Britain Might Participate in Enforcement of U.N. Palestine Decision, Says Creech-jones
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Britain Might Participate in Enforcement of U.N. Palestine Decision, Says Creech-jones

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British Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones, ##his second appearance before the U.N. Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine, today declared that Britain “would consider an invitation to participate in giving effect to a settlement of the Palestine problem in partnership with other members of the United Nations,” but will not accept sole or chief responsibility for enforcement of any decision made by the General Assembly.

He emphasized that “if it is desired that His Majesty’s Government should participate with others in the enforcement of a settlement — and everything that can be ## to bring about a permanent and acceptable solution to all concerned is essential —## Government adheres to the view that it must take into account the inherent justice of the settlement and the extent to which force would be required to give effect ##it.”Reiterating the determination of the British Government to relinquish the Man##te and to withdraw its troops from Palestine, “within a limited period,” Creechdates warned the United Nations to study “at once” the question of maintaining order is Palestine and the transfer of power to a “suitable authority” recognized by the United Nations during the interim period.


After Creech-Jones concluded, strong support for the UNSCOP partition plan was {SPAN}##ced{/SPAN} by representatives of South Africa, New Zealand and Czechoslovakia, while the delegates of Cuba, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria spoke against partition. The representative of Argentina declared he was unable to support the proposals of either the UNSCOP majority or the minority because they were, in his opinion, contrary to the Charter. The legal solution of the Palestine problem, he said, was to be found in free decision of the people of Palestine.”

The problem of the transfer of authority, Creech-Jones said, “should be studied ## once for it is of the utmost importance that in the possible absence of agreement between the Jews and Arabs, the complicated task of withdrawal should not be the pre##de to disorder and disintegration of the public services essential for the normal life of Palestine. Without suitable authorities to negotiate and transfer responsibility to, the preservation of institutions, communications and public works, the ##servance of law and fundamental services become problems of major difficulty. Some procedure should be worked out by the substitute authority which will ensure proper effeguards for the preservation of good order and the requirements necessary to give effective security forces for the police, and other measures which the situation may require.“We hope that when a policy is worked out as representing the consensus of international opinion, both parties will respect it and not resort to methods which will destroy security and create chaos and violence in Palestine,” he continued. “In that unhappy eventuality, the United Nations must control a situation dangerous to the peace. We hope that all concerned will realize that their ultimate best interests lie in a settlement that can be worked out in good will and good neighborliness.”

The British Colonial Secretary expressed the hope that “no steps will be taken that will be provocative and result in violence.” He emphasized that Britain will give no encouragement or assistance to actions which will inflame the situation in the Middle East. “Rumors and assertions that any such encouragement has been given are entirely without foundation,” he stated.


He then drew attention to the problem of “illegal immigration,” which he termed a dangerous factor in the present situation.” Warning that this problem has aroused ?itter feelings in Palestine, he urged that “proposals for a change in the status quo should not be lightly put forward by those who have no responsibility for the consequences.”

Stressing that the United Kingdom has admitted since the end of the war more than 300,000 refugees, and “has found homes since 1933 for some 70,000 Jewish refugees” in Palestine, Creech-Jones expressed the hope that the Ad Hoc Committee “will regard as an urgent contribution to the solution of the Palestine problem the resolution we have submitted concerning displaced persons in Europe, and particularly that aspect of the matter concerning the absorption of Jews and other displaced persons in countries besides Palestine. No action is more calculated to help the Arab people to a fair appreciation of our sincerity in this problem of refugees and Jewish displaced persons and our sincerity about the Palestine problem than action on this resolution.”

The British representative then appealed to the U.N. members to uphold the view that “there is an urgent need for a change of status in Palestine.” The British Government, he declared, wishes “to be helpful in discharging the great tasks of the United Nations. We ask the Committee to act quickly and we hope that the opportunity and the duty confronting the member states will be conceived comprehensively and realistically as well as in a generous spirit.”


Dr. Jose Arce, the Argentine representative, proposed to set up a Joint committee of Arabs and Jews of Palestine to be presided over by an impartial person designated by the General Assembly. This Committee would be entrusted with the task of finding a solution acceptable to both contending parties. If Britain were to give up the Mandate for Palestine, the United Nations might take over the administration of the country until the above-mentioned committee ended its work, Arce added.

Arce further declared that even if a solution were to obtain the support of two-thirds of the General Assembly, the latter had no authority to set up an army of volunteers to enforce its decision. It was true, Arce continued, that the Assembly night ask the Security Council to enforce its solution, “but was not the main task of the United Nations to preserve peace?”

Although the Argentine delegation wished to help in the creation of a Jewish national home, it could not advocate the use of force for the creation of a Jewish state, he said. It was necessary, therefore to devise a compromise which would satisfy at least some of the claims of both sections of the people of Palestine, Arce stated, suggesting that the Arabs and Jews be asked to renounce part of their as pirations, to submit a compromise solution, and then “let us help them to carry out this solution.”

Arce added that he was aware that such a suggestion would not meet with the approval of the Jews, but, he said, he would rather incur their opposition than violate the Charter and use force against the population of Palestine. He referred to the question of displaced persons, Jewish and non-Jewish, and suggested that the Assembly ask the Economic and Social Council to set up a sub-committee of five or seven members whose task it would be in three months or less, to find homes for all the displaced persons in various countries of the world. The expense of settling them, he said, should be supported by the United Nations.


Harry Lawrence, speaking for South Africa, said that the UNSCOP minority proposals failed to offer a clear-cut solution of the Palestine question and that their acceptance would only prolong the present state of uncertainty. Therefore, he said, he gave his support both to the unanimous and the majority recommendations.

Partition, he explained, might not offer the ideal solution for the Palestine problem, but at least it provides a final and workable solution, and one which makes possible a speedy realization of the concept of a Jewish national home, Lawrence re?inded the committee that the establishment of a national home for the Jews had long been supported by Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, and that it was his government’s declared policy since 1919.

Lawrence asked that if partition were adopted, the establishment of an economic union should receive careful attention. He supported a Canadian proposal for the creation of a sub-committee, including the Big Five, to deal with the question of the transition period, and the United States proposal for the creation of another subcommittee to determine the boundaries of the two proposed states.


Sir Carl Berendsen, of New Zealand, declared that present conditions in Palestine justify the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab state. His government, he stated, had come to the conclusion that in the present circumstances there was no acceptable alternative to the principle of partition. He added that in considering this, or any other solution, the United Nations must also concern itself with the question of how such a solution was to be brought about.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fadhil Jamali warned that partition “will create much greater trouble and might instigate civil war in the Middle East.” He declared that Partition is “unworkable” especially from the economic and security points of view and suggested that the U.N., prior to making a decision, should send a committee of experts, and not political personalities, “to study the practibility of partition before recommending it.” He criticized the United States for supporting partition.

Prince Feisal El Saud of Saudi Arabia also attacked the U.S., saying he “could ## justify the intervention of the United States in the Palestine question and her support for the Zionists.”

He warned that partition would set a “dangerous example” for various religious ##sorities in other countries and asked why the United States keeps its doors closed ## refugees, while, at the same time, it wants them admitted to Palestine. He welcomed British insistence on termination of the Mandate and reiterated that partition would lead to conflict which might spread beyond the borders of Palestine.” The delegates from Egypt and Syria spoke in a similar vein.The Czechoslovak representative, Karl Lisicky, answering criticism of the boundaries proposed for the Jewish and Arab states by the UNSCOP majority, of which he was a member, said that certain Arab towns were included in the Jewish state for economic and administrative reasons and that actually they represent a liability instead of an asset. Czechoslovakia, he added, would agree to proposed modifications such as


Earlier today, a move to place Palestine under a U.N. trusteeship for the transition period was made by Canada. In a formal proposal in the Ad Hoc Committee supprementing the U.S. resolution for an immediate blueprint of the future government of Palestine based on partition, Canada asked for consideration of the “administrative” problems entailed, “including the possibility of the application of Chapter XII of the Charter.” This chapter is entitled “International Trusteeship System,” and defines the aims, the scope and functions governing the Trusteeship Council.

The Canadian resolution is a curtain raiser on the all-important question of Britain’s place in the administrative machinery contemplated for the interim period.

Chairman Herbert Evatt proposed tonight that representatives of the Jewish Agency and of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee speak tomorrow, for an hour-and-a-half such, and that, in reverse order, they take an hour each to conclude their arguments Saturday. Following objections by the Arabs to speaking on Friday, the Moslem Sab##th, Evatt said he would make the necessary arrangements in discussion with the respective organizations. Dr. Chaim Weizmann will lead off for the Jewish Agency, and will ## followed by Moshe Shertck.

(The first night session of the Ad Hoc Committee was in progress as the Bulletin went to press, with delegates from Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Norway, Uruguay and Venezuela scheduled to speak.)

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