TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SECOND
Held at Lake Success, New York, on Tuesday, 9 December 1947, at 3 p.m.
President: Mr. J. Hood (Australia).
Present: The representatives of the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Poland, Syria, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, United States of America.
415. Provisional agenda (document S/Agenda/222)
5. Letter dated 2 December 1947 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (document S/614)1/, regarding the resolution concerning the "future Government of Palestine" adopted by the General Assembly (document A/516),2/
1/ See Official Records of the Security Council, Second Year, Supplement No. 20, Annex 45.
2/ See Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly during its second session, resolution 181 (ll)
422. Letter from the Secretary-General regarding the General Assembly's resolution concerning the "future Government of Palestine"
The PRESIDENT: The intentions of the President in respect of this item were indicated at the opening of the meeting. I propose that the letter of the Secretary-General simply be noted by the Security Council at this stage. Without embarking on any observations at all as to the implications of the letter or the circumstances surrounding it, it must be clear, in my opinion, that the circumstances in which the provisions referred to in the letter become operative as far as the Security Council is concerned are not yet within the knowledge of the Security Council, and that therefore any discussion arising out of the letter in regard to its implications for the Security Council would not yet be in order. I shall leave the matter at that.
There is, however, a further point with which I wish to acquaint the Security Council: the receipt of a request from the Governments of Lebanon and Egypt that they should be allowed to participate in the Council's discussion of what is described in their telegrams as the question or the problem of Palestine (documents S/6171/ and S/6182/). The request is made in pursuance of the terms of Article 31 of the Charter. As I understand it, these telegrams have been distributed among the members of the Security Council. I suggest that they also be left for consideration at an appropriate time in the future.
1/ The text of the telegram is as follows:
Document S/617 8 December 1947
TELEGRAM DATED 7 DECEMBER 1947 FROM THE EGYPTIAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
In virtue of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 1947, the Security Council is requested to take the necessary steps to implement the plan for the partition of Palestine as provided in the said plan. In all probability the Security Council will soon be convened to examine the Palestinian question. In application of the terms of Article 31 of the Charter and of Articles 14, 37 and 38 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure the Egyptian Government, as a party interested in the Palestinian question and in the maintenance of peace in Palestine, asks to be represented at the Security Council's session to examine the Palestinian question. The Egyptian Government appoints and accredits Mahmoud Bey Fawzi, its permanent delegate to the United Nations, as delegate plenipotentiary to the above session.
2/ The text of the telegram is as follows:
Document S/618 8 December 1947
TELEGRAM DATED 7 DECEMBER 1947 FROM THE PRIME MINISTER AND ACTING MINISTER FROM FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF LEBANON TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
The Security Council having been requested, in virtue of the General Assembly's decision of 29 November 1947, to take the necessary steps to implement the plan for the partition of Palestine as provided in the said plan, and in view of the possibility of a session of the Security Council being called in the near future to consider the question of Palestine, the Lebanese Government, being an interested party in that question and in the maintenance of order in Palestine, requests, in accordance with Article 31 of the Charter and articles 14, 37 and 38 of the rules of procedure of the Security Council, that it be allowed to participate in the session of the Security Council at which the question of Palestine is discussed. It appoints His Excellency Mr. Camille Chamoun, Chairman of the Lebanese delegation to the United Nations to act as its plenipotentiary representative at the said session.
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): As to the suggestion that the Security Council simply take note of this resolution which is referred to it, that is a matter which requires explanation. I notice that reference is made in the Secretary-General's letter to paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of the operative part of the resolution, which includes the recommendations or requests addressed to the Security Council. The Security Council certainly has to take note of such matters and study them when its attention is called to them, and the Security Council has to determine to what extent it can accept or apply such requests or recommendations.
If it is simpler to take note of them and read them without giving any opinion, that is another matter. However, I do not think it would be appropriate for the Security Council simply to pass over communications of this sort without reading them and without studying the questions which they involve or which flow from them.
There are many matters in this connexion which are of very great importance. The implementation of this resolution adopted by the General Assembly is now assigned to the Security Council; all responsibility for that implementation is placed on the Security Council, through the commission of five which was nominated for that purpose by the President of the General Assembly at the Assembly's one hundred and twenty-eighth plenary meeting.1/ The Security Council is requested to act according to the instructions or information received from that commission. As long as that commission has no foundation or justification in the Charter, this matter ought to be studied by the Security Council. The commission is to be sent to Palestine and vested with authority to promulgate laws and regulations, to command armies, to control the economy of the country and to nominate governments and control them. The Security Council should determine on what basis that commission is being sent to Palestine, and whether the Council itself is bound to take into account information supplied by the commission and to enforce or implement its instructions. The present situation is that there is no trusteeship agreement and that the representatives who will serve on the commission have not even been selected. This scheme was not even ratified by their Governments according to constitutional processes. No convention or anything of the sort exists. I think that such an off-hand procedure requires a certain amount of discussion in the Security Council either before, immediately after, or simultaneously with the act of taking note of this resolution.
For this purpose, I think that it would be appropriate that a special meeting of the Security Council should be convoked in order to have a full debate on these matters and have the views of the members, after studying this situation, clearly understood, and to know the extent to which such a resolution would lead to peace and security in the Near East. Such a resolution is very important, and the Security Council is the organ which is charged with responsibility in this matter. Enforcement is in the hands of the Security Council only. The General Assembly cannot exercise any governmental authority in any country directly.
It may do that through the Trusteeship System, or through the mandatory, or through the Security Council by enforcement action for the maintenance of international peace and security. But in this case there is no trusteeship agreement, and the General Assembly is not a world government which can dictate orders, partition countries or impose constitutions, rules, regulations and treaties on people without their consent. This is a matter which should be considered very thoroughly and carefully in the Security Council before taking note of the resolution, as I said, or soon thereafter.
I think that the requests from the Egyptian and Lebanese Governments, to which the President has referred, should be discussed and decided upon before any discussion is held on the subject, and a special meeting should be called for full consideration of the matter.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : Would it not be better, instead of saying "the Security Council takes note of the resolution of the General Assembly," to say that the Security Council accepts the resolution of the General Assembly and from now on is seized of the Palestinian question?
The PRESIDENT: I should like to say merely this in reference to the remarks made by the representative of Syria. It is to be noted that the resolution of the General Assembly comes to the Security Council in the form of a recommendation and a request. It is, therefore, of course entirely proper for the Security Council to discuss, when the time comes, the method of implementing and putting into effect the request. I should imagine that such a discussion would imply a consideration of a good many of the points which the representative of Syria has in mind. There would, however, be obvious limitations to the scope and subject of the debate in the Security Council which I am not as yet prepared to indicate. Nonetheless, there would remain a large area of discussion, and in the same way it would be, of course, proper, with reference to the point last made by the representative of Syria, that before such a discussion was initiated in the Council, consideration should be given to the requests of the Governments of Egypt and Lebanon for participation in the discussion.
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): My delegation would regret seeing a date fixed now for a particular discussion of the Palestinian question, because we do not believe this would be helpful. I should like to point out to the representative of Syria the fact that if there is sufficient reason, the Palestinian question may, at any time, be brought before the Security Council. It is not necessary to determine a date now and state that the Security Council will, on that date, debate the Palestinian question. I do not believe such action will have a specific effect at this moment. There is no immediate reason for scheduling such a debate at this time. This matter is entirely for the Security Council to decide, but my delegation would regret a decision fixing a particular date for discussing the question, because it is not necessary at the present time.
The PRESIDENT: I think that the USSR representative implied something very similar in his suggested wording for the reception by the Security Council of the resolution of the General Assembly.
If the Security Council accepts the resolution of the General Assembly, it is clearly implied that, to use the phrase which has been used previously, it is seized of the question. As the representative of the United States has pointed out, the question can then, at any time, be brought to the attention of the Security Council and can be discussed without further special arrangements.
If there are no further observations, I suggest that the Security Council take note of the letter of the Secretary-General in those terms.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : Perhaps it is not sufficient just to state, "takes note of the resolution of the General Assembly." The Security Council should implement the resolution of the General Assembly, and it should be stated that the Security Council is seized of the Palestinian question from now on. The Security Council should not mention the resolution of the General Assembly in passing and just take note of it. The resolution of the General Assembly should be implemented.
I believe it would be better to state that "the Security Council accepts the resolution of the General Assembly," or, "the Security Council takes note of the resolution of the General Assembly"— I would prefer the former—"and from now on is seized of the Palestinian question."
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): Certain paragraphs of the resolution of the General Assembly which concern the Security Council are referred to the Council, namely, paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), outlining the functions of the Security Council in respect of the Palestinian question. AH of the members of the Security Council are familiar with the Council's functions, which are well defined and clearly stated in the Charter of the United Nations. I do not believe that the resolution of the General Assembly can add to or delete from these functions.
The recommendations of the General Assembly are well known to be recommendations, and Member States are not required by force to accept them. Member States may or may not accept them, and the same applies to the Security Council. In this respect, there are many examples. Many resolutions of the General Assembly were sent to the Security Council which were not adopted. Adoption was prevented by one member or more than one member. This would not be the first time that the Security Council would not accept a recommendation of the General Assembly. The most recent case is the matter of the admission of new Members. Another case is the Balkan question, and still another is the Korean question. The General Assembly has adopted many resolutions, and the Security Council has not, in accordance with the rule of unanimity in Article 27 of the Charter, accepted these resolutions without discussion, as it is proposed to do I do not say that General Assembly resolutions should not be accepted, but I do say that they must be discussed.
There are many members of the Security Council who did not vote in favour of this resolution in the General Assembly. Some members opposed it flatly, and others abstained, giving as their reason the fact that they did not consider the provisions of the resolution correct and just, and considered them not to be within the jurisdiction and competence of the General Assembly. Now the Security Council is asked to accept them without discussion and without allowing each member to express his opinion on the subject and to state what are the defects.
This is a matter of a Non-Self-Governing Territory with which we are dealing. The question of Non-Self-Goveming Territories is dealt with in only three chapters in the Charter of the United Nations. Chapter XI applies to the colonies under the special administration of certain powers, and the other two chapters apply to Territories under Trusteeship or mandate. There are no others. We are creating another category of Non-Self-Governing Territories administered" in a new form, and we are adding new articles to the Charter.
Many members of the Security Council who have constantly championed respect for the Charter are now showing themselves meek and lenient in this regard, and are overlooking or bypassing these matters which are outside the jurisdiction of the Charter and in violation of it.
Either we have a Charter and are bound by it, or we are free to do whatever we like, according to our own politics and our own fancies. This is another question which would lead us to results that the world would not like to see coming from the Security Council. The Security Council is expected to do otherwise in this respect.
The General Assembly is attempting to create a permanent trusteeship, a trusteeship without a trustee. Where is the Trusteeship Agreement? The General Assembly made the City of Jerusalem a permanent Trust Territory. Who is the administrator—the General Assembly? Is there any arrangement, is there any trusteeship agreement, is there an Article of the Charter which permits such a system or such a rule ? Is it a new creation ? We have to consider that. We must be careful for our Charter, for our Organization and for the peace which we are bound to respect and to protect.
Before any discussion on this matter, I ask that the applications of the Lebanese and the Egyptian Governments be considered and adopted.
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): I think that these requests from Lebanon and of Egypt, according to the liberal practice of the Security Council, would have to be acted upon affirmatively, if we enter into any discussion of the substance of this case. For that reason, and because my delegation sincerely believes that this is not the time to have a substantive discussion, we suggest that the Security Council simply postpone the matter indefinitely, as it can be brought up by any member of the Security Council at any time, if necessary.
The Security Council is certainly going to do everything it can to carry out the specific requests made of it by the General Assembly. That does not mean the Security Council is assuming the responsibility for implementation of the entire resolution of the General Assembly. It simply means that the Security Council will do those things, if it agrees to do so, which it is specifically requested to do, and naturally will fulfil its general obligations arising under the Charter.
If the Security Council is going into a full discussion of the substance of the Palestinian problem, it, I think, must act on these requests from the Egyptian and Lebanese delegations. I suggest that this matter be postponed indefinitely.
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I second the motion.
Mr. LOPEZ (Colombia): I venture to make a different suggestion, which perhaps might be acceptable to the Security Council. That is, "The Security Council takes note of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly concerning the future government of Palestine, and decides to invite the representatives of Egypt and Lebanon to participate in the meetings of the Security Council at which the question of Palestine will be discussed." Perhaps that might meet the wishes of the Security Council.
The PRESIDENT: I had thought it might be more convenient to treat this matter without any formal proposition before the Security Council. Any proposal of a formal nature on this matter would almost certainly lead to discussion.
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): If the Security Council "takes note", which is prend acte in French, is not the effect of that simply that the Security Council accepts such obligations as may fall on it pursuant to the request of the General Assembly in its resolution?
In other words, it is not a question of keeping the matter permanently on the agenda, but that the Council takes note and accepts the responsibilities which it is particularly requested to accept in the resolution of the General Assembly.
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria) : I have a point of order. There has been a motion for the postponement of the question indefinitely. That has priority and it should be voted without discussion.
The PRESIDENT: I was about to add, in reference to the observation of the representative of Colombia, that, in the circumstances, he might consider not putting forward any formal proposal because, in my opinion, the suggestion made by the representative of the United States with regard to the indefinite postponement of this question, while not amounting, as I understood it, to a formal proposal for adjournment, nonetheless would in effect meet the wishes of the Security Council on this matter at the present time.
It is quite clear that whether we use the words "take note of", the word "accept", or some other phrase, the connotation remains identical, namely, that the Council is seized of the question of Palestine. The question of Palestine thenceforth will become included on the list of those questions of which the Security Council remains seized, and it would be open thereby to be brought up for discussion at any time.
Before the discussion was sidetracked, I was about to propose that we conclude on that note, namely, that the Security Council takes note or or accepts the communication from the Secretary-General conveying the text of the resolution, thereby becoming seized of the question of Palestine, and we can leave it at that. If that procedure were agreeable to the members of the Security Council, I think it would be the best way to conclude the point at the present stage.
Mr. VAN LANGENHOVE (Belgium) (translated From French): The Syrian representative has raised a point of order to the effect that the purpose of the United States proposal is to adjourn the discussion of this question sine die.
This point is explicitly provided for in Rule 33, paragraph 5, of our Rules of Procedure, which adds that such motions shall be decided without debate.
I think that this exchange of views would in the circumstances be a satisfactory conclusion to the discussion.
I see no need for taking formal note of the communication. In fact, it will be noted in the records of our meetings.
The PRESIDENT: Is that course agreeable to the members of the Security Council?
Mr. JOHNSON: (United States of America) : I should like to ask a question. If we accept the proposal as stated by the representative of Belgium, does the fact that this discussion appears in our records mean that the Security Council does take note of this resolution which has been sent to it by the General Assembly—because it seems to me that taking note of a resolution of the General Assembly does not necessarily entail debate.
I should like to see the Security Council take note of the resolution and then adjourn sine die any discussion of the Palestine problem. That would seem to put the matter in the most satisfactory situation, namely, that the Council has received and has taken note of this communication and adjourns discussion.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : I think it would not be correct to say that we as a Council just "take note" of the resolution of the General Assembly. We may take note of many documents and we may not deal with them; we may take note of many questions raised in certain documents and we may not deal with them.
That is why it would be desirable to say that we accepted the communication from the Secretary-General, together with the resolution of the General Assembly, and that we remain seized of the Palestinian question from now on. That is the main question.
I would accept the suggestion made by the representative of the United States, namely, not to start discussion now on the Palestinian question; but he mixed together two entirely different things: first, the acceptance of the resolution of the General Assembly, with the purpose of being seized of this resolution; and, second, postponement of discussion with regard to the question. They are entirely different things, and that is why I hope that the representative of the United States may find it possible not to connect them.
I would agree with the last statement of the President, that is to say, I would agree to say that the Security Council accepts the communication from the Secretary-General, together with the resolution of the General Assembly, and is seized of the Palestinian question. In fact, it would not be necessary to use the words "Palestinian question". If we said merely "this question" everyone would understand what was meant.
Then, if the representative of Syria insists, we shall decide whether we are to start a discussion or to adjourn. In order to adjourn or to start the discussion, however, we must be in a position of having something with which to deal. Personally I think it would be desirable to accept the last statement of the President as an expression of opinion of the Council, and to adjourn.
Mr. PARODI (France) (translated from French) : If the President will allow me, I shall say just a few words about the proposal which was submitted by the USSR representative and which he has just defended once again.
If the proposal, as he stated—at least according to the French interpretation of his words—is to accept the Secretary-General's communication, I do not quite see the point of it. The Security Council receives a communication from the Secretary-General. It is the Secretary-General's right to make a communication. It is not for us to "accept" or "not to accept" this communication.
If the proposal is to accept, not the communication of the text of the resolution, but the resolution itself, then it means that we are defining a position, which will be that of the Security Council in relation to the resolution adopted by the General Assembly. In that case, we shall be taking sides. We cannot do so without a debate, since some of our colleagues desire that it should take place-notably the representative of Syria—and since other members of the Council have asked to be heard.
As I think we are at present agreed not to hold a debate just now, it seems to me that the formula submitted by the USSR representative should be rejected.
There still remains the question of whether we should take note of the communication or simply adjourn.
I fail to see of what advantage it would be for the Security Council to adopt a formal resolution in connexion with the communication that has been made to us. There is nothing that obliges us to do so. Indeed, we have received a communication which, for the time being, is a communication of an informative nature. There is no need for us, any more than in regard to any other communication, to adopt a resolution concerning it today.
As regards the formula by which we would state that we take note of the communication, I confess I cannot see what it would add. Indeed, from the moment a communication is made to us, it is obvious that we take note of it. We are not going to forget it. We are not going to pretend that we have not received it.
In a word I think our wisest and most proper course would be, in accordance with what has just been proposed by the United States representative and with what was also the opinion of the Belgian representative, not to adopt any resolution at the present time but simply to adjourn and to take up this question again when any representative of the Security Council deems it necessary.
Mr. JOHNSON: (United States of America): As I understood the meaning of what the USSR representative has just said, he has resolved the necessity I saw for putting these two things together in the definition which he gave of the word "accept". I think we have merely been talking round the meaning of words. As I understood Mr. Gromyko's last intervention, he does not mean, by using this word "accept", that we have taken a substantive decision.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics): We have received the communication.
Mr. JOHNSON: (United States of America): Yes, we have received it—it is a question of words and we are, of course, already seized of this question and have admitted it to the agenda of this meeting.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : But if the Security Council is seized of the question, that applies to this meeting and to subsequent meetings from now on.
Mr. JOHNSON: (United States of America): As I understand our rules, it remains on our provisional agenda until we have removed it, and may be brought up at any time at the request of any member of the Security Council.
The PRESIDENT: That depends upon how it is treated.
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America) : It has just been suggested that discussion be postponed. It seems to me that the very use of the word "postpone" means that we still have the question. To postpone is not to dismiss.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics): You mean that the Council is seized of the question.
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): Exactly.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : You do not wish to state that?
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): I have no objection to stating it.
The PRESIDENT: Before calling on the representative of Colombia, I should like to know whether it would be possible to condense the opinions expressed around this table by writing into the records of this meeting a statement to the effect that the Council has received the communication from the Secretary-General and, having been seized of this matter, has agreed to postpone further discussion.
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): That is agreeable.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) : Yes, that is satisfactory.
Mr. LOPEZ (Colombia): All our discussion seems to point to the advisability of having a decision of the Council, instead of a ruling of the President, on the question. The suggestion that was made seemed to mean that the Council could reconcile the different view that have been expressed, because the Council would indicate that it takes note of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly and would then leave the question of when to discuss the Palestine matter to a later date, at the same time accepting the request of Egypt and Lebanon to be invited to the discussion. It seems to me that that is the sense of the Council: that, when this discussion comes up, Egypt and Lebanon should be invited. However, I should first like to have a decision by the President as to whether or not the proposal should be put to a vote.
The PRESIDENT: I would rather not have this wording regarded as a ruling or a decision or a formal proposition of any kind. It is merely a suggestion. I did not understand that the representative of Colombia objected to the suggestion in itself. If I hear no objection from the members of the Council, I would propose that the Assistant Secretary-General be asked to adopt that suggestion as a guide or, in any event, as a minute on this discussion. As there is no objection, that will be done.
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I think that the first phrase mentioned by the President, to the effect that the Security Council has received the communication and has postponed discussion, would give the idea that the communication has been received and is on the agenda, that the postponement means that the question remains on the agenda. If it is postponed until a specified date, it will be taken up on that date. If it is postponed sine die, that means that it may be put on the agenda for a particular date at the request of any member of the Council.
What is the use, then, of including the phrase "having been seized of the question" ? What would that add ? I am afraid that the use of that phrase, which has been employed in other situations, would complicate the matter and confuse the intended meaning. The Security Council is seized of a situation or dispute which is likely to endanger international peace and security; it is seized of such a question and is bound to offer a solution. That takes place when there is a situation or dispute between two or more States.
There is nothing of that kind in the question now before us. We may be seized of the question later on, when some such situation arises. Even the request by the General Assembly does not state that there is any such situation now. The General Assembly requests that the Security Council act in the future, when anything of that nature happens. That is entirely a different matter. I therefore do not think that it is necessary to include the phrase "having been seized of the question". The first phrase mentioned by the President will be sufficient. Postponement of discussion of the question means that it remains on the agenda unless it is subsequently withdrawn, and that it may be brought up at the request of any member of the Security Council. At the same time, the request of the Governments of Egypt and Lebanon would be granted.
Mr. KATY-SUCHY (Poland): I believe that we are reaching a stage in our discussion where we can come to a certain general agreement. The differences at the moment are really only verbal differences.
I believe that rule 10 of our provisional rules of procedure completely solves the problem with which we are now dealing. Let us remember that at the beginning of today's meeting we adopted the agenda, and we admitted, under item 5 of today's agenda, the letter of the Secretary-General in which the Secretary-General transmitted to the Security Council the resolution of the General Assembly concerning the future government of Palestine and drew the attention of the Security Council to the operative parts thereof concerning the Security Council, in particular paragraphs (a), (b) and (c).
By this decision, we admitted this item on our agenda, and since that moment, as the representative of the United States pointed out, the Security Council has been seized of that question.
Rule 10 reads: "Any item of the agenda of a meeting of the Security Council, consideration of which has not been completed at that meeting, shall, unless the Security Council otherwise decides, automatically be included in the agenda of the next meeting." We are trying to decide otherwise. That means that we are trying to postpone discussion indefinitely, which means that any member of the Security Council, when he finds that the situation so requires, may reopen the discussion by asking the Secretary-General to put the item on the agenda of a meeting of the Security Council.
Rule 11 deals with questions which have not been completed and concerning which no decision has been taken on matters of which the Security Council is seized, and the rule provides that the Secretary-General shall communicate each week to the representatives on the Security Council a summary of all these matters.
I cannot agree with the definition of the representative of Syria that only important questions concerning peace and security, where there are disputes between States, are matters of which the Security Council can be seized. We have been seized of, for instance, the problem of our rules of procedure, until today's decision concerning an amendment to the rules of procedure regarding the admission of new members. Whether or not the words "seized of" are used, by placing the matter on the agenda, by not taking any decision on the question and by postponing the discussion the Security Council is seized of the Palestinian question, and any member may ask the Secretary-General to place it again on the agenda.
The PRESIDENT: I think the representative of Syria, while fearing some implication in the phrase "the Council is seized of", reads more into the phrase than is technically there. I can appreciate that he may fear some implication in the phrase, but I can assure him that, so far as I understand the procedural aspects of that phrase, it means nothing more than that the matter remains on the agenda of the Security Council. I notice, for example, in rule 11 that the Secretary-General shall communicate matters of which the Security Council is seized. I note that innocuous phrase in the rules of procedure of the Security Council and two or three other phrases of a similar nature.
There is no implication of anything deep or of singer import in the inclusion of this matter in that form. "The matter of which the Security Council is seized", means that it is the wish of the Security Council—and I believe it is also the wish of the representative of Syria—that the matter remain on the agenda, available for discussion at the request of any member or members at any time.
I propose that we accept this formula for inclusion in the minutes of this meeting: "The Security Council received the letter from the Secretary-General enclosing the resolution of the General Assembly concerning Palestine, and, being seized of the question, decided to postpone discussion."
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria) : I think the suggestion of the representative of Colombia should be added, namely, that the representatives of Egypt and Lebanon should be admitted to all future discussions of this question without any further discussion or decision being necessary. This action would enable these two States to be ready and to know the result of their applications. As you know, they are situated quite a distance from here.
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): My delegation would have no objection to the addition of that expression, but I should like, certainly for our part, to assure the representative of Syria that I am convinced that whenever the Palestinian question is brought up, no member of the Security Council would object to the requests of Lebanon and Egypt to be admitted.
The PRESIDENT: There would be no objection, of course, to the inclusion of that provision in this formula. However, it is my duty to point out that such action would not necessarily dispose of the question of the participation of other parties in the discussion of this matter. At the moment, the Security Council has received requests from only two parties, and further requests are, of course, not necessarily excluded.
It had occurred to me, therefore, that it might be more convenient to wait until we could discuss all the requests received for participation in the discussion, assuming that we receive more.
There is no objection by the members of the Security Council to the participation of the two Governments which have already submitted requests, and if that were included in our understanding today, it would also be included that this action would not result in the exclusion of the consideration of further applications.
As there is no objection, this formula is accepted.
1/ See Official Records of the second session of the General Assembly, plenary meetings.