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Palestine Issue Placed Third on U.N. Agenda; Will Not Come Up for About Two Weeks

An attempt made by the delegations of Britain and the United States to place the Palestine question first on the agenda of the U.N. Political Committee failed this afternoon.

The proposal, presented by British delegate Hector McNeil, asking for speedy action on the recommendations of the late U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, was voted down after a two-hour fight by delegates of the U.S.S.R. and the Arab countries. Only 16 votes were cast in favor of the proposal, while 21 were against and 14 nations abstained.

Also voting against the British proposal were a number of Latin American countries. The Soviet delegates were among those who abstained. The proposal was then relegated to third place on the agenda, with first priority going to the atomic energy question and the second to a proposal by soviet delegate Andrei Vishinsky for a one-third reduction of national armaments.

Political Committee chairman Paul-Henri Spaak predicted that it may take at least 15 days, if not more, to complete the atomic energy and disarmament question. The Palestine question will thus not come up before the Political Committee for the next two weeks, he indicated. In a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Israeli delegate Aubrey Eban said: “To us the third place on the agenda is high enough. It will give us time to prepare and to study our case.”

ARABS WANTED PALESTINE TO BE PLACED 12TH ON THE AGENDA

The strongest speeches opposing the proposal for giving priority to the Palestine question were delivered by representatives of Egypt and Syria who pleaded that they needed more time to study the Bernadotte report. They urged that Palestine be placed twelfth n the agenda. McNeil defended his proposal, declaring that the Bernadotte plan must b{SPAN}####{/SPAN} urgent consideration otherwise the truce in Palestine is threatened by the inaction of the United Nations.

Ukrainian delegate Dmitri Manuilsky contrasted the Arabs’ “frantic eagerness” to settle the Palestine issue in relation to the Arab refugees a few weeks ago with their present reluctance. He said that Britain is now “more Egyptian than the Egyptians” in pressing for haste with regard to the Palestine question.

U.S. delegate Warren Austin spoke in favor of putting Palestine first on the agenda. However, he did not attempt to force the issue. He argued that the Palestine question is not merely a local problem but one requiring the combined effort of all nations “in order to prevent the outburst of a vast conflict.”

Winding up the general debate at the Assembly this morning, Ukrainian delegate Manuilsky said that the Palestine issue has been clouded by the big powers’ struggle for oil. Edward kardely, Yugoslav Foreign Minister, said that implementation of the U.N. partition resolution of Nov. 29 could have saved many lives in Palestine.

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