The Chief of the Division of Dependent Area Affairs (Gerig) to the United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin)

Dear Mr. Austin: I received your letter of January 27, 19481 concerning the draft Statute for the City of Jerusalem2 prepared by the Working Committee set up by the Trusteeship Council. I greatly appreciate the careful manner in which you have read this document and the specific comments which you have made regarding it.

With respect to the question raised by you concerning the legal nature of the Statute, I should like to say generally that the provisions of Chapters XII and XIII of the Charter are not regarded by the Committee to be specifically applicable since the City of Jerusalem, on the decision of the General Assembly, is not to be a trust territory, but is to be administered as a special international regime by the Trusteeship Council. Thus, the Trusteeship Council, in drawing up the Statute and in carrying out its administrative responsibilities, considers that it is discharging a mandate conferred upon it by the [Page 585] General Assembly. The Trusteeship Council has not considered it to be its duty to question the authority of the General Assembly in referring this matter to it. It assumes that the plan envisaged by the General Assembly affords a proper basis on which to proceed. United States representatives on the Trusteeship Council have not questioned this position since they assumed that the United States Delegation in the General Assembly regarded the plan for the future government of Palestine as falling within the framework of the Charter and the powers of the organs and agencies thereunder.

The proviso of paragraph 4, Article VI, to which you call attention, derives directly from a stipulation in Part III, paragraph 3(c) of the General Assembly’s resolution, which states that the members of the special police force “shall be recruited outside of Palestine”. Since Palestine, as a geographical unit, will no longer exist after partition the Working Committee felt it advisable to avoid use of the term “Palestine” and to refer instead to the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem.

Your view with respect to the condition in Article XIII of the draft Statute that the Governor should never be eligible for citizenship of the City was shared by the Working Committee. That paragraph follows very closely the General Assembly’s Plan and provides that the Governor shall not be a citizen of the City, the Arab State, or the Jewish State. Such limitations, of course, are designed to ensure impartiality and do not now bar the Governor from citizenship for his entire lifetime.

The word “substantively” in Article XIX of the draft was used in the sense of “in his own right”. Its necessity was questioned in the discussions of the Working Committee. It was not, however, eliminated, because several members felt it to be useful. Personally, I agree with you that it could well be omitted.

Your suggestion with respect to paragraph 8 on page 24 was not discussed by the Working Committee. It is a point, however, which might well be taken up during the Trusteeship Council discussion.

It is certainly true that the Statute does contain novelties. They are for the most part, I think, a reflection on the uniqueness of the entire Plan. The Working Committee found in its discussions that on many points there were no precedents upon which it could draw for judgments. Similarly, there were many points passed on to the Working Committee by the General Assembly and the Committee felt that it was not in a position to digress from the substance of such points.

Sincerely yours,

[O.] B[enjamin] G[erig]
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; this undated 28-page paper was prepared as the Joint Report of the two drafting groups of the Working Committee on Jerusalem (867N.01/1–1348).

    The resolution adopted by the General Assembly on November 29, 1947, provided for the establishment of the City of Jerusalem as a corpus separatum from the proposed Jewish and Arab States, to be administered by the United Nations, and designated the Trusteeship Council to discharge the responsibilities of the administering authority.

    The Trusteeship Council, on December 1, 1947, established a working group to draft a Statute for the City of Jerusalem and the following day designated Australia, China, France, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States as members. Mr. Gerig was elected Chairman of the working group on December 3 (United Nations press releases TR/107, 108, and 109, dated December 1, 2, and 3, respectively).

    The Working Committee, on January 8, 1948, began consideration of the Joint Report and on February 16, unanimously approved an amended draft statute TR/132 and 146, dated January 8 and February 16, respectively. The text of the amended draft statute, dated January 26, is printed in United Nations, Official Records of the Trusteeship Council, Second Session, Second Part, Annex, p. 1; the accompanying report of the Working Committee, dated February 16, is printed ibid., p. 19.