Jerusalem (Jun. 22)
The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine today resolved to cable U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie to call to the British Government’s attention a plea for commutation of the death sentences imposed by a British military court on three Jewish youths last Monday.
The members of the committee spent the morning and most of the afternoon in a lengthy discussion of a letter from the youths’ relatives pleading for their intervention with the Palestine Government. Obviously realizing the delicacy of their position, both in relation to the people of Palestine and the member states of the U.N., the members of UNSCOP adopted the following resolution:
“In view of the fact that the majority of the committee has expressed concern as to the possible unfavorable repercussions that execution of three death sentences pronounced by a military court in Jerusalem on June 16, the day the committee held its first meeting in Jerusalem, might have upon fulfillment of the task the General Assembly entrusted to the committee; and, considering the opinion of such members as to the scope of the resolution on the Palestine question adopted May 15, 1947, by the General Assembly, the committee resolves that chairman communicate to the Secretary-General a copy of this resolution and of the letter received from relatives of the condemned persons for transmission to the Mandatory Power.”
BEN GURION APPEALS TO HIGH COMMISSIONER AGAINST DEATH SENTENCES
In behalf of the Jewish Agency, David Ben Gurion addressed an appeal to High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham not to confirm the death sentences against the three youths. He pointed out that the execution of four extremists early in April aided the recruiting drives of the Irgun and the Stern Group. Acknowledging receipt of the plea, Cunningham said the matter was “under consideration.”
An attempt by three armed Jews, one a girl, to kidnap a British policeman in the heart of Jerusalem, was foiled this evening. The extremists had attacked the policeman, L. Pound, and had almost subdued him when a mobile police patrol, summoned by another officer, arrived on the scene. The three fled, after firing one shot.
An Agency spokesman told a press conference that the Agency takes the “gravest” view of the escape of Maj. Roy Farran, British officer allegedly charged with having kidnapped and murdered a 17-year-old Jewish youth. It has been reported here that two officers assigned to guard Farran have been arrested.
The Agency also revealed that it has received a “warning” from Peter Bergson, head of the Hebrew Committee for National Liberation, to halt its campaign against the resistance movement. He charged it with betrayal of the Jewish national ideal.
The Palestine Government clamped down a strict censorship this week-end on all mention of the reported arrival of Viscount Montgomery, Chief of the British Staff. Montgomery is said to have arrived late Friday, held hurried conferences with Palestine commander Lt. Gen. H.A. Macmillan and other high officers, and left for India today.