Editorial Note

In a statement before the Ad Hoc Committee on October 11, Ambassador Johnson announced that the United States supported the basic principles of the unanimous recommendations and the majority plan which provided for partition and immigration; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, October 19, 1947, page 761.

Mr. Alling had already given copies to the heads of the six Arab Delegations on a strictly confidential basis. The statement had also been released to the press, in confidence, on the afternoon of October 10 (memorandum by Mr. Wilkins of his conversation with Mr. Malik of the Lebanese Delegation, 501.BB Palestine/10–1047).

In a memorandum of October 11, Mr. Knox notified Ambassador Johnson of comments by the British Delegation that his statement “was far from being fully satisfactory.” The Delegation was “not too pleased that the United States supported partition although they understood, they said, the American reasons fully. But in supporting a plan which will not have the approval of both sides, the United States should have gone further and indicated how such a plan was to be implemented.” The allusion to a constabulary, the British thought, “could not have been thought out carefully by the United States.” They indicated that for their part they were not enthusiastic about partition (IO files, US/A/AC.14/72).

S. K. Tsarapkin, in a statement before the Ad Hoc Committee on October 13, announced that the Soviet Union supported the partition of Palestine; for the summary record of his statement, see GA (II), Ad Hoc Committee, page 69.

In a memorandum of conversation of October 13, Mr. Kopper stated: “Dr. Jamali told me late this evening that the six Arab Delagations had decided a short time before that henceforth they would vote on issues before the Assembly solely on the merits of each case. He stated that the Arab policy of abstaining had come to an end. ‘Since the United States is apparently no longer an ally and Russia does not seem to desire to be so, we shall now vote on each matter in accordance with our own interests.’ I replied that the United States Delegation felt that each Delegation should determine how it would vote according to its own conscience and on the basis of the merits of each particular [Page 1181] case.” (US/A/616, also controlled under US/A/AC.14/75, 10 files) During the general debate in the Ad Hoc Committee, proposals were submitted by the representatives of El Salvador, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States jointly, the United States individually, Canada, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. The texts of these proposals are contained in GA (II), Ad Hoc Committee, pages 227–241, passim.

The United States draft resolution of October 13 read:

“The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian question

“Resolves to establish a sub-committee composed of the representatives of . . . . . . for the following purposes:

“1. To draw up a detailed plan for the future government of Palestine in accordance with the basic principles of the unanimous recommendations and the majority plan of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine;

“2. To incorporate this plan in the form of recommendations;

“3. To transmit these recommendations to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian question not later than 27 October 1947.” (ibid., page 227)

Two days later, the Canadian representative submitted an amendment to the United States draft resolution, which read:

“After paragraph 2, add the following paragraphs, numbering them 3 and 4 respectively:

“‘To consider the exercise of administrative responsibility in Palestine during the transitional period, including the possibility of the application of Chapter XII of the Charter;

“‘To consider methods by which recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian question, under paragraph 1 of this resolution, would be put into effect.’

“Paragraph 3 of the original draft resolution would thus become paragraph 5.” (ibid., pages 227, 228)