New York (Dec. 16)
The General Assembly of the United Nations concluded the second part of its first session last midnight, approving the charter of the International Refugee Organization and a $160,000,000 budget by a vote of 30 to 5. The negative votes were cast by Soviet Russia, the Ukraine, Byelo-Russia, Poland and Yugoslavia.
Earlier, the General Assembly established the Trusteeship Council which is to take over territories formerly administered under mandates of the League of Nations. It also declared genocide–the mass extermination of racial groups–a violation of International law and proposed an international convention against the crime.
At least fifteen member states of the United Nations will have to ratify the I.R.O. constitution before the organization is able to start the complicated job of dissolving the refugee camps in Europe and sending the displaced persons either to new countries or to their native lands. The first two countries to sign the I.R.O. constitution today were the United States and Canada.
A three-hour debate developed last night at the closing session of the Assembly when the Slav bloc made its last effort to defeat the I.R.O. constitution. The Eastern countries, led by the delegation from the Soviet Union, insisted on the deletion from the IRO constitution of the principle of resettlement of refugees who can be repatriated to their native lands. However, they made an exception for Jewish refugees and Spanish Republicans.
JEWISH AGENCY SAYS I.R.O. AMENDMENT WILL NOT AFFECT PALESTINE IMMIGRATION
The Jewish Agency office in New York today issued a statement emphasizing that the clauses contained in the I.R.O. constitution urging the organization to take into consideration the “apprehension” that might be felt by “the indigenous population of the non-self-governing countries” in settling refugees in their lands, can in no way affect Jewish immigration to Palestine. These clauses, the Jewish Agency pointed out, cannot over-ride rights granted to Jews under the Palestine mandate. The statement of the Agency reads as follows:
“The Jewish Agency is satisfied that this stipulation has nothing to do with Jewish immigration into Palestine and resettlement therein, should the IRO undertake to be of assistance in that respect. The international law governing the facilitation of Jewish immigration into Palestine by the Mandatory Power is the Mandate for Palestine whose binding force has been recognized by Art. 80 of the United Nations Charter and the resolution of the last Assembly of the League of Nations of April 18, 1946, concerning mandated territories. Only through an amendment of the Charter in accordance with the procedure established in Article 108 or through the replacement of a new regime for Palestine would the binding force of the Mandate be abrogated.
“The Jewish Agency for Palestine is furthermore aware of the limited purpose of this provision. As part of the IRO’s terms of reference it has been designed for the IRO’s own particular activities in the sphere of resettlement and can apply only to that one specialized organization.”