Flushing Meadow (Sep. 18)
The Palestine issue was at a stand-sti## today at the General Assembly, except for back-stage efforts to find a chairman to head the ad hoc Committee on the question. It was officially announced that the Committee would meet Monday to elect officers.
Andrei Vishinsky, chief of the Soviet delegation, made no mention of Palestine in a lengthy reply to Secretary of State Marshall’s statement of yesterday. It had been expected that Vishinsky would, at least, touch on the Palestine issue.
The first Arab statement on Palestine came from Gen. Noury As-Said, head of the Iraq delegation and president of the Iraq Senate, who followed Vishinsky. He urged the Assembly not to rush into a decision on Palestine, but to keep an open mind until all the facts are laid before the ad hoc Committee. He added that he had not intended to raise the Palestine issue at this time, and only did so because Secretary Marshall had referred to it. The Iraqui spokesman recited the usual anti-Zionist charges, alleging, among other accusations, that 30,000 Jews who wanted to leave Palestine for their homelands were terrorized into remaining. He also charged that criminals and kidnapped children were aboard the Exodus.
No developments of importance are expected within the next few days, until the General Assembly approves the establishment of the Palestine Committee. Oswaldo Aranha, president of the Assembly, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that approval by the Assembly would not come before the end of the present debate on general problem. This will probably last until the end of the week. Secretary-General Trygve Lie expressed the same view.
CHAIRMANSHIP OF PALESTINE COMMITTEE STILL UNDECIDED
Negotiations for the chairmanship of the Palestine Committee have so far found no one willing to accept the post. Lester Pearson, Canadian Under-Secretary of State for Internal Affairs, and a member of his country’s delegation, was prominently mentioned as chairman, and was favorably viewed in Zionist circles because of the attitude of the Canadian representative on UNSCOP. Canadian sources indicated to JTA, however, that Pearson would be needed in Ottawa too often to allow him to accept the chairmanship, which is considered a full-time job.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ostenunden and Belgian Prime Minister Spaak are possible candidates. Those previously approached have declined the chairmanship. In informed circles it is said that it had been intended to assign some committee chairmanship to Sweden. Since Sweden did not get a chairmanship of any of the six regular committees, and since Sweden was a member of the UNSCOP committee, the possibility of Swedish chairmanship for the ad hoc Committee is not unlikely.
United States representative Warren Austin told JTA that it is a “natural inference” that the chairman would be selected from one of the eleven countries composing the UNSCOP committee, but stressed that nothing has yet been decided.