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U.S. Role in Palestine Problem Aired at Geneva, Minutes of Mandates Body Reveal

THE ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES WAS ONE OF THE SUBJECTS DISCUSSED AS THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS MANDATES COMMISSION EXAMINED THE BRITISH PROPOSAL TO PARTITION PALESTINE, IT IS REVEALED IN THE MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION’S THIRTY-SECOND SESSION.

WHILE WASHINGTON MIGHT TECHNICALLY INVOKE THE 1924 TREATY WITH BRITAIN TO VETO THE PARTITION PLAN, THERE IS LITTLE LIKELIHOOD THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN, IT WAS BROUGHT OUT. THE BRITISH REPRESENTATIVE SAID THAT HIS GOVERNMENT INTENDED TO CONFER WITH THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT ON THE SCHEME.

WILLIAM G.A. ORMSBY-GORE, COLONIAL SECRETARY, SAID THAT WASHINGTON HAD BEEN SUPPLIED WITH A COPY OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT AND THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT STATEMENT OF POLICY. THE MINUTES CONTINUE WITH HIS REMARKS:

“THE UNITED KINGDOM WAS A MANDATORY ON BEHALF OF THE LEAGUE AND THEREFORE THE FIRST STEP WAS WITH THE LEAGUE RATHER THAN WITH THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. WHEN THE LEAGUE’S ATTITUDE TO THIS WHOLE POLICY WAS MADE CLEARER, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO CONFER.

“M. (FREDERICK) VAN ASBECK (NETHERLANDS MEMBER OF THE MANDATES COMMISSION) CONCLUDE THAT, FROM A JURIDICAL STANDPOINT, AFTER THE MATTER HAD PASSED THROUGH ALL THE STAGES OF LEAGUE PROCEDURE, IT MIGHT CONCEIVABLY BE DROPPED BECAUSE OF THE VETO OF THE UNITED STATES.

“MR. ORMSBY-GORE THOUGHT THAT, AS THE ESSENCE OF THE CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED KINGDOM WAS A RECITAL OF THE MANDATE, IF THE MANDATE WERE CHANGED IN ANY WAY, IT WAS UNLIKELY THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WOULD WISH TO INSIST ON A CONVENTION WHICH RECITED THE OLD MANDATE AND NOT THE NEW.

“M. VAN ASBECK SAID THAT THE QUESTION OF THE JURISDICTION IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE NEWLY-CREATED STATES SEEMED TO ARISE IN THIS CONNECTION.

“MR. ORMSBY-GORE AGREED. HE EXPLAINED THAT THE STATUS IN THIS MATTER OF THE UNITED STATES, APART FROM THE CONVENTION IN QUESTION, WAS SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE ALLIED POWERS. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WAS NEVER, DURING THE GREAT WAR, AT WAR WITH TURKEY, THOUGH IT WAS AT WAR WITH GERMANY. WHEN THE MANDATORIES WERE SELECTED, THE MANDATORY POWERS FOR THE FORMER GERMAN TERRITORIES WERE SELECTED BY THE PRINCIPAL ALLIED AND ASSOCIATED POWERS, WHICH INCLUDED THE UNITED STATES, BUT HE BELIEVED IT TO BE AN HISTORICAL FACT THAT, WHEN THE MANDATE FOR PALESTINE WAS CONFERRED UPON GREAT BRITAIN, IT WAS ACTUALLY CONFERRED NOT BY THE PRINCIPAL ALLIED ASSOCIATED POWERS, BUT BY THE PRINCIPAL ALLIED POWER ALONE.”

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