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Ad Hoc Body Backs Partition; Proposal Still Short One Vote for Assembly Approval

November 26, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine today approved partition by a vote of 25 to 13, with 17 abstentions and two delegates absent.

The margin for partition was one short of the two-thirds majority which will be needed to secure its adoption by the General Assembly which will convene tomorrow morning at Flushing Meadow and stay in session all day in an attempt to complete action on the Palestine issue tomorrow or the next day.

Dr. Herbert Evatt, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, told a press conference at the conclusion of the voting that he was confident that the partition adherents could pick up the necessary vote from among the abstainees before the Assembly takes final action.

The result of today’s voting did not come as a surprise to leaders of the Jewish Agency. Tabulations prior to the voting indicated that while there was no doubt the partition plan would secure a majority at the Ad Hoc Committee, its adoption by the Assembly would hinge on a margin of one or two votes.


Aided by the American delegation and other friends of partition, the leaders of the Jewish Agency immediately mobilized all their forces here to induce some of the abstaining countries to switch to a favorable vote at the Assembly. Those abstaining today were Argentina, Belgium, China, Columbia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia. Absent during the vote were Paraguay and the Philippines.

Voting in favor of partition today were Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelo Russia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Iceland, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, South Africa, USSR, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The thirteen countries voting against partition included Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Siam, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.

The Arab resolution for a unitary state in Palestine was defeated last night by 29 to 12 votes with 14 abstaining and Paraguay and the Philippines absent.

Before the vote was taken, the Syrian delegate announced at the Ad Hoc Committee that if partition were adopted, his country reserved the right to take the case before the International Court of Justice. The delegate of Egypt said that` ?is government reserves the right to regard a partition decision as “null and void” under the U.N. Charter.

U.N. circles expressed certainty that the necessary vote or votes for partition would be obtained from delegates who abstained for fear of insufficient implementation. These delegates are expected to be influenced by passage of a Danish amendment this afternoon, which strengthens the role of the Security Council in case of disorders.


The delegate of New Zealand, Sir Carl Berendsen, who abstained, indicated that if implementation were strengthened by guarantee of an international U.N. force to curb violence, his government would switch to partition.

Dr. Evatt told his press conference that it would be “a grave abdication of responsibility on the part of the United Nations” if the partition issue were not settled by the present Assembly after $1,000,000 had been spent on finding a solution.

Prior to the final vote, the Ad Hoc Committee voted favorably on a number of amendments including one which leaves the Aqaba area of the Negev in the proposed Jewish State, but transfers from the Jewish to the Arab State 300,000 dunams of the Beersheba district and 2,000,000 dunams along the Egyptian frontier of the Negev.

The Committee rejected a Pakistan amendment which suggested that the whole UNSCOP boundary scheme be revised and that a three-man commission of boundary experts be appointed by the Security Council to recommend the boundaries of the Jewish and Arab States. It also rejected another Pakistan amendment which urged that Jewish-owned land within the Arab State and Arab-owned land within the Jewish State should not exceed ten percent of the total area of the state exclusive of wasteland.

An amendment recommending that the U.N. should “sympathetically consider” the applications for membership of the Jewish and Arab States after either of them becomes independent was adopted. Also passed was another providing that when the ten-year Trusteeship Council shall re-examine the scheme prior to the referendum by which the residents of Jerusalem shall decide on possible modifications of the regime.

(The Trusteeship Council, which was in session today, was informed that the question of Jerusalem may be placed on the agenda of the current session of the Council, which will resume meeting on Dec. 1.)

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