501.BB Palestine/2–248

Memorandum by Mr. M. Gordon Knox 1 to the United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin)2

Examination of the statements concerning Palestine made by United States representatives in the General Assembly (Ad-Hoc and plenary sessions) indicate that:

1.
The United States is in no way committed to the use of force to implement the General Assembly recommendation regarding Palestine aside from the United States obligations assumed under the Charter.
2.
On the contrary, the United States Delegation was careful not to take a position regarding this matter.

The following official and public statements concerning the use of force regarding Palestine were made by United States representatives: (see attached papers3).

No complete record has been kept of private or secret conversations but in the opinion of members of the United States Delegation, who were closely connected with the Palestine question such talks corresponded exactly with the official statements on this subject.

Aside from its duty as a member of the United Nations and as a [Page 587]permanent member of the Security Council, the United States is not bound in fact or by implication to use or contribute to the use of force.4

  1. Adviser on Security Council and General Affairs to the United States Mission at the United Nations.
  2. Addressed also to Mr. Rusk and to Mr. Ross and other members of the United States Mission.
  3. The attached papers include excerpts from the following documents:

    (Statement by Ambassador Herschel V. Johnson delivered in the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, October 11, 1947 (Press Release 260 of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, October 10. The text is also in Department of State Bulletin, October 19, 1947, pp. 761 ff. The summary record of the statement is printed in United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session, Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, hereinafter cited as GA (II), Ad Hoc Committee, pp. 62 ff.);

    Statement by Ambassador Johnson as U.S. Representative in Sub-Committee 1 of the Ad Hoc Committee, November 4, 1947 (U.S. Mission document US/A/AC.14/SC.1/8, printed in Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. v, p. 1237);

    Statements by Ambassador Johnson to the afternoon and evening sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee, November 22, 1947 (U.S. Mission Press Releases 339 and 340; see also Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. v, pp. 1278 ff.);

    Revised Amendment to the Draft Resolution proposed by Sub-Committee 1 (A/AC.14/34) submitted by the Delegation of Denmark (U.N. document A/AC.14/43/Rev. 1, November 25, 1947; see text in GA (II), Ad Hoc Committee, pp. 266 ff.);

    Statement by Ambassador Johnson in the Ad Hoc Committee on November 25, 1947 (U.S. Mission Press Release 346, December 9, 1947);

    Statement by Ambassador Johnson at the 124th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, November 26, 1947 (U.N. document A/PV. 124; see United Nations, Official Records of the Second Session of the General Assembly, Plenary Meetings, vol, ii, pp. 1325–1326).

  4. Ambassador Austin, on February 3, reported the following: “Explaining he had heard rumors the US was not prepared to maintain its support of the GA partition decision, Muniz (Brazil) was alarmed at the possible effect of such a shift on the strength and validity of the UN, particularly the GA. He was advised that the US maintained its support, but did not contemplate the use of US troops to implement the decision”. (Telegram 137 from New York, 501.A Summaries/2–348)