501.BB Palestine/7–2948: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting United States Representative at the United Nations (Jessup)


491. Reference Navy telegram NCR 9608 and note from Acting SYG on equipment and personnel required by UN Mediator:

Dept. has requested Secy of Defense1 to supply following items: 95 observers (including four naval communications officers); 2 medical officers with supplies; 6 radio operators for SCR 399; 10 radio operators for SCR 193; 4 radio technicians; 2 radio trucks SCR 399; 5 radios SCR 193 or equivalent, jeep mounted; 6 ultra high frequency radio transmitters; 4,000 field rations.
We believe UN should arrange through commercial channels, UK, French or other governments having installations in Mediterranean area for jeeps, jeep trailers, jeep drivers, aircraft and crews, and truck drivers. We believe that US, UK, France and Belgium should each furnish two medical officers with supplies.
If National Military Establishment unable to provide communications equipment or adequate substitutes therefor, it may be necessary for us to refer one or more items to UK and France.

Please discuss above informally with top UN Secretariat officials and emphasize we consider they must assume primary responsibility for mobilizing the resources required by Bernadotte. We have made miscellaneous personnel and equipment available from our Mediterranean and European resources despite most critical shortages in all categories. We shall make every effort to take our full share in the requirements listed by Acting SYG’s note but we must emphasize that the US cannot be considered a residual source of all UN requirements not readily available elsewhere. The UN itself must gear its operations to meeting needs of this sort. We recognize UN budgetary difficulties and believe that the budgetary aspects of political action need further consideration by the Assembly.2 Copy of Secy. of State’s letter to Secy. of Defense being forwarded by pouch.

  1. In a letter of July 28, not printed.
  2. Mr. Jessup, on August 5, reported that the United States Mission at the United Nations had discussed telegram 491 with UN Secretariat officials. He concluded his telegram 989 with the following paragraph: “USUN had the distinct impression that senior American UN officials, with whom we met informally after the conference with Sobolev, have given serious and sober thought to a solution of the Mediator’s problem, taking into consideration their conception of the interests of the US Government as well as those of UN. As interested American citizens as well as UN officials, they are satisfied that they have nearly exhausted all practical possibilities of meeting the Mediator’s needs from UN resources. They fear the Soviets will volunteer in the SC to supply what the Truce Commission powers, the UK and UN are apparently unwilling or unable to make available. They will try to do more, but they have made a most earnest plea that the US bring to bear the maximum material and personnel that can be spared. They are convinced that this is the only way to avoid larger and more serious involvement, since otherwise the prestige of the Mediator and UN will decline and the situation in Palestine will inevitably deteriorate to a point where only a major force can preserve order in the Near East.” (501.BB Palestine/8–548) Arkady Alexandrovitch Sobolev participated in the discussions with the United States Mission as Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations.