Menu JTA Search

Canadian Foreign Minister Explains Opposition to Internationalization of Jerusalem

Replying to criticism of Canadian Government action in opposing the resolution for internationalization of Jerusalem, Lester B. Pearson, Minister for External Affairs, in a public statement declared that his government has no reason for apology because in his opinion the U.N. General Assembly’s decision to internationalize Jerusalem in order to protect the Holy Places was unrealistic.

In the Political Committee, he said, the Canadian delegation had abstained from voting on the proposal since Canada was not opposed to the principle of establishing international control necessary to protect the Holy Places. In the plenary session, Canada voted against the Australian proposal for internationalization, which was adopted, as unrealistic, he stated. Mr. Pearson noted that Canada had been ready to vote for a resolution put forward by the Netherlands and Sweden which provided for internationalization only of the Holy Places.

The Australian resolution was based on the situation in 1947 which envisaged the internationalization of Jerusalem in the general partition plan and in plans for an economic union, Mr. Pearson said. Today, he pointed out, the situation had completely changed and any such plan would obviously bring resistance by the two occupying parties.