Change in British Attitude on Implementation of Partition Expected by United Nations
Menu JTA Search

Change in British Attitude on Implementation of Partition Expected by United Nations

Download PDF for this date

Britain may alter its present stand and participate in the implementation of a United Nations decision to partition Palestine, even in face of Arab opposition, wided that agreement is reached among major powers on the methods of enforcement, it was stated in United Nations circles today.

The predicted change in the attitude of the British Government is based on the fact that several trans-Atlantic telephone discussions between the British delegation to the United Nations and members of the British Cabinet have been held following yesterday’s endorsement of partition by the Soviet Government and the praise which the Soviet statement alicited from the American and other delegations.

Meanwhile, the British delegation has postponed for several days a statement to the Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine, which was scheduled for today. It is not likely that Britain will speak before Thursday, in view of the new developments.


While it is now certain that the UNSCOP majority report recommending partition will obtain a majority at the Ad Hoc Committee, and later in the General Assembly, there is no certainty as to whether the American proposal for establishment by the U.N. of a voluntary force in Palestine to maintain order during the transition period will be supported by many of the delegations which are for partition, and specially by the Soviet delegation.

Polish Foreign Minister Zigmunt Modzelewski today indicated that Poland is definitely opposed to creation of a U.N. constabulary in Palestine on a voluntary basis. Other delegations also stated that the proposal has raised a number of complicated questions.

Official American circles today indicated that U.S. citizens volunteering for the international constabulary, if established by the U.N., will be exempted from a ruling by the State Department under which no protection is given citizens who serve in a foreign army. Such Americans would be protected by the entire United Nations since they would serve in a force established by the U.N., it was explained.


Leaders of the Jewish Agency, while gratified at the American and Soviet statements, were reluctant today to express an opinion on the question of implementation. It is realized in Jewish circles that the implementation issue is now of greater importance than the partition question, since it can be expected that the opposition to partition which certain non-Arab countries displayed will be considerably weakened in the light of the support given the partition idea both by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

It was announced here today by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, head of the American branch of the Jewish Agency, that Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Moshe Shertok will appear before the Ad Hoc Committee to speak on behalf of the Jewish Agency at the end of the general debate. It is expected that the Jewish Agency will take a full session of the Committee. Chairman Herbert Evatt of the Ad Hoc Committee today expressed the belief that the general debate may be over by the end of this week. This would mean that a vote on partition should come early next week.


Peruvian delegate Dr. Alberto Ulloa, addressing the Committee today, endorsed the UNSCOP partition recommendation. A resolution introduced by the Yugoslavian delegation urged the immediate admission to Palestine of the displaced Jews interned in Cyprus. The resolution says that conditions in the Cyprus camps are horrible and smalls them “concentration camps.”

The Netherlands delegation submitted a resolution urging the Committee to draft proposals for a fair and practicable solution of the Palestine problem acceptable as far as possible to both parties involved. The resolution also asked the Committee to draft recommendations “for adequate and effective implementation” and also to prepare recommendations for an early solution of the problem of the displaced Jews.

The United States resolution calling for a sub-committee to draw up a detailed plan for the future government of Palestine in accordance with the basic principlas of the unanimous recommendations and the majority plan of UNSCOP, which was introduced yesterday, was revised today to change the date for transmission of the sub-committee’s recommendations to the Ad Hoc Committee from Nov. 3, to Oct. 27. This would seem to indicate a stepping up of the pace.


The delegation from Uruguay proposed a number of geographical changes for the territory and frontier of the proposed Jewish and Arab states, namely:

1. Galilee to remain within the Jewish state.

2. If a division of Galilee and incorporation of western Galilee in the proposed Arab state are approved, the coastal territory of this region to be transfored to the Jewish state, including the Jewish settlements of Nahariya, Shavei Zion, ##ita, Matzova and Eilon.

3. The Arab city of Jaffa to be transferred to the Arab state; also the Arab district of Beersheba.

4. The Jewish district of the new city of Jerusalem to be included in the Jewish state and the Arab districte of the new city of Jerusalem to be included in the ## state.

The Uruguayan delegation further proposed that if the majority report is ##pted, a sub-committee of the Ad Hoc Committee be created to study the plan for an economic union of Palestine, with the cooperation of the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee.

In supporting the partition plan, Dr. Ulloa of Peru emphasized that there is no Jewish problem in Peru as it is understood in other countries and that Peru bases its support for a Jewish state on the grounds of human rights and juridical and moral principles.

He declared that the British Mandate should be terminated and that any transitional provisional regime should be a short one to last only as long as necessary “to ensure the establishment of the new Jewish state which, despite the opposition it justifiably provokes, especially from the political point of view, is the only means of ensuring future peace in that troubled region and the specific settlement of a world-wide problem.”

Ulloa also emphasized the necessity of fulfilling the international obligations undertaken by the Balfour Declaration. He said the matter is still more “imperative and urgent” because “the Jewish problem which it all comes back to, has in many countries lost none of its acute international and national characteristics, but on the contrary finds them aggravated.”

Declaring that he did not wish to comment now on “the new political developments and threats” in connection with U.N. consideration of the Jewish question, Ulloa pointed to the Political Committee’s recent expression of distress at the attitude of member states who appeared to announce in advance their refusal to comply with U.N. recommendations.


Yugoslavia reiterated its arguments for federalization as expressed in the minority UNSCOP report. The Yugoslav delegate said the solution of the Palestine problem would not solve the Jewish problem generally and emphasized the necessity of settling the Jewish DP problem within three years by Jewish immigration into the Jewish part of the federal state.

Canadian delegate J.L. Ilsley said that the partition scheme “must be made ##kable” and declared that acceptance of responsibility for administration and the problem of implementation are the most important problems. He proposed the setting ## of a sub-committee, as suggested by the U.S. to work out a scheme–particularly reading boundaries–for recommendation to the full Ad Hoc Committee and, if approved, ## the Assembly. He also suggested that a second sub-committee, including the Big the should consider the question of implementation and plans for administration ## the withdrawal of Great Britain.Syrian representative Faris el Khouri bitterly attacked the Soviet and American statements, particularly the United States’ support of a volunteer police the, which, he said, “will lead to war.” He further said that such a force would composed of “the Zionist missionaries paid by American money.” He denounced ##et “wishful thinking” and “disregard of facts.”

Haiti supported partition on juridical grounds but emphasized that Jewish afferings do not provide the basis for any Jewish claim to the whole or part of Paletine. The Haiti delegate also said that the material contributions of the Jews Palestine do not constitute a vested interest for the Jews in Palestine. He said that Arab fears should be appeased by extension of territory and by economic aid.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund