Lake Success (Oct. 21)
The U.N. Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine tonight named three sub-committees to study various phases of the Palestine problem, in an attempt to secure detailed reports on which the Committee can make an authoritative recommendation to the General Assembly.
By a vote of 35 to 0, with 8 abstentions, the delegates approved a U.S. resolution setting up a sub-committee to prepare a detailed plan for partition based on both the unanimous and the majority recommendations of UNSCOP. The Soviet Union, France and China were among those voting for the resolution, while Britain and the Arab states were among the abstainees.
The Committee also voted to establish a sub-committee to study the resolution of the Arab delegations contesting the jurisdiction of the General Assembly to impose partition and demanding the immediate proclamation of an independent Arab state in all of Palestine, The vote on this resolution was 30 to 10, with 6 abstentions. France and China were with the majority, while the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. joined in opposing the proposal. Britain again abstained. The significance of this vote was the continued American-Soviet cooperation in the face of Arab opposition.
The third sub-committee was authorized to attempt to bring about Arab-Jewish conciliation at this session of the Assembly. The Soviet Union objected to its creation on the basis that it was superfluous and that further sub-committees would hamper rather than facilitate the work of the Committee. The Russians added that the chairman could take over the job of conciliation. In a compromise move, which was approved unanimously, Chairman Herbert Evatt agreed to assume the task, with the co-operation of Vice-Chairman Prince Subha Svasti of Siam and Rapporteur Thor Thors of ?celand.
COMMITTEE REFUSES TO VOTE ON PARTITION AT THIS TIME
Before the voting on the sub-committees began, the U.S.S.R. proposed that the Committee first vote on basic principles: the UNSCOP majority report or the Arab resolution. The Soviet motion was defeated 26 to 14. It was not considered a test vote on partition, however, since many delegations said that they were opposed to the motion only because they did not wish to vote on the basic issue before the Committee before hearing further detailed reports from sub-committees.
Earlier, a Swedish-American resolution calling for the immediate endorsement by the Committee of the principles of the UNSCOP majority report as the basis for any recommendations to be made to the Assembly was shelved when several of the delegates, led by Evatt, balked. U.S. delegate Maj. Gen. John A. Hilldring agreed not to press for a vote on the resolution at this time, but emphasized that it was not being with drawn.
During the course of the debate Gen. Hilldring opposed the creation of the subcommittee to examine whether the Assembly had the power to recommend and implement partition, declaring that “there is not the slightest doubt in the mind of the U.S. delegation that the Ad Hoc Committee and the Assembly have complete authority to deal with this question.” He was given indirect support by the Russian representative who protested the establishment of too many sub-committees.