Lake Success (Sep. 25)
Leaders of the Jewish Agency will meet tomorrow, or within the next few days, with Secretary of State Marshall to discuss the U.S. stand on the Palestine question in connection with the action to be taken on the report of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine by the Ad Hoc Committee elected this week. Dr. Abba Hillel Silver will head the Zionist delegation.
The Ad Hoc Committee, composed of representatives of the 55 United Nations, held its first session today and elected Herbert V. Evatt of Australia as its chairman. The session decided:
1. To invite the Jewish Agency and the Palestine Arab Higher Committee to be represented at the deliberations of the Committee in order to supply such additional information on Palestine as the Committee may require.
2. To hear a statement on Palestine tomorrow from the British Government as the mandatory power. The statement will be delivered by Arthur Creech Jones, British Colonial Secretary.
3. The committee should fix its own deadline for filing new items for its agenda.
Before the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee opened, it was revealed that the Jewish Agency last week asked Secretary Marshall to meet with Dr. Silver and Moshe Shertok, but received no reply. However, a spokesman for the American delegation assured the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Marshall is ready to give Jewish representatives an opportunity to state their views to him as head of the American delegation, especially since he conferred this week on Palestine with the representatives of the Arab states.
AMERICAN SPOKESMAN DISAVOWS REPORT STATE DEPT. BOWING TO ARAB PRESSURE
Leaders of the Jewish Agency were especially anxious to meet with Marshall, in view of the alarming predictions this morning that the American delegation was inclined to heed Arab threats and to submit to the pressure of some American career diplomats, who allegedly are insisting that the U.S. delegation do nothing to alienate the Arab countries. These predictions created a gloomy atmosphere at the opening session of the Ad Hoc Committee especially since they were given as the views of an unnamed member of the American delegation.
Predictions were attributed in well-informed circles to George Wadsworth, adviser to the American delegation, whose pro-Arab views are well known. At the same time, a spokesman for the American delegation told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that most of the speculations which appeared in this morning’s press were based either on misquotations of statements made to the press by a U.S. press liaison officer at the U.N., or have no basis at all. This disavowal, together with the fact that Secretary Marshall agreed to meet with Jewish Agency leaders, relieved some of the tension among interested groups. However, much confusion is reported to have been created among delegations which had already made up their mind to support partition.
Official U.N. circles paid little attention to the predictions in today’s press that the American delegation is inclined to minimize Marshall’s declaration at the Assembly that the U.S. Government is giving “great weight” to the UNSCOP majority recommendation for partition. “Those kinds of predictions are to be expected since the Ad Hoc Committee is only starting its sessions,” a U.N. official commented.
Opposition to the election of Evatt as chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee was expressed at today’s session by Vladimir Simic of Yugoslavia, a member of the UNSCOP, who pointed out that Australia is a member of the British Commonwealth and has certain common interests with Britain. Simic was the only delegate who abstained from voting, and Dr. Evatt was elected without any other objection. Prince Subhasvasti Svastivat of Siam was elected vice-chairman and Thor Thors of Iceland was elected rapporteur.
The agenda of the Ad Hoc Committee as announced today contains the following three items: 1. The question of Palestine as originally proposed by the United Kingdom. 2. The report of the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine. Termination of the Mandate over Palestine and the recognition of its independence as one state, as proposed by Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
The Committee will decide tomorrow on a deadline for other items that may be added to the agenda after hearing the statement from Creech-Jones and a report from Judge Emil Sandstroem, chairmen of UNSCOP.