Menu JTA Search

Second U.S. Statement on Palestine Expected Following Truman-marshall Talks Today

A further United States statement on Palestine may be expected in the U.N. this week following consultations between President Truman and Secretary of State George C. Marshall in Washington, which are scheduled to begin tomorrow, it was indicated here today by a member of the U.S. delegation. Dr. Phillip Jessup, of the U.S. delegation, in what he described as a preliminary statement, yesterday told the Political Committee that the United States opposes any Israeli territorial changes made without consent of the Israeli Government.

Both British and American delegation spokesman maintained today that there is no real cleavage between the two delegations on the Palestine issue, but U.N. observers, after studying the Jessup statement of yesterday, point to two revealing differences.

The British resolution on Palestine now before the Political Committee, starts from the premise that the Bernadotte report will be implemented as a whole, while the American statement on Palestine takes the Nov. 29 partition resolution as the basis for its recommendations on the solution of the Palestine dispute.

Secondly, Britain wants the General Assembly to impose a territorial settlement on the Palestine disputants, while Dr. Jessup has repeatedly emphasized that the settlement should be the product of negotiation and conciliation talks. Both delegations agree, however, that Jerusalem should be internationalized under effective U.N. control.

The United States declaration yesterday accepted seven basic premises of the late Count Folke Bernadotte’s report, although not its specific territorial recommendations, and endorsed Israel’s application for U.N. membership.

“We hope the Security Council will be able in the near future to recommend Israel as a state fully qualified for membership,” Dr. Jessup said. He added that the United States favored attempting to reach a Palestine settlement through Arab-Jewish negotiations rather than through the General Assembly drawing “specific boundary lines.” He interpreted President Truman’s pre-election statement backing up the partition boundaries set Nov. 29, 1947, in the General Assembly resolution, to mean these things:

1. If Israel desires additional territory it is “necessary to offer an appropriate exchange through negotiations.”

2. Any reductions in territory must be agreed to by Israel. This is taken to mean that if Israel keeps West Galilee, as recommended by the Bernadotte report, it should yield part of the Negev in exchange.

Jessup agreed that the basic British position on the Bernadette report was compatible with the Nov. 29 partition resolution. He attached great importance to acting mediator Ralph J. Bunche’s oral report delivered Oct. 15 describing the Jewish state as a “vibrant reality.” He said the United States believes the Arab refugees from Israel territory who desire to live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to return or receive recompense for property if they did not want to return.

Jessup added that the United States would give future consideration to the British resolution on Palestine but said it would be unable to accept the resolution without amendments. He agreed that the Arab part of Palestine might well be attached to Transjordan, under King Abdullah.

South Africa followed with a statement that the Union did not believe that settlement was possible by trying to impose a formula which was unacceptable to both parties. China then supported the Bernadotte report as being objective and demanded that a limitation on Jewish immigration be incorporated in future U.N. decisions. Guatemala attacked the British position, comparing it to Britain’s attitude in regard to British Honduras, to which Guatemala lays claim. Yemen repeated all the standing Arab claims.

It was learned from an authoritative United States delegation source that the substance of Jessup’s speech had been cleared with Washington before delivery. The source stated that the United States favored admission of Israel to U.N. membership regardless of the boundary problem. It was underlined that the differences were less than the points of agreement between the British and United States viewpoints. It was urged that the differences should not be exaggerated.

Observers at the Palais de Chaillot believe that Jessup’s statement is not final and lends itself to modification, interpretation and harmonization with the British position.

NEXT STORY