784A.00/8–1450: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


979. Embtel 928 Aug 14.2 Dept on Aug 18 informed Brit Emb rep its present view re Jerusalem question along fol lines:

We consider proposals which call for internatl regime over whole Jerusalem area, with maximum local autonomy consistent therewith, generally embody just and workable principles. However, primary US concern is agreed solution among interested parties. US will therefore support another approach only if it appears have good chance acceptance by two states controlling Jerusalem and large proportion internatl community.
View (1) Dept unable join UK–Fr as sponsor suggested res, which widely departs from what Dept has consistently held as just and reasonable solution; Dept wld join as sponsor only if approach offered good basis agreement of interested parties. While possibly HJK and Israel might accept proposal, not evident internatl community wld feel plan satis. Dept furthermore feels advancement such res at this time undesirable, in absence indications gen support. Middle ground shld be sought on which all parties cld meet, with views other govts ascertained before specific approach is decided upon.
US and UK shld therefore continue consult while obtaining views other govts. Another approach such as suggested res might later be considered if there was indication support of considerable proportion internatl community. Meanwhile Dept believes it shld not commit itself to firm support any one plan.

While above represents Dept’s general approach Jerusalem problem, final position this question still under consideration.3

  1. This telegram was repeated to US UN, Tel Aviv, Amman, and Jerusalem.
  2. Not printed; it reported a conversation with Geoffrey W. Furlonge, Head of the Eastern Department in the British Foreign Office, in which the latter expressed disappointment at an indication from the British Embassy at Washington that the Department was disinclined to associate itself with the United Kingdom and France in taking the lead to find a solution to the Jerusalem problem at this session of the General Assembly. The British official was of the opinion that the three nations should take the lead to obviate the repetition of the unrealistic solution reached at the last session of the Assembly (320/8–1450)
  3. Embassy London, on August 24, advised of Mr. Furlonge’s disappointment at the Department’s reaction. The Foreign Office spokesman also noted that the French reaction was much more favorable than the Department’s and that the Dutch had approached the United Kingdom with proposals which bore remarkable resemblance to those of the British. He expressed the hope that at least the United States would not oppose the British proposals should the British proceed with them (telegram 1168, 320/8–2450).

    The Department, on September 13, advised Embassy London that “Brit Emb Sep 13 informed Dept that FonOff, view lack of enthusiasm in US, France and other nations for original FonOff plan to push in GA a proposal for Jerusalem based on modification of Israeli proposal re City, had decided drop this idea and was now prepared to support res along lines of Swedish-Dutch proposal tabled in GA Dec 5, 1949.” (Telegram 1367, 684A.85/9–1350) Regarding the Swedish-Dutch proposal, see telegram 91, November 28, p. 1064, and the editorial note, p. 1071.