Editorial Note

According to Dan Kurzman’s Genesis 1948: The First Arab-Israeli War (New York, World Publishing Company, 1970), page 84, a “legal conference” was held early in January 1948 in Mr. Dean Rusk’s office to consider whether the Ignited Nations was empowered to enforce the partition resolution of November 29, 1947. The conference was said to have been attended by Department of State officers and a panel comprising Messrs. Alger Hiss, Joseph Johnson, and Leo Pasvolsky, all of whom had previously filled positions of responsibility in the Department. Mr. Kurzman asserts that the unanimous opinion of the panel was that the United Nations could not legally enforce the partition resolution as such but that it could use force against the Arabs should they sabotage partition by committing a breach of the peace.

Mr. Kurzman states that, as an aftermath of the meeting, Mr. McClintock sent a telegram to Ambassador Warren R. Austin, United States Representative at the United Nations, instructing him to call for a special session of the General Assembly to deal with the Palestine problem on the grounds that partition could not be legally enforced. The Editors have been unable to find in the files of the Department of State any documentary record to substantiate this account of events.