501.BB Palestine/8–2748: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

top secret
us urgent

3468. Re para. 8 your 3878, Aug. 27, you are authorized to show Bevin text of my 72 to McDonald at Tel Aviv, sent today. This is repeated in our next telegram.1 You perceive from this instruction to McDonald that our views on possible territorial settlement in Palestine are practically identical with those suggested in British working paper as reported your 3879, 3880 and 3881, Aug. 27.

On question of Security Council power to lay down a permanent frontier for Israel and to regard failure to respect this line as breach of truce which would call for sanctions under Chapter VII (para. 6 and 14 (3) your 3380 [3880], para. 4 your 3381 [3881]), we desire further to study constitutional aspects of this question in light of position taken by this govt in Austin’s speech to SC Feb. 24. Our views will be communicated to you shortly.

As for tactics to be followed we agree with Bevin that it is improbable that Jews and Arabs can be brought into face to face negotiations. However, PGI has repeatedly mentioned possibility of negotiations and for this reason that word was used advisedly in our reply to McDonald. We should be content with acquiescence of the parties to an equitable settlement.

As you have perceived from previous telegrams, Dept is not at all anxious to have Palestine issue ventilated at Paris session of GA and our view in this respect is identical with that of UK. You may tell Bevin that as result of private suggestions which we made to Bernadotte, UN Mediator now shares our view and has stated that he will report to Lie in Paris that he believes placing of Palestine question on agenda at this GA session would be unwise. However, it is obvious that both UK and US must be prepared for full-dress debate in event some other delegation lodges Palestine problem before Paris GA.

We should naturally welcome Bevin’s comments on our views as expressed to McDonald.

  1. As No. 3469, see footnote 2, supra. The Department, on September 3, telegraphed to London the second paragraph of Secretary Marshall’s letter of August 31 to Mr. McDonald, p. 1364, because of its possible interest to Ambassador Douglas and Mr. Bevin (No. 3505, 501.BB Palestine/9–348).