Flushing Meadows (Apr. 27)
The first step in the direction of a permanent solution of the Palestine problem will be taken by fifty-five nations of the world tomorrow when the special session of the U.N. General Assembly opens here to act on the British request for the appointment of a fact-finding committee in preparation for a full discussion of the Palestine problem at the regular session of the Assembly in September.
While the Arab members of the U.N. have requested that the present session also take up the question of terminating the British Mandate and declaring Palestine an independent state, the Jewish Agency which–as the semi-official body recognized under the Mandate as representing the Jewish people on matters concerning Palestine–is seeking participation without a vote in the Assembly, but does not intend to advance at present any request for a long-range solution of the Palestine issue. Instead, leaders of the Agency will attempt to do the following:
1. Secure a hearing at the Assembly, in order to present the Jewish case as fully as possible in behalf of all major Zionist and non-Zionist groups in the world.
2. Advocate that the fact-finding committee which the General Assembly is to appoint be an small as possible, with no British and Arab representatives, but (##)th a representative of the United States.
3. Secure Jewish representation on that committee in case the British and the rabs are represented.
4. Demand that the terms of reference of the fact-finding committee mention the British obligations under the Mandate, and the need for Jewish immigration.
5. Request that the committee should under all circumstances visit Palestine and study the problem on the spot.
6. Have full hearings guaranteed to the Jews before the committee along the (##)me lines as arranged by the Anglo-American inquiry committee.
7. Impress upon the Assembly that it must request and obtain assurances from the British authorities that the findings of the committee will be carried out by the British Government without reserving for itself the right to refuse compliance.
8. Secure passage by the Assembly of a recommendation that in the interim period Britain is under an obligation to carry out the provisions of the Mandate.
9. Prevent any expression of approval or appreciation of the record of the British administration in Palestine–however vague or innocuous its wording– from being included in any of the Assembly’s decisions, since this could be interpreted as a sanction by the U.N. of the British regime.
10. Convince the U.S. Government not to take a “neutral” attitude, but to act in accordance with the statements on Palestine made by American Presidents and with resolutions adopted by Congress and the major political parties.
Although Jewish leaders have few illusions regarding Britain’s intentions in submitting the Palestine issue to the United Nations, they are of the opinion that the very fact that it is now on the U.N. agenda offers a challenge and an opportunity, since the U.N. is the guardian of international law and is dedicated to the proposition that valid treaties should be observed. The violation of the Palestine Mandate by Britain through introduction of the White Paper restrictions makes it wholly with in the jurisdiction of the U.N. Assembly to express itself on this question, they feel.
FEAR U.S. MAY NOT SUPPORT JEWISH AGENCY PLEA FOR REPRESENTATION
The role of the United States delegation at the Assembly will be closely watched by representatives of Jewish organizations since it is realized that many of the smaller governments will follow the lead of the U.S. Any sign of weakness, hesitation or compromise on the part of the United States will induce many other governments to act in a similar manner. Zionist leaders said today.
The attitude of the U.S. delegation still remained unknown on the eve of the opening of the Assembly. The hopes entertained by leaders of American Jewish groups that the U.S. Government, because it stands committed to a long series of official acts and pronouncements on Jewish rights in Palestine. will take a clear stand in support of this policy have been lessened by reports that the American delegation will take back seat at the Assembly.
Indications during the week-end point to the fact that the U.S. delegation may adopt a policy of “neutrality,” may back Britain’s request for no basic discussions on the Palestine issue now, and might not support non-voting participation of the Agency in the Assembly.
SOME LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES READY TO SUPPORT JEWISH REQUEST
On the other hand, some of the Latin American countries including Argentina and Uruguay, indicated today that they may support the request of the Agency for participation in the Assembly. It is understood that the Uruguayan Government will also support the proposal that the fact finding committee be composed of representatives of countries which have no direct interests in Palestine.
The attitude of the Latin American countries is important because their 20 votes can block any decision which requires a two-thirds vote, including a decision on the creation of the fact-finding committee or on the Arab request that the agenda should include an item urging the termination of the Palestine Mandate and the proclamation of Palestine as an independent country. During the last session of the Assembly the majority of the Latin American countries voted with the Arab bloc on certain questions, such as the election of members of the Economic and Social Council.
United Nations circles today indicated that the decision on whether the Jewish Agency is to be given representation hinges on what disposition is made of the Arab item. They pointed out that if the Arab request is rejected by the steering committee, there would be no need for Jewish representation, because the Assembly could then appoint a fact-finding committee without indulging in a debate on basic Palestine problems.