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British Government Reaffirms Its Opposition to Internationalization of Jerusalem

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The British Government today reaffirmed its opposition to the internationalization of Jerusalem during a discussion which took place this morning at the U.N. Trusteeship Council session here. The discussion dealt with the protection of the Holy Places in the Jerusalem area.

The British representative, Fletcher Cook, outlined before the Council the methods which Britain used in protecting the Holy Places in Palestine during the mandatory period. However, he emphasized the fact that Britain voted against the resolution of the U.N. General Assembly to place Jerusalem under international trusteeship. This attitude of the British Government had not changed, he pointed out.

One of the major problems discussed at the Council meeting today was the question as to when the new statute for Jerusalem–which is now being formulated–is to come into force. The issue was: Should the new statute enter into power before or after the appointment of a U.N. Governor for Jerusalem? After several hours of discussion, it was decided that a vote on this issue should be taken next week when the third and final reading of the statute will take place.

During the discussion, the Iraqi delegate insisted that the statute must come into force immediately after its adoption by the Trusteeship Council, and that implementation of the statute must also begin immediately. The Egyptian delegate proposed that the date of the statute’s entering into force should be determined during the present session of the Council.

The amendment on the return of religious property in the Jerusalem area–as adopted provisionally yesterday by the Council and which was “welcomed” by Israel delegate Aubrey S. Eban as contrasted with a previous phrasing against which he protested–was made public here today. Its text reads:

“The Governor shall ensure that the property rights of churches, missions and other religious and charitable agencies shall be confirmed and respected. He shall ensure, further, that all such property which since the outbreak of the second World War has been seized without equitable compensation but which has not already been returned to its original owners, shall be either restored or transferred to another church or mission or another religious or charitable agency, representative of the same confession.”

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