Lake Success (May. 11)
Replies to the questions posed to Dr. Abba Hillel Silver on Thursday, when he addressed the U.N. Political and Security Committee, will be given tomorrow when David Ben Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, makes his first appearance before the Committee. The replies were drafted during week-end conferences of the Agency leaders.
Meanwhile, it became evident that the U.S. would probably win its fight to have the proposed inquiry committee to be appointed by the General Assembly composed of seven “neutral” states with the Big Five and the Arabs barred from membership. The general sentiment among the delegates seem to lean towards the U.S. proposal and away from the Soviet demand that the Big Five and one Arab state be among the probers.
Jewish Agency leaders, who have favored the creation of a small inquiry group, along the lines proposed by the U.S. delegation, are now somewhat less certain whether such a commission would be the proper body to recommend a final solution of the Palestine problem to the September session of the General Assembly, particularly if its terms of reference were to include the independence of Palestine.
AGENCY LEADERS FEEL SMALL BODY WOULD BAR ARAB, SOVIET, BRITISH INFLUENCE
In preferring a small inquiry commission, Jewish Agency circles had in mind that such a body, if composed of neutral governments, would have the following advantages:
1. The Arab states would be excluded from it, thus eliminating the inequality between Arabs and Jews, since the Agency has no possibility of being represented on the inquiry body.
2. The Soviet Union would not be on the commission, thus preventing another probable pro-Arab vote, since the U.S.S.R. is for the abolition of the Mandate and the declaration, without delay, of Palestine as an independent country.
3. Britain will not be on the commission and will thus not be in a position to exercise its influence with regard to numberous issues on which Jewish and British interests clash.
The Agency would have preferred to have the United States on the inquiry commission, since it is known that the United States favors partition as a solution of the problem, but is refraining from saying so now in order not to prejudice the finding of the commission.
Developments on Friday during the discussion in the Political Committee of the ? of reference for the inquiry commission, made it quite clear that the Jews have nothing to lose by the creation of a small inquiry commission without the Big Five and the Arab states. However, some of the Jewish leaders are still wondering whether having Britain and the United States on the inquiry commission would not bring better results for the Zionists, since both Britain and the United States are against the immediate proclamation of Palestine’s independence.
At a brief session yesterday, the Political Committee heard U.S. alternate delegate Herschel Johnson oppose inclusion of the question of independence in the terms of reference of the inquiry committee, on the grounds that it would prejudice the findings of the body. Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko reiterated his support of the proposal that the committee be instructed to include the question of independence in its deliberations, but did not press the point too strongly. The U.S. and Soviet representatives also clashed on the question of whether the committee is to have “various other issues” included in its instructions, the “other issues” being the questions of the displaced persons. Johnson opposed including “other issues,” while Gromyko favord it.
SUB-COMMITTEE UNABLE TO DRAFT SINGLE CLAUSE ON QUESTION OF INDEPENDENCE
Following the Political Committee meeting, the sub-committee charged with drafting a combined terms of reference met for several hours, but was unable to agree on a single draft. It agreed, however, that there should be no mention of the problem of European Jews in the terms of reference and voted down a Polish proposal that the committee visit the Cyprus camps for visaless Jews. It reported out a text which includes several points on which there is agreement, including the right of the committee to make the widest investigation of all the questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine, to determine its own procedure and to conduct investigations in Palestine and receive and examine testimony from the Mandatory, the representatives of the population of Palestine, from governments and other organizations and individuals. On the disputed question of independence it reported out four versions, which will have to be voted on and discussed by the Political Committee.
The Political Committee also has before it a Philippine resolution providing for consideration by the inquiry committee of the establishment of an interim government for Palestine under U.N. trusteeship, pending eventual independence.
A charge that the delegation of the Arab Higher Committee to the U.N. includes Aris agents was made in a 75-page documented memorandum submitted today to the U.N. by The Nation Associates. Wasef Kamal, Rasom Khalidi and Emil Ghouri, members of the committee delegation, were named as Axis agents under the Mufti’s direction in the Midlle East, Palestine and Europe.
Citing the records of the three, which the momorandum considers proof of their war criminality, the document criticizes the U.N. for permitting the appearance of “these men whose acts establish their place among the worst of the Axis war criminals.