U.N. General Assembly Instructs Trusteeship Council to Study Protection of Jerusalem
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U.N. General Assembly Instructs Trusteeship Council to Study Protection of Jerusalem

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The U.N. General Assembly today took its first step toward safeguarding Jerusalem and its inhabitants by adopting a decision directing the Trusteeship Council to undertake immediately a study of measures to this effect. The Council was instructed to submit concrete proposals to the Assembly within the shortest time possible." The Council will begin work tomorrow.Despite the fact that the U.S.S.B. last night broke its boycott of the trusteeship Council and officially announced that it would join that body apparently with a view toward having a stronger voice in matters concerning Palestine, Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko today opposed handing over the Jerusalem security problem to the Council. He pointed out that the Council is not concerned with matters of security and suggested that for the sake of urgency the question of Jerusalem be referred a special sub-committee of the Political Committee for speedy action. Polish delegate Julius Katz-Suchy also called for a sub-committee, but added that all recommendations on Jerusalem be brought back to the General Assembly within ten days.

No time limit was set by the Assembly for the Trusteeship Council to submit recommendations on Jerusalem security. The decision was adopted on the basis of ## resolution submitted by France and amended by Sweden. Forty-six states voted in favor of the decision, none against and seven, abstained. A Czechoslovak proposal that the preamble to the resolution be amended to conform with the Assembly’s partition decision of last November was overwhelmingly rejected.


An Australian amendment which would have referred action on Jerusalem to a general Assembly sub-committee rather than to the Trusteeship Council was also defeated. But the final tally–26 against, 20 in favor and seven abstaining–provided the first real teat of pro-partition strength and was interpreted as an indication that the United States may find it impossible to reverse partition and have trusteeship adopted by the required two-thirds majority.

The coalition of the Soviet bloc, Latin American faction and the Pacific dominions which are pledged to support partition was reinforced in today’s balloting by a surprise decision by British Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones to support the Australian amendment. It was obvious during the voting that the pro-partition forces are aware that the United States considers Jerusalem trusteeship an opening wedge in the drive to impose trusteeship on the whole of Palestine.

A U.S. spokesman declared that his country is prepared to supply its share of troops for policing Jerusalem. It was learned that the U.S. regards the problem as military rather than police action since long food and water supply lines must be secured. The French delegation, however, has proposed the immediate recruitment of a volunteer police force employing some officers of the disbanded British police, ##ts function would be limited to the protection of the Holy Places, the Old City and public buildings.

(Reports from London, quoting authoritative sources, stated today that the British would be willing to remain in Palestine if the Jews and Arabs accepted a ##e and the authority of an international police force, if a temporary trusteeship ?reated with the Allied powers of World War I administering it, if no attempt is to enforce partition at this time and if the U.S. agrees to suspend pressure for ##sh immigration pending further study of Palestine’s problems. It was also indi##ed that the U.S. would "be asked to pay the major part of the bill for policing Palestine as well as providing 50 percent of the troops, while Britain supplied 40 percent and France, ten percent.)


Speaking on behalf of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Husseini told Political Committee today that the Arabs of Palestine will accept the U.S. trusteeship proposal for the whole of Palestine if it is meant to establish an interim government for a short and fixed period to be followed by full independence of a secretary state. If this condition is not met, the Arabs will proclaim the whole of Palestine an independent Arab state on May 16, he threatened.

Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, answering Husseini, contented himself with refuting Arab slur on Silver’s being an American of Russian birth. "I submit that it was ##her an unworthy statement to make," Silver declared. He reminded the Committee ##at his loyalty to the United States required no testing by the Arab Higher Committee and that in America "we are all immigrants."

In his response to Husseini’s charge that American citizens have no right speak in the name of the Jewish Agency, Dr. Silver pointed out that the Agency ## composed of Jewish representatives from all countries and was recognized in the league of Nations Mandate which called on Jews everywhere to assist in the upbuilding Palestine.

Gromyko speaking this afternoon described as "a slanderous assertion in a ##ole series of irresponsible allegations" Husseini’s charge that young Jews were ##ing trained in Russia for combat in Palestine. The reasons for these Arab charges, Gromyko said, were obvious and they are not believed even by those who make them.


South African delegate Harry T. Andrews told the Committee that he was instructed to state that "of the many proposals made in respect of Palestine over the last years, the South African Government still adheres to its attitude that partition {SPAN}##th{/SPAN} economic union is the only practical solution." He read a message from Premier {SPAN}##an{/SPAN} Christian Statute that it would be "an indelible disgrace before history" if the {SPAN}##oly{/SPAN} Shrines were damaged or destroyed in the fighting.

Partition was also supported during the afternoon session by the delegates of Byelorussia and Guatemala, while Yemen and Iraq strongly opposed it. Guatemalan delegate Jorge Garcia Granados said the Committee "must be realistic enough to realize that trusteeship now is impossible" and that partition is so far advanced that only brute force could undo it.

The principle of prompt and effective action to safeguard Jerusalem was supported by all delegations which spoke today. Syria served notice, however, that an International regime in the Holy City should not be considered part of an overall partition plan and should not prejudice a final solution.

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