Christians were allowed to remain. Jews have lived in Poland since the eleventh or twelfth century, but in the seventeenth they were the victims of ferocious massacres. Then there were pogroms under the Russian czars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and in the last war, as we have just heard, came the final catastrophe. Nearly all of Polish Jewry—three million men, women and children—was wiped out by the Nazis.

In Germany, the beginnings of Jewish settlement are traced back to the fourth century. But just six centuries ago, most of the Jews in Germany were destroyed in a wave of frenzied persecution which swept Europe. Then, by the twentieth century, German Jews had reached the pinnacle of emancipation and were largely assimilated. Yet they were hurled down into the abyss of degradation and death. Even converts to Christianity were not spared.

It is true that Hitler is gone now, but not anti-Semitism. He was the product, not the source of German Jew-hatred. Anti-Semitism in Germany and in many other parts of Europe is as rife as ever and potentially militant and fierce. Some Governments have tried their best to keep it down, but they have a very hard job in doing so. The very age of European Jewry serves only to accentuate the basic historic insecurity of Jewish life in the dispersion.

The representative of India has also asked whether the Jewish displaced persons would be assimilable in Palestine. The answer is yes. They would be perfectly assimilable in the Jewish community there, the one Jewish community in the world with a self-contained economic system and an independent cultural life which is eager and able to receive and absorb them. He asked whether they would not be better assimilable in Germany. The answer is no. You cannot settle in a graveyard, nor can you build a dwelling out of heaps of rubble.

Actually, most of the Jewish displaced persons are not from Germany itself, but from other countries. Today they are in camps, or they continue as refugees, because they cannot be resettled in Europe. They have now waited for two years, and in all this time no one has come forward with a solution to their problem. The clear recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry have remained on paper and, to them, they have proved a mockery. No one has offered an alternative to Palestine. But even if there were an alternative, they refuse to be treated as mere chattels. They appeal to the world to realize that they form part of a people which has a national will of its own. They want to go to the only country where they will feel at home, both individually and collectively. Their problem is inseparable from the problem of Palestine. It is the problem of Palestine. To treat the issue of Palestine in isolation from the immigration issue would make as much sense as to study the beating of a heart while disregarding the circulation of the blood. A solution for the problem of Palestine which would ignore the Jewish claim and the need for immigration would solve nothing. Whoever undertook to implement such a solution would be driven by the sheer impact of reality to face the problem of immigration.

I may perhaps interpose here an answer to the question put by the representative of the Union of South Africa. He asked whether we wanted the question of the displaced persons in Europe examined solely in connexion with Palestine, or in its general aspect. Our answer is that we believe that only in Palestine can the problem of these people be permanently and constructively solved, for only there can their lives be rebuilt on secure foundations and their homes become part of the home of the entire people.

The immigration issue is not confined to the Jewish displaced persons and unsettled refugees in Europe. Various Jewish communities in Europe are involved, as well as the Jews of the Arab and Oriental countries. With regard to these, Members of the United Nations have heard during the present session idyllic accounts of the conditions of complete equality and true brotherhood under which they live. The Jewish Agency is naturally very intimately acquainted with the position, and the picture as we know it is totally different. In most of these countries Jews are treated as second or third rate citizens. They live in perpetual fear of eruptions of fierce fanaticism, of which there have been tragic examples both in recent years and in the more remote past. Their lot ranges from precarious sufferance to active persecution. All formal statements under duress notwithstanding, their hopes and dreams are centred on Zion, and their youth has no other idea but to join its builders.

We very strongly urge that the position of these communities should form part of the committee's investigations. But the most urgent problem is, of course, that of the displaced persons in Europe who are now on the brink of despair.

The present political crisis in Palestine is nothing but a clash between the dire needs of Jewish immigration and the current anti-immigration policy of the mandatory Power. We were asked by the representative of India why public servants of the British Government in Palestine are today the victims of terrorist activity. The answer is because the White Paper of 1939 is still in force. Terrorism is a pernicious out growth of a disastrous policy.

The Jewish Agency has unreservedly con demned terrorist bloodshed, and in that attitude it is supported by the large majority of the organized Jewish community. Its harm to the Jews and to the Jewish future is far graver than to the Government and people of the United King dom. But Jewish efforts to resist and check terrorism are continually frustrated because Government action in pursuance of the White Paper adds fuel to the fire. Our efforts will continue but the representative of India will no doubt agree that Palestine is not the only country which has been afflicted with this most hateful disease.

Another question was why, in contradiction to the Amir Faisal's attitude, the Palestine Arabs were now opposed to Jewish immigration. Since that question was put, we have heard a very able exposition of the Palestine Arab case which fully covered the point. All I would add is that the uncompromising opposition to immigration now voiced does not invalidate the broader conception and bolder vision expressed in the Faisal-Weizmann agreement, which indicated a way of harmonizing Jewish and Arab aspirations within a wider framework, taking fully into account the independence then promised and now achieved by the Arabs in vast territories.

While I am on the point of promises, may I be permitted to recall that Sir Henry McMahon himself stated that Palestine was never included in the promises made by him to the Arabs, and that this was well understood at the time by the late King Hussein; also that Transjordan, which was originally included in the Balfour Declaration, is today an Arab State.

Finally, the representative of India asked whether we recognized the distinction between a Jewish State and a Jewish national home. The answer is that we do, but perhaps not quite in the sense in which the question was meant. The establishment of the Jewish national home is a process. The setting up of a Jewish State is its consummation. That such consummation had been intended by the authors of the Jewish national home policy and that a way was definitely left open for its achievement was conclusively proved by the Palestine Royal Commission. The point was fully understood by those responsible for the 1944 statement on Palestine by the British Labour Party Executive.

The Indian representative drew attention to the use in that statement of the term "Jewish national home" and not "Jewish State". But may I recall the words of Mr. Hugh Dalton, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, when reporting on that statement of the Executive to the Labour Party Conference? He urged common support, in consultation with the United States and Soviet Governments—and now I quote—"for a policy which will give us a happy, free, and prosperous Jewish State in Palestine". That was only two years ago.

The matter has a most vital bearing on the question of Palestine's independence. Unlike other mandates of category A, the declared object of which was to prepare the country for independence, the Palestine mandate has no such clause. Its primary purpose, in the words of the Royal Commission, is the establishment of the Jewish national home. But, of course, the ultimate goal must be independence and the mandate must be terminated.

Therefore if, upon the termination of the Palestine mandate, its original purpose is to be fulfilled, if the future of the Jewish national home is to be permanently secured, if the national interest of the Jewish people is to be harmonized with other interests and not sacrificed for their sake, then a Jewish State must come into being. A home, in the words of a British statesman, in the debate on the White Paper for Palestine, is a place to which one is always free to come back. How is the national home to fulfil its primary function of being open to Jews in need of it, if it is to remain forever subjected to non-Jewish sovereignty?

An Arab minority in a Jewish State will be secure, if for no other reason, because the State will for ever remain surrounded by Arab countries with which it will be most vitally interested to be at peace; also because there will always be Jewish minorities in other lands.

But a Jewish minority in an Arab State will have no such security at all. It will be at the mercy of the Arab majority, which would be free from all restraints. To provide boldly, if I may put it that way, for the independence of Palestine as a country, without placing an equal emphasis on safeguarding the independence of the Jews as a people is to tear the problem out of its real context and load the dice heavily against the Jews. The whole issue is likely to be vitiated in advance by such an approach.

The question of our living with the Arab peoples and the relationship of a Jewish State with them is, of course, the dominant question of the future. The representative of Poland has asked, in his second question, whether there have been attempts at collaboration between Jews and Arabs. The answer is yes, there have been, on both sides. Arabs and Jews have cooperated and are cooperating successfully in the wide and varied fields of municipal, commercial and labour affairs. Arabic is taught in all Jewish secondary schools and in a large number of primary schools. The Jewish Agency is particularly active in spreading knowledge of Arabic in the Jewish settlements and promoting friendly relations between them and, their Arab neighbours. From personal observation and direct experience accumulated over a period of forty-one years' residence in Palestine, I can affirm that there is nothing inherent in the nature of either the native Arab or the immigrant Jew which prevents friendly co-operation. On the contrary, considering the admitted great difference of background, they mix remarkably well. By mixing I do not mean assimilation, for the Jew does not come to Palestine to assimilate to the Arab, but to develop his own distinctive individuality. Nor does he expect the Arab to assimilate to him. What I mean is co-operation between a self-respecting Jew and a self-respecting Arab, and between the two communities.

Today the issue is overshadowed and practical co-operation is hampered by the political conflict over the country's future. The present official leaders of the Arab States, having achieved practically all they wanted with so little sacrifice, refuse to admit the legitimacy of the national aspirations of another people. At the head of the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine stands a man who, apart from other well-known aspects of his activity, was directly involved during the war in the Nazi policy of the extermination of the European Jews.

Nevertheless, the Jews do not lose heart. They come to Palestine not to fight the Arab world, but to live at peace with it. They are not an outpost of any foreign domination. Their ambition is to integrate themselves into the modern structure of reviving Asia. They are an old Asiatic people returning to their home. At the same time, they are anxious to make their contribution to the great work of bridge-building between modern Asia and the rest of the world. Their intense experience hi development within the narrow confines of- Palestine is yielding results which may be of value to all who are interested in social and economic progress in the Middle East and beyond. But then- true partnership with their neighbours can be based only upon equality of status and mutual respect. They claim what is the natural right of any people on the face of the earth: that as many of them as possible should live together in their own country, freely develop their civilization, make their contribution to the common stock of humanity, and be self-governing and independent. They cannot possibly surrender that claim, and for its attainment they appeal for the assistance of the entire family of nations.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, may I answer the question of the delegation from Colombia on our views regarding the composition of the special committee? We would not differentiate between big and small Powers, nor would we suggest the exclusion of any Government merely because it happens to have or may develop a policy on Palestine. Having a policy does not necessarily mean being directly concerned as an interested party. But we believe that parties directly concerned should not serve on the committee. That should exclude the United Kingdom, for reasons put, if I may say so, with unanswerable cogency by the representative of the United Kingdom himself. We would also definitely exclude the Arab States, unless it were agreed that the committee should contain one Arab and one Jewish member.


The CHAIRMAN: May I ask you, Mr. Shertok, whether the Agency would like at this time to make the short statement on this document A/C.1/171 which it desires to make?

MR. SHERTOK (Jewish Agency for Palestine): No, Mr. Chairman. It is not yet clear whether there will be a short statement forthcoming.

Sheikh ALIEREZA (Saudi Arabia): I should like to have the record show that the Saudi Arabian delegation supports wholeheartedly the statement made by our colleague, His Excellency, Mr. Paris El-Khouri.

Mr. BAYDUR (Turkey): While we are discussing the draft resolution document A/C.1/171 prepared by the Sub-Committee, I should like to say a few words in explanation of the way I intend to vote.

In the Middle Ages, Jews who had been turned out of certain European countries sought refuge in Turkey. Since then, a considerable Jewish colony has been living in Turkey prosperously and in full possession of all civil liberties. At the time of the Conference at San Francisco, a representative of the Jewish Agency came to see me to express to me the appreciation of the Jewish Agency for the humane help and treatment afforded by the Turkish Republic to the Jews who had been the victims of oppression in certain European countries during the Second World War. These two instances, one remote and the other immediate, illustrate the attitude and the feeling of the Turkish people toward the Jews."

On the other hand, the Turkish nation has a long common history with the Arabs. As the representative of the Arab Higher Committee said in this room on Friday, we lived and worked together with the Arabs for centuries with mutual respect for each other's national feelings and social rights. As a result of historical evolution in the lives of nations, they have now attained their independence. Although our frontiers are separated, our hearts are still united. The Turkish nation sincerely desires to see the new Arab States happy and prosperous.

These words should indicate the attitude of the Turkish delegation on the question of independence for Palestine. In paragraph 4 of the Iraq proposal (document A/C.1/169) submitted on Saturday, it was envisaged that independence should be the primary purpose of any plan for the future of the government of Palestine.

On the other hand, in the working papers which we discussed on Thursday, and which enjoy the support of the United Kingdom and the United States delegations, it is proposed that the independence of Palestine should be the ultimate purpose of any plan for the future of that country.

It should be noted with satisfaction that, after the discussions in the General Committee and in the Assembly, these two viewpoints have come much nearer together in this First Committee. It now appears that the main difference is concerned with the time at which independence should be achieved. The Turkish delegation sincerely shares the natural sensitivity and desire of our Arab neighbours which would make that element of time as short as possible and would see Palestine achieve independence in the very near future.


Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): I asked for the privilege of speaking immediately after the representative of Poland. It seems my name was not taken down.

The CHAIRMAN: I am very sorry. I do not have your name here; no doubt the mistake is mine. I should be very glad to hear you now. Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): You will have to do something about preserving our rights and giving us our chance to speak.

The CHAIRMAN: I think you have been given all your rights of speech, and you will be given your right of speech now.


I had no intention of speaking at this stage, but the representative of Poland inspired me with a few words and I thank him for the frankness with which he treated the subject. It leaves me quite free to present the other point of view very simply.

We are just beginning to face the real issue, and I do hope the members of the Committee realize there is a real issue and a very serious one. The whole matter, to me, rests on the realization that there are aggressive intentions directed at a part of the Arab world.

I wish to share the sympathy shown by my Polish colleague for the Jews and their sufferings, and I also commend the measures being taken recently in Poland to preserve the rights and protect the lives of the Jews there. But I do wish to make it very clear that supporting the national aspirations of the Jews means very clearly a declaration of war, and nothing less. It is a declaration of war by one people against another.

All peoples in the world today have their national aspirations, but their national aspirations should not be realized at the expense of other peoples' national aspirations. The people who lived in Palestine over two thousand years ago—and that, but for a period—are not entitled to have national aspirations to lands which are inhabited by other people today.

If we permit national aspirations to develop by means of false education, we can easily develop such national aspirations everywhere and cause people to think of their past homelands and to educate their youth and the public to go back and conquer lands which may well be the object of the national aspirations of other peoples.

This is actually the point at issue. We believe the principles of the Charter entitle all peoples everywhere to feel secure in their own homes, without somebody else from outside cherishing national aspirations to those places.

We are here working in the Committee on political and Security questions, and our first aim should be that of peace and security. We cannot guarantee that peace and security unless we guarantee the right of all peoples in all countries to live peacefully in their homes and to be entitled to the principles of justice, democracy, and self-determination.

If there are national aspirations in certain quarters, those national aspirations should be so formulated and directed as not to be at the expense of other peoples. They should be directed to places which are available and where no opposition exists. Taking the small land of Palestine, which has its Arab quality and character, and bringing in people there and making them a majority, thereby creating a State of people coming from abroad, is certainly a matter of aggression and a matter of war which, in normal times, cannot be solved except by fighting.

This is actually an invitation to fighting. That is what I should like to submit to this Committee. We cannot impose, and the spirit of the Charter does not permit us to impose, the immigration of people on lands where peace is absent and where neighbouring States are endangered by that immigration.

I think the decision of the General Assembly of 15 December last was very clear on the issue that displaced persons could be taken to lands where the populations did not object and where neighbouring States presented no difficulty. In this case, the situation is very clear. Here is a desire, freely and frankly expressed, of one people to come to another people and turn the latter's majority into a minority, and thus dominate that part of the world. If this is not a violation and a means of aggression, I do not know what "aggression" means.

That is why the only way out—the only way which is in accordance with the Charter and with the spirit of the United Nations—is to respect the underlying principles of the Charter, namely, those of justice, democracy, and self-determination. The peace we want for Palestine is that peace derived from justice, democracy, self-determination, and nothing else.

With regard to the idea of independence which has been included in the terms of reference, I wish to make it very clear that the way the terms have been put is quite prejudicial. The word "ultimate"1/ itself which has been suggested, shows that some quarters are not ready to recognize the fundamental principles of democracy, self-determination, and justice. They are, at least unconsciously, apparently not ready or willing to admit these facts.

In this connexion I wish to associate myself with all that has been said by the representative of Syria. We believe that nothing but the principles of the Charter, nothing but the spirit and purposes of the United Nations, can settle the question of Palestine. In that, we ask for a Palestine that will have a democratic rule, in which all people will live together in peace, and where no aggressive intentions exist.

We cannot accept immigration which, as is understood very clearly, has no intention behind it other than that of making a minority a majority and the dominating of the country. That is fundamentally contrary to the principles of peace and justice in the Middle East.

I should also like to say we cannot support or adhere to any plan which might lead to the creation of a foreign bridgehead in the Arab world. The Jews already in Palestine can live very peacefully with us and cooperate, provided they give up their aggressive political intentions.

I must submit that our history with the Jews has been a very clear one and a very friendly one. It is only in recent times that Zionism has begun to poison the atmosphere. I think that throughout the history of the Middle Ages and onward, you find great Jews who contributed to our civilization. We worked together. But when they were there, they were not dominating and they did not come with the intention of domination.

After the First World War, Armenians came to our country and lived with us very peacefully, and became excellent citizens. We had abundant expressions of thanks and gratitude for the way we treated our guests, but they did not come to us with the idea of creating a political State, nor with the idea of becoming a majority and dominating.

In conclusion, I wish to support my Syrian colleague by stating that immigration of any sort into Palestine, without the consent of the people, without the consent of the original inhabitants, is contributing to injustice and to the destruction of peace, and it is conducive to war and conflict. I wish to state here that no Arab who is self-respecting and who is true to his national aspirations will ever be ready to subscribe to a Jewish State, no matter what its size or shape shall be.

The CHAIRMAN: If the Committee agrees, I now propose to declare the general discussion on document A/C.1/171 closed. If that is agreed, when we assemble at 3 o'clock, we shall hear the answers to the questions addressed to the Arab Higher Committee, and give the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee an opportunity to make short statements on document A/C.I/171, if they so desire. Then we shall consider this document paragraph by paragraph beginning with the preamble and voting on the paragraphs in turn. Eventually, I hope before the afternoon is over to vote on the document as a whole.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): A parliamentary inquiry. Does this last announcement of the Chair exclude the possibility of offering amendments and discussing them?

The CHAIRMAN: No, I would suggest to the representative of the United States that as we consider this document paragraph by paragraph, it is within the rights of any member of the Committee—and indeed the representative of Poland has already suggested that he intends to do so—to offer amendments to particular paragraphs on which we will vote as well as on the paragraphs which already appear in the document.

Mr. STOLK (Venezuela) (translated from Spanish): Mr. Chairman, I should like to know if the paragraph relating to the composition of the committee is also to be considered this afternoon?

The CHAIRMAN: No, paragraph 1 in this document that has to do with the constitution of the committee will not be considered at all; it will be discussed separately after we have disposed of the other paragraphs.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): May I request you to set a time-limit for the reception of proposed amendments? Otherwise, we shall never finish our work. Let us say that all amendments received by 2.30 p. m. will be relevant and will be admissible, and none others. We have the document before us, and if any member wants to propose an amendment, let him write it out and send it in.

The CHAIRMAN: I think that is a very helpful suggestion, and if the Committee agrees, we might decide that amendments to be considered in relation to the particular paragraph should be submitted in writing to the Chair by 3 o'clock this afternoon. Is that agreed?

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): I think that what the representative of India has just said is indeed helpful. On the other hand, you cannot make a hard and fast rule whereby you prevent any-one from suggesting changes in the text while you are actually discussing it. Therefore, I think, while the suggestion appears helpful, there will be changes later when we study the document paragraph by paragraph, and everyone should submit what he has in mind. Then it will be voted on. I do not see any advantage to setting a time-limit now.

The CHAIRMAN: Of course, it would be helpful if by 3 o'clock we could have any amendments in writing that are to be proposed this afternoon. It is quite true that as we discuss a paragraph, if any member wishes to put "and" for "or" or make any amendment, he has the right to do so and he cannot be prevented from doing so without the unanimous decision of the Committee. It would be most helpful if we could get amendments in writing by 3 o'clock.

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): Yes, but it may not be just to change the words "and" for "or"; it may be for even more significant words. And I would beg your forbearance to allow that possibility even beyond 3 o'clock.

The CHAIRMAN: I leave it in the hands of the Committee. There must come a time, I suppose, when new proposals or amendments have to be concluded; otherwise, we may never finish.

Mr. ENTEZAN (Iran) (translated from French]: I must confess that I have a great weakness for compromises. I think there may be two ways in which to deal with this question of amendments. Some of the amendments are designed to affect the substance of the question and as far as these are concerned I quite agree with your proposal that they should be submitted in writing before 3 p.m. today. If, however, in the course of the discussion, small amendments are submitted dealing not with substance, but rather with form (points of drafting), I think you should leave yourself free to admit them while the discussions are in progress.

The CHAIRMAN: Does the Committee agree with the very helpful suggestion from the representative of Iran, that amendments of substance should be in writing and in the hands of the Chair by 3 o'clock, whereas it will be open to any member, during the discussion of the paragraphs, to submit amendments of form from the floor?

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I am afraid that if we hear the exposé of the Arab representative this afternoon, we cannot eliminate any possibility of introducing amendments of substance until we have heard him, because the object of his presence here is to help us draft the terms of reference. Therefore, if we close the discussion, anything he might say this afternoon would not be allowed to be included in the terms of reference. I therefore suggest that if there is anything ready up to now, it should be submitted by 3 o'clock.

Secondly, in the course of the detailed discussion, once we have heard the Arab representative, an amendment may be introduced, and if we have very long discussions, there is always the possibility of asking for the closure of the debate on this particular point.

The CHAIRMAN: I think we might finish this discussion now. It is obvious that some members of the Committee wish to produce amendments. If they can produce them in writing by 3 o'clock, it would be helpful. But in view of the fact that further statements are to be heard from the Arab Higher Committee and probably from the Jewish Agency, we must reserve the right of all members to produce amendments after hearing those statements. I would hope that we need not have a long discussion on any amendment. I would also point out that it is always within the right of any member of the Committee to move the closure of the debate.

Chairman: Mr. L. B. PEARSON (Canada). The CHAIRMAN: Before we begin the business of the afternoon, I think I should read to the Committee a telegram which has just been received, addressed to the Secretary-General and to myself. It reads as follows:

"Desire record earnest protest failure affording hearing to New York executive representing worldwide religious Judaism STOP This undeserved discrimination against religious Jewish people contrary Charter United Nations STOP Please present this protest relative Committee STOP-AGUDAS ISRAEL WORLD ORGANIZATION"

The representative of the Arab Higher Committee, if the members of the Committee agree, will now give the replies of that Committee to the questions addressed to it the other day. Mr. Ghouri, the floor is yours, if you wish to deal with this matter now, I understand that you have a statement to make in reply to the questions addressed to the Arab Higher Committee at the fifty-second meeting. We should be very glad to hear that statement now.

Mr. GHOURI (Secretary of the Palestine Arab delegation): I have the answers to the questions submitted, and a short statement with regard to the terms of reference. These are the replies of the Arab Higher Committee for Palestine to the questions raised at the meeting of the First Committee of the General Assembly on 9 May 1947.

In reply to the question asked by the representative of Poland, the Arab Higher Committee in Palestine represents those of its members who are resident in Palestine, where it has its own organization and offices. The Arab Higher Committee is, itself, the executive. Its decisions, which are made by majority vote, are executed through its own officials.

In reply to the second part of the question, the Jewish Agency is a body created under the mandate with a view to advising and co-operating with the Administration of Palestine on certain matters affecting the establishment of Jewish national rule. As the Arabs have never recognized the mandate, the Balfour Declaration, or anything deriving from either, there can be no question of collaboration with a body which is a creature of the mandate and which has as its object the realization of Zionist aims in Palestine.

In reply to the question asked by the representative of Guatemala, our spokesman explained in his statement, made before this Committee on 9 May 1947, that Arabs and Jews prior to the Balfour Declaration, merged harmoniously in the Arab national structure of the country, and their relationship was based on cordiality and mutual respect. The direct result of the Balfour Declaration and the policy of the mandate connected therewith was to disturb this harmonious relationship to the extent of recourse to armed conflicts. There is no reason, however, to suppose that such harmony cannot be restored once the Zionists relinquish their political designs and ambitions in Palestine. This object can be attained only by the establishment of an independent State of Palestine which will not support or facilitate the realization of such political designs and ambitions of an alien minority against the majority of the inhabitants.

I would remind the questioner of the statement presented on behalf of the delegation of the Arab Higher Committee on 9 May to the effect that Arab opposition to immigration and the policy of establishing a Jewish national home in Palestine is not based on any racial prejudice against the Jews as such, but would be equally strong whatever the race or religion of any group which might attempt to wrest the country from its Arab inhabitants, or to force immigrants into it against the will of the Arabs.

The reply to the latter part of the question is that the Arabs are deeply concerned over the situation existing at present hi Palestine, not only because of its political implications, but also on account of the state of insecurity, lawlessness, and the damage to the economy of the country resulting from it. The continued deterioration of the situation is to be attributed to the lack of fairness and determination on the part of the authorities in Palestine to stem it. Contrary to the attitude taken by the same authorities during the Arab revolt, which lasted from 1937 until 1939, the restraint shown by the Arabs can neither be taken as an indication of indifference to the political significance of the situation, nor as a gauge of their future attitude, which may be dictated by the demands of self-defence against aggression in all its forms.

We earnestly trust that the United Nations will appreciate the self-restraint of the Arabs and bring about justice and lasting peace in Palestine.

Regarding the question asked by the representative of Colombia, it was remarked at the time we delivered our statement on 9 May, that in view of the statements made by the representatives to the effect that there was an absence of neutrality and even bias, it was very difficult to express any views on- the composition of the proposed committee of inquiry.

In reply to the questions asked by the representative of India, and with respect to the first question relating to the contradistinction between a national Jewish home and a Jewish State, the delegation of the Arab Higher Committee desires to put on record that it is not prepared to consider or even discuss any solution based upon, or having any reference to, the meaning or intention, or whatever it may have been, of the Balfour Declaration.

The Arabs of Palestine have at all times maintained that the Balfour Declaration does not and cannot bind or affect them, and have expressed their opposition thereto by all the means at their disposal. The protests, strikes, and uprisings of the Arabs of Palestine during the last twenty-nine years, manifested their opposition to the Balfour Declaration.

Out of courtesy, however, to the questioner. I have to reply to his question, and I would observe that not only is a Jewish national home inconsistent with a completely independent and sovereign Arab Palestinian State, but that it was specifically stated by both parties to the Balfour Declaration that it was not intended to involve the notion of a State. In the statements

of policy of 1922 and of 1939, the United Kingdom has unequivocally repudiated the idea or aim that the Jewish national home implied or contemplated a Jewish State.

Moreover, some Jewish leaders have expressed the same view.

Mr. Sokoloff, the president of the Zionist Organization, in the introduction of his History of Zionism, written in 1918 said: "It has been said, and is still being obstinately repeated by anti-Zionists, again and again, that Zionism aims at the creation of an independent Jewish State; but this is wholly fallacious. The Jewish State was never a part of the Zionist programme."

Again, the Jewish national home was defined by a Jewish jurist, Mr. Norman Bentwich, in a book published by him in 1924 called The Mandate System. On page 24, he wrote as follows: "It signifies a territory in which a people, without receiving rights of political sovereignty, has nevertheless a recognized legal position and the opportunity of developing its moral, social, and intellectual ideas."

Without accepting in any way even those British and Jewish interpretations of the Jewish national home, I refer to them for what they are worth.

Concerning two other questions, according to the available official figures, the number of Jews in Palestine has increased between 1900 and 1939 as follows: for 1900 we have no available official figures; in 1918 there were 56,000 Jews, and this figure is based upon a Jewish estimate. In 1930, there were 165,000 Jews; 1939, 445,000 Jews. I regret that I am not in a position at the moment to state authoritatively the number of Jews who had gone to Palestine from Czarist .Russia up to 1900. The increase in the number of Jews since 1918 has been due primarily to immigration, as may be seen from the following figures which are also derived from official sources: between 1920 and 1930, including 1930, 105,000 Jewish immigrants entered Palestine; between 1931 and 1939, 218,000; this represents a total of 323,000 immigrants. These figures are of the registered immigrants and do not include the so-called illegal immigrants.

Since 1939, when the White Paper was issued in which the mandatory Power declared that the Jewish national home had been established, over 100,000 Jewish immigrants have entered the country. This figure again does not include the illegal immigrants.

It is understood that few of these immigrants speak Hebrew. The language they speak is either Yiddish, which I gather is a jargon of Western and Eastern languages, or the language of their country of origin.

In reply to the question as to whether or not these immigrants are easily assimilable in Palestine, I would answer in the negative.


In reply to the question asked by the representative of Yugoslavia on the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, the constitutional organization will be based on democratic lines in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and will not be dissimilar to constitutional organizations existing in democratic countries.

These are the answers to the questions raised, but I would ask the indulgence of your Committee to make two observations in connexion with certain discussions relative to the terms of reference of the special committee. I wish to express the serious apprehension of the delegation of the Arab Higher Committee concerning the inclusion of any terms of reference which would contemplate, even as a mere possibility, any solution for the problem of Palestine conflicting with its right to achieve unstinted independence as one undivided whole. We are entitled to the independence we enjoyed, and which was recognized by the Covenant of the League of Nations, but of which we were unjustly and illegally deprived as a consequence of the mandate.

We only request the application, to us, of the principles of democracy. We are only asking for our natural rights. It is therefore the determined and unequivocal will of the Arabs to refuse to consider any solution which entails or even implies the loss of their sovereignty over the whole or any part of their country, or the diminution of such sovereignty in any form whatever.

My second observation relates to the question of refugees and displaced persons. This delegation has defined its attitude in this matter in a previous statement.

I would, however, emphasize that any attempt to solve the question of refugees and displaced persons at our expense will meet with the resolute opposition of the Arabs and will certainly prejudice the chances of a successful inquiry and the chances of any just solution. Palestine has paid dearly for its forced contribution to the refugee problem. This is all the more inequitable as Palestine was at no time responsible in any way for the fate of the refugees. The linking of the refugee problem with the problem of Palestine would mean prejudging the inquiry in favour of the Zionists and would make it necessary for the Arabs to reconsider their attitude towards the whole inquiry.

There is one final request which I respectfully out to this Committee. With the setting up of the proposed special committee of inquiry, the Palestine problem, in its entirety, becomes sub judice. As the question of immigration is one of the fundamental factors involved, the continued Jewish immigration is bound to prejudice the issue. The delegation of the Arab Higher Committee feels strongly that the immediate and complete stoppage of all immigration in the meantime is imperative if the chance of a successful inquiry is not to be prejudiced. The delegation therefore strongly urges that a recommendation to this effect should be made to the United Kingdom Government. We take this opportunity to declare that we shall continue to resist all Jewish immigration to Palestine under all circumstances.


I can understand that the acts of any one who seemed to cast his lot with the Axis during the war must seem to be wicked and detectable. I can also understand how difficult it is for some of » you at this moment to see the Grand Mufti in any other light than this. But I am also convinced that if the reasons that drove him to take the course he took were fully known, fair-minded men would at least see that there was another side to this matter; that in fact, it was the policy that was adopted in Palestine that finally forced this course of action on the Mufti.

The Mufti, driven first from his own country, Palestine, in 1937, then from Syria, and finally compelled to flee from Iraq and Persia, and refused asylum in Turkey, having no alternative, sought refuge in Germany, not because he believed in Nazism, but because he had despaired of justice.

Twenty years before, when General Assembly entered Jerusalem, the Mufti had been among the first who went out of the city to greet the British as allies and liberators, and he immediately set about recruiting Arabs for service in the Allied armies. Until 1936 his attitude towards the British was so co-operative that on several occasions he was accused by the extremists among his own supporters of being a British tool. If later he abandoned that attitude, it was entirely the result of twenty years of British policy in Palestine. The Mufti has been attacked as the most inveterate enemy of British policy in the Middle East. That is quite true. He has been the enemy of British policy—as was General Smuts less than fifty years ago and as was George Washington of this country . . .

The CHAIRMAN: I am sorry to have to interrupt the speaker, but I should like to point out to him that the bona fides of any member of the Executive of the Arab Higher Committee has not been called into question in this Committee at any time, so far as I am aware, and therefore any defence of him in this Committee is unnecessary. I venture to express the hope that the speaker will restrict his remarks to the question before us: the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry.

Mr. GHOURI (Secretary of the Palestine Arab delegation): This morning the name of His Eminence, the Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee, was referred to in contempt by the spokesman for the Jewish Agency—it will not take me long to finish my statement in order to make things clear, including the implications in the speeches made by other members of this Committee.

The CHAIRMAN: I have no recollection of that. I may be quite wrong, but I have no recollection of any attack having been made on any member of the Arab Higher Committee, by name, in any statement made this morning. Can you call my attention to any such specific reference in any statement?

Mr. GHOURI (Secretary of the Palestine Arab delegation): Yes, sir. This morning, I heard the spokesman of the Jewish Agency refer to His Eminence, the Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee, as having gone to Europe and worked for the extermination of the Jewish people there. Since our arrival in this country, we have been victimized by anti-Arab propaganda.

The CHAIRMAN: I am sure the Committee is not concerned at the moment with any statements which may have been made outside of the Committee. If any statements such as those you are referring to were made in the Committee this morning, I have not been able to find them in the written record. If any such mention was made orally, I am. sure it was just a casual mention, and I hope the reply to it may be short and also casual. Will you proceed, please?

Mr. GHOURI (Secretary of the Palestine Arab delegation): As I have said, the Mufti has been the enemy of British policy, as was General Smuts less than fifty years ago—British policy as the Arabs of Palestine have known and felt it for a quarter of a century. But is there anything to be wondered at in that? I beseech you to try for one moment to put yourselves in the place of the Arabs of Palestine in the period between the two wars. You are, of course, convinced that the Axis represented something evil, and that you and your allies were fighting not only for your survival, but also for certain moral values which made your cause the cause of decency and justice and of right versus wrong in the world at large.

However, that was not at all evident to the Arabs of Palestine. For twenty years, Britain, as it seemed to them, had been pursuing a monstrous policy aimed at taking their country away from them and giving it to another people. All their protests against this violation of their elementary rights had gone unheeded. All the promises made to them had been broken. When they attempted to offer resistance in defence of their native land and natural rights, they were machine-gunned, their villages were bombed, and more Jewish immigrants were brought in.

I do not want to dwell any longer on this matter. However, I would say that the attitude of the Mufti represented a natural stand taken in self-defence, a stand which any threatened nation would have taken in order to protect itself. He had to escape to Europe in order to avoid arrest by the British as a result of Zionist propaganda. As regards his taking refuge hi Germany, that was the only alternative to arrest and exile which were being urged on Great Britain by the Zionists. His sole crime was that he had stood in the way of Zionist aims.

The question of the Mufti was raised this morning by the spokesman of the Jewish Agency. The Jews are questioning the record of an Arab spiritual leader. Does that properly come from the mouth of a people who have crucified the founder of Christianity?

The CHAIRMAN: I am anxious not to interrupt any more than necessary. I am anxious also to maintain a balance as fairly as possible, a rather delicate balance between spokesmen of various points of view. In doing that, however, I hope to have the help of those spokesmen. Am I to understand that your statement has now been completed?

Mr. GHOURI (Secretary of the Palestine Arab delegation): Yes, that is my statement. Thank you very much.

The CHAIRMAN: This morning, it will be recalled, I mentioned that a representative of the Jewish Agency might have a short statement to make in regard to the terms of reference. I have been informed that the representative of the Agency, Mr. Ben Gurion, would like to make that statement now.

Before he does so, may I venture to point out once again the danger of making controversial statements which provoke even more controversial replies. In fairness to the representative of the Arab Higher Committee, who has just finished his statement and whom I interrupted twice, I should point out that there was a reference this morning in the statement by the representative of the Jewish Agency, not to anyone by name, but to the head of the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine; this reference seemed to call for a reply on the part of the Arab Higher Committee. The reference in question read as follows: "At the head of the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine stands a man who, apart from other well-known aspects of his activity, was directly involved during the war in the Nazi policy of the extermination of the European Jews."

That was the statement. It might be considered by some as an unfortunate statement which provoked what I am sure would be considered by others as at least an equally unfortunate reply.

I will now call on Mr. Ben Gurion to make a short statement on the terms of reference of the committee of inquiry.

Mr. BEN GURION (Jewish Agency for Palestine) : I am grateful for the opportunity afforded to me to make a few supplementary remarks to the statement made by my colleague, Rabbi Silver, on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

First of all, I should like to try to clarify further the nature of the problem which the mandatory Power has placed before the United Nations as this is essential for defining properly the terms of reference of the special committee. Last Friday, the representative of the United Kingdom, on behalf of his Government, declared that it had tried for years to settle the problem of Palestine and had failed. It has, therefore, brought the problem to you in the hope that the United Nations would find a just solution.

This statement is open to misunderstanding. The mandatory Power was not charged with discovering a solution to the Palestine problem and its failure was not in its inability to find the right solution. The mandatory Power was charged by the League of Nations with the carrying out of a definite settlement. That settlement was set out and determined originally by the United Kingdom itself and subsequently confirmed by all the Allies and associated Powers in the first world war, as well, as by the Arabs through Amir Faisal and the Syrian Arab Committee. It was later embodied in the mandate, approved by fifty-two nations and made international law.

The terms of that settlement as decreed by the conscience and the law of nations are common knowledge. It is the restoration of Palestine to the Jewish people.

At the time the United Kingdom took over the mandate, the problem of Palestine had been clearly adjudicated and settled. The failure of the mandatory Government, as admitted by the British representative, was a failure to carry out the settlement agreed upon and entrusted to it by the nations of the world. That failure became manifest with the introduction of a policy, set forth in the White Paper of 1939, which violated the most essential terms of the mandate and vitiated its entire purpose.

The White Paper policy, as you know, was condemned by the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations as incompatible with the mandate and with the pledges repeatedly given by the mandatory Government itself. It was also denounced by the most eminent political leaders of the United Kingdom itself, including all the prominent members of the present Government of the United Kingdom, as a breach of faith. Only recently, the White Paper was again unanimously condemned by the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry.

The White Paper policy is responsible for the misery and deaths of a large number of Jews and for cruel acts of expulsion of Jewish refugees. It is responsible for establishing in Palestine a police State without parallel in the civilized world. It is responsible for the introduction in Palestine of racial discrimination against Jews in land legislation. This is the real nature of the failure of the mandatory Power.

Therefore, I venture to suggest that the first problem facing the United Nations is how to set right that failure and to ensure that international obligations toward the Jewish population in Palestine are faithfully fulfilled.

The second point to which I should like to invite the attention of your Committee is the fact that in Palestine you are faced not merely with a large and growing number of Jews, but with a distinct Jewish nation. There are Jews and Jewish communities in many countries, but in Palestine there is a new and unique phenomenons Jewish nation, with all the attributes, characteristic resources and aspirations of nationhood. This nationhood springs from a long history and an uninterrupted connexion, for three thousand five hundred years, with its ancestral soil.

Palestine, which, for the Jewish people, has always been and will always remain the land of Israel, was in the course of centuries conquered and invaded by many alien peoples, but none of them ever identified its national faith with Palestine. The Jewish nation in Palestine is rooted not only in past history but in a great living work of reconstruction and rebuilding, both of a country and of a people.

The growth of this nation and its work of reconstruction must not and cannot be arrested —and this, for two reasons. One is the existence of large numbers of homeless Jews for whom there is no other salvation in the future except in their own national home. The second is that more than two-thirds of the land in Palestine is still waste land, uncultivated, unsettled, and believed by the Arabs to be uncultivatable. The history of our settlement in the last seventy years has shown that this land can be and is being cultivated by us. This is not because we are more skilled or more capable than others, but because this is the only soil in the world which we call our own. We are not, like our Arab neighbours, in possession of vast under-populated territories, like Iraq, Syria, Arabia, etc. We must therefore make use of every bit of free land in our country, even desert land.

Another observation is this. We are told that the Arabs are not responsible for the persecution of the Jews in Europe, nor is it their obligation to relieve their plight. I wish to make it quite clear that it never entered our minds to charge the Arabs with solving the Jewish problem, or to ask Arab countries "to accept Jewish refugees. We are bringing our homeless and persecuted Jews to our own country and settling them in Jewish towns and villages. There are Arab towns and villages in Paestine—Nablus, Jenin, Ramleh, Zarnuka, Lydda, Tarshiha. You will not find a single Jewish refugee in any of them. The Jews who have returned to their country are settled in Petah Tiqva, Rishon le Zion, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Deganiya, the region of the Negev, and other Jewish towns and villages built by us.

The return of the Jews to their country is a work of self-liberation and self-reconstruction, which is contributing to the reconstruction and liberation of the country as a whole.

My fourth and last remark, is this. We have no conflict with the Arab people. On the contrary, it is our deep conviction that, historically, the interests and aspirations of the Jewish and Arab peoples are compatible and complementary. What we are doing in our country, in Palestine, is reclaiming the land, increasing the yield of the soil, developing modern agriculture and industry, science, and art, raising the dignity of labour, ensuring women's status of equality, increasing men's mastery over nature and working out a new civilization based on human equality, freedom and co-operation in a world which we believe is as necessary and beneficial for our Arab neighbours as for ourselves.

A Jewish-Arab partnership, based on equality and mutual assistance, will help to bring about the regeneration of the entire Middle East. We Jews understand and deeply sympathize with the urge of the Arab people for unity, independence, and progress, and our Arab neighbours, I hope, will realize that the Jews in their own historic homeland can under no conditions be made to remain a subordinate, dependent minority as they are in all other countries in the Diaspora. The Jewish nation in its own country must become a free and independent State with a membership in the United Nations. It is eager to cooperate with its free Arab neighbours to promote economic development, social progress, and real independence of all the Semitic countries in the Middle East.

Mr. Chairman, I most earnestly suggest to your Committee that the real, just, and lasting solution of the problem before you is a Jewish State and a Jewish-Arab alliance.


The CHAIRMAN: That closes our general discussion on the question of the terms of reference of the special committee of inquiry.

If the Committee agrees, we shall now proceed to discuss document A/C.1/171, paragraph by paragraph, together with any amendments which have been submitted to those paragraphs. I hope that we can do this with a minimum of discussion, although I recognize, of course, that those who have introduced amendments to those paragraphs may desire to explain their amendments. Surely, however, an explanation of this kind should be sufficient, and after an explanation of an amendment, we may be able to vote on it. If the Committee agrees, we shall consider the preamble first.

I shall read it as it appears in document A/C.1/171:

"Whereas the General Assembly of the United Nations has been called into special session in pursuance of the request of the Government of the United Kingdom for the purpose of constituting and instructing a special committee to prepare for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly of the future government of Palestine . . . . "

An amendment has been submitted to that preamble by the representative of Chile (document A/C.1/175). I would point out to him that his amendment would make a substitution in the preamble for the phrase "a report on the future government of Palestine." That phrase, however, does not appear in the preamble.

Mr. SANTA CRUZ (Chile) (translated from Spanish): The amendment I proposed is based on the French text and I drafted it in French.

The French text says: "un rapport sur le futur Gouvernement de la Palestine". The purpose of my amendment, in fact, is simply to change the phrase "on the future government of Palestine" to "on the question of Palestine" in order to bring the preamble into line with the facts before us.

I have before me the Secretary-General's telegram convening the Assembly, in which he states that the purpose of the special session is to constitute a special committee to prepare for the consideration of the question of Palestine. Next we have the Assembly's adoption of the agenda, which also refers to the constitution of a special committee to prepare for the consideration of the question of Palestine. Similarly, the text of the resolution now before us states that the purpose of the committee will be to investigate the question or problem of Palestine, which is a wider matter than to decide upon the future government of Palestine.

The sole purpose of my amendment therefore is to bring the preamble into line with the text.

The CHAIRMAN: I think this amendment is a simple one, and it is quite true the French text is a little different from the English text in this respect. But the English amendment would read: "... to prepare for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly of the question of Palestine". The words "of the question of Palestine" are substituted for the words "of the future government of Palestine".

The vote will be on the amendment, which changes the last line of the preamble by substituting the words "of the question of Palestine" for the words "of the future government of Palestine".

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I notice here that the letter presented by His Majesty's Government for summoning this special session (document A/286) states that His Majesty's Government "will ask the Assembly to make recommendations, under Article 10 of the Charter, concerning the future government of Palestine". At the end of the letter it is also stated: "... of the question referred to in the preceding paragraph". The preceding paragraph states, as I said: "... to -make recommendations, under Article 10 of the Charter, concerning the future government of Palestine".

His Majesty's Government intended to ask the General Assembly to make recommendations on the future government of Palestine. It is clearly stated there. The General Assembly, therefore, is meeting on this principle and for this purpose. Accordingly, I think there is no need to make-any modification or to omit that phrase and substitute another for it.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): I have only a verbal alteration. I think the representative of Chile is quite correct. The English text is incomplete. There is no object for the verb. I think after the word "Assembly" the preamble should read: "a report of the future government". The English text is incomplete; the French text is correct.

The CHAIRMAN: The English text is as it was adopted by the Sub-Committee. It was taken without change from the proposal submitted by the representative of the Philippine Republic some two days ago (document A/C.1/168). If there is any further amendment to be made to that text, that is up to the Committee. But that is the text we have been discussing and considering for the last forty-eight hours.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): May I point out that the draft is in good English, because after having stated: "Whereas the General Assembly" et cetera, it states: "The General Assembly resolves that . . ." Therefore it covers the whole of that phrase. It is perfectly correct English.

The CHAIRMAN: Are there any further suggestions? If not, we shall put this amendment to the vote.

Mr. RODRIGUEZ FABREGAT (Uruguay) (translated from Spanish): Are we considering the Chilean representative's amendment? If so, my view is that it would be advisable to adopt it.

In fact we were convened for this: to appoint a committee for studying the problem or question of Palestine, a committee to be granted such powers as would enable it to study, investigate and report upon the matter.

If we state in our instructions that the committee is to give an opinion upon the future government of Palestine we are then directing, and therefore to some extent restricting, its mission and its task.

That is how I see it. Moreover, this amendment is in line with the Uruguayan delegation's attitude in this matter as already indicated by me here—the appointment of a committee of investigation with wide powers to report on and propose solutions for the Palestine question.

The Uruguayan delegation therefore supports the amendment submitted by the Chilean delegation.

Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) (translated from Spanish) : I merely wish to add my support to the Chilean representative's resolution.

It would be completely- incongruous to preface the text of the resolution by a preamble limiting it. The text as a whole provides for a comprehensive investigation; it would be absurd, therefore, to introduce the text with a preamble which limits it.

Therefore, I believe — although His Majesty's Government may have submitted the question in a limited way — that the Assembly can sovereignly do what it may determine to do. I agree with the Chilean proposal and ask the Committee to approve it.

The CHAIRMAN: I think we have had enough discussion on this. We shall now take a vote.


The CHAIRMAN: The results are as follows: thirty-six votes in favour of the amendment, ten against and six abstentions. The amendment is carried.

We now come to the effective part of the resolution, "The General Assembly resolves that . . .".

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom) : May I just make a suggestion for the sake of accuracy now that that amendment in the preamble has been carried and adopted? I suggest that we drop the words "in pursuance of the request of the Government of the United Kingdom" since in point of fact, our request was so worded as to include the words "future government of Palestine".

The CHAIRMAN: It has been moved that the words "in pursuance of the request of the Government of the United Kingdom" should be dropped in view of the fact that the amendment of the representative of Chile was carried. Is there any objection to their omission?

As there is no objection, those words are dropped from the preamble.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I am sorry to insist on the observation made by the representative of Australia. The preamble is not worded in an effective way. I do not know where the mistake started, but a few words seem to have been omitted from the original draft. It has been a typographical error which has been repeated in all the other drafts. As the wording of the preamble stands now, it does not mean anything—to prepare what?

The CHAIRMAN: The preamble seems to make sense to me, but then I may be wrong. Maybe I had better read it. As it is now adopted, it reads:

'Whereas the General Assembly of the United Nations has been called into special session for the purpose of constituting and instructing a special committee to prepare for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly of the question of Palestine, the General Assembly resolves that...

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): To prepare the question of Palestine?

The CHAIRMAN: To prepare itself for the consideration of the question. The English may be awkward, but it seems to me to make sense.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): We should insert the word "itself". If that is the meaning of the preamble, we should include "itself". The meaning of the preamble is to prepare the report, and that is how we accepted it. I am sorry that the Secretariat missed that phrase all along.

The CHAIRMAN: The preamble that we have voted on is the preamble that was discussed by the Sub-Committee on Saturday afternoon, without change. The French text, I take it, makes sense to the representative of Colombia. So when we come to the final reconciliation of the two languages, maybe everything will make sense.

Mr. MUNIZ (Brazil): I support what the representative of Colombia just said. The word "prepare" is a transitive verb, and it requires a direct object. You cannot say "prepare for the consideration". You have to say "prepare itself for a report" as the Chilean delegation's amendment stated—"a report on the question of Palestine."

The CHAIRMAN: May I ask the representative of Brazil if he has ever heard of a prize-fighter preparing for a fight?

Mr. MUNIZ (Brazil): But you have to prepare yourself for something. I think you should say whether the committee is to prepare the Assembly for the report, or to prepare the report.

The CHAIRMAN: May I suggest that unless there is a definite further amendment—and I will consider any further amendments—we consider the preamble as carried; and if it does not make sense in the final text, there will be an opportunity to alter it later.

Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): I think the Chilean amendment includes the word "report", and it was accepted.

The CHAIRMAN: The Chilean amendment as put to the Committee, and as read by me, changed the text to read "... to prepare for the consideration at the-next regular session of the Assembly of the question of Palestine". That was the preamble which was carried by a Committee vote of thirty-six to ten. There will be an opportunity later to object to that in the full Assembly, if any member of the Committee wishes to do so.

Mr. DE PAULA GUTIERREZ (Costa Rica): We have before us document A/C.1/175. This amendment proposes substituting for the phrase in the preamble "a report on the future government of Palestine", the phrase "a report on the question of Palestine". I think that new wording makes the question very clear.

The CHAIRMAN: Yes, but the representative will recall that I mentioned to the representative of Chile that in his amendment, as circulated, he talked about a substitute phrase— "a report on the future government of Palestine". There was no such phrase in the English text of the preamble as circulated, though there was in the French. I was dealing with the English text, and I mentioned it to him. He withdrew in the English text the words "a report on", and we voted on the substitution of the phrase "the question of Palestine", for the original, not on the phrase "a report on the question of Palestine".

Mr. MUNIZ (Brazil): I must insist that we cannot include things without sense. What are we instructing this special committee to do—to prepare what? We have to make sense of it, and we must reason grammatically. The verb "to prepare" is a transitive verb, and it requires a direct object. We say: prepare the Assembly for the consideration. We have to say prepare something else, to prepare a report. Only if we do this can we make sense of it; otherwise its meaning remains vague. We do not know what this special committee is to do.

The CHAIRMAN: If the Committee so desires, we can turn to the preamble now and add the words "a report on", even though the other wording of the preamble has been carried. With the consent of the Committee, that can be done. If the Committee agrees, we will now vote on the following wording: "... for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly a report on the question of Palestine." Is there any objection to the addition in the preamble of these words: —"a report on"?

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): Since the question of English is being discussed, I should like to draw the attention of the representative of Chile to the fact that it makes perfect sense when you say, "prepare for the consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly the question of Palestine".

The CHAIRMAN: May I suggest to the representative of India that though the one makes sense, the other seems to make more sense to some members of the Committee. Therefore, if the Committee has no objection, we will include these words which do not, to my mind, alter the sense of the preamble in any way, but serve to clarify it hi the minds of some members of the Committee. Therefore, the preamble as carried, I hope, in this Committee will read: "Whereas the General Assembly of the United Nations has been called into special session for the purpose of constituting and instructing a special committee to prepare for consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly a report on the question of Palestine the General "Assembly resolves that. . ." Is that agreed—"to prepare ... a report"?


The CHAIRMAN: The next paragraph on which we should vote is paragraph 2. It reads as follows:

"2. The special committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts, and to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine."

There have been no amendments submitted to that paragraph. I beg your pardon; there is one from the representative of Poland (document A/C.1/174). The amendment of the representative of Poland reads:

"The special committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts, and to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine"—and now come the additional words—"by investigation on the spot and elsewhere, whenever necessary, including the displaced persons' camps."

Are you ready for the vote on this amendment?

Mr. GARCIA GRANDOS (Guatemala): I wish to ask the representative of Poland to withdraw his amendment, because there is another amend ment by Panama and Guatemala that comprises what he wishes in a more general form, and to which I shall refer when this amendment is to be voted on.

The CHAIRMAN: Does the representative from Poland wish to withdraw his amendment, in the light of what the representative of Guatemala has said?

Mr. FIDERKIEWICZ (Poland): No, I do not. If these words are in any other paragraph, that will only strengthen this paragraph.

The CHAIRMAN: The vote is on the amendment of the representative of Poland.

A vote was taken by a show of hands.

The CHAIRMAN: For the amendment, ten; against the amendment, thirty-three; abstentions, six.

The amendment is rejected.

I shall now read the original paragraph 2:

"The Special Committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts, and to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine."

A vote was taken by a show of hands.

The CHAIRMAN: For retention of paragraph 2 as I have just read it, forty-two; against, four; abstentions, two.

The paragraph is accepted.

We shall now consider paragraph 3, which reads: "The Special Committee shall determine its own procedure."

Are there any objections to that paragraph? It is carried unanimously. We shall now consider paragraph 4:

"The special committee shall conduct investigations in Palestine, receive and examine written or oral testimony, whichever it may consider appropriate in each case, from the mandatory Power, from representatives of the population of Palestine, from Governments and from such organizations and individuals as it may deem necessary."

An amendment has been proposed to this paragraph by the delegations of Panama and Guatemala, as follows: After the phrase "the Special Committee shall conduct investigations in Palestine" in paragraph 4, insert the following phrase: "and wherever it may deem convenient" (document A/C.1/172).

The voting is on the amendment: "and wherever it may deem convenient".

Mr. GARCIA GRANDOS (Guatemala) (translated from Spanish): I do not hold with resolutions which are too casuistic. We are beginning to go into details, and if we do that we must consider them all and make the resolution as wide as possible.

We (the representative for Panama and myself) proposed this amendment because, although from the context of the resolution it is understood that this was what the Committee meant when it submitted the resolution, this is not clearly stated; and if any specific points are to be mentioned it is better that this point also should be made clear.

We have several reasons for holding this view. First, it is stated that the committee may receive testimony from the mandatory Power. As we know, the mandatory is the United Kingdom Government, which is in London. Therefore the committee must be empowered to go to London if it deems necessary, for the British Government would not go to Palestine, the only country mentioned here, nor would it come to the United Nations headquarters.

The other points we took into account are more important. There has been much talk here about immigration, in the statements of both the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency.

Nevertheless, we have no official knowledge of the wishes of the Jews in the European camps. Immigration from there might turn out to be very small in relation to the present population of Palestine. It has been claimed, as we have been told here, that the Jews entering Palestine exceed the Arabs in number. Who knows whether, if the committee speaks directly with the Jews in the European camps, it may not find that only a small percentage wish to go to Palestine and the rest wish to go to other parts of the world? We cannot be officially sure of this.

The committee ought to have the widest powers, so as to be officially entitled to ascertain with real certainty what the wishes of these people are.

Therefore, because, as I have said, we think these functions must be specified in the regulations of the committee, we have proposed this amendment and ask the First Committee to accept it.

The CHAIRMAN: Is there any objection to this amendment?

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I understand that the object of the proposers of this amendment is to give the committee liberty to go and inspect the camps of the refugees and displaced persons in Europe, while we have been saying all the time that there is no connexion and no link between the refugees and the Palestine question.

The Palestine question is altogether different. The displaced persons of Europe are under the charge of the International Refugee Organization, which is interested in that subject, and we should not complicate the matter of Palestine by the injection of such a new issue; we should not accept or permit any hint to that effect, especially as the Political and Security Committee is now discussing this matter.

The committee may hold its examinations anywhere it likes—if it so chooses—but not on that principle or with reference to the refugees, who are too far away and not connected with the problem of Palestine.

Palestine is a special question in itself, and the General Assembly has taken a resolution which is clear. All the representatives here have agreed in that resolution that the refugees would be dealt with by a special organization. We have nothing to do with them here.

Mr. ANDREWS (Union of South Africa): The South African delegation, for its part, would have thought that paragraph 2 was sufficiently comprehensive to permit the special committee of inquiry to go wherever it pleased. It was in that sense that I supported paragraph 2. But if there is any suspicion in the mind of any delegation that the committee would not be able to go wherever it may be convenient, I, for my part, will support the amendment.

Colonel HODGON (Australia): My observations are going to be similar to those just enunciated by our colleague from South Africa. I shall not repeat them, except to suggest for your consideration that it is not "wherever it may deem convenient" at all. That is not the correct translation of the French. The French translation uses the word utile and I do suggest that you use the word "useful", which is a proper word, instead of "convenient".

The CHAIRMAN: Are you intending that change as an amendment to the amendment?


The CHAIRMAN: Does the representative of Guatemala accept it?

Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala): I accept it.

The CHAIRMAN: With the approval of the mover of the amendment, it will read: "... and wherever it may deem useful".

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): Perhaps I shall be prepared to support the amended amendment if it is further slightly amended thus: "... and wherever it may deem useful, provided it is relevant to the central object for which this committee is being set up."

The CHAIRMAN: I should like to ask the representative of India whether he does not consider that the use of the words "relevant to the question of Palestine" in paragraph 2 would cover that point in connexion with paragraph 4. Therefore, he may not consider it necessary to add these words to this amendment. I suggest that paragraph 2 would govern paragraph 4 in respect of the work of the committee, and therefore meet the suggestion made by the representative of India.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I accept that provision, but in that case I shall have to vote against the amendment for the simple reason that the reasons given by the Panama and Guatemala representatives unfortunately go beyond the limit of relevancy.

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): I think it is very unfortunate that we constantly link these two problems together, either by implication or by direct mention, namely, the problem of Palestine on the one hand and the problem of refugees and displaced persons on the other. I think, if we continue to do that, we are giving further indications and instructions to our committee beyond our terms of reference from the General Assembly.

You will recall that we were precluded from the very beginning from doing anything or saying anything which would in any way prejudge this problem. This whole idea of setting up this special committee is precisely to try to gather all facts as dispassionately as possible, without giving the committee specific indications at this time, special sign posts, so to speak, as to where to go and what to investigate.

It seems to me this continuous secret passion for pointing out and actually providing sign posts for the committee in our discussions, and hi connexion with suggested amendments, is very regrettable, because it certainly disregards the decision taken by the Assembly, a very clear decision that we are not to prejudge an issue hi setting up this committee, but that we are to leave this committee to find out for itself precisely what problems are relevant and what problems are not relevant in the investigation of the question.

We stand before history, and we cannot very well behave disingenuously now and bring up again what we repudiated two weeks ago.

I would urge upon the Committee in all sincerity to try to defeat this amendment, let the force of the second paragraph cover the matter and leave it entirely to the discretion of the committee to determine where it wants to go and whom it wants to hear.

Mr. PALZA (Bolivia) (translated from Spanish ): It seems to me that there is some contradiction between the amendment proposed by our colleagues from Panama and Guatemala, for in considering paragraph 2 we rejected the Polish representative's amendment containing the words: "by investigation on the spot and elsewhere whenever necessary, including the displaced persons' camps".

That means, that if we are to be consistent, we ought not now to retain the phrase "wherever it may deem useful" in the proposed amendment.

That being so, if it is to act consistently, the Bolivian delegation will also have to reject the present amendment, though to do so is against. its wish to co-operate with its colleagues from Panama and Guatemala.

Mr. ZULOAGA (Venezuela): I wish to answer my colleague from Bolivia. I think that many representatives did not vote in favour of the Polish proposal because they did not like the wording, and they were waiting for this proposal of Panama and Guatemala before giving their approval.

The Venezuelan delegation at this very late hour does not want to make a long speech. We understand that at 5:30 p.m. the Security Council is going to have a very important meeting, and if we cannot have the five big Powers hi the committee of inquiry for Palestine, at least we hope to have them here in the First Committee. I suggest that we close the debate on this matter and vote on this amendment. The Venezuelan delegation will second it.

The CHAIRMAN: We shall come to a vote now, after the very sensible statement which has just been made.

Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): I was just going to say that the committee is to be appointed for the problem of Palestine and not for the question of displaced persons. What I understood from the proposal was that the movers intend it should be connected with the displaced persons. But that is a separate question, the duties of which go to another body, another organization.

The CHAIRMAN: The proposal is that the committee will meet wherever it thinks useful to meet. The amendment would add the words, "and wherever it may deem useful", after the words, "in Palestine".


The CHAIRMAN: The result of the vote is as follows: In favour of the amendment, thirty-six votes; against the amendment, eight votes; abstentions, four.
We shall now vote on the paragraph as amended. The paragraph as amended will read:

"The special committee shall conduct investigations in Palestine and wherever it may deem useful, receive and examine written or oral testimony, whichever it may consider appropriate in each case, from the mandatory Power, from representatives of the population of Palestine, from Governments, and from such organizations and individuals as it may deem necessary."


The CHAIRMAN: There were forty-three votes in favour of the paragraph; eight votes against; one abstention.
We now come to paragraph 5 (a), (b), (c), (d); and there is an (e). I think it might be a useful procedure—possibly I should have suggested it before—that in voting on paragraphs 5, 6 and 7, we might vote by roll-call, as there seems to be a little difficulty in getting an accurate vote in each case. Would there be any objection to a vote by roll-call from now on?
In addition to the four versions of paragraph 5 before the committee there has been an additional version (document A/C.1/173), circulated during the interval by the representative of the United States. The latter reads as follows:

"The special committee, in studying the future government of Palestine, shall give full consideration to guarantees of the rights necessary to the peace and independence of its peoples."

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): Just a word to state the reason why this suggestion is made.

We find, upon careful study of the several drafts—5 (a), 5 (b), 5 (c) and 5 (d)—that they can clearly be regarded as prejudging the substantial question which the General Assembly will have to pass upon for the first time, and over which we have not any jurisdiction whatever. The draft submitted now is intended to avoid prejudgment of the question and to make it clear that the special committee's business is to study and report upon the subject. The draft submitted is short. It reads:

"The special committee, in studying the future government of Palestine, shall give full consideration to guarantees of the rights necessary to the peace and independence of its peoples."

That does not beg the question in any way. It is clear that it assumes that among all the questions" contemplated by the various versions of the foregoing paragraph, there is necessarily a logically considered question of the government of Palestine. The form and substance, I suggest, permit consideration of the sovereignty of the State, the rights of the people, the relation of the people to the State, and the obligations of the State to the people. It does not undertake to prejudge the form of government or anything of the kind, but it is so broad in character that the committee is unrestricted and given a free hand to study the whole question.

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): We have before us now the consideration of this very crucial paragraph number 5, of which we have five different readings—5 (fl),5 (b), 5 (c),and 5 (d)— and now the substitute paragraph suggested by the representative of the United States. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is perhaps the most crucial of all paragraphs in this text, and the objective proof of that is that there are so many readings of it. I should like to make a few remarks about all these readings.

There seems to be a basic desire noticeable to avoid the term "independence", if possible, altogether, or to use it with such hedging and qualifications as to water it down almost to meaninglessness. On the one hand, we notice that it is qualified by the term "ultimate" in some of these variations. This qualification obviously may mean an indefinite deferment of the independence of the country.

On the other hand, some variations of the text before us speak of the independence of the population of Palestine, or of the people of Palestine, and this afternoon in the new United States proposal there is mention of the peoples of Palestine.

To my knowledge, the phrase "the independence of the population" of a country is a novel phrase in international parlance. You never speak of the independence of the population of the United States, or of the population of Canada, or of the population of France. There is here, then, a certain equivocal and, I might also say, esoteric use of the term, which is all the more disquieting when we take into account several things that have happened during the last few days.

Whatever one might say about the Jewish Agency, one could never accuse it of equivocation or lack of clarity. The Jewish Agency has been most emphatic in asserting that it is opposed to the independence of Palestine until the Jews form a majority there. We must all thank the Jewish Agency for this admirable frankness. I submit that only frankness and absolute clarity can really help in the present situation. Consequently this apparent shyness of the term "independence for Palestine" on the part of many, when considered in conjunction with the declared and avowed intentions of the Jewish Agency, is exceedingly disquieting. We must, in this Committee, during this session of the Assembly, steer our deliberations and conclusions away from any external influence, or else we should really be prejudging the issue.

In answer to my remark, it might be said that the use of the term itself, on the other hand, also prejudges the issue, because then it would mean —or it might mean—an independent Palestine, now, with an Arab majority. I shall answer that remark as frankly also.

The two cases are not as beautifully balanced as they may seem at first sight. The word "independence" already exists in the Covenant of the League of Nations, on which the mandate was based, and therefore, obviously, it is not the act of using an already used term which prejudges the issue, but precisely the act of omitting to use a term which was already in use thirty years ago.

This leads me to another disquieting phenomenon in connexion with this matter. Last week, the representative of Australia spoke—in passing, to be. sure—of the possibility not of an independent State of Palestine, but of two independent States of Palestine. On 10 May, the representative of the United States said that, while he was not arguing for a Zionist State, he was against the use of the term "independence" in the terms of reference because, as he said, "there is a very substantial opinion, however, the Jewish opinion, which has another idea as to the solution of Palestine."

Then, Mr Chairman, you will recall that last week you gave utterance to what appeared on the surface to be a perfectly harmless analogy, but which, on reflection, is really pregnant with significance. You said that speaking of independence for the population of Palestine is like speaking of independence for the population of North America. You did not say "independence for the population of Canada" or "independence for the population of America," but "independence for the population of North America".

These and other statements are pregnant intimations, significant hints. Therefore, in view of all of them and in view of other things that have been happening, I find it necessary in connexion with paragraph 5, which is now under discussion, to make a formal seven-point declaration on behalf of my Government:


2. My Government formally deprecates any advance biassing of the special committee by all these intimations and undercurrents. We regard such biassing of opinion, however subconscious and however well-intentioned, as a decided prejudgement of the issue.

3. My Government formally repudiates the possibility of any partition of Palestine.

4. My Government, being bound to the United Nations only by the Charter, cannot recognize any solution of the problem of Palestine which is not in conformity with the purposes and the principles of the Charter.

5. My Government repudiates the possibility of sundering Palestine from its general Arab hinterland.

6. My Government entirely reserves its position in case any disturbance of peace and security takes place in the Near East as a result of the work or conclusions of the special committee.

7. Nothing short of the conversion of Palestine into an independent democratic State is acceptable to my Government.

For these reasons, I have the honour to support only alternative 5 (d) of the five proposals before us.

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I had intended to say only what my colleague from Lebanon has said, and it is not necessary for me to repeat it. I consider that the alternative presented by the representative of the United States is the worst of the five alternatives which are before us,

MR. HENRIQUEZ URENA (Dominican Republic) (translated from Spanish}: The delegation of the Dominican Republic has noted with interest the amendment submitted by the United States. It seems to us a satisfactory way of preventing certain words from giving rise to conflicting interpretations or offending susceptibilities, as had been feared.

The great advantage of the amendment lies in the fact that although it requests that the fullest consideration be given to guarantees of the rights necessary to the peace and independence of the peoples of Palestine, it does not prejudge the question or compel the committee to adopt any one of the two, three, four or five possible courses of action. The amendment simply leaves the committee free to do its work calmly and without being constrained to give more emphasis to one principle than to another. And the real substance of the question is left for discussion at the General Assembly in September after receipt of the committee's report.

For these reasons the delegation of the Dominican Republic intends to vote for the United States amendment, which it considers clear and practical.

Mr. GARCIA GRANADOS (Guatemala) (translated from Spanish): When I studied the sub-committee's proposals I did not find any of them satisfactory. They are all too specific, too subjective and liable to lead the investigating committee into a cul-de-sac.

I was about to submit an amendment myself on behalf of my country when I read the United States amendment.

I accept and am prepared to vote for it because I think it includes everything we wish for Palestine. It speaks first of rights, and in doing so it suggests that the committee will be required to guarantee in a democratic form the rights of individuals living in that country. Secondly, it speaks of peace; that is to say it acknowledges the unfortunate fact that at present peace does not exist there and must be ensured. Thirdly, it speaks of independence, something to which all of us, as the friends of free peoples, aspire. And finally it also points to the fact that there are different peoples living together in Palestine.

I think all these points contribute to make this amendment the most suitable one and therefore the one which we should approve. As I am sure that many of the representatives will agree with it and as it is also an amendment to the proposal submitted by the Committee, I should like to propose that we vote upon it first, because if it is adopted the other four resolutions or alternative suggestions submitted by the Committee will be unnecessary.

Mr. GARREAU (France) (translated from French) : I do not think that any of these five proposals is satisfactory. If I were a member of the committee of investigation, I should find it extremely difficult to apply any one of them. Perhaps it would be wiser purely and simply to delete this paragraph, for it adds nothing specific to our instructions to the committee of investigation, and I think the paragraphs we have already adopted are sufficient to establish the scope and purpose of the mission with which the committee will be entrusted. For my part, I shall be unable to vote for any of these five proposals.

Mr. ARCE (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): I would not presume to judge which is the worst or the best of the five proposals before us. On the other hand I am absolutely certain that all of them are included in paragraph 2, which we have already approved.


Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I am afraid we are getting into deep waters. Ever since this morning, statements have flowed from various directions which seem to be adding some rumblings of thunder all around. It is time we brought the temperature down a little.

There is a little phrase in English of which, you, Mr. Chairman, are perfectly aware, which, in my opinion, happens to apply to this particular proposal. It is generally said, "We are at sixes and sevens." We were at sixes, and the United States has now produced the seventh and now we are "at sixes and sevens".

I should like to comment on the last proposal by the United States, which undoubtedly is conceived in the best of spirit and most probably with the best of intentions. But if by some unfortunate chance, it does not inspire confidence among the people of Palestine, who are represented here fairly fully, it is quite obvious that its efficacy fails. On closer examination, I find there are some reasons for its not being inspiring enough as far as the people of Palestine and the Arab States are concerned. Let us look at it. The proposal says:

"The special committee, in studying the future government of Palestine, shall give full consideration to guarantees of the rights"—I am reading the text which is before me"to guarantees of the rights"—whose rights, of course, we do not know, but still—"to guarantees of the rights necessary to the peace and independence of its peoples."

In ordinary English, "peoples" means more than one people. That would mean that Palestine is inhabited by more than one people; which again means that the Arab State of Palestine is to be divided between two or more peoples. That naturally is likely to raise some doubts in the minds of the Arabs and the Arab States, which have already been expressed. Moreover, the rights to which this proposal refers are circumscribed by the condition that they are necessary only to the peace and independence of its peoples.

We in India have had very long experience of these phraseologies, and we know that this particular phraseology "peoples" has had very adverse effects. Even now, we are battling with these effects. If our experience is of any use whatsoever to the Members of the United Nations—most of whom have not gone through the miseries and catastrophes of these unhappy phraseologies—let them be very careful indeed.

We are before the bar of history; we are before the bar of human conscience. Do not let us equivocate. Let us be perfectly simple, straight-forward, frank, and candid. Let us lay our cards on the table; let everyone put his hand on his heart and say, "Now, am I doing my duty by human conscience, or am I just trying to equivocate, or am I trying to mislead people?"


Let us be very careful. This is a matter which is going to be judged by the rest of the world, a majority of which is not represented here. Let us be very clear about that. A good part of the world is still unrepresented. Whatever you do here today will be judged by the whole world. The whole world is watching you, and they expect, at any rate, that the United Nations, which is the basis of the future peace of the world, which is the only hope of the future peace of the world, will take the necessary steps to guard against the old ways of diplomacy and will no longer indulge in equivocations, in ambiguities, and in phrases which can be interpreted one way or another way.

If you really mean to bring the Jews into Palestine, say so. If, on the contrary, you feel it is not right and not just, say so. If, on the other hand, you still feel that those who are already there have got to be made secure, then the only course before you is to sterilize the frontiers of Palestine; keep it out of all international entanglements; keep it out of every conceivable kind of war; make it a holy place for the whole world. Let nobody get in there and have his finger in the pie, and let these people settle down honestly, straightforwardly. And let the Arabs and the Jews, as cousins— although very much separated and although quite distinct in time and history—be brought together.

I have said it before and I say it again. For God's sake, let us build a bridge for these two. Let us bring them together. Let them embrace one another. Let them live happily together.

These phrases are not going to help to do that. You ought to make it perfectly clear that the independence of Palestine, as it was conceived in 1922 when Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations was drawn up and the principles which are enshrined there are not going by the board today.

Palestine's independence must be your objective, must be the objective of the committee which you are going to create. Whether there will be an intervening period is another question. That is a matter for all of us to consider. If we find that there is going to be trouble on account of the immediate termination of the mandate and the immediate establishment of an independent State, we can consider that point, but the independence of Palestine cannot go by the board. If you do that, you will completely stultify the position of the United Nations in the eyes of millions and millions of human beings who are watching our proceedings today.

For that reason, I regret to say that I cannot agree with the wording of the United States' otherwise very conciliatory proposal, unless it is very drastically modified. So far, in pursuance of the instructions of my Government, I am bound to vote for 5 (d).

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : I should like to make some suggestions which I think may improve the text of the new paragraph submitted by the United States representative.

I should like to suggest omitting from the text the words "future government" 'and inserting a new word, "problem". Then, I should like to suggest placing the last words in the American draft, "of its peoples", after the words, "of the rights". Further, I should like to suggest inserting after the words "and independence" the following phrase, "of that country".

Therefore, this new paragraph submitted by the United States representative, as amended by me, would read as follows:

"The Special Committee, in studying the problem of Palestine, shall give full consideration to guarantees of the rights of its peoples necessary to the peace and independence of that country."

The CHAIRMAN: An amendment has been suggested by the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the amendment of the delegation of the United States, by which the United States proposal would read—and I think I have it correctly—as follows:

"The special committee in studying the problem of Palestine shall give full consideration to guarantees of the rights of its peoples necessary to the peace and independence of that country."

In the first place, I might ask the representative of the United States whether his delegation can accept that amendment to his proposal.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): It sounds good to me, but I reserve judgment for a few moments. Let me think it over.

Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): I wish to associate myself with all that has been said by the representative of India. I am very glad that he so eloquently and clearly defined the situation, and asked for clarity and frankness from all quarters.

I should like, however, to say that if there was any thundering today, it was not from our side, because we are peace-loving people and we want peace. We want to live in our own country in peace and security, free from aggression from outside.

I should like to state, however, that unless we are assured that the United Nations will guarantee peace and justice—which I hope it

will—no solution whatever recommended by any committee or any commission can deprive us of our right to defend ourselves. We have certain rights guaranteed by the aims and purposes of the Charter. We have certain rights guaranteed by the fact that we are human beings desirous of holding our destiny in our own hands. I think that these rights cannot be forsaken by any of us.

I should like to state that once we mention peoples or the population of a country, as has been suggested, we are injecting something which is very dangerous for the future of the country of Palestine and all the Middle East. As I said this morning, the people of Palestine have their natural rights and their acquired rights, which they are not ready to give up. Therefore, I would object to any plural form. I object to this "s", from whatever quarter it comes. There is only the people of Palestine, and there is the country of Palestine; the independence of Palestine, the independence of the people of Palestine. We do not need the word "peoples" when we say the "people of Palestine". It is like the independence of France or England or Canada, or any other part of the world. It is the independence of the country.

I think it would be quite useful for that one point to be made very clear. I said this morning that the Arabs will fight and will resist any form of a Jewish State, but they do that in their own homeland. We do not mind if the United Nations deems it necessary to find a spot in the world for creating a Jewish State, but not at our expense. A Jewish State at our expense in the Arab world cannot lead to peace.

Therefore, I should like to submit that there are three issues, which should be separated from each other. There is the issue of Palestine; there is the issue of the Jewish State; and there is the issue of the displaced persons.

All we want is to have peace in Palestine, to have the people of Palestine live naturally and rightfully. If there is a desire in any quarter for a Jewish State, please let the United Nations find a solution for that problem and find a place on the globe where the Jews can establish a State. We are not opposed to that, if it is deemed necessary. The problem of the refugees is a human problem that should be shared by all of us. That should not be made a point of departure in settling the question of Palestine. The question of Palestine should be settled very humanly and naturally. Palestine for the Palestinians; just as America is for the Americans, England for the English, Palestine is for the Palestinians.

That is why I should like to repeat what I said yesterday. Only alternative 5 (d) would really meet the requirements of the United Nations Charter and the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): On reflection, the amendments have a different meaning to me than they did at first sight. I had misunderstood one word, which makes quite a difference to the colour of the amendments.

In the first place, we speak of the peoples of the United States without any opprobrious reflection upon the peoples of the State of Vermont or of any other State of the Union. In our Constitution, notwithstanding that we created a Federal Government, having its seat at Washington, we required in the grant of the powers of that Government that it guarantee to each of the States of the Union a republican form of government. There is nothing novel in the guarantees that are referred to in the resolution as presented here by the United States.

I am not, by using this illustration, undertaking to prejudge in any way what the Committee may see fit to do, but as drafted originally and as it appears before you in document A/C.1/173, the proposal of the United States does not tell the Jews that this means a Jewish State, nor does it tell the Arabs that this means an Arab State. In fact, one of its merits is that it avoids prejudging and avoids excluding any conclusion which the committee may find wise after its study. I can imagine many different solutions that might be presented in studying the future government of Palestine, many different ones which would guarantee the rights to the peace and independence of its peoples and that is the primary object, I assure of the efforts of the United Nations.

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I cannot accept the suggested amendments.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): We should have liked this United States proposal to have been circulated and studied a little earlier because we have very great difficulty in understanding it. With all respect and deference to the United States delegation, we may be a little bit unfortunate in this corner of the Committee, but there is no one here that can honestly understand it.

For these reasons, when we examine it, we find it can be subject to at least seven different interpretations, and I am putting myself in the role of the members of that unfortunate special committee of inquiry.

We have cut out the reference to the future government in our preamble and we simply refer to it as the question of Palestine. The United States proposal goes on to speak of guarantees, and I asked myself the question, "Guarantees to whom? Guarantees by whom? By what method?" And then it goes on to speak of the rights necessary to the peace. I am not so sure that it is "rights necessary to the peace" as much as "obligations necessary to the peace and obligations necessary for the independence".

To our mind, it can be subject to so many different interpretations, it is going to cause so much disputation and argumentation that my delegation has come to the viewpoint there is too much controversy about the whole of these alter natives for paragraph 5 and we should not include any proposed paragraph 5. The whole lot should be omitted, not one of them should remain.

Sir Carl BERENDSEN (New Zealand): I had not intended to intervene in this debate, and I do so now in the hope, rather than with the confidence, that I might terminate it. I expressed the views of New Zealand before the General Assembly. We wish—and I cannot emphasize it too strongly—to see this committee endowed with the widest possible terms of reference, and I suggest to my colleagues on this Committee that anybody with common sense, anybody with legal sense, knows that, to the extent you endeavour to particularize, you almost inevitably restrict.

For that reason, and for that reason only, and not by reason of any want of sympathy for the ideal of independence which we all share, I would suggest that it would not only be wise to omit paragraph 5 altogether, but that it would be the proper course for us to adopt, hi order not to give any slant, any indication to this committee. Let this committee have the widest possible orbit for the consideration of every possible issue, and make the most unlimited report that it wishes to make.

Of these alternatives (if that is the word), of these five proposals, I do not see any that seems to me to add anything useful to the establishment of this committee, and I am bound to say that I should be very much in favour of the United States proposal if I felt any confidence that I knew what it meant. There are a number of quite impeccable sentiments enshrined in this particular draft, but I would suggest, • and I suggest very firmly that the wisest thing we can do is to decide here and now, not on any one of these five "alternatives", but to decide, as my colleague from Australia has just suggested, that we do not require any paragraph 5 at all, and that we proceed to paragraph 6.

The CHAIRMAN: I might point out to the previous speaker and one or two others that of course the best way, or a way to reach that objective is to vote against them all.

Mr. ANDREWS (Union of South Africa): Like my colleague from New Zealand, I had not intended to intervene at this stage of the debate, and I shall, as is my custom before this Committee, be very brief.

I too, very much appreciate the good intentions of the United States delegation in bringing a proposal forward at this stage, but I must, in all humility, also express the view that I have great difficulty hi understanding precisely what it means. I would only say this. To my mind, in adopting paragraph 2 of the instructions to the committee of inquiry we have done everything that we ought to do.

That paragraph, if I may read it-it is such a long while since we dealt with it—reads as follows:

"The special committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts, and to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine."

I am quite sure that the question of independence must be relevant to the problem of Palestine. In what form or what time—that must be a matter entirely for the consideration of the special committee of inquiry. I would only say that, having voted for paragraph 2 of the terms of reference, I feel this Committee has discharged its obligation, and for my part, the South African delegation regrets very much that it can support none of the various proposals which are contained in paragraph 5. It feels that it would be better to omit them all.

Mr. THORS (Iceland): Mr. Chairman, I hope you will excuse just a few remarks. I have been sitting here silently hearing the many readings, listening to the many more or less eloquent and more or less essential speeches. But we have now, as agreed by everybody, reached a very crucial question. It was my understanding that we had come to this Assembly to appoint a committee to investigate the problem of Palestine, not to solve it at this stage.

Therefore, it is my opinion that we should avoid indicating any special solutions that might exclude other solutions which, at a later stage, when the ground has been better prepared and when we have more information available, we may wish to accept.

We all know that the problem of Palestine is a very painful one. It is one of the most delicate problems in the world today and perhaps the most explosive one. Therefore, I venture to ask if we at this stage are not really exceeding our mandate if we try now to indicate definite solutions.

It is my opinion that -we should refer this matter in its widest sense to a special committee of inquiry, and then later, to the next session of the General Assembly.

I find that to be the most logical solution. Therefore, I shall vote for the proposal by France to delete this paragraph entirely. So long as we have not made any wrong decision, there is always the hope that ultimately we will find the right solution. We are not here today to solve the problem of Palestine; we are here to prepare for its solution. We all hope ultimately to arrive at a solution based upon justice, humanity, and conciliation.

The CHAIRMAN: In my previous remarks I think I was guilty of misunderstanding. I was not aware at that time, although I should have been, that the French representative had made a concrete proposal for the deletion of all the versions of this paragraph, so that it would be omitted from the report of this Committee. That stands as a proposal before the Committee. I had overlooked it in my remarks to the representative of New Zealand.

Sir Carl BERENDSEN (New Zealand): I was merely going to move formally that we omit paragraph 5, but my French colleague has already done so.

The CHAIRMAN: I suggest, since we have to adjourn in a few minutes because there is a meeting of the Security Council, that we now come to a decision on this matter. We have seven proposals before the Committee. The one farthest away from the original proposal, which will be voted on first, is the motion that there be no reference to this matter at all and that all six versions suggested for this paragraph be deleted. I shall put that proposal before the Committee. If it is carried, no other vote is necessary; if it is not carried, we shall proceed to vote on the Soviet Union proposal as the next farthest removed from the original. Then we shall vote on the United States proposal.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): I understand that, in the Sub-Committee which drew up the report that is before us, the United States took the position that it preferred to have this paragraph deleted entirely. I shall abide by that preference. If the vote comes first on the deletion, of course I shall vote for deletion. However, I want it distinctly understood that I have not waived, and do not intend to waive my amendment. If one version of this paragraph is to be voted on, I hope the United States proposal will gain support.

The CHAIRMAN: I should make it quite clear that the four proposals in the paper before you, document A/C.1/171, were proposals put forward by members of the Sub-Committee who wished them to stand before the main Committee, but that there were members in the Sub-Committee who were not in favour of any of the proposals on this subject, and who are not bound by the appearance of any of these proposals in the document.

We shall now vote on the motion of the representative of France that the paragraph in question be deleted, as well as any reference to it in our report.

We shall vote by roll-call. All those who are in favour of the deletion of any reference to this matter in the report of the Committee, will vote "yes", and there will be no paragraph on this subject. Those who favour the inclusion of this paragraph in one form or another will vote "no".

A roll-call was taken, with the following results:

for: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Sweden, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay.

Votes against: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, Philippine Republic, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yugoslavia.

Abstentions: Argentina, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, India, Iran, Poland, Siam, Venezuela.


The CHAIRMAN: There are twenty-nine votes in favour of the deletion of the paragraph, and fourteen against. Ten members abstained and two are absent. Accordingly, paragraph 5 is deleted from our report and we shall go on to paragraph 6 tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.

The Committee stands adjourned until 11 a.m. tomorrow.

The CHAIRMAN: The fifty-sixth meeting of the First Committee is called to order.

When we adjourned yesterday afternoon, we had reached paragraph 6 of our draft resolution, document A/C.1/171. There are alternative texts of paragraph 6, which are before you as 6 (a) and 6 (b). These are self-explanatory. The report of the Sub-Committee indicates, however, that the majority of its members were in favour of the omission of both texts of paragraph 6 and that there should be no reference to this particular matter in the terms of reference of the special committee of inquiry.

Does any representative wish to speak on these alternative paragraphs or on the omission of both of them from the report?

Mr. SANTA CRUZ (Chile) (translated from Spanish}: In my country, the State has been separated from the Church for many years. At the same time, the present Government is composed of men who, in politics, have always fought under the standard of free thought.

Nevertheless, the Government of Chile recognizes that millions of human beings throughout the world have religious interests, and that that is also true of Palestine. My Government likewise has great respect for the Catholic sentiments of a large majority of the population of Chile.

For that reason, I have been specially instructed to urge here that some reference to respect for religious interests should be made in the committee's instructions. I realize, that such an insertion has no practical purpose if respect for these interests is included in the other terms of reference. I think, however, that an allusion to the religious interests of different faiths will be in accordance with the wishes of a large part of the world's population. I am therefore in favour of it and will vote for the insertion of paragraph 6 (b).

Mr. DE LAVALLE (Peru) (translated from Spanish): It is perhaps unnecessary to give emphasis to the existence and significance of religious values, side by side with the political and economic values which have been taken into account in the present discussion. It is perhaps unnecessary, too, to emphasize the spiritual significance which free access to the Holy Places has had through the centuries for Christianity and other religious beliefs.

The spiritual and historic interest of this aspect of the Palestine problem, and, for a counbeing made to it in article 14 of the League of Nations mandate of 1922, which stipulated that a special commission for the Holy Places should be appointed to defend and safeguard these interests and rights. We know that that commission was never appointed but we know also that article 28 stated that in the event of the termination of the mandate, it was essential to safeguard, in perpetuity, those deep interests of faith and belief and the right of free access to the Holy Places.

All this clearly shows the significance of this aspect of the Palestine problem, and for a country of Catholic faith and tradition like Peru, it is understandable that the omission of such a recommendation to the committee might be wrongly interpreted, in spite of the fact that the terms of paragraph 2 of the instructions we have already approved are sufficiently wide to grant the committee the necessary powers to cover all relevant aspects of the Palestine question.

The Peruvian delegation will therefore, like the Chilean, vote for the inclusion of paragraph 6 (b) in the draft.

General ROMULO (Philippine Republic): We favour this paragraph not because we wish to introduce a religious issue into this question, but because of the fact that the question of Palestine is unavoidably coloured by religious considerations. Indeed, the original mandate referred to the three religious groups in words virtually identical with those of the present paragraph.

This paragraph was originally proposed by the delegation of El Salvador (document A/C. 1/156). The Philippine delegation retained it in its own draft (document A/C.1/168) in an abbreviated form, as we thought the special committee should take into account the fact that Palestine, or certain hallowed parts of it, contains shrines sacred to religions other than Judaism or Islam.

We believe the inclusion of this paragraph will not adversely affect the resolution in any way. I am sure that neither the Arabs nor the Jews object to it, as we found in our Sub-Committee. If they do not object, then I cannot see why the Christian States of the United Nations should.

Mr. DE SOUZA GOMES (Brazil): The Brazilian delegation is in favour of the reference to religious interests. When dealing with Palestine, we cannot ignore religious values, because Palestine is the very source of such values.

What we call civilization is the merging of three elements which originated in the Mediterranean countries: Greece contributed thought and art; Egypt contributed science and technique; and Palestine contributed religious values. It seems to me very fitting, when, for the first time, the United Nations is called upon to find a solution for the problem of Palestine, to remember the essential characteristics of that land.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): You will recall that the Australian delegation spoke against this particular paragraph in the General Committee. As we see it, the whole intention of this Committee - and it will be the intention of the special committee—is to have the interests of the people of Palestine in mind.

We have heard it said this morning, and rightly so, that the Committee cannot ignore the religious interests. That is correct. But no more, however, can they ignore the political interests, the social interests and the economic interests.

In the Sub-Committee this particular paragraph took up more time and caused more argumentation than all the rest of the draft terms of reference put together, and we suggest that it will also cause much disputation here, and it can be discussed endlessly without good purpose. In our opinion, this is quite unnecessary. The terms of reference are wide and elastic. It is a sine qua non that they will bear these things in mind. This paragraph adds nothing to the text, and we are going to propose to the Committee that a vote be taken, similar to the vote taken yesterday—without any suggestion of course, that it will have the same result that both these texts be eliminated or deleted from the terms of reference for the special committee, and I move accordingly.

Mr. DE BOISANGER (France) (translated from French): The French delegation stated in the Sub-Committee that it favoured retaining, in the instructions to be given to the committee of inquiry, some reference to the religious interests, in Palestine, of three of the greatest religions in the world. It firmly maintains this point of view. We do not think it possible to delete, in the instructions to be given to the committee, all reference to religious interests.

The French delegation has always been of the opinion that the instructions to be given to the committee should be as limited as possible. One representative—I think it was the representative of India—said at the beginning of this debate that the word "Palestine" seemed to him sufficient. It would have been sufficient for us too, but now that the instructions have assumed a certain amplitude, the French delegation feels that some reference to religious interests is absolutely necessary.

Mr. MUNOZ (Argentina): The Argentine delegation favours the inclusion of paragraph 6. Apart from the reasons given by the representatives of Chile, Peru and the Philippines, we think that the exclusion today of paragraph 6 in either of the forms given in document A/C. 1/171 would lead public opinion to believe that we want the exclusion of paragraph 6. Now, we de not want public opinion to think that we wish to exclude the religious interests in Palestine of Christianity and the other faiths.

Furthermore, we favour the form of paragraph 6 (a) which covers the interests of all the inhabitants of Palestine, because in our opinion, this committee will have to take account of all these varying interests.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): The United States believes that the spiritual interest expressed in 6 (b) is a positive element of concern in the conscience of mankind, and that this interest should be expressed in the terms of reference of the committee. Therefore, the United States will support paragraph 6 (b).

Mr. MARTINEZ-LAGAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): On behalf of the Nicaraguan delegation I support what has been said by the representatives of Chile, Peru, the Philippines, Brazil, France and Argentina, and I specially urge that we should consider including the recommendations of paragraph 6 (b) as recently proposed by the United States delegation.

Mr. RODRIGUEZ FABREGAT (Uruguay) (translated from Spanish): I consider it unnecessary to insert this paragraph in the text of the resolutions we are adopting. I take this view because from the beginning I have been opposed to any specific limitation of the committee's functions.

But my primary reason for considering this paragraph unnecessary is that respect for the rights and freedoms of all the peoples of Palestine is implied in -the text of the resolution and the spirit of our drafting work here. The right to religious faith is undoubtedly included in these rights and freedoms.

Moreover, in drafting this insertion, the Sub-Committee has implied some kind of classification. There may be other faiths to consider in addition to the three mentioned, although these other faiths are also implicitly covered; it is possible that the committee will meet people of other creeds, or of none, and respect for each of these attitudes of the human conscience must be one of the committee's fundamental rules.

If, however, religious freedom and the right to maintain and practice a faith seemed in danger of being disregarded, I should of course vote for this paragraph. But I repeat that I consider it unnecessary in the resolution considered as a whole, and also because it specifies one of the committee's ultimate aims and these, in our opinion, should not be specified. I think the resolution will lose nothing by the omission of this article. It will leave the matter as it stands.

The committee could not in any case ignore religious rights. But if we mention religious interests, we ought also to mention other rights and interests as the paragraph itself implies. Now, the paragraph has' confined itself to this subject; it does not touch upon other rights. I for my part consider it unnecessary and" there-fore support the proposal that it should not be inserted, because its spirit is implied both in the text of the resolution and in the general attitude in which the United Nations intends to study this problem.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): We also discussed this question in the Sub-Committee, and the majority came to the conclusion that there was no necessity to include this paragraph in the document which we were preparing. We came to this conclusion in the Sub-Committee, not because the religious interests do not merit the committee's attention—they indubitably do merit attention and they must be reckoned with—but because the mention of religious interests in the short document which was being prepared as an instruction to the committee would perhaps be superfluous.

In view of the fact that certain delegations did not want any mention made in the document even of the word "independence", the emphasis on religious interests would have been all the more superfluous. I repeat that it would be a superfluous detail, not because religious interests do not merit the committee's attention —it is essential to bear them in mind—but because, in this document, we do not speak individually of other important interests, for example, economic and political interests, the status of women, and so on. Consequently, the emphasizing of religious interests is incomprehensible.


One final reason: spiritual interests today should receive the fullest attention. It may be said that many of the great problems facing the world are the cause of spiritual confusion, and I personally, and as a representative, think that any amendment tending to support spiritual forces or feelings should be welcomed. Mr. ORTIZ RODRIGUEZ (Colombia) (translated from Spanish): The Colombian delegation is in favour of using the simplest and most definite terms in this resolution. But in order to emphasize one of the essential freedoms of democracy, religious freedom, I think it should be mentioned in this paragraph. I therefore support the amendment for the same reasons as my colleagues from Chile, Peru, the Philippines, Brazil, France, Argentina, the United States, Nicaragua and Bolivia.

Mr. PAPANEK (Czechoslovakia): I propose the closure of the discussion on this paragraph.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I speak with some trepidation on this question. To begin with, we may look at paragraph 2, which we have already adopted. It reads as follows: "The special committee shall have the widest powers to ascertain and record facts, and to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine." In my opinion, paragraph 2 covers every possible point that can ever be raised in connexion with Palestine: spiritual, secular, or other. If the committee which is going to be set up is fully conscious of its tasks, it cannot possibly overlook the points which are specifically mentioned in the amendments proposed by the Polish and Philippine representatives.

In view of the fact that a great deal has been said about religious freedom, may I ask whether political freedom is also one of the fundamentals? If so, why is political freedom not mentioned here specifically? Or is it the case that the proposers of these amendments believe we should ignore political freedom, exclude political freedom from our reference to the committee, and include specifically only spiritual freedom or spiritual interests? If that is so, I am afraid we shall be stultifying our position altogether. But apart from that, I would draw the attention of this Committee to a fundamental point, which is this: while it is perfectly clear that it is the duty of every human being who is at all ethically minded to respect all religions equally and to allow every group and every individual the fullest freedom to profess whatever they wish, it is also the duty of a political body such as the United Nations not to lay too much stress on such questions because, if we once start thinking in these terms, I do not know where we shall end.

True, there are holy places in Palestine which are considered sacred by the Jews, the Christians, and the Musulmans. I have not the slightest doubt that whichever government is set up in Palestine will respect the susceptibilities of all the followers of these three religions. If it does not, it will not be worthy of the task of maintaining a free and democratic regime in that particular area of the world. That goes without saying.

However, if we start taking interest in religious matters, I do not know how many religious matters will be referred to us from time to time. This is only the beginning.

These matters will come up in many forms —in the form of inter-religious difficulties. Within a religion there may be many sects and those sects will have differences and those differences will come before us. Of course, we should try to do whatever we possibly can to make it perfectly safe for the follower of any religion who is interested in Palestine to visit and to see Palestine and to make sure that the places which he regards as sacred are not touched in any way.

It is not for us, however, to lay too much stress on these matters. We are a secular body and we must continue to be a secular body. But this does not mean for one second that we are not to be respectful towards the susceptibilities and feelings of the followers of any religion.

In so far as my country is concerned, you will realize in what position it happens to be. We have as many as ninety to a hundred million Mussulmans in our country; we also have nearly five to six million Christians in our country; and then, we have our allies and friends, just across the waters, in Indonesia, where there are as many as seventy million Mussulmans. If we were to take into consideration the interests and feelings of all these people, we should naturally say, "Yes, the interests of the Mussulmans should also be considered."

Personally, I feel that it would be much the best for us to be content with paragraph 2 and not to go into specifications, as otherwise, many other interests will crop up. At the same time, I assure my friends around the table that I have the deepest and profoundest respect for all their religious feelings.

Let us look at Palestine. In Palestine, every single place which is regarded as sacred by the Jews is considered sacred also by the Christians and the Mussulmans; every place which is regarded as sacred by the Christians is also considered sacred by the Mussulmans.

It is a rather curious anomaly that some people feel only some places to be sacred and others not, whereas the majority of the inhabitants of Palestine regard all places, whether associated with the Christian religion or with Judaism, as sacred. That being so, is it very necessary to stress this point here? If it is, I shall find it difficult to vote for it, because I voted against it in the Sub-Committee. I shall abstain.

The CHAIRMAN: There is one more speaker on my list. After he has spoken I hope the Committee will proceed to a vote.

Mr. THORS (Iceland: Yesterday the majority of this Committee voted for the omission of paragraph 5. This paragraph referred to the independence of Palestine. In voting for the omission of this paragraph, I do not think any representative meant that the committee of inquiry should evade the question of the independence of Palestine. On the contrary, I suspect that everyone voted for its omission merely because it is obvious that the question of the independence of Palestine is bound to be one of the main items for the consideration and decision of the special committee.

In view of our attitude yesterday, it might cause some misunderstanding if we today instructed the special committee to consider religious interests specifically. I understand the decision of the majority of this Committee yesterday to be exclusively based upon the consideration that the committee of inquiry should have the widest possible terms of reference. Therefore, I shall vote for the proposal suggested by Australia to delete this paragraph also.

I consider that to be in conformity with the previous attitude of the majority of this Committee. Any contrary action might cause misunderstanding. Naturally, the committee of inquiry will have to consider the religious interests of the question most carefully and with all due respect.

The CHAIRMAN: We. now have four proposals before the Committee. The main proposal is 6 (a). The amendment closest to that is the Polish amendment, which would substitute, "rights of the Arab people and the Jewish people," for "interests of all the inhabitants of Palestine."

Then there is the suggested paragraph headed 6 (b), which refers to religious interests only. There is the third proposal, and finally the fourth proposal, which is the one furthest away from the main proposal: that of the representative of Australia, which states that each of these paragraphs should be deleted and no reference to this matter should be included in our report.

I think it is clear the first vote should be on the motion of the representative of Australia for the deletion of these paragraphs from the report. I shall ask for a vote by roll-call. Those in favour of the deletion of these paragraphs or either of them from the report will vote "yes". Those against the deletion will vote "no". The question, then, is on the deletion of these paragraphs from the report.

Votes for: Australia, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Iceland, Iraq, Lebanon, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Siam, Sweden, Syria, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of South Africa, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia.

Votes against: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippine Republic, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Venezuela.

Abstentions: Afghanistan, Canada, Egypt, India, Mexico, Poland, and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Absent: Guatemala, Haiti, Liberia, and Turkey.

The CHAIRMAN: The result of the vote is as follows: in favour of deletion, nineteen; against deletion, twenty-five; abstentions, seven; absent, four.

The Committee will now proceed to a vote on the alternative paragraphs. In my opinion, the paragraph which is further removed from 6 (a) would be 6 (b). It reads: "The special committee shall give most careful consideration to the religious interests in Palestine of Islam, Judaism and Christianity." There Is no reference in that paragraph to "the interests of all the inhabitants of Palestine" or to the words of the Polish proposal, "the rights of the Arab people and the Jewish people."

The vote, then, will be on 6 (b). Those in favour of including 6 (b) in our report .will vote "yes", and those against it will vote "no". I call for a roll-call vote.

Votes for: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Iran, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sweden, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Votes against: Australia, Belgium, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Syria, and Turkey.

Abstentions: Afghanistan, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Chile, China, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Siam, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia.


The CHAIRMAN: The vote on paragraph 6 (b) is as follows: twenty-seven members are in favour of including paragraph 6 (b) in our report; nine members voted against; there were sixteen abstentions, and three members absent. Paragraph 6 (b ) will then be included in our report, in the form in which it appears in document A/C.1/171.

Mr. NISOT (Belgium) (translated from French): I should like to point out that I voted against paragraph 6 (b) because I intended to vote for paragraph 6 (a).

Mr. SANTZ CRUZ (Chile) (translated from Spanish): The position of the Chilean delegation is the same as that of the Belgian delegation.

The CHAIRMAN: We shall now proceed to paragraph 7 of the report. Paragraph 7 reads:

"The special committee shall prepare a report to the General Assembly and shall submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine."

To that paragraph, amendments have been submitted on behalf of the delegations of the USSR and of India, by which the following words would be added: "including a proposal on the question of establishing, without delay, the independent democratic State of Palestine".

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): A point of order. Mr. Chairman, I am afraid you cannot leave paragraph 6 (a) in the air. It is quite possible, as explained by the representative of Belgium, that, when he voted against paragraph 6 (b), he had paragraph 6 (a) in view. It is quite possible that those who have said "no" to paragraph 6 (b), may vote for paragraph 6 (a). Therefore, it is only reasonable that paragraph 6 (a) should be put to the vote.

The CHAIRMAN: I would call the attention of the representative of India to the fact that the vote in favour of paragraph 6 (b) was an absolute majority of those present and voting, and that the total of negative votes and abstentions did not reach that figure. So quite apart from other considerations, I do not think it would be worth while to waste the time of the Committee discussing this, if the representative of India agrees. There were twenty-seven votes in favour of paragraph 6 (b).

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I do not want any discussion. I am just pointing out the fact that since the taking of the vote, some members have arrived; for instance, the representative of Guatemala has just come in, and some of the abstainers may vote for paragraph 6 (a). Some of those who said "no" to paragraph 6 (b), might say "yes" to paragraph 6 (a). Therefore, it is a question of preferential vote. You cannot leave it in the air. Paragraph 6 (a) has got to be put to the vote.

The CHAIRMAN: I am afraid I should rule— though I could be easily over-ruled—that paragraph 6 (b) has been voted as the paragraph in question for inclusion in our report, and that the discussion and voting on that part of the report of the Sub-Committee is closed.


We shall continue with paragraph 7. I have read the proposal in paragraph 7, and the amendment. There is also an amendment from the representative of Poland (document A/C.l/ 174). I suggest to the representative of Poland that his amendment is really covered by the amendment of the representative of India and the representative of the USSR, which adds to the original paragraph: "including a proposal on the question of establishing without delay the independent democratic State of Palestine".

Dr. FIDERKIEWIGZ (Poland): I agree to drop the Polish amendment.

The CHAIRMAN: We then have only one amendment before the Committee. The discussion is on paragraph 7.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I think that the Polish amendment could be put to the vote later, depending upon the result of the voting on the amendment submitted by the representatives of the Soviet Union and India. It is still too early to assert that the Polish amendment cannot be put to the vote because it is covered by the first amendment mentioned by me. It will - become clear later whether we should vote on the Polish amendment or not, depending upon the result of the voting on the first amendment.

The CHAIRMAN: I do not want to rush the Polish representative into any withdrawal of his amendment. When I read it, I thought it was practically the same as the other amendment. But if he would prefer to have a vote on it, that is quite in order.

There is a difference, of course, and as I read it again, I realize that the difference might be of substance. Whereas the USSR amendment reads, "establishing without delay the independent democratic State of Palestine", the Polish amendment merely refers to the "establishing by the United Nations", and does not have the words ''without delay". Does the Polish representative wish to reopen this question and retain his amendment?

Dr. FIDERKIEWICZ (Poland): I really think that the amendment of the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the representative of India differs from mine, and therefore, I would ask you to have a vote first on the amendment of the USSR and India, and if that amendment is adopted, I shall withdraw the Polish one, but, otherwise, not.

The CHAIRMAN: We shall adopt that procedure. We shall vote on the USSR and Indian amendment first. If it is rejected, we shall vote on the Polish amendment.

Is there any discussion on paragraph 7 or can we proceed to a vote at once?

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I should like to say a few words. I merely want to call attention, in connexion with what is now under discussion, to the fact that we have now defined the tasks of the committee, although in paragraph 2 we had left its duties undefined. By adopting paragraph 6 (b), we have definitely assigned to it certain tasks which are in the nature of details.

If the spiritual interests of Palestine are to be specified, I see no reason whatsoever why the political interests of that unhappy country should not be specified also. It is for that reason that I think this amendment becomes absolutely essential; otherwise paragraph 7 will give the whole world a completely partial picture and it might show us, to world public opinion, as a somewhat prejudiced body. It might convey the idea that we really do not want the independence of Palestine at all. If that is the intention of the Committee, of course the amendment should be dropped, but if you really feel that, at some stage or other, the independence of Palestine has got to be recognized by the United Nations, then the amendment becomes absolutely unavoidable.

Mr. TOLKHUNOV (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) (translated from Russian): In the opinion of the Ukrainian delegation it would be extremely desirable that the mention of the independence of Palestine should be reflected in the resolution, which defines the rights and powers of the special committee. For this reason it would be very useful to include in the resolution the amendment which we are now discussing.

The CHAIRMAN: We shall now vote on the amendment proposed by the representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and India, which would add the words: " . . .including a proposal on the question of establishing without delay the independent democratic State of Palestine." We shall vote by roll-call. Those in favour of the amendment will say "yes"; those against will say "no".

Votes for: Afghanistan, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Yugoslavia.

Votes against: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Sweden, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.

Abstentions: Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mexico, Philippine Republic, Siam, and Venezuela.


The CHAIRMAN: There are fifteen votes for; twenty-six against; twelve abstentions and two absent. The amendment is lost.

We shall now vote on the Polish amendment, which differs from the previous one in that it omits the words "without delay" after "establishing", and includes the words "establishing by the United Nations". I shall read the Polish amendment.

"The special committee shall prepare a report to the next session of the General Assembly and shall submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine, including a proposal on the question of establishing, by the United Nations, the independent democratic State of Palestine."

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : I should like to ask the Polish representative what is meant by the phrase "by the United Nations". It is not quite clear to me.

Dr. FIDERKIEWICZ (Poland): In my opinion, the United Nations should, in this difficult time, try to find some way of forming an independent democratic State in Palestine. We really cannot decide at the present time just what form of Government there should be, who the ruler of it should be and how the Jews and the Arabs would work together.

We think that the United Nations should, to a certain extent, supervise the establishment of this independence, and examine, after a certain period, how that country is being governed, and along what lines an independent State on a democratic basis could be evolved. Is it not possible for the Arab interests to co-operate fairly, or should there later on be formed a country divided into two parts? That is for the United Nations to determine within a reasonably short time, let us say two or three years; it is not a matter that can be settled at the present time; there must be a certain period during which, under the protection of the United Nations, that State should govern itself as a free country without any mandate.

General ROMULO (Philippine Republic): You will recall that in the Sub-Committee, the Philippine Republic voted for the inclusion of a reference to independence without temporal qualifications. In accordance with that attitude, the Philippine delegation will vote for paragraph 7, as amended by the Polish delegation, in the belief that the United Nations cannot properly ignore a reference to independence, especially if, as in the Polish delegation's amendment, the United Nations itself should have a hand in making sure that justice is done to all the interested parties.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): I regret to say that the reasons which the Polish representative has stated before the Committee are not my reasons and therefore, if I am going to vote for this, it will not be for the reasons which he has stated. I simply want the words "independent democratic State of Palestine" to be mentioned in our terms of reference.

A vote was taken on the Polish amendment with the following result:

Votes for: Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, El Salvador, India, Iran, Philippine Republic, Poland, Siam, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and Yugoslavia.

Votes against: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Sweden, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.

Abstentions: Afghanistan, Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Venezuela.


The CHAIRMAN: There are ten in favour of the Polish amendment, twenty-five against, eighteen abstentions and two absent. The amendment is lost.

We shall now vote on the paragraph as re-ported by the Sub-Committee without amendment. The vote is on the following paragraph for inclusion in our report:


I wonder whether we could save time by having a vote by show of hands on that paragraph, as I believe it is quite non-controversial.
The CHAIRMAN: In favour of the paragraph, forty-four; against, seven. Paragraph 7 will be included in our report.

We now come to the concluding paragraph of the report of the Sub-Committee, which I shall read:

"The special committee's report shall be communicated to the Secretary-General if possible by 15 August 1947, but in any event not later than 1 September 1947, in order that it may be circulated to the Member States of the United Nations in time for consideration by the second regular session of the General Assembly."

Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) (translated from French): I suggest that we delete the words "if possible by 15 August 1947". The text then says "not later than 1 September 1947". It goes without saying that if the limit is fixed for 1 September, the committee will be entitled to submit its report, if this is possible, even before 15 August. I do not think, therefore, that it is necessary to keep the words: "if possible by 15 August" if we subsequently say: "not later than 1 September".

The CHAIRMAN: I might point out that the purpose of the Sub-Committee in including a reference to 15 August lay in the hope that this might be an indication of the desire of this Assembly to have the report in the hands of the Secretary-General by 15 August.

It has been suggested that this paragraph be amended by the omission of the words "if possible by 15 August 1947, but in any event". Is there any objection to the omission of those words?

Mr. PAPANEK (Czechoslovakia): I suggest we omit the word "States" after the word "Member". "To the Members of the United Nations" should be enough.

The CHAIRMAN: I should like to dispose of the Iranian suggestion first. 'If there is no objection to the proposal made by the representative of Iran, we shall strike out "if possible by 15 August 1947, but in any event".

The representative of Czechoslovakia suggested that the word "States" be omitted. That seems to be an improvement and a shortening of the paragraph. Is there any objection?

We shall now proceed to vote on the paragraph as it now reads:


The CHAIRMAN: The paragraph is carried unanimously and will appear in the report as read.

That concludes the work of the Committee on the terms of reference of the special committee of inquiry.

We have one matter left about which there has already been a good deal of discussion and on which we should now attempt to come to a decision. That matter is the composition of the committee of inquiry. When we come to a decision on that point, it will appear as paragraph 1 in the resolution, "a special committee be created for the above-mentioned purpose consisting of the representatives of. ....". We have to fill in that blank. I do not know how the Committee wishes to proceed with the discussion and the decision on this matter.

I would suggest for the consideration of the Committee that three important questions seem to have come up in the course of our earlier discussions, and if we could isolate those questions and vote on them separately, without any further discussion or a minimum of discussion, that might be the best way to proceed.

The first question is: shall the permanent members of the Security Council be eligible for membership on the special committee of inquiry?

The second question was raised by the representative of Argentina and is: shall the members of the special committee of inquiry be chosen by lot from groups representing geographical areas?

The third question, of course, is the number of States to be represented on the special committee of inquiry.

Those seem to me to be three separate questions on which we might be able to decide before we vote on the actual composition of the special committee.

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I do not wish to interrupt your speech on the subject, but I was going to say one word on a point of order. You announced that the resolution on the last paragraph was unanimously adopted by the Committee without announcing the number of those who voted, while there were abstentions to which you did not refer. The announcement about unanimity should be corrected, if you will do so.

The CHAIRMAN: I apologize for that omission. I should have announced that those who voted in favour of paragraph 8 were forty-five; there were.six abstentions and two absent. I am very sorry about that.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): This is not exactly a point of order, but I was just wondering what you were reading from when you read out the three proposals. You said that the first one was whether the five permanent members of the Security Council would be eligible. Of course they are eligible. The real question is should the five permanent members of the Security Council be members of the special committee—not eligible, because that, I think, is obvious.

The CHAIRMAN: I must explain to the representative of Australia that I was not reading from any text except a few rough words of my own, but I was trying to get the guidance of the Committee on the question of future procedure. If the Committee felt it was a good way, we could have these three questions prepared during the lunch hour and circulated.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I think we must recall what proposals have been submitted to the Committee on this question, enumerate them and hear any new proposals.

I have already had the opportunity of expressing the Soviet delegation's point of view on the question of the membership of the proposed committee. In elaboration of what I have already said at one of the Committee's meetings, I should like to propose that the committee which we are contemplating setting up should consist of countries constituting the Security Council. From the point of view of geographical distribution, the composition of the Security Council would appear to be appropriate and acceptable to all countries.

I have already pointed out that there have been no objections, reproaches or discontent on the subject of the composition of the Security Council from the point of view of the principle of its membership. Consequently, there should also be no objection to a committee being formed of the countries represented on the Security Council. For this reason, the Soviet delegation considers that such a decision on this question would not only be correct in substance and just, but would be acceptable to all of us.

I would ask for a discussion on this matter and for an appropriate decision to be taken.

The CHAIRMAN: I might point out to the representative of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics and the members of the Committee that we have, on this question of the composition of the committee, two proposals before us which were submitted some days ago one from the delegation of the United States in document A/C.1/150 and one from the delegation of Argentina in document A/C.1/149, which was submitted first.

We have now a further proposal, which I assume will be circulated, from the delegation of the USSR, to the effect that the special committee of inquiry on Palestine should consist of representatives of those States now represented on the Security Council. I believe there was also a proposal embodied in the statement by the representative of Poland, though it has not been circulated in written form. However, it was a definite proposal. That would make four proposals.

The Committee can either decide on these proposals by voting on them in turn, or it can vote on the three separate questions embodied in the proposals which I have mentioned. That, of course, is for the Committee to decide.

Meanwhile, I hope we may have the proposal of the representative of the USSR circulated as quickly as possible.

Mr. MARTINEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): The Nicaraguan delegation wishes to express its firm and definite support of the proposal of the United States representative, Mr. Austin, suggesting the following countries as possible members of the investigating committee: Peru, Uruguay, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Iran, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Mr. STOLK (Venezuela) (translated from Spanish): A few days ago the Venezuelan delegation asked the representatives of the United Kingdom and the United States for a statement on the attitude of their respective Governments regarding their possible participation in the investigating committee in the event of the Assembly's deciding that the permanent members of the Security Council should serve on that committee. The two representatives replied categorically that their Governments, as Members of the United Nations, would abide by the Assembly's decision in the matter even if it did not coincide with their own views.

In acting in this way, our delegation was attempting to clarify a position which had to be defined before the general discussion on the composition of the committee in question could proceed. Today, as we again consider the views so far expressed on the composition of this committee, I wish to make, some further observations on the matter.

The main argument invoked by the delegations which favour exclusion of the five permanent members of the Security Council from the investigating committee on Palestine is the necessity of ensuring the greatest possible impartiality in the proceedings and conclusions of the committee, and in the opinion of those delegations, that would be difficult if the permanent members were represented on the committee.

It has been pointed out that the important political and economic interests involved in the Palestine case make it very difficult for the mandatory and the other four Powers of the so-called Big Five to consider the problem calmly, to act both as judge and interested party, and to propose solutions free from all suspicion of being inspired by special interests.

It has been said that the results of the investigation and the recommendations will have more authority in the eyes of the world and of the Assembly itself, if they come from a committee on which neither the permanent members of

the Security Council nor any other interested party is represented.

Finally, it has been affirmed that the presence of those Powers on the committee would seriously hamper the effective performance of its work and would impede the adoption of any recommendations, since experience has shown that these Powers rarely reach agreement on substantive questions.

In view of these affirmations and in view of the argument for impartiality to which I have referred, I am wondering how the countries chosen to form the committee will participate in its work, or in other words, what form their representation on the committee will take, what will be the criterion for selecting the respective individual or individuals and in what capacity they will act.

As regards the first point, the question arises whether countries are to be chosen with a view to obtaining the opinion of their respective Governments upon the matter under consideration or in line with the principle of geographical representation consecrated by the United Nations Charter for the composition of some of its important organs, and in recognition of the fact that all Members are under a moral obligation to co-operate in solving problems in the light of the purposes and principles of the Charter.

As regards the second point, there is no doubt that once the countries which are to form the committee have been selected, it will be the task of their Governments to choose the individual or individuals who are to serve on the committee. But as regards the criterion governing the choice, and the capacity in which those chosen are to act, there are two alternatives.

Either the Governments can take a political point of view in choosing their candidates, in which case the candidate will undoubtedly represent his own Government and will act in accordance with its instructions and points of view, or they can take a higher criterion, that of disinterested co-operation for the achievement of impartial solutions inspired by ideals of peace, justice and equity, and in that case, they will choose their candidate without claiming that he shall represent or defend his Government's interests and points of view in the committee.

The second of the alternatives I have suggested seems to me the right one to ensure the desired impartiality both in the investigation and in the making of recommendations, for the members of the committee would be able to perform their duties with complete freedom of judgment, subject only to the dictates of their own conscience and the terms of the instructions given to them by the Assembly. In this way, they would be invested with a quality similar to that of magistrates, and the committee would be placed on a higher level, would command greater respect on the part of public opinion and would enjoy a status more appropriate to the purposes of the case.

The fundamental argument invoked against States with a permanent seat on the Security Council being members of this committee would then, in principle, be groundless; and the committee's task would be less difficult.

For these reasons, on behalf of the Venezuelan delegation, I wish to suggest that we consider the advisability of including in the resolution a passage designed to ensure that the members of the investigating committee for Palestine will have this independence and freedom of action. To this end it might be laid down that the countries chosen to form the committee should select suitable persons of high moral standing and recognized competence in law and international politics, on the understanding that they should perform their duties with complete impartiality and freedom of conscience, subject only to the purposes and principles of the United Nations and without seeking or accepting instructions from any Government or authority other than the General Assembly.

The CHAIRMAN: Is there any further decision?

It seems then, in so far as composition is concerned, and apart from the point which has just been raised by the representative of Venezuela, which will have to be discussed separately, we might be able to come to an early decision.

Mr. MUNOZ (Argentina): I understand that we will be able to express our points of view in the afternoon when the committee reassembles.

The CHAIRMAN: I was rather hoping that we might start voting on these proposals now, but that is up to the Committee.

Mr. MUNOZ (Argentina): In that case, I should like to say a few words. The Argentine delegation has presented a draft resolution in which the five permanent members of the Security Council are included. As the head of my delegation said on several occasions, the Argentine delegation considers that part of the draft resolution as a sine qua non. In other words, if one or more of the permanent members of the Security Council is not included in that committee, the whole idea of the Argentine draft resolution falls.

We heard yesterday at the fifty-fifth meeting the words of the representative of the Jewish agency, and in this connexion he stated they would rather have the United Kingdom excluded from the committee. We should not like any of the interested parties in this question to think we are being unfair or that we are prejudging the whole question of Palestine.

Therefore, I should like to advance the hope of the Argentine delegation on this point by saying that we are going to vote against our own draft resolution regarding this point, if it is put to a vote.

The CHAIRMAN: I wonder whether it would not be desirable to put the Argentine resolution to a vote now, in view of what the Argentine representative has said. We could possibly dispose of that at once.

Mr. MUNOZ (Argentina): I forgot to say that we do not withdraw the draft resolution because I do not know whether I am entitled to do so, as I understand the resolution is the property of the Committee; otherwise I should have withdrawn it.

The CHAIRMAN: We have had this point up before as to whether a resolution is the property of its proposer or of the Committee. I would suggest to the Committee that if the representative from Argentina wishes to withdraw his resolution, irrespective of any proprietary rights any other member of the Committee may have in it, he should be given permission to do so and that would save us having a vote on it at all.

Would there be any objection, on the part of any member, to the representative of Argentina withdrawing his resolution on this point, in view of what he has said?

As there is no objection, the Argentine resolution is withdrawn and that disposes of one of our four resolutions, leaving one resolution from the United States (document A/C.1/150), one from Poland (document A/C.1/176), and one from the Soviet Union (document A/C.1/177).

Can we take a decision on these resolutions now? I do not want to rush the Committee.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : I have just introduced a new proposal and I have asked the Committee to discuss it and asked the representatives to express their opinion on this proposal. I have still not heard any of the members of the Committee express their views on my proposal regarding the composition of the committee of inquiry. I do not know whether we are going to take a decision before lunch or later this afternoon, but I should like to hear the opinion of the members of the Committee on my proposal.

The CHAIRMAN: Possibly the members of the Committee are getting a little tired talking and. prefer to express their opinion by voting.

Does any representative wish to speak on the proposal which was made by the representative of the Soviet Union?

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): We should like some time to consider it; we do not have it in writing yet.

The CHAIRMAN: In view of that fact, possibly it would be unwise to ask for any vote at this stage. The Soviet Union proposal will be circulated, possibly during the lunch hour, at which time the representatives will have a chance to study it. We could then reassemble at 3 p.m. and, in the light of the study during the lunch hour, we might be able to dispose of these resolutions during the afternoon.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): Could you give us any indication of the order in which you propose to try to reach decisions? When you started talking about our work, you stated at first that there were three questions on which we had to take decisions. The first was with regard to the eligibility of the permanent members of the Security Council. If you take that up first—I do not know if that is possible —and if by chance the decision is against the eligibility, then the proposal just made by the representative of the Soviet Union would fall to the ground.

The CHAIRMAN: Yes, it could be done that way. That was my first suggestion. However, since I made that suggestion, a resolution has been introduced. Of course, I only put my suggestion forward as something which might commend itself to the members. The same objective could be achieved by voting on the resolution.

Mr. Gromyko (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I think it would be advisable to vote on the resolutions. But I doubt whether it is right to put the question in this way, namely whether the permanent members of the Security Council should have, the right to be elected to this committee. It is inappropriate and incorrect. I do not think that the permanent members of the Security Council deserve punishment, the effect of which would be to deprive them of those rights enjoyed by all other countries.

The CHAIRMAN: I would be the last person to propose punishment for the permanent members of the Security Council; therefore, I would be quite happy to withdraw that tentative suggestion which I made, which has been interpreted in such a drastic way. We shall then take a decision on the separate resolutions.

I should like to point out that, in addition to the resolutions on this subject, there are certain paragraphs in other resolutions which concern administrative arrangements for the special committee of inquiry, and we shall have to deal with them too. I am thinking particularly of the last three paragraphs of the United States resolution. However, I just mention that as something we shall have to decide on later.

Colonel Hodgson (Australia): In connexion with the terms of reference, you will recall that you gave the members of this Committee a time-limit within which to submit definite proposals. As we see it, you have jumped straight from the

terms of reference to the second portion of this problem.

In the course of my speech at the forty-eighth meeting—I made a proposal that the special committee should consist of eleven members, not one of whom should be a permanent member of the Security Council. I do not know if that is in order, but I have formally put that in. I suggest there may be other members of the Committee who also may have suggestions which they desire to put in for consideration this afternoon.

The CHAIRMAN: I shall read the Australian resolution (document A/C.1/178), which will also be circulated during the lunch hour. It reads: "That the special committee shall consist of eleven members not including the permanent members of the Security Council." This will be up for discussion this afternoon.

Mr. Gromyko (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : If I am not mistaken, you said the United States resolution would be voted upon first. I do not believe that such procedure would be correct. The United States proposal lists specific countries; two other proposals define principles upon which the composition of the special committee should be based.

I believe it is obvious, since there are proposals which do not list specific countries but just try to define principles on which the composition of the committee should be based, that a decision on these later proposals should be taken first.

The CHAIRMAN: We have not quite reached that point as yet. When the time comes, I shall make suggestions to the Committee as to how these proposals should be taken. At that time, it will be for the Committee to decide which is the proper procedure. Meanwhile, I shall be able to take counsel of my parliamentary experts in the matter.

Mr. Stolk (Venezuela) (translated from Spanish): The delegation of Venezuela has, raised a matter which I think it would be well for the Committee to consider before voting on the composition of the investigating committee for Palestine. I refer to the capacity in which the persons appointed by the countries chosen to be members of the committee are to perform their duties, that is to say, whether these persons are to be representatives of then- Governments' views and to act in accordance with instructions received from them, or whether they are to perform their duties on a higher level, with independence of judgment and subject only to the, purposes and principles of the United Nations, without accepting any instructions other than those arising out of the General Assembly's instructions.

The CHAIRMAN: That matter 'can be discussed. I may be wrong, but I should say that it goes without question that a special committee of the United Nations, set up by the Assembly of the United Nations, takes its instructions from the United Nations, reports to the United Nations, and takes no instructions from any other source. That is a very important matter.

If the representative of Venezuela wishes to focus a discussion on that, he might produce a paragraph which could be included in our report, which would lay down the principles he wishes to have safeguarded. Personally, I believe that is unnecessary; however, that is only my own opinion.

If there are no objections, we will adjourn until 3 p.m.

The CHAIRMAN: A few members of the Committee have indicated their desire to speak on the general question of composition, before we come to the somewhat complicated question of procedure in respect of the various proposals which we now have before us.

I will therefore call first on the representative of Ecuador.

Mr. ponce (Ecuador) (translated from Spanish ): The delegation of Ecuador has already spoken before this Committee in support of the United States proposal (document A/C.1/150), in so far as its general lines are concerned, and it has specially emphasized that this proposal contains a fundamental and valuable feature in entrusting the investigation to a group of countries whose position of detachment from the rights and interests which may be discussed might be a guarantee of the impartiality which we all desire.

The discussion on the investigating committee's terms of reference revealed the general desire not to include in them any provision which might, even to the slightest degree, imply any departure from such impartiality. The paragraphs of the resolution we have just discussed this morning, though regarded by some as weak and incomplete, have the undeniable merit of not introducing any element likely to affect even remotely the committee's independence of judgment when it is faced with the facts.

The proposal made by the representative of the Soviet Union (document A/ C. 1 /17 7), which is now before the Committee, advocates that the countries members of the Security Council should be the ones which should constitute the special committee of investigation. The reason why the Assembly should have to turn precisely to the eleven members of the Security Council to ask them to fulfil this new function is not apparent. Thus our counter-proposal, which we have already made, tends naturally to exclude the permanent members of that Council, because it may easily happen that in one way or another, on account of its wide interests, each one of them may find itself in a situation where its interests might interfere with the interests which are at stake in the Palestine problem.

Owing to the various conflicting interests involved, the complexity of the problem is only too evident. But if we are to try to find a sound solution, we must distinguish between the various categories of interests and, for example,' not allow economic, strategic—that is to say circumstantial—considerations to take precedence over those that are essential and thus jeopardize the clear consideration of the problem and run the risk that its solution should become ineffectual.

Our experience in international affairs within the last year has shown us how difficult it is for countries having important interests to arrive at formulae of agreement on questions of substance. This leads us to think that it is preferable to entrust the work of investigation to representatives of countries such as those mentioned in the United States proposal; and hence the delegation of Ecuador reaffirms its support for that proposal.

Mr. Moe (Norway): The Norwegian delegation has asked for the floor in order to make a suggestion concerning the composition of the commission of investigation, in the hope that this suggestion will make it easier to arrive at a unanimous decision.

The Norwegian delegation is sure that many delegations share its feelings in this respect: namely, that it is very difficult to have a definite opinion as to which is best: a committee with the permanent members of the Security Council or a committee without the permanent members.

The choice is made more difficult as the permanent members of the Security Council do not agree among themselves. It would have been advantageous if the permanent members of the Security Council could have settled this among themselves in such a way that all of them might have asked either to be represented or not to be represented.

As this is not the case, the difficulties of many delegations in making a choice are increased, and the only way out of these difficulties may be to abstain from voting.

It is against this background that the suggestion I am going to offer must be seen. The suggestion is put forward in the interests of harmony and conciliation, and I think we should also bear in mind that the problem that has now been placed before the United Nations is important not only to the interested parties, but to the United Nations, for which this may very well be a test case.

In the opinion of the Norwegian delegation— and this view is shared by the representatives of the other northern countries—it would be very unfortunate if we were to disagree on the very first step in the attempt to solve the problem of Palestine.

The main idea of our suggestion is this: the preparation of the report to the regular session of the General Assembly should be done in two stages. Instead of appointing one special committee, we should appoint a commission, and from the members of this commission, a working committee should be chosen. The working committee would be composed of Member States having no direct interest in the problem of Palestine; for instance, the Member States mentioned in the proposal of the United States. The commission would consist of the working committee plus the permanent members of the Security Council. If it should be deemed useful, other members might also be included.

The working committee should start its work at once and finish it by 1 September, but instead of reporting and submitting its proposal or proposals to the General Assembly, it would submit them to the full commission. The full commission should start its work on 1 September, in order to have its report ready for the regular session of the General Assembly.

The full commission would be free to report on the proposals of the working committee or to submit, if necessary, such other proposals as it might deem useful for the effective consideration of the problem by the General Assembly.

This is the main idea of our suggestion. If it should be accepted, it would be easy to work out the details. This suggestion is an attempt to combine the evident advantage of having a small committee of Members having no direct interest in the problem under consideration with the advantage of having the permanent members of the Security Council participate in the work of the committee at an early stage.

By appointing a working committee consisting of Members not directly interested, one would be assured (1) of getting as impartial a proposal for a solution of the problem as possible, and (2) of having a small committee able to work rapidly.

On the other hand, it has been stated with great emphasis and reason that a proposed solution is of no use if it is not a workable solution, and the main condition for the workability of a proposed solution is evidently that it can be accepted by all the permanent members of the Security Council.

Our suggestion gives the permanent members of the Security Council the opportunity to discuss the solution or solutions proposed by the working committee before the regular session of the General Assembly opens. The General Assembly would thus .have before it, not only the proposed solution of the problem of Palestine, but also the attitude of the permanent members of the Security Council towards this proposed solution.

Some members of this Committee may perhaps object, saying that not enough time is allowed for such a procedure, since there is barely enough time for the committee of inquiry to get through its complicated task. I shall therefore explain that it should not be necessary to change the time limit of 1 September mentioned in the terms of reference. The full commission would have the opportunity to start the study of the proposed solution on 1 September.

The Norwegian delegation is convinced that this procedure would save the time of the regular session of the General Assembly and make it easier for it to start dealing with the problem as soon as it convenes.

Our proposal is a compromise. It has the weaknesses of every compromise. It cannot give complete satisfaction to either one of the opposing views. On the other hand, the proposal is a sincere effort to combine the advantages of each of the opposing views. In this way, the Norwegian delegation hopes to have made a contribution towards agreement and unanimity. That, at least, is the only motive which has inspired our delegation to submit this suggestion. If the idea should meet with the approval of this Committee, it would be easy to present it in the form of a concrete proposal. If it does not meet with the approval of the Committee, it would not serve any useful purpose to insist upon it.

The Norwegian delegation still thinks that it is important to start this attempt at finding a solution of the Palestine problem—an attempt which may be decisive for the very future of the United Nations—and to start it with as much unanimity as possible.

The CHAIRMAN: I should like to ask the Norwegian representative a question in order to clarify this new proposal, which is along different lines from those we have been following. He suggested setting up a commission which would include the permanent members of the Security Council, I believe, and a working committee of that commission which would report to the commission. However, I would venture to point out to him that the Committee agreed yesterday and this morning that the special committee of inquiry, which would now be his commission, must report to the United Nations by 1 September. This would mean that the working committee of neutrals would have to report to the full commission hi time for the full commission' to give its consideration to this report and, in turn, report to the United Nations General Assembly by 1 September. In other words, two stages would have to be completed by 1 September. That, I take it, is what he had in mind.

Mr. MOE (Norway): The first stage could be completed by 1 September. That would still give the full commission, including the permanent members of the Security Council, at least a fortnight, and probably three weeks, to discuss the solutions.

The CHAIRMAN: But I would just point out that we are bound by our terms of reference. Those terms of reference make it obligatory for the full commission, which is the special committee of inquiry, to report to the United Nations General Assembly by 1 September.

Mr. MOE (Norway): In that case, the working committee should report by 15 August.

The CHAIRMAN: The representatives have heard this proposal, and may have some observations to make on it after they have thought about it for a few minutes.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I should like to have the Norwegian representative's proposal in writing. It is very difficult to discuss a proposal unless it is in writing.

Between our two meetings, I submitted an alternative proposal, to complete the one I submitted at this morning's meeting. This second proposal provides for the setting up of a committee based on the same principle as the Security Council. The acceptance of this proposal would enable us to form a committee taking into account—and I should say fully—geographical and other factors which must be considered hi the establishment of representative organs of the United Nations.

On the other hand, my proposal is sufficiently flexible to enable us to set up a committee which would, within the bounds of this principle, include those countries which, hi the opinion of the General Assembly, would be of the greatest assistance.

The Soviet delegation has therefore submitted two alternative proposals:

First, that the special committee on the question of Palestine should consist of those Member States which are on the Security Council;

Second, that the composition of the special committee should be based on the same principle as the Security Council, but without necessarily including members of the Security Council. An exception is made here only as regards the permanent members of the Security Council. In so far as the non-permanent members are concerned, some countries could be replaced by others, bearing hi mind that the latter would represent the same regions.

The CHAIRMAN: I have just one remark to make in connexion with the alternative proposal

now put forward by the representative of the Soviet Union. I think it would be difficult to accept the statement that this proposal em-bodies the principles on which members of the Security Council are chosen. Under this alter-native proposal, some countries which are Members of the United Nations would have no possibility at all of being elected, as they could not be included in any of the areas enumerated by the representative of the Soviet Union.

General ROMULO (Philippine Republic): The Philippine delegation does not wish to prolong the discussion on the composition of the special committee. The non-inclusion—to use the polite word of the distinguished Chinese statesman, Dr. Quo Tai-chi—of the permanent members of the Security Council appears to us to have the force of a moral imperative. So far as I can recall, three of the permanent members— namely, the United Kingdom, the United States and China—have already indicated their desire not to serve on the special committee. It seems natural to expect that the other two permanent members may share this self-denying attitude.

With all due respect to the members of the Security Council, the Philippine delegation cannot share the view that a committee membership identical with that of the Security Council or built along similar lines, as proposed by the delegations of the Soviet Union and Poland, would best serve the purposes of the committee.

This problem has become a problem of the General Assembly. I believe we should not be entirely to blame, if we should wish, in this case, to try solving this difficult question in some other way. Furthermore, we should take note of the significant fact that the Government of the United Kingdom has chosen to submit this problem to the General Assembly rather than to the Security Council, which would have been equally competent under the Charter to deal with it.

This fact, in our opinion, requires as a logical consequence that the General Assembly adopt its own methods, probably methods other than those which have failed so dismally in the past. We would therefore favour the sense of the original United States proposal, as amended in more general terms by the Australian delegation. This would enlarge the membership from seven to eleven, excluding the permanent members of the Security Council and allowing countries from geographical areas not included in the United States proposal to become members of the special committee.

Dr. FIDERKIEWICZ (Poland): The Polish delegation has submitted to this Committee a proposal concerning the composition of the special committee on the question of Palestine (document A/C.1/176). We believe that the best composition of such a committee can be achieved only by including at least the five permanent members of the Security Council, and the best possible geographical distribution. The Charter of the United Nations has entrusted the five permanent members with the special task of maintaining world peace and security. There can be no doubt that the problem of Palestine is amongst the most serious questions which we have dealt with or which have been assigned to any other organ of the United Nations. Although it has not been stated here directly, the question is a crucial point which may easily endanger the security and stability of peace.

By including the five permanent members of the Security Council, we believe that we shall be able to strengthen both the action of the committee and its decisions. Membership on the committee is a duty from which no State, large or small, can refrain.

I understand that the problem is a difficult one and is very entangled. Thus it may be that some would prefer to keep out of it. In our opinion, that would be contradictory to the obligations of a State as a Member of the United Nations. We have entrusted the five permanent members with many other important tasks. It is the strong desire of the Polish delegation to see the five permanent members of the Security Council, together with others, in a special committee of inquiry, sincerely trying to forget big Power politics and acting in the interest of solving the Palestine problem in accordance with the interests of the people of Palestine, and thus helping to maintain peace and security.

As to the other six members of the committee, we propose two countries from Latin America, one Arab State preferably Syria— one country from Africa, one from Asia and one from eastern Europe—in our opinion, Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia. If some Members should prefer to increase the number of representatives from Latin America or from some other region in this committee, we shall be ready to accept that and agree that the committee be composed of thirteen or even of fifteen members.

Some have attacked such a composition of the committee as being unjust, and have brought in arithmetic in support of their statements. I am not a mathematician, but I understand one thing: we can never arrive at any composition of the committee which would absolutely and arithmetically correspond to the geographical positions of the fifty-five Members of the United Nations.

In selecting the members of the committee, we should not get lost in deliberations about so-called neutrality or partiality. Each member selected by the General Assembly acts, not as a representative of his Government, but, first and foremost, as a representative of the whole Organization of the United Nations, and his actions must not be based upon geographical or strategic considerations, but upon the aim of our Organization and the interests of the United Nations. Therefore, we reject the terminology that the committee be composed of neutrals.


It is our belief that only a committee of inquiry including the five permanent members of the Security Council and based on geographical distribution with full understanding that the committee represents all the United Nations and its aims as laid down in the Charter can bring a speedy, just and sound solution of the problem for the benefit of both peace and the peoples of Palestine.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): I propose to speak on the Australian resolution which is before you. When I spoke previously, I did not elaborate the reasons we had in mind when we proposed a committee of eleven. In the first place, we gave our reasons previously as to why we desired the non-inclusion of the five permanent members. I will say no more about that except to comment on one or two suggestions which have been made, one of which is to the effect that their inclusion would increase the authority and prestige of the special committee. We cannot see the force of that argument. The United Nations is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.


I have another objection. I do not know whether some representatives have been afraid to voice it. It is this: I have sat on many committees and sub-committees and have found,' again and again, that when the five permanent members fail to reach agreement, many of the other members sacrifice their conscience and their principles by running around with a compromise in order to get satisfaction. That so-called compromise has always been interpreted in the particular way in which one of those conflicting interests desired to interpret it.

Those are our general objections to the inclusion of the five permanent members. We still look at this question from a practical point of view when we suggest eleven. Some people have said: "Yes, let us have seven—a nice, concise little committee which will be able to sit down and do its job expeditiously."

When I look at these terms of reference and see the number of hearings the committee will have to hold, the places it will have to visit, and the many tasks with which it will be confronted, I visualize that one of the first things this committee will have to do will be to split up into small committees and sub-committees in order to complete the entire task in the time allotted to it. If the members decide to go to one or to a dozen places in Palestine, or if they decide to go elsewhere, as they have a right to do, I fully realize that our special committee will have to do as the Commission of Investigation concerning Greek Frontier Incidents did, that is to say, split up into field groups in order to expedite and facilitate its work. For those practical reasons alone, I suggest that a committee of eleven would be far more able to perform its task.

We have heard a lot about geographical considerations", but when I look at the various proposals submitted, I find that none of them conforms to those considerations if the committee were to be composed of seven members. For example, the Soviet Union proposal was based on the same principle of consideration for geographical distribution. Yet, five of the eleven countries on the Soviet Union's list are European. Other lists do not include a single Member from Africa, from Asia or from the whole of the Pacific. Is that an equitable geographical distribution?

The Soviet Union proposal also speaks of one representative from the Far East. Under the proposal, however, the Far East is already represented by the Soviet Union and China. I should like to know how many United Nations countries the Soviet Union visualizes as being included in that vague geographical definition "the Far East"?


The Venezuelan resolution (document A/C 1/179), which I presume you have before you, says Governments "shall elect persons of high moral character". Of course they will. Surely Governments are not going to appoint thugs or gangsters. Surely they are not going to do all these things. During the work of this Committee I have heard many references, which I think very gratuitous and unnecessary, to something which we are doing or which this Committee might do contrary to the purposes and principles of the Charter. Of course all of us, and all our Governments, are keeping in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter.

This resolution also says that the members of this committee have to be lawyers. We may never reach a decision if they must all be lawyers. It adds: "of recognized competence in international law". I do suggest that this is quite unnecessary and that when we name the countries it should surely be left to the good sense, wisdom and discretion of Governments to see that they appoint the best person available. I am sure they will do so "Without any injunction of this nature.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): Since the last tune we discussed the question of the composition of the committee of inquiry, some changes have taken place. In the first place, the Argentine delegation has withdrawn its proposal. In the second place, the Soviet delegation has presented a rewording of its proposal. There is a negative proposal from the Australian delegation, a proposal from the Polish delegation and a very interesting proposal from the delegation of Venezuela.

I ask your permission, Mr. Chairman, to make some remarks about these different proposals.

Our attitude here, as you may have noted, has been very impartial. We have come here with an open mind, and, I must confess, very scant information on the subject, with the sole aim of helping the General Assembly to arrive at just and fair solutions.

In the course of these debates the interventions of the representatives of the different countries, and of the representatives of the main agencies in Palestine, have served to bring even more strongly to our minds the conviction that the Palestine problem is one of the most difficult and delicate problems facing the United Nations. This conviction regarding the very seriousness of the question prompts me to revert very briefly to a question which I raised previously in this Committee.

Before doing so, I wish to stress that we do not attach much importance to the question whether our suggestions and proposals would obtain enough votes to become resolutions. We do not regard the deliberations of this body as a sort of baseball game where you say: "So-and-so got so many runs, the Yanks 30 and the Arabs 20." We do not care very much for this question of winning or losing points. Our main purpose is not to win them, but to express, whenever necessary, our honest, unbiased opinion, and to support those proposals which to our own minds correspond better to our convictions and to the principles of the Charter, no matter from where those proposals may come.

We support the Polish proposal in its principles, and, particularly, in its inclusion in the investigating commission of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

It has been contended here that the presence of the five permanent members in this commission would not increase the authority of the commission. I much regret to disagree with that idea. There is a prevailing opinion which of course is wrong, and which to a great extent derives from the way in which very respectable organs of public opinion interpret the procedures and the attitudes of the small Powers—that the small countries always represent, in their attitudes, the opinions and the policies of a given great Power. I am sure you will agree with me that, to a very great extent, that is not true. Of course, it would be much better for the small Powers if in the very strenuous and difficult work of examining the problem of Palestine and of proposing solutions they were accompanied by the great Powers. I think the small Powers would feel much more at ease if they felt they were representing their own ideas and their own convictions and that they were not going to be accused of representing the opinions or the policies of a great Power.

It has also been contended that no directly interested party should be represented on the committee. It has been pointed" out that there are more or less directly interested countries, but that there is no one -absolutely neutral from the point of view of national policy. If we should be guided by the principle that the great Powers cannot be represented in the committee because they are directly interested, then they could not sit in any committee, or in any council, or in any assembly, because the interests of the great Powers are all-inclusive from different points of view—from the point of view of politics, of economics, of strategy, and so forth.

Therefore, I do not consider that those two contentions are very firm.

Finally, I should like to remark upon the proposal made by the Venezuelan delegation. I have read the proposal with great interest, and my esteemed colleague from Australia has raised some very pointed observations as to its validity and as to the necessity of including it. We have been very much in favour of having concrete terms of reference, and we are very satisfied by the way in which the final terms of reference were agreed upon. However, I do not think that, after we have included some reference concerning the religious aspects of the problem, it would be entirely superfluous to include this declaration; I think it would be a very good idea to have the members of the committee understand that what the Assembly expects from them is that they judge impartially and without being influenced by any national, political end or force.

Of course, I understand that the remarks made by the Australian delegation are very pertinent to this question of international law and international affairs. I do not think we should restrict the qualifications of the members of the commission by making them technicians or specialists in a certain branch of human activity.

However, I think they should be persons experienced in public affairs, that is, men who have dealt with peoples or with governmental questions. I would suggest to my colleague from Venezuela that the words "international law and international affairs" be amended to read "public affairs".

Mr. PARODI (France) (translated from French): I should like to say a few words with regard to the question which was raised this morning by the representative of Venezuela and brought up again just now in a critical spirit by the representative of Australia.

This morning, the representative of Venezuela wished to know exactly in what capacity the members of the committee would act. This question is, I think, important, even in order to determine the way in which we are later to constitute that committee. This would be my answer: the position of the members of that committee would lie between the two extremes which have been contemplated. They would have to act according to their conscience, and impartially; I do not think they should receive instructions from their Governments. They should not, however, be described as "experts", so that their Governments should not feel in any way bound by whatever attitude they may adopt, as that would, in my opinion, detract from the committee's authority.

In its present form, the solution suggested by the representative of Venezuela goes somewhat farther than the observations submitted this morning, and seems to give a very accurate description of the intermediate position of the members of the committee. It would, I think, be well to define that position clearly.

The representative of Australia criticized this text a moment ago, and I understand his criticisms. Permit me to refer to a historical precedent: at the Congress of Vienna, a diplomat said that if certain things went without saying, it was nevertheless better to say them. If we were to agree not to say anything that was self-evident, our discussions would be singularly abbreviated; but I think there are some things which it is useful to put into words.

The question raised this morning by the representative of Venezuela and the text which he submitted to us require an answer, on which it would be well for us to agree. I do not say this solution ought necessarily to appear in the resolutions we shall adopt. I don't know about that. But I do feel it would be well for us to come to an agreement on the scope of the task of the individual members of the committee, and on their functions, along the lines suggested in the Venezuelan proposal which was, in my opinion, very well expressed.

It would be well for us to be in agreement on this point, if only to help us in taking a decision later on the composition of the committee.

Mr. MOE (Norway): In view of the fact that the idea put forward by the Norwegian delegation, in an attempt to reach a unanimous agreement, has received no support, I simply wish to withdraw the Norwegian proposal.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): I subscribe to the high ethical principles expressed by my distinguished friend from Venezuela, both in his speech and in his resolution. However, the resolution presents to us a departure from the nature of the United Nations. I am not conscious that the Charter, or any practice which the United Nations has followed, recognizes individuals as against States. It is the State which is the Member, and any subordinate body of the United Nations, it seems to me, must be composed of States and not of individuals.

There are also practical questions connected with this resolution which would make it difficult to carry it out. For example, how could such a large country as the United States, with so many voters, organize itself to elect a person of high moral character and of recognized competence in international law and international affairs to act on this committee? I confess that I do not know how it could possibly be done in ninety or a hundred days—and that is all the time that is allowed for accomplishing the work of this committee and preparing a report.

I have no objection to declaring our high moral purpose and to putting it in writing as many times as this Committee sees fit to do so, but I do object if, in so doing, we depart from the character of the United Nations and adopt a wholly novel idea, that is, of selecting men on account of their merit instead of selecting States and leaving it to the States to decide who shall represent them.

Mr. STOLK (Venezuela) (translated from Spanish): First of all I wish to thank my colleagues from Colombia and France for speaking in defence of the resolution, or draft resolution, submitted by the delegation of Venezuela. I think they have given the same answer as I myself should have given to the observations made by the representative of Australia.

On this occasion, I wish to refer only to the point raised by my colleague from the United States.

In submitting this resolution, the delegation of Venezuela does not mean to suggest that the States members of the Committee should hold an election; our intention is merely to point out to the Member States we may elect that it is incumbent upon them to select persons who are competent in this matter, and that these persons should fulfil their functions with absolute impartiality, in order to make it possible to achieve the purpose we have in view in constituting this committee for Palestine.

Both the delegation of the United States and the delegation of the United Kingdom have on various occasions stressed the necessity of impartiality in the committee's findings and reports, and I think that would be the best way of attaining such an ideal.

Mr. HAGGLOF (Sweden): A few days ago, when we started a general discussion on the terms of reference and on the composition of this committee, the Swedish delegation wished to state its preliminary opinions on the question. We then had two very clear-cut proposals before us, presented by the representatives of Argentina and of the United States: the first was a proposal that the permanent members of the Security Council should be included; and the second, a proposal that the committee should be exclusively composed of the smaller or, should I say, the disinterested States. As we ventured to point out, it seems to us that it is largely a practical question whether one method or the other is preferred. It is clear to us that in a committee composed solely of members from the disinterested or smaller States, it would probably be easier to get down to efficient work; the proceedings of the committee might be shorter, and it is apparent, I think, to all of us that a committee composed in that way would be more sheltered from reproaches on the ground of partiality, which in this connexion is a very important consideration.

On the other hand, it is obvious that the question before us, this very complicated question of Palestine, is a question which involves many points of high policy. Above all, we all know that the carrying out of any practical solution of the problem would require the support and I think, the very active support, of at least some of the permanent members of the Security Council. From that point of view, it is clear to us that it would be an advantage to have the representatives of those Powers on the committee.

I said before that it seemed to us very difficult to strike a balance between the weaknesses and the strength of the two proposals, but I allowed myself to add one thing which seemed to us of a certain importance, that is, that if we choose the solution of a committee composed only of representatives of the smaller Powers, it should be on condition that it is clearly understood among the permanent members that they do not wish to participate.

If we attach great importance to this question, it is simply because the Swedish delegation feels very strongly that it would not be helpful to the work of the committee for it to be brought into being by a vote against an important minority. It was clear from the beginning, and I think it is even clearer today after we have listened to two weeks of debate on this question, that the Palestine problem is a most difficult one and that the task of the special committee is going to be extremely delicate. For these reasons, we think it is very important that the committee should, if possible, be set up by unanimous vote, or in any case, by a vote which will not be against an important minority. I think that a vote against an important minority would, from the beginning, create great difficulties for the special committee. This delegation has therefore been looking for possible compromises. Of course, there are many cases where compromises are not necessary or even admissible—for example, in questions of justice and right—but to us this is really a practical matter. We are about to set up a committee which will carry out very important practical work in the service of the General Assembly. For this reason, we have, as I say, been looking for compromises.

We were happy to support the Norwegian proposal as a tentative compromise, and we would very much like to find some way of combining the two opposite points of view. I do not venture to suggest now how that should be done. I will limit myself to saying that I think this is a case where we should give ourselves a little more time to think the question over. I think it would be dangerous to rush to a vote, and that it would be better to look for possible general agreement on this question.

The CHAIRMAN: I wonder whether I may address a remark to the representative of Venezuela? I have a feeling, and I think other representatives on the Committee share this feeling, that if we include formally in our resolution a paragraph along the lines he suggests, it might seem to indicate that we had some doubt in our minds as to whether the States would or would not do what we are asking them to do and what, in fact, they will undoubtedly do. We consider that his purpose would be achieved if we were to include in our report to the General Assembly a paragraph based on his paragraph; if adopted, it would be included in the General Assembly's report. I have in mind something along these lines:


If we could have some reference of that kind in our report, we should not then find it necessary to include it formally in our resolution. I wonder whether that procedure would appeal to the representative of Venezuela?

Mr. STOLK (Venezuela): Mr. Chairman, in view of the objections raised by some of the representatives concerning the interpretation of the inclusion of our proposal in the resolution, I agree completely with the recommendation you propose.

Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) (translated from French): You have just made a very wise suggestion, Mr. Chairman, and the representative of Venezuela has just accepted it.

His proposal consists, however, of two parts: the first referring to the designation of the persons whom the selected States will appoint as their representatives on the committee of investigation; and the second to the attitude which these representatives are to adopt.

You suggested that the first point should-be mentioned in our report to the General Assembly. As regards the second point, which still remains to be settled, I do not think there is any need for us to adopt a resolution about it, but, after the Member States have been chosen to serve on the committee of investigation, I hope their representatives will make a statement before this First Committee to the effect that their Governments will not give them any instructions, but will leave them free to carry on their investigations in accordance with the dictates of their conscience and in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter.

The CHAIRMAN: I hope that that suggestion, which is a very interesting and useful one, may be brought to the attention of the Governments concerned when we know which governments those are going to be. The latter question is one with which we are struggling at this very moment, and I hope that our struggles will shortly be completed.

There are no further speakers on our list and, although one speaker has counselled delay in this matter, if the Committee so desires, I should like to proceed to a decision on this question this afternoon.

If there is no objection to that course, in principle, we must work out a procedure for arriving at a decision concerning the five or six proposals. That always appears to cause a little trouble.

I will submit for consideration the following suggestion regarding procedure in this matter: that the first resolution to be put to the Committee should be one which embodies a question of principle (as well as its application) that is farthest away from the original proposal on this matter—that is to say, the proposal of the United States of America. I think that the resolution moved this morning by the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics embodies those criteria.

That resolution is couched in such a form that, if it were defeated, there would be another opportunity to vote, if it were so desired, on other proposals embodying the principle of representation of the permanent members of the Security Council, but not in this particular way.

Moreover, that resolution is couched in such a form that if countries wished to exclude the permanent members of the Security Council, but not to include the other six members of the Security Council, they would also have an opportunity to put that into effect in another resolution. If that procedure is satisfactory, we should then be quite clear as to its consequences in order to avoid a long parliamentary argument later on.

I suggest that if the resolution moved this morning by the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were carried, that would be the end of the matter, because we should then have set up our special committee.

If that resolution were not carried, I should think it natural to proceed with the Australian resolution, and I would suggest that that resolution should be voted upon in two parts, because it embodies two ideas and it might be difficult to include both of them in one vote. It embodies the idea that the permanent members of the Security Council should not sit on this particular committee, and the idea of an eleven-member committee.

If the first part of the Australian resolution, excluding the permanent members of the Security Council were carried, then the Polish resolution and the alternative resolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would fall.

If the first part of the Australian resolution, excluding the permanent members of the Security Council were defeated, we should then vote on the second part. If this were carried, we should have an eleven-member committee, for which any Member of the United Nations would be eligible, and we should proceed to choose our committee.

That appears complicated, but I do not know of any other procedure that would be less complicated. If the Committee agrees with me, we shall continue.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): It is not very clear to me why you propose that procedure. I do not understand why you separate the Soviet and Polish proposals, as they are fairly close in meaning. We should first vote on the Soviet proposal, then on the Australian proposal, and after that on the Polish proposal.

The CHAIRMAN: That is what I had in mind. We shall first vote on the proposal of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; secondly, if necessary, on the Australian proposal; and then, if necessary, on the second proposal of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Polish proposal, which amount to practically the same thing.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): I regret that I do not clearly understand the ruling with respect to the Australian proposal. It appears to me to be indivisible; it does not have two parts. It constitutes one single proposal— namely, that the special committee shall be composed of eleven members, excluding the permanent members of the Security Council. That is a single proposal.

The CHAIRMAN: It is a single proposal, but I suggested to the representative of Australia that it might clarify matters if we could divide it into two proposals and vote on it in two parts, the first part being that the special committee shall not include the permanent members of the Security Council, and the second part being that the special committee shall consist of eleven members.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): That may make a great difference in my vote. I might wish to vote for this resolution as it is presented to us, yet I might wish to vote against a resolution which simply decided that the committee should be composed of eleven members, leaving the other part of the resolution undecided.

The CHAIRMAN: If the representative of the United States has in mind that the eleven-member committee is too large, may I mention the fact that if that eleven-member proposal were defeated, we should then, of course, return to the original resolution which envisages a seven-member committee?

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): I believe that the Chairman has misunderstood me. I did not indicate by what I said that I was opposed to expanding the number stated in my own resolution. However, I am opposed to expanding it unless this other matter, which is connected with and made a part of this resolution, is considered with it.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I feel that each of these proposals speaks for itself, and I doubt whether there is any necessity to take a separate vote on the proposal to exclude the five Powers from the committee. We can vote on the appropriate proposals, and the decisions reached on these proposals will represent decisions regarding the five Powers. If we consider the original United States proposal and start voting on the proposal farthest removed from it, we must start by voting on the first Soviet proposal, which contemplates the setting up of a committee consisting of States represented on the Security Council. Next, a vote should be taken on the second Soviet alternative proposal, which contemplates the setting up of a committee on the same principle as the Security Council. This would be followed by the Polish proposal, which hardly differs from the second Soviet alternative proposal. Then comes the Australian proposal, and lastly there remains the United States proposal, on which a decision has to be taken.

The CHAIRMAN: May I point out, in the first place, to the representative of the Soviet Union that if we were to vote on the Australian proposal as a whole—and that, of course, is for the Committee to decide—and if that proposal were carried and became the decision of this Committee, it would make it impossible for members of the Committee who wished to exclude the permanent members and to have seven or nine members on the special committee, to have an opportunity to vote on that particular subject? That is why I venture to suggest that the proposal might be divided.

The Soviet representative has suggested that we vote on the proposals as they stand, without division, in this order: the Soviet Union's first proposal, the Soviet Union's second proposal, the Polish proposal, the Australian proposal, and the United States proposal. My answer to that is that, in conformity with his own idea of principle and with the procedure of voting first on the text which is the farthest removed from the original proposal, I think the order which I suggested is the one that should be adopted: the Soviet Union's first proposal, and then the Australian proposal.

Dr. FIDERKIEWICZ (Poland): I would propose that we first take a vote on the number of members we are to elect, that is to say, on the first part of the Australian proposal or on mine, which are just the same: "The special committee shall consist of eleven members . . ." That question should be separated from the substantive question of whether permanent or non-permanent members are to be elected. That is the first consideration.

Secondly, we should take up our motion which is in a positive form and will immediately resolve the question of the inclusion of the permanent members. Our motion deals with the five permanent members of the Security Council. After we have decided upon that matter, we can then go into detail on the other matters. That would probably be much easier.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I think that the procedure which I have suggested is in accordance with the character of the question under discussion. I have no particular objection to the procedure proposed by you, Mr. President, but I think that the procedure suggested by me is more in accordance with the tenor of the proposals under discussion as compared with the initial United States proposal.

The CHAIRMAN: The representative of the Soviet Union has made an alternative proposal to mine. If the Committee prefers it, we shall, of course, proceed on those lines.

He has proposed that first we vote on his original proposal, that we next vote on his alternative proposal, and then, if necessary, on the Polish proposal, the Australian proposal, and the United States proposal. Is there any objection to that procedure?

If there is no objection, we can proceed along those lines and take the proposals in the order he has indicated.

Mr. DE KAUFFMAN (Denmark): I should just like to explain my position. The representative of Norway stressed the importance of making our decision a unanimous one, if possible, or as nearly unanimous as possible. My colleague from Sweden stressed and further explained the same point. I also feel it is very important that our decision should be carried by a substantial majority, if not unanimously.

I do not know how the various representatives intend to vote. As far as I am concerned, I feel that whatever decision was arrived at would be an acceptable one if it were carried unanimously or practically unanimously.

However, the Danish delegation would deplore a decision that was carried by a small, perhaps nearly insignificant, majority. For that reason, the Danish delegation is at the present moment rather inclined to abstain when some of these proposals come to the vote. We shall then have the opportunity of seeing how the Committee votes, and subsequently, in the General Assembly, we can throw in our lot with what we hope will be a very substantial majority.

The CHAIRMAN: If the Committee is now ready, we shall vote in the order I have suggested. But I want it to be made quite clear, so there will be no subsequent argument, that, if the first resolution from the delegation of the Soviet Union which I am putting to the vote is carried, that is the end of the matter. The resolution (document A/C.I/177) is as follows:


The CHAIRMAN: The result of the vote is as follows: in favour of the resolution, six; against the resolution, twenty-six; abstentions, twenty-one; absent," two. The resolution is not carried.

The next resolution to be voted on is the resolution of the representative of Poland (document A/C.1/176), which reads as follows: "The General Assembly resolves


We shall have a roll-call vote on this resolution.

A roll-call vote was taken, with the following result:

Votes for: Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Yugoslavia.

Votes against: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippine Republic, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay.

Abstentions: Afghanistan, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Siam, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela.


The CHAIRMAN: The result of the vote is as follows: in favour of the resolution, seven; against the resolution, twenty-six; abstentions, twenty; absent, two. The resolution is not carried.

The next resolution is that of the representative of Australia. I shall put it to the Committee as one resolution, since the suggestion I made for dividing it did not seem to have unanimous support. The resolution reads:

"The General Assembly resolves

"That the special committee shall consist of eleven members, not including the permanent members of the Security Council."

The vote will be by roll-call. A roll-call vote was taken, with the following result:

Votes for: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, India, Philippine Republic, Siam, United States of America.

Votes against: Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Peru, Poland, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.

Abstentions: Afghanistan, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Honduras, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Uruguay.

Absent: Haiti, Liberia.

The CHAIRMAN: The result of the vote is as follows: in favour of the resolution, thirteen; against the resolution, eleven; abstentions, twenty-nine; absent, two. The resolution is carried.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): Possibly our rules of procedure are not quite clear, but it seems to me that, if we follow only the letter of the rules of procedure, we may reach the conclusion that the casting of three or even two votes in the Committee would be sufficient for a decision to be taken. I should like to ask how a decision adopted by thirteen delegations out of fifty-five could be considered final. I am raising this question since I consider that results reached by such a method could not be called decisions.

The CHAIRMAN : I am afraid that the rules of procedure on this matter, unless I am advised to the contrary, are quite clear. Rule 108 reads:

"Decisions in the Committees of the General Assembly shall be taken by a majority of the members present and voting." I take it that under that rule, those voting include only those voting for and against. The resolution therefore was carried.

Mr. Gromyko (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I do not know whether it has ever been proved by anybody that members who abstain from voting do not actually take part in the voting. I believe it has never yet been proved that persons who have abstained from voting do not take part in the vote unless they state that they are not taking part in it.

The CHAIRMAN: In my answer to the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I would point out that the use of the word "abstention" in English is another way of saying, "I abstain from voting." So if I abstain from voting, I am not taking part in the voting.

I think that the clear interpretation of the meaning of "abstention" must be that you voluntarily withdraw from taking part in the voting.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): I remember that a case similar to this arose at the last session of the General Assembly. The Chairman of the Committee ruled against a decision such as you have given. His ruling was overthrown by a more or less unanimous vote of the Committee.

The CHAIRMAN: My ruling is that the vote has taken place and the resolution has been carried by thirteen votes to eleven, with twenty-nine abstentions.

Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) (translated from French): Mr. Gromyko should know this better than anyone else, because he took part in all the work from Dumbarton Oaks and San Francisco to the Executive Committee and the Preparatory Commission. The decision just taken is the one that has always prevailed. According to the Charter, whenever reference is made to members present and voting, the delegations which have abstained are considered as absent. That is the practice we have always followed, even before our rules of procedure were drawn up, and we have continued to follow it since their establishment. The delegations which abstained from voting were always counted as absent. Consequently, the majority of votes was made up, for example, of the votes "for", of the members present, the votes "against" having been taken into consideration.

In the Committees of the General Assembly, a simple majority is sufficient. In the Assembly itself, for important questions, the number of votes "for" must always be double the number of votes "against".

The CHAIRMAN: We will consider the discussion on this particular point closed.

Mr. Gromyko (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics): I wish just to say that we may sometimes find ourselves in situations where we have to take at least common sense into account.

Mr. PAPANEK (Czechoslovakia): I consider this vote as a direct result of the great Powers' desire to withdraw from responsibility in this very important question. Others-more than half of the members of the Committee—are also shrinking from their responsibility. I think that should be stated here.

The CHAIRMAN: The representative of Czechoslovakia has already stated his interpretation of the procedure we have just followed.

We now have our Committee. At least, we have agreed that the Committee should consist of eleven members, excluding the permanent members of the Security Council. There remains for the Committee the task of deciding which those eleven members shall be. I am not quite sure what procedure we ought to follow in that respect.

We have a proposal before the Committee from the delegation of the United States, naming seven Governments (document A/C.l/150). We have an amendment by the delegation of Chile, adding two further Governments to those seven (document A/C.1/175). But that does not solve our problem of electing eleven members to the Committee.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): Notwithstanding the fact that two proposals— the second proposal of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Polish proposal — have been defeated very heavily, I think we might take them as a basis for discussion. Of course, the five permanent members have been ruled out, but then you have the proposal to include two countries from Latin America. That proposal could be taken as a basis for discussion if you cannot find a better one.

The CHAIRMAN: I have no better one. I should be glad to have some guidance from the Committee as to how we should proceed. I do not know whether the Committee wishes to proceed in full committee, to discuss the names of members, or whether it would like to set up a small sub-committee which might submit to the full Committee, in about an hour's time, a list of eleven members.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America) : I feel some responsibility about this matter, since the proposal before the Committee is the resolution offered by the United States. I have tried throughout the study of this matter to avoid putting the United States in the position of being trend of decision hi this Committee, and I do not want to assume such a position in making the suggestion I have to make.

However, the seven States named hi the resolution before us were selected on principle, and to the extent that seven States can do so, they do represent a broad geographical distribution. I think that theory ought to be followed in adding the four oilier States. I make a very broad suggestion and leave to the members from the areas concerned the task of selecting and nominating their own candidates. I think there should be States which represent the South Pacific—which is not in the group I have already placed before you—Asia, one more eastern European State and one more Latin American State.

I make that suggestion. I do not know whether Member States from these regions are prepared to nominate their States or not. We have before us one suggestion that apparently takes care of two States. It is the proposal by the delegation of Chile. I do not wish to interfere in the affairs of Chile, but I see this before us.

The CHAIRMAN: In connexion with resolutions which have previously been submitted, we have already before us the names of nine States. If there were two additional nominations, we might use the resulting list of eleven as a basis for discussion, and even possibly as a basis for our ultimate decision. But until we get eleven names, we cannot very well discuss the nine. I do not know whether the Committee would like to adjourn for fifteen minutes to think this over, or whether two names could be submitted now to make eleven, upon which we could perhaps decide.

Mr. MARTINEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): Mr. Chairman, we have already agreed upon seven States: Canada, Czechoslovakia, Iran, the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay. I beg to suggest that the other four be elected by secret ballot.

The CHAIRMAN: Is it the intent of that suggestion that we take the seven here and ballot secretly on the four?

Mr. MARTINEZ-LACAYO (Nicaragua) (translated from Spanish): I propose that the voting for the election of the four remaining members required to make up the eleven should be secret.

The CHAIRMAN: Does that procedure commend itself to the Committee?

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I feel that this proposal is contradictory. On the one hand, it is proposed to vote for certain countries by secret ballot while, on the other hand, that procedure is not to be followed for other countries. This is a most contradictory proposal. Countries should not be divided into two groups. How can one allow some countries to be elected by a secret ballot while others are to be put to an open vote? Such a procedure is wrong.

In addition, I would like to put a question to the chairman and, possibly, to the Secretary-General. What procedure is laid down, in this respect, for the election of auxiliary organs? How would the election be held?

The CHAIRMAN: I shall let the Secretary-General reply to that.

Mr. LIE, Secretary-General, Sometimes the Committees take a secret ballot and sometimes they do not. It is for the Committee to decide. A secret ballot is only laid down in the rules of procedure for important elections in the General Assembly; but the Committees are free to choose their own way of holding an election.


In the rules of procedure, as far as I remember, voting by secret ballot is stipulated only for the election of an individual to a particular office; in other cases the Committee is free to choose its own procedure.

Mr. PAPANEK (Czechoslovakia): I wished to make the same proposal as the representative of Iran, and I support his point.

Colonel HODGSON (Australia): I also wish to support the last speakers. I do not see how we can say that because one list has seven names we can accept it without question. I understand from the representative of the United States that the countries were chosen on a proper geographical basis. I look at that list and see that there are six members from Europe and America and one Arab State, whereas the rest of the world is eliminated.

I do not suggest for one moment that that is a correct and proper geographical basis. The opinion of my delegation is that the whole list should be chosen by secret ballot. As it will take us some time to make up our mind—we have not thought seriously at all about this question. I think we might well adjourn this meeting now until tomorrow morning.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I think your suggestion of a short recess was very constructive. I also think that we have to decide two questions. The first one concerns the geographical distribution of the eleven members of the Committee. That is one question with which we have to deal. The representative of the United States has suggested four additional members who would represent the parts of the globe which are not included in his proposal.

Once we have agreed on the geographical distribution of the eleven members as a whole, taking as a basis the seven proposed by the United States and adding four, we could then study among ourselves with other delegations from those different regions, which States could be candidates. I have absolutely no objection to the candidates from Latin America, and I shall vote for them. But I think that there are two different questions, the first of which is to ascertain the composition of the Committee as far as geographical distribution is concerned. Once we have agreed on that, we could adjourn until tomorrow; that is up to the Chair or the Committee to decide. The second question is to vote, then, for the different countries to fill those eleven places.

Sir Alexander GADOGAN (United Kingdom): I only wish to say that we must be quite clear what we mean if we say we are going to vote, first on geographical distribution. The representative of Colombia first referred to the proposal made by the representative of the United States, who indicated that geographical distribution of the four additional members might be required. We must not vote on that, because we do not know that the other seven will be elected; that would upset the whole election.

We first have to decide, if that is the principle we are going to adopt, the geographical distribution of all eleven members.

The CHAIRMAN: I would like to make a concrete proposal that the Committee agree that the eleven be chosen on a basis of equitable geographical distribution, that the Committee recess for fifteen minutes, and when it reconvenes, that it should vote by secret ballot choosing the eleven States to be members of the Committee of Inquiry.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I would like to draw the Committee's attention to the following. In the election of a committee, we should make sure that a number of factors are taken into consideration, including the geographical factor. We should see, moreover, that certain accessory considerations do not influence too greatly the election of the members of the Committee.

As regards the geographical factor—a factor which has a somewhat representative character —I do not think it would be difficult; in fact, I would say it would be easier to reach agreement by discussing the matter rather than by making the necessary marks on our voting papers. We can reach agreement more easily by proceeding to a discussion of the appropriate distribution of seats in the committee of inquiry, if it is really our purpose to find the true solution of the question of the representative character of that committee.

I cannot see why the delegates should not frankly and sincerely exchange views, if not in respect of specific countries—although I feel that there could be no objection to that—in any case, from the point of view of taking geographical and certain other factors into account in setting up the committee. I feel that we should find it easier to talk about the matter and understand each other during the debate if we were to discuss the question directly and frankly.

Mr. PALZA (Bolivia) (translated from Spanish) : It is, I understand, more or less generally agreed that the United States proposal, which contains seven names, is adopted; but as far as I know, it has not yet been put to the vote. So, to save time, we could and should vote first on that proposal and the seven names contained therein.

Since there is also a Chilean proposal, which adds two more names, we should then proceed immediately to vote on those two names and after that we should only have two others on which to reach agreement during the recess.

I therefore move that we should vote on the United States proposal and then on the Chilean proposal.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): I concur with the remarks made by my colleague from Bolivia. It is very important for us to make a good- record here.

I also strongly hold the opinion expressed by the Scandinavian countries a short time ago that this matter is so important that we should reach as nearly unanimous agreement as possible. I greatly appreciated their intention to abstain in order that the largest measure of agreement might be attained, here in this Committee. That certainly was a high purpose.

Would we not be giving a wrong impression of our conduct here, if we were now to revert to the practice of having a secret ballot? Would we not cast reflection upon the abstentions that were made in good faith and for good purpose? Would not the world pause to consider whether those abstentions did not have a hidden meaning of a kind which would not be to the United Nations' advantage?

I am satisfied that the abstentions were made in good faith and for a high and noble purpose: namely, to ascertain the feeling of this Committee in order that we might get together. I do not think we can get together by going out into the corridors running around trying to reach each member and talking things over outside. We will get farther apart that way. I agree with the representative,of the Soviet Union that the nature of this body and of this undertaking requires open discussion before the whole world, and we are more likely to arrive at a large majority by that method than if we were to leave this room and go outside into the smoke-filled rooms in order to try to trade or play little politics or anything of that kind.

Our purpose is too lofty to have it clouded by any conduct that would be misleading. We have a great duty to perform here, and we can perform it in the open before the whole world better than we can out in the corridors.

Is it not according to all our methods of procedure to take a resolution offered by a State and vote for or against it? Why shy at a practice we have always followed? Why should we dodge now? Here is a resolution proposing seven of these States. The criticism that it is an unfair distribution does not hold good. You cannot forget that there are twenty republics in Latin America. Latin America is not overweighted here. If anything, Latin America is underweighted.

In my suggestion I indicated that we should like to broaden this distribution to include the South Pacific, Asia, another country in eastern Europe and another in Latin America. If that does not seem to be a good distribution, just tell us why it is not. How would you improve it? You have many States in each of those areas which can be selected. We ought to be able to select them here and now. We have already before us the suggestion relating to Latin America and eastern Europe. There remain only the South Pacific and Asia. We ought to be able to find the other two countries here, in the open. I hope we will not adopt -a course which will take us out of this room, out of sight, and will involve a kind of campaigning unworthy of the United Nations.

I think we ought to proceed to vote upon the proposals made by the United States and then upon those made by Chile.

The CHAIRMAN: The proposal has been made by the representative of Bolivia, and it has been supported by the representative of the United States, that we proceed now to vote on nine of the eleven names, and then fill the remaining two places after we have voted on the nine that are now before us. Does the Committee agree with that? If so, we can proceed to vote on those nine names.


The CHAIRMAN : The following are the names of the nine States proposed as members of the Special Committee of Inquiry, and on which we are now about to vote: Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Iran, the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay and Yugoslavia.
The CHAIRMAN: The result of the voting is as follows: thirty-five in favour, four against, and thirteen abstentions. The nine States whose names I read out have been elected by the Committee as members of the committee of inquiry.

Mr. ANDREWS (Union of South Africa): Am I in order in making a proposal relative to at least one of the remaining nominations?


Mr. ANDREWS (Union of South Africa): I would propose to confine myself to one.

The South African delegation has pleasure in nominating Australia as the representative from the South Pacific.

Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) (translated from French): I have the honour to propose India for the eleventh seat.

Mr. HSIA (China): I am rather embarrassed, as I had intended to propose the Philippine Republic as the eleventh member. As I had made up my mind, I think I had better propose it.

Mr. DE KAUFFMAN (Denmark): I had also asked to speak. I had made up my mind to nominate Siam. I should like to follow the example of my Chinese colleague and make my proposal.

The CHAIRMAN: The following countries have been nominated: Australia, India, the Philippine Republic, and Siam.

If there are no further nominations we shall proceed to vote by secret ballot to elect two countries from these four names.

Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): To keep the regional distribution, I suppose you would separate, would you not, those from the South Pacific and those from Asia?

The CHAIRMAN: It has been suggested that in order to observe the principle of regional distribution, these names should be kept in categories. 1 take it you mean that there would be two categories, one for the South Pacific and one for Asia.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I should like to draw your attention to the following. If this proposal is accepted, will it not arouse some doubt as to the correct selection of the members of the Committee, even if only from the point of view of the geographical factor?

The CHAIRMAN : I do not know what doubts there would be in the minds of anyone, but I would point out that the geographical principle has been fairly well observed in the choice of nine countries; providing two more were chosen, one from the South Pacific and one from Asia, I think the worldwide principle of geographical distribution would have been observed.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I want to point out that since we voted for a block of nine by show of hands, I do not see any reason why we should cast a secret ballot for the remainder. We voted for a block of nine publicly. We should vote for the rest by show of hands.

The CHAIRMAN: I am getting a little confused. We voted for nine in block when there were only nine to be chosen. How can we raise our hands for four when there are only two to be chosen? If, however, the Committee agrees that this list be divided on the basis of geographical distribution, one from the South Pacific and three from Asia, the problem becomes a little simpler. However, it is not for me to decide that. If there is a motion made to that effect, we can vote on it.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): I move that we vote separately on the South Pacific area, and that we vote now.

The CHAIRMAN: It has been moved that we vote separately on the South Pacific area, and that we vote now in respect of one member from that area. Is that agreeable to the Committee? If that is agreeable, we have only one nomination from the South Pacific.

Mr. HSIA (China): I just want to ask a geographical question. Do you place the Philippines in Asia or in the South Pacific?

The CHAIRMAN: I would ask the representative of the Philippines where he comes from.

General ROMULO (Philippine Republic): From both.

The CHAIRMAN: Might I ask the representative of the Philippines in which area he would like to stand for this election?

General ROMULO (Philippine Republic): For convenience, we stand, I think, in the South Pacific group.

The CHAIRMAN: We now have two nominations from the South Pacific area—Australia and the Philippines—and two nominations from the Asiatic area—India and Siam.

Mr. HSIA (China): May I make a suggestion? It might save a certain amount of trouble if, for this particular occasion, we were to consider the South Pacific and Asia as one family, and choose the two countries out of the four represented which will receive the greatest number of votes. I do not think there is any particular theory or philosophy about this.

The CHAIRMAN : We have two proposals, and I think we must decide upon them. It has been proposed that we divide these nominations into the two areas, and as a result of that division we have two in each area. There has been a proposal that we consider them as a group of four. I should like to ask the Committee to vote first on the United States proposal that they be divided into two groups.


The CHAIRMAN: There are thirty-four votes in favour, three against and fourteen abstentions. The Committee has decided to vote upon the nominations in two groups: the South Pacific group and the Asiatic group.

In the former group there are two nominations, Australia and the Philippines. I shall ask the Committee to vote in respect of these two nominations. Only votes of favour will count, and we shall try to ensure that members do not vote twice.

As Australia was nominated first, I shall put that name to the Committee first.


The CHAIRMAN: Those in favour of the nomination of the Philippines to represent the South Pacific area on the Committee of Inquiry will please raise their right hands.
The CHAIRMAN: The result of the vote is as follows: in favour of Australia, twenty-one; in favour of the Philippines, twenty.

Australia is chosen for membership in the Committee of Inquiry.

Now we have to choose the last member of the Committee representing the Asiatic group. There are two nominations, and as India was nominated first, I shall ask those members of the Committee who are in favour of India's membership on this Committee of Inquiry to raise their right hands.


The CHAIRMAN: Will those members who are in favour of Siam for membership on the Committee please raise their right hands?
The CHAIRMAN : The result of the vote is as follows: in favour of India, thirty-four; in favour of Siam, seven.

India is nominated to the Committee of Inquiry.

As a result of the choice the Committee has made, the following sentence will now be included in the report to the General Assembly, for its decision:


I think the only other matters before the Committee are certain paragraphs that were originally included in the United States resolution concerning the establishment of the Committee.

Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): I am informed that the last paragraph is unnecessary because the funds have already been provided for from the Working Capital Fund. I therefore beg to withdraw it and I ask that the Committee consider the remaining paragraphs that have not been acted upon.

CHAIRMAN: With the consent of the Committee, the last paragraph of the United States resolution will be withdrawn. The other two paragraphs are to be found in document A/C.l/150, dated 6 May 1947, which is the proposal of the delegation of the United States to the First Committee. They are as follows:


Is there any discussion on those two paragraphs? If not, and if the Committee agrees, they will be included in our report to the Assembly.

Is there any other business before the Committee?

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): I take it that we now have to vote on the document as a whole. If so, I beg to be allowed to make a very short statement.

The CHAIRMAN: Do I understand that the representative of Lebanon suggests we take a decision on the document as a whole?

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): I am asking whether that is not the proper procedure.

The CHAIRMAN: It would be in proper procedural order to produce a document and take a decision on it as a whole. It is up to the Committee to decide. I should be glad to have the full document read, and we could perhaps take a decision on it as a whole here and now, and then make our report on the document on which we have agreed and submit it directly to the General Assembly. That would afford the representative of Lebanon the opportunity of making a statement before the final decision is reached in this Committee.

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): That would be most satisfactory.

Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): I do not consider it necessary to take a vote on this document as a whole. This would embarrass a number of the delegations.

If, for example, I agreed with the terms of reference, with the Committee's functions and powers as defined by us, at the same time I might not agree with the decision regarding the composition of the Committee. These are two different questions. Why then confuse them artificially, thereby embarrassing a number of delegations by placing them in a difficult and artificially created position, especially as no practical purpose is gained by this.

There is no need to take a vote on this document as a whole—that is to say, on both questions simultaneously: on the composition of the Committee, and on its terms of reference.

Should anybody want to make a statement on this matter, he can do so with the Chairman's permission, of course, at any time, even at present.

The CHAIRMAN: I hope that the Committee may find it possible to accept the view of the representative of the Soviet Union and that we shall now be able to proceed to produce the report on which we have agreed and submit it straight to the General Assembly, without any further decision taken in this Committee. If that is agreeable, the representative of Lebanon can nevertheless make his statement now.

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon)': I do not wish to contest the very able opinion of the representative of the Soviet Union, nor will I insist upon this Committee's taking a vote on the document as a whole. However, it has always been my understanding that after you adopt separate items of any document, you then consider the document as a whole, you take a vote on it and then present it as such to the next higher body. Whatever the decision of the Chairman of this Committee may be, I should certainly abide by it, provided I am allowed to make my short statement.

The CHAIRMAN : Of course, I am not making any decision on this. I just put forth the view of the representative of the Soviet Union. I had hoped that the Committee might be able to adopt it, but it is for the Committee to decide. In any event, the representative of Lebanon is perfectly in order in making his statement now, if he so desires.

Mr. MALIK (Lebanon): I should be grateful if the following very short statement could be inserted in the report of this Committee to the General Assembly. At the conclusion of its deliberations, the Committee is now called upon to act as a whole. We were charged with a mission by the General Assembly. We have now completed that mission. We are about to vote on the composition and terms of reference of the proposed committee of inquiry, taken in conjunction and as a whole.

I regret that once again I have to say a word in explanation of my vote. I shall abstain from voting because I do not want to commit myself in any way regarding this document. This non-committal attitude, this abstention, far from meaning unconcern, actually implies the deepest concern. The ground of this concern is the fact that not only has any mention of independence for Palestine been severely suppressed from the terms of reference, but also, the basis on which this extraordinary session of the General Assembly was convened in the first place has finally shifted, in the course of the last two weeks, from preparing to advise the United Kingdom Government on the future government of Palestine to preparing for the consideration of the so-called problem of Palestine in general, a phrase which by its very generality may mean anything and which is therefore really unacceptable.

If for no other reason than this basic, and I might also add dangerous, indefiniteness, which permeates this entire: document, I, for my part, am wholly unable to subscribe to it in any way. Therefore, I respectfully reserve the future position of my Government.

Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) (translated from French): I previously expressed my views, at the time of the discussion of the Venezuelan proposal. As the Committee has just done my country the honour of choosing it as one of the members of the committee of inquiry, I wish to state on behalf of my Government, that it will not give its representative any instructions, and will allow him full latitude to carry on his investigations in accordance with the dictates of his conscience.

We feel that we must fulfil this mission hi the name of the United Nations and that, in the accomplishment of this task, we should be guided only by our conscience, bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

I am certain—or at least I hope—that this will be the attitude of the other Governments on the committee of inquiry.

Mr. GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ (Colombia): I believe we have come to the end of our work in this Committee and that we are going to adjourn more or less definitely. Before we do so, Mr. Chairman, I should like to express, on behalf of my delegation—and I think I am expressing the sentiments of all delegations—the feeling of appreciation and admiration for the excellent work you have done here as Chairman of this Committee.

We have been led through very difficult moments. However, your ability, your good character, your liveliness and your fairness have taken us through the difficult moments and we have arrived at a very rapid solution, considering the difficulty of the problem. We are very happy indeed to have had you as our Chairman.

Mr. MUNIZ (Brazil): The Brazilian delegation moves that we take a vote on the composition of the Committee as it was finally accepted. I base my motion on the fact that, owing to a misunderstanding on the part of several delegations, who expected to vote for the United States composition and therefore abstained from voting on the Australian proposal, the result of the voting was very poor. In order to avoid future criticism and correct that impression, I think it is important that we should take a final vote on the composition of the Committee.

Mr. ASAF ALI (India): Before we proceed any further, Mr. Chairman, I would request you to allow me to associate myself entirely and absolutely with the remarks which have flowed from the lips of the representative of Colombia. I endorse every word he has said, and I assure you that we hope, in the future, to receive equal cooperation and guidance from you.

In conclusion, I would request some of the members of the committee, who may have felt a little annoyed by some of my remarks, to forgive me for having perhaps indulged in rather emphatic language. I can assure them that my intention towards everyone was one of deepest respect, and if 'at any time I seemed to deviate from an even course, it was only on account of the deep convictions which moved me.

I owe a word of explanation to the United States. Yesterday, perhaps, I was a little too warm in my criticism of the proposal which came from the United States. I assure them that not one word was intended by me to cast any aspersion on their intentions, of which I was always perfectly certain.

Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): First of all, Mr. Chairman, I should like to associate myself with the high appreciation for the able way in which you have conducted your work in this Committee. At the same time, I feel it is necessary to make a short statement here, to explain why the Syrian delegation will vote against the terms of reference as adopted in the Committee.

The reason is that a definite proposal for the independence of Palestine was deleted by a great majority, and that another proposal, to the effect that the solution should be based on the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the Covenant of the League of Nations, was also overlooked. For this reason, I should like to reserve the right of my Government to take the attitude which it may think appropriate in the future, according to the conduct of the work hereafter.

Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): Mr. Chairman, I should also like to associate myself with the representatives who expressed their gratitude for and appreciation of your services. You have been most generous and most capable in the conduct of our business.

In the second place, I wish to associate myself with the statement made by the representative of Syria. I shall vote against the proposals because they do not contain the item on independence, because they included other things which they should not include, and because they omit certain things which should not have been omitted.

Mr. MUSTAFA (Egypt) (translated from French): I wish to associate myself with the statement made by the representative of Lebanon.

Sheik AL-FAQUIH (Saudi Arabia) (translated from French): The delegation of Saudi Arabia supports the statements made by the representatives of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Egypt. We have no other alternative than to abstain from voting on the text which has just been adopted by the Committee, considering as we do that the high principles which are the very basis of the Charter have not been expressly recognized as the principles which are to guide the committee of inquiry in its investigations.

The delegation of Saudi Arabia wishes to reserve the position of its Government as regards any developments which may arise from such investigations and as regards their final outcome, inasmuch as they are not governed by the principles of the Charter.

The CHAIRMAN: If there are no further speakers, we must return to the proposal made by the representative of Brazil, that, in view of the somewhat unusual character of the problem of voting which confronted us, it might be desirable, in the interests of attaching to this committee the importance which it deserves, in so far as our decision can give it importance, that we take a vote on that part of our proposal which concerns the composition of the committee. That seems to me to be a very sensible proposal. If it is agreed, I shall put the proposal as carried in full before the Committee. Is there any objection to that?

Since no objection has been voiced, I shall read the proposal. It is as follows:

"The General Assembly resolves: "That a special committee be created for the above-mentioned purpose, consisting of the representatives of Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India, Iran, the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay and Yugoslavia."

We will proceed to a vote on that proposal. A vote was taken by show of hands.

The CHAIRMAN : The result of the voting is as follows: in favour of the proposal, thirty-nine against the proposal, three; abstentions, ten.


That concludes our business. It remains only for me to thank my friend from Colombia and the other members of the Committee very sincerely for their kindness to me, for their consideration and sympathy, without which I should have been a wreck long before now. I should also like to take advantage on your behalf—and I know you will support me in this—to thank the staff of the Secretariat for the very hard and skilful work they have done, and to thank the interpreting staff, who have shown miracles of efficiency. We sometimes forget and think that we are the important people in these Committees, but as one who has also worked on secretariats, I know who really does the work.
1/ See the forty-seventh meeting, page 30 to 78
2/ See page 60
3/ See Official Records of the General Assembly, First Special Session, seventy-third plenary meeting.
4/ Ibid., Seventy-fifth plenary meeting.
5/ Ibid., Seventy-fourth plenary meeting.
6/ Resolution on the Report on International Post-war Settlement, adopted by the Annual Conference of the British Labour Party in December 1944.
7/ See page 82
8/ See page 123.
9. See page 128.
10/ See pages 108 to 116.
11/ See page 131.
12/ See pages 86, 131.
13/ See page 132.
14/ See page 131.
15/ See page 125.
16/ See pages 138 to 140.
17/ See pages 94, 95.
18/ Sec page 153.
19/ See page 131.
20/ See pages 132, 133.
21/ See page 141.
22/ See page 118.
23/ See page 146.
24/ See page 132.
25/ See pages 143, 147
26/ See pages 80 to 82.
27/ See page 147.
28/ See page 145.
29/ See page 88.
30/ George Antonius, The Arab Awakening, appendix C. G. E. Putnam Co., New York, 1946.
31/ Annex G of the Report of a Committee set up to consider certain correspondence between Sir Henery McMahon (His Majesty’s High commissioner in Egypt) and the Sherif of Mecca, presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to Parliament by command of His Majesty March 1939.
32/ Ibid., Annex I.
33/ Section 5, The Palestine Arab Case, a mimeographed statement issued by the Arab Higher Committee, April 1947.
34/ See Hansard, Vol. 433, No. 55, columns 44-tS, 25 February 1947.
35/ Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly during the second part of its second session, pages 110 and 111.
36/ Quoted in English.
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