New York (Oct. 22)
The United Nations General Assembly opens here tomorrow to decide, among other major world issues, the fate of the refugees in Europe. The Palestine question, although not on the agenda, may also be brought up.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Trygve Lie, today announced that the British Government this afternoon transferred to United Nations trusteeship the territories of Tanganyika, Togoland and Cameroons, which were under the United Kingdom mandate. The transfer, which did not include Palestine, will be submitted for approval to the General Assembly, in accordance with Article 85 of the U.N. Charter.
Commenting on the possibility of the Palestine question being raised at the General Assembly, Sir Ivor Thomas, chief British alternate delegate to the Assembly who arrived yesterday by plane from London, said that there were enough problems for the Assembly without the Palestine issue. “However,” he added, “if the question of Palestine is brought up, Great Britain has a clear conscience.” Sir Ivor is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Colonial Affairs in the British Foreign Office.
(In London, Richard Crossman, British member of the Anglo-American Inquiry Committee on Palestine, told a Labor Party meeting today that if the Palestine question is brought up at the U.N. General Assembly, “it will become another Trieste in world politics.” He urged the British Government to implement the unanimous report of the inquiry committee which advocates the immediate admission of 100,000 displaced Jews from Europe to Palestine.)
DP EMIGRATION, REPATRIATION OR STAGNATION; U.N. TO DECIDE ON ANSWER
The question concerning the fate of the displaced persons, as it will be placed before the General Assembly will be: How and to what extent shall the United Nations take over the work of UNRRA which goes out of existence on June 30, 1947? The Assembly will have to approve the constitution of the International Refugee Organization created by the U.N. Economic and Social Council to deal with refugee problems after the UNRRA winds up its activities. A spirited debate is expected before the constitution is approved.
United Nations officials dealing with the refugee problem today indicated that at the core of the matter is the question of whether the United Nations shall concentrate on securing admission for displaced persons in new countries, keep them in camps in Europe, or send them back to their countries of origin. Sir Raphael Cilento, of Australia, director of the U.N. division for refugees, today estimated that there are more than 200,000 Jewish DP’s in Europe.
The General Assembly will also take up the question of establishing a Trusteeship Council, as provided by the U.N. Charter, to organize international supervision of mandated territories. The British Government does not intend to raise the question of the Palestine mandate before the Assembly on the basis that the conference on Palestine which is now taking place in London is attempting to settle the future status of the country.