San Francisco (May. 13)
An indication that the Soviet Union does not intend to remain indifferent to Palestine was seen here today by experts of the Irish Agency who are studying the text of the Soviet proposals on international trasteeships submitted during the week-end to the United Nations Conference on International Organization.
These proposals refer, among other things, to territories under Mandate “A” of the League of Nations, of which Palestine is the only remaining one, and demand that the trusteeship council include a Soviet member. Furthermore, they provide that in placing a territory under trusteeship the arrangements must be agreed upon not only by the state directly concerned, but also by other states which may claim that they are concerned in this matter, thus opening the possibility of Russia having a any in trusteeship arrangements which will be made for Palestine. Under the British and United States proposals, Britain alone, as the mandatory power, would have to agree to the international trusteeship arrangements on Palestine.
Jewish Agency representatives here will seek clarification from the Soviet delegation concerning the section of the Soviet proposals which provides that one of the basic objectives of the trusteeship system should be progressive development of the inhabitants in the trusteed territories toward self-government “and self-determination with active participation of peoples of these territories, having the aim to expedite the achievement by them of full national independence,” In the case of Palestine this provision may work to the advantage of the Arabs and may endanger the Jewish position, if not properly defined.
SOVIETS BACK U. S. STAND ON ANNUAL REPORTS BY TRUSTEES
The Soviet proposals support the United States recommendations that states holding territories in trust must submit their annual reports to the General Assembly of the projected international organization and not to the Economic and Social Council, as the British propose. They also specify that the trusteeship council should be empowered to accept petitions and instituted investigations with regard to the administration of entrusted territories – a provision which was also suggested by the United States and which is opposed by Britain. In this respect the United States and Soviet suggestions are welcomed by Zionist leaders here, since they provide a machinery for the Jewish Agency to submit petitions regarding Palestine, as is the case under the league of Nations mandate.
The most important Soviet proposal from a Zionist viewpoint is the suggestion that in placing any territory under trusteeship, the arrangements should include the terms under which the territory will be administered. This would give the Jewish Agency an opportunity to submit its views officially with regard to the trusteeship. for Palestine prior to formulation of the terms. The Agency’s views have already been presented to the United States, British, Soviet and other delegations here, but in an informal manner.
Under the Soviet proposals, the Haifa area could be designated as a strategic zone, the administrator of which would be responsible to the security council, whle the remainder of Palestine would be a non-strategic area with the trustee responsible to the trusteeship council. A similar proposal is entained in the United States draft.
While various proposals on trusteeships continue to be the subject of major interest to Zionist leaders here, who are mobilizing all their forces to prevent action prejudicial to Jewish rights in Palestine and Jewish immigration to Palestine under the trusteeship system, the Jewish Agency representatives are not losing sight of the danger which regional security arrangements now under discussion may spell for Jewish interests in Palestine. The Arab bloo here is continuing to promote the idea that the En-Arab League should be recognised as the regional security body for all Arab countries as well as Palestine and Lebanon.
Representatives of the Agudas Israel today announced they have met here with officials of the State Department and the British Colonial Office, to whom they presented a request that the Agudah be consulted whenever official discussions with Irish groups concerning Palestine’s future are held.