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Disputed Palestine Clause” Adopted by Trusteeship Committee at San Francisco

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The behind-the-scenes fight over the socalled “Palestine Clause” of the UNCIO chapter on trusteeships came to an end yesterday when the trusteeship committee of the United Nations Conference voted to adopt the clause, but added a provision that ” nothing in this clause is to be interpreted as giving grounds for delay or postponement” of placing mandated territories under trosteeships.

The addition to the text represented a compromise with the Soviet delegation which originally demanded that the disputed clause be omitted. In advancing this demand the Soviet delegation sought to prevent the “freezing” of the present status of undated territories, The new provision makes certain that these territories will now have to come under trusteeship.

Arab efforts to secure other modifications in the text of the clause failed completely as a result of the determination of the U.S. delegation not to permit any changes in the text which might prejudice the position of the Jews in Palestine or Jewish immigration to Palestine. A proposal by Iraq which would have restricted the “peoples” mentioned in the paragraph to those new inhabiting trusteed territories was defeated, as was an Egyptian suggestion that would have allowed half the seats on the frusteeship Council to be given to elected members of the Security Council, thus opening the way for an Arab state, which might be named to the Security Council, to have a voice over trusteed areas.

The text of Paragraph Five (the Palestine clause) as finally adopted, reads as follows: “Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship arrangements, made under Paragraphs 3,4 and 6, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this charter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states of any peoples or the terms of existing international instrument to which member states may respectively be parties. This paragraph should not be interpreted as giving grounds for delay or postponement of the negotiation and conclusion of the agreements for placing mandated and other territories, as provided for in Paragraph 3, under the trusteeship system.”

Another section which affects Palestine is sub-division “B” of Paragraph also which says that one of the basic objectives of the trusteeship system is “to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the trust territories and their inhabitants and progressive development toward self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, as may be provided by the trusteeship arrangement.”

Other paragraphs provide that the present mandatory power must agree to the placing of mandates under trusteeships, that the trust areas shall be supervised by a Trusteeship Council composed of an equal number of representatives of states which are administering and those which are not administering trust areas. This council shall have the power to accept petitions from residents of territories placed in trust, to make investigations in trust areas and to receive reports from administering powers. the General Assembly is also empowered to demand annual reports from the administering authority on the political, economic, social and educational advancement of inhabitants of the trust territory, based on a questionnaire formulated by the Trusteeship Council.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, who has been representing the Jewish Agency here, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that he was satisfied with the Palestine clause is its present formulation, since it “maintains all the rights under existing mandates, among them the rights of the Jewish people in regards to Palestine.” He declared that the Soviet proposal for deletion of the clause had not been aimed at the Jew in Palestine. Dr. Goldmann asserted that the Jewish Agency representatives here had succeeded in having the status que in Palestine maintained, but stressed that the real fight, for establishment a Jewish state, still lies ahead.

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