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Two-thirds Majority Seen Clinched As Haiti Switches to Partition; Safe Margin Predicted

November 28, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A two-thirds majority for partition seemed assured tonight following a report from Port au Prince that the Haitian Government had instructed its delegation here to reverse its stand and vote for the establishment of Jewish and Arab states in Palestine. The delegation had announced yesterday that it would vote against partition.

An affirmative vote by Haiti would reduce the number of anti-partition votes to 14, while the pro-partition bloc would be sure of 31 votes, since France and Luxembourg are expected to follow the line adopted by Belgium yesterday, and to switch to partition from abstention. The total would be three more votes than the necessary two-thirds majority.Jewish Agency leaders were also encouraged by steps taken today in Washington to secure a majority for partition. Despite the holiday, President Truman is reported to have played an active role in this matter. Information received in Agency circles indicated that Britain has also undergone a change of heart and is informally urging some of the delegates who abstained from voting at the Ad Hoc Committee to cast their vote tomorrow in favor of partition.


When the Assembly resumes tomorrow for the final vote on Palestine, the picture will look as follows: The anti-partition forces will have 14 votes, the pro-partition bloc will have a total of 28 votes already secured, including New Zealand, the Netherlands and Belgium, all of which last night switched from abstention to partition. Added to this total will be the probable votes of Haiti, France and Luxembourg, thus giving the pro-partitionists 31 votes.

There is, of course, the possibility of another country joining the anti-partitionists at the last moment. Jewish leaders fear that Liberia may switch from abstention to anti-partition. Should this occur, the pro-partitionists would still have one vote more than the necessary two-thirds majority. The anti-partitionists had 16 votes last night, which included Haiti and Siam. However, the Siamese delegate was recalled by his government and his credentials were nullified. The anti-partition bloc is making an effort to secure the seating of another Siamese delegate for tomorrow’s final session of the Assembly, but it is considered highly unlikely that they will be successful.

Jewish Agency leaders were irked last night at the fact that Greece and the Philippines, which are considered to be under American influence, suddenly added their votes to the anti-partition group, and that Liberia, which is equally amenable to U.S. pressure, seems inclined to follow their example. However, today’s developments seem to indicate that the State Department is making an all-out effort to get partition approved.

Working on the assumption that the Assembly will recommend partition, the U.N. secretariat has begun preparations for the Trusteeship Council to legally assume the


When the Assembly resumes meeting tomorrow morning, there will still be ten delegations to be heard before the vote is taken. The French representative is scheduled to be the first speaker. If it votes for partition, the Assembly will also have to appoint the five-man Implementation Commission which will supervise transition of the Jewish and Arab states to independence.

A strong appeal to the Assembly for adoption of partition was made yesterday by American delegate Herschel Johnson. Johnson said that the partition plan "with all its admitted imperfections" is the best attainable peaceful settlement of the Palestine problem. "With the cooperation of the main organs of the United Nations, and with similar cooperation on the part of the members of the United Nations, and the Peoples of Palestine, the plan for the future government of Palestine recommended in the partition report will, in the judgement of the United States delegation, bring about a solution of the Palestine problem," Johnson said.

Turning to the legal aspects of the plan, the U.S. delegate said that the American Government is convinced that the action contemplated under the partition plan falls properly within the scope of the Charter and within the powers and responsibilities of the organs of the U.N." He also emphasized that there can be no question with regard to the legal rights of the Assembly to appoint an administrative commission for Palestine, since Article 22 of the Charter authorizes the General Assembly to establish subsidiary bodies.

Johnson strongly criticized the British refusal to participate in the implementation of partition. He described partition as a "genuinely" U.N. plan, in the carrying out of which all members of the U.N. must participate.

Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko also criticized Britain. He said that the Mandatory Power had not shown the cooperation which members of the U.N. were entitled to expect. By making so many reservations with regard to the UNSCOP report, the British Government, Gromyko said, has aroused has aroused suspicions as to whether Britain really wanted to see the Palestine problem settled by the U.N.

Arguments against the legal validity of the partition plan, Gromyko continued, were "not convincing." The U.S.S.R. felt, he said, that the very fact that the U.N. was considering this question at all made it "abundantly clear" that it came within its purview. Emphasizing that "the Soviet Union regarded it as the duty as well as the right of the U.N. to reach a decision on the Palestine situation," Gromyko called on all member states which have not yet taken a stand to support partition.

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