HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHTH PLENARY MEETING
Held in the General Assembly Hall at Flushing Meadow, New York on Saturday,
29 November 1947, at 4 p.m.
President: Mr. O. ARANHA (Brazil).
127. Continuation of the discussion on the Palestinian question
The PRESIDENT: Yesterday, as the representatives will recall, we voted to postpone the consideration of the question before us for twenty-four hours. This postponement was provided in order to make it possible for some measures of conciliation to be taken by interested members.
I was not definitely authorized by the representatives to bring the parties together. Therefore, I ask the members whether they have any reports to make to the General Assembly with regard to steps that have been taken since yesterday to reach a more satisfactory agreement between the parties. The representatives will recall that debate was closed and that we were about to proceed to a vote. If there was no agreement, we shall now proceed to vote.
I call upon the representative of Lebanon.
Mr. CHAMOUN (Lebanon) (translated from French): In the concluding remarks which he made yesterday, the representative of France asked for an adjournment of twenty-four tours for the purpose of finding out whether there existed on one side or the other—or rather on the Arab side—a willingness to consider the possibility of conciliation or of a plan which might serve to conciliate the two opposing points of view.
The Lebanese delegation naturally listened with great interest to the statements of the representatives of France and Colombia, and it believes it is speaking for all the delegations of the Arab countries in thanking those representatives for the objective and constructive opinions which they expressed.
At the same time, it solemnly assures this Assembly that throughout the discussions which have lasted for more than two months, no attempt has been made to approach the delegations of the Arab countries and no proposal has been made to them with a view to finding a ground for conciliation.
When Sub-Committee 2 was established without preliminary consultation with them, the delegations of the Arab countries, which constituted the majority in this Sub-Committee, immediately found themselves in agreement with the observations made by the representative of Colombia. They proposed that at least two of their delegations should be replaced by neutral delegations whose presence would be likely to assist their work. This proposal, which demonstrated a conciliatory attitude was unfortunately not accepted.
Today, as before, we are ready to listen to, study and discuss any conciliatory formula likely to offer a reasonable and just solution of the Palestine problem. We shall do so not out of weakness, but with the greatest willingness, for we consider that our Organization's task is to recommend, not solutions which can be applied only by force or the threat of force, but solutions which by reason of their objective and equitable character command universal acceptance.
We should have liked to be able to present immediately a detailed and complete plan to serve as a basis for recommendations by this Assembly. Unfortunately, this aim could not be realized during the few hours which have elapsed since the last meeting.
We can, however, submit here and now the following general principles to provide a basis for a formula intermediate between the two points of view which have stood opposed throughout our discussions:
1. An independent federal State of Palestine shall be set up not later than 1 August 1948,
2. The Government of the independent federal State of Palestine shall be constituted on a federal basis and shall consist of a federal government and the governments of Arab and Jewish cantons.
3. The delimitation of the cantonal boundaries shall be carried out in such a way as to leave the smallest possible Arab or Jewish minorities in each canton.
4. The population of Palestine shall elect by direct universal suffrage a constituent assembly which shall draw up the future constitution of the federal State of Palestine. The constituent assembly shall comprise all population groups, proportionate to their number.
5. In defining the powers of the federal Government of Palestine, its legislative and judiciary organs as well as the powers of the cantonal governments, and in determining the relationships between the cantonal governments and the federal Government, the constituent assembly will be guided principally by the basic pattern of the Constitution of the United States of America and by the organic laws of the States of the Union.
6. Amongst other imperative provisions, the Constitution shall provide for the protection of the Holy Places, freedom of access, visit and worship, in accordance with the status quo, as well as the safeguarding of the rights of religious establishments of all nationalities in Palestine.
We realize that owing to lack of time the ideas here submitted are insufficiently detailed, but we firmly believe that they may serve as a basis for a constructive plan likely to obtain the support of the great majority in the Assembly.
The example of the United States of America, where so many different races live in harmony and carry on their own ways of life in the States which compose that Union, and the example of Switzerland, where three different race cooperate happily within the framework of their local autonomies, may be offered as models for the future organization of Palestine.
In formulating the present suggestions, we do not mean to exclude any suggestion or proposal which might be made by other delegations and which might be likely to reconcile the opposing points of view.
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the Rapporteur of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question.
Mr. THORS (Iceland): During the debate yesterday, at least three representatives—the representatives of Pakistan, Iraq and France— and today, the representative of Lebanon, referred to the conciliation Sub-Committee that was set up by the Ad Hoc Committee. This conciliation Sub-Committee was composed of three members: the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Mr. Evatt; the representative of Siam and myself. The leadership and main responsibility rested in the hands of our energetic Chairman. Unfortunately, Mr. Evatt has now left for Australia. I cannot help stating that the observations regarding the absence of effective conciliation would have been more appropriate if they had been made before Mr. Evatt's departure. Every opportunity was given to raise the matter in the Ad Hoc Committee.
Let me now recall what statements Mr. Evatt made to the Ad Hoc Committee. On 19 November 1947, at the twenty-third meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee, the representative of Venezuela said:
"This Committee set up three Sub-Committees, not two, and this third Sub-Committee was a sub-committee of conciliation. At the suggestion of my delegation it was constituted as a committee of one, the Chairman, who was given full powers to bring together the two important parties in the dispute. I respectfully submit to the Chair that it would be a good plan if the Chairman could inform us of his efforts on that behalf and the result, if any attained."
The Chairman replied: "All I can say is that my colleagues, the Vice-Chairman, the representative of Siam, and the Rapporteur, have not overlooked their duty. We made certain suggestions that the parties should come together at a certain time, but the very nature of these negotiations makes it impossible to indicate the replies received and the suggestions that were made. This has been going on all the time, but frankly, judging by the response, it seems to me difficult to expect that matter to be carried to any successful conclusion. At any rate, up to the present time everything has been done in that direction that could possibly be done. Certain correspondence was entered into in order to carry out the wish of the full Committee, but I think it would only tend to confuse the matter if I did more than indicate that we all felt that it was an important assignment which was given to us and that we have not been idle."
On 22 November, at the twenty-eighth meeting, Mr. Evatt made a further report in response to some remarks by the representative of El Salvador. Mr. Evatt said: "I do not believe that Dr. Castro was present at our meeting when I reported to the Committee on the situation that arose in connexion with the attempt to conciliate the parties on the matter. The Vice-Chairman, the Rapporteur, and your Chairman explored the ground from every possible point of view. We reached the conclusion that right up to the present time no more could be done. It was because agreement between the two main interests was so difficult to obtain that the matter came to the United Nations. Speaking for myself, I reached the conclusion that conciliation could not be advanced, despite our attempts, our interviews, and our correspondence, until the Ad Hoc Committee, subordinate as it is to the General Assembly, had taken a decision."
From these facts, the members will note that all attempts to bring about conciliation seemed doomed in advance. Both parties were intransigent. Each party seemed confident that it would win its case either in the Committee or in the General Assembly. The conciliation Sub-Committee followed developments closely both in Sub-Committee 1 and in Sub-Committee 2. Unfortunately, the gulf between the two parties was too great then to be bridged by conciliation. The Arabs did not seem to be willing to permit large-scale immigration of Jews and to grant independence to a Jewish State in Palestine. The Jews would not accept anything less than reasonably free immigration and the prospect of independence. Between these definite contentions, no conciliation could be found during the consideration of the problem by the United Nations.
The Arab Higher Committee was approached by UNSCOP on more than one occasion and was invited to assist in the work of UNSCOP, but it refused. In the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, the representative of the Arab Higher Committee stated that he was prepared to take part in the discussions only with respect to that item of the agenda dealing with the establishment of an independent unitary state, but not with respect to the UNSCOP reports; either the majority or the minority report.
Again, in Sub-Committee 1 of the Ad Hoc Committee, the Arab Higher Committee was invited to assist the Sub-Committee on the question of boundaries, and again the reply was that it was prepared to assist only in connexion with the discussion of the establishment of an independent unitary state
Now, at the eleventh hour, just when the vote is to take place, there are criticism of the work of the conciliation Sub-Committee and vague suggestions concerning the possibility of conciliation. Actually, the conciliation Sub-Committee tried everything possible, but hi vain. Moreover, up to the last few minutes there has been no concrete or specific offer of conciliation or compromise.
It seems to me that the moment for conciliation might come once the United Nations has taken its firm decision, and both parties have to face hard facts, and not before. I venture to hope that the wisdom of the leaders of both sides will make it clear to them that it is better for them to live together as good neighbours than to risk being lost separately. It should be one of the main duties of the five nation commission, if elected, not only to administer Palestine during the transitional period, but to make every effort to achieve conciliation between the peoples of the Holy Land.
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the representative of the United States.
Mr. JOHNSON (United States of America): Yesterday afternoon the debate on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee was dosed. The motion to change completely the sense of the report was made by the representative of Colombia (document A/518). He was followed by the representative of France who made a suggestion that the decision of the General Assembly be deferred for twenty-four hours, and that we should adjourn the vote for a very brief period and I quote his words "… if the expressions of good will and agreement which we heard this morning prove to have any real substance, the delegations which wish to clarify them will have an opportunity to do so."
The representative of France continued, saying: "It is quite possible — I have no illusions on the subject — that after postponing our decision for an interval which I suggest might be twenty-four hours … we shall find ourselves faced with exactly the same situation as confronts us today. It is quite possible that we shall find tomorrow that the problem really stands as it appeared to other delegations which have spoken at our last few meetings, and that, as I pointed out just now, it remains for us to choose between a definite proposal and the complete absence of any decision."
He concluded by saying: "That is the conclusion of my observations. The suggestion which I am putting forward does not appear to require that I present it in the form of a definite resolution, since it would simply be a short postponement, that is to say, a simple matter of procedure. In proposing this delay, my intention and my hope is that we may hear something more definite on the lines of the conciliatory words spoken this morning."
I respectfully submit that the conditions outlined by the representative of France have not been fulfilled. Instead, we have heard a statement by the representative of Lebanon in which he resurrects the recommendations, almost in toto, of the minority report of UNSCOP; that report has been decisively rejected by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question. The representative of Lebanon made a perfectly legitimate proposal, but it is not before this General Assembly now. The purpose of the adjournment was to allow an attempt at conciliation to be made. No conciliatory offer is now before us, and I respectfully submit that the General Assembly should proceed to the vote on the main proposition (document A/516): the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question to this General Assembly.
The new proposal presented by the representative of Lebanon does not even contain a statement as to the attitude of the Arab Higher Committee. This is a question between the proposed Arab state of Palestine and the proposed Jewish state of Palestine. In a technical sense, Lebanon and the other Arab States have no more to do with it than India, China, the United States or Australia. There is no mention of any conciliation attempt having been made on the part of the Arab Higher Committee, representing the Arab people of Palestine, or on the part of the Jewish Agency.
This Palestine problem has been of concern to the world now for the past thirty years. It has been the subject of innumerable inquiries and commissions and all conceivable types of solution have been proposed.
As you know, the Peel Commission, in 1937, recommended the partition of Palestine. However, subsequent events prevented definitive action at that time. Since the conclusion of the Second World War, renewed attempts have been made to solve the Palestine problem.
The work of the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry in 1946 was followed by conferences in London at which the so-called Grady-Morrison proposals were evolved. There were further conferences in London last winter.
Finally, in May of 1947, an inquiry was undertaken under the auspices of the United Nations. During all of these studies the various solutions of the Palestine problem had been given careful consideration. I know from my study of the report of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine that it made every effort to arrive at a solution which would be acceptable to both the Jews and the Arabs.
The General Assembly has heard the statement of the Rapporteur of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question that the Arab representatives refused to facilitate this work in any way. As you know, it was the opinion of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, as expressed in the majority report, that its plan for the partition of Palestine was the only one, in the circumstances, which appeared to be practicable.
Since the beginning of this session of the General Assembly almost three months ago, the report of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine has been under constant and careful consideration by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question and by the several Sub-Committees of the Ad Hoc Committee. The majority plan, as amended by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, is now before the General Assembly.
On behalf of my delegation, I request the President to consider putting to the vote immediately the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question.
The PRESIDENT : I have two speakers on my list: the representatives of Iran and Syria. After calling upon them, I shall accept; the suggestion of the representative of the United States—as this procedure was decided yesterday—and we shall proceed to vote on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question.
I now call upon the representative of Iran.
Mr. ADL (Iran) (translated from French): I think that all the delegations which are devoted to the principles of the United Nations Charter must appreciate the conciliatory spirit which moves the Arab world and which is manifested in the statement made by the representative of Lebanon.
The proposal which he has made shows That the Arab world wishes at all costs to avoid a conflict which might have regrettable consequences, and that, to attain this extremely praiseworthy end, it is ready to abandon its position of intransigence and even to moke concessions.
Hence, in order to show that the General Assembly itself strongly supports this position which should lead us to peace, I think it would be best to allow the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question reasonable time to study the question again and prepare a solution acceptable to both parties.
To this end, I have the honour to propose an adjournment of not more than a few weeks. During this time, the Ad Hoc Committee would prepare the plan for the future government of Palestine, and the General Assembly could be convened in special session to decide on the question.
The PRESIDENT (translated from French): I would ask the representative of Iran to submit the text of his proposal in writing in order that it may be taken into consideration.
I now call upon the representative of Syria.
Mr. EL-KHOURI (Syria): I have not participated in the discussion of this matter since the beginning of the debate in the General Assembly, and I do not intend to participate now, inasmuch as the debate is closed. I should simply like to refer to the question now before us, which has to do with yesterday's twenty-four-hour adjournment, proposed by the representative of France and adopted by the majority of the General Assembly. The representative of France made his proposal with a definite purpose: he, as well as most of the other representatives who have spoken oh the subject, felt a great deal of anxiety concerning the adoption of the plan for the partition of Palestine which had been presented by the Ad Hoc Committee.
You have heard not just one of those representatives, but many of them, say that this plan is complicated; that it is very hard to implement; that it does not serve the cause of peace, but would lead to bloodshed; that there are many difficulties in the plan; and that it would require a great deal of force to implement it. It is not the object of the United Nations to bring about a situation of this sort.
For those reasons the representative of France said that it was our duty as peace-loving people not to create sources of disturbance, but to find solid solutions for problems existing in the world and, in this particular case, to arrive at some peaceful adjustment of the present situation. That was the intention of the representative of France hi asking for the adjournment, and the General Assembly acceded to his request on that basis.
We feel that the delegations here present are in favour of finding some solution which would diminish the causes of disturbance and the anxiety which will dominate the hearts of all of us if this resolution is adopted and attempts are made to implement it. I therefore think that it would be proper for every honest representative at this General Assembly to facilitate that task, rather than to obstruct it, frustrate it, and put obstacles in its path.
All the representatives have said that it would certainly be preferable if some conciliatory approach could be found. It is necessary to deal with the question of conciliation. But was that question dealt with to any extent by the Ad Hoc Committee? When the Ad Hoc Committee met, it created three Sub-Committees. Sub-Committee 1 was created to clarify the partition plan, and Sub-Committee 2 was created to clarify the plan for a unitary state.
Each Sub-Committee was composed of members who sponsored, favoured, and advocated the plan which they were asked to clarify. No contact was made between the two Sub-Committees with a view to finding some basis of agreement or to diminish the gap of disagreement between the two opposing views.
A third Sub-Committee was created in order to take conciliatory measures designed to find some ground of conciliation between the parties. We consider that the task allotted to the third Sub-Committee is the most important and the most necessary and would coincide with the purposes and the principles of our Organization. Unfortunately, nothing was done, and no steps were taken towards conciliation. I myself, as the head of the Syrian delegation, was concerned in this matter. Nobody asked me or the other delegations or the members of the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine to come and meet for conciliation. They were simply invited to attend the meeting on the demarcation of the boundaries of the States to be set up in Palestine and to hear what the others were doing. Certainly they would not participate in that discussion because they were not allowed to take any decision, but had simply been invited to attend as observers. But they were not invited by anybody to discuss the matter of conciliation or to come to a common ground for agreement, in any sense.
The only measure taken which we know of was a letter sent by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on conciliation, the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Mr. Evatt, to His Royal Highness Prince Feisal, the head of the delegation of Saudi Arabia. It was dated 1 November and read as follows:
"The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question authorized myself as Chairman together with the Vice-Chairman, Prince Subha Svasti and the Rapporteur, Mr. Thors, to initiate such actions as we thought fit, with a view to conciliating the parties or persons interested in the Palestinian problem and with a view of lessening the area of disagreement and increasing the area of agreement. We have consulted together"— that is, the Chairman and Prince Feisal— from time to time and a certain amount of exploratory inquiries have been made to see if the above object can be further advanced.
"We are of the opinion that it might be advantageous if arrangements could be made as soon as possible for a discussion to take place' between yourself and Mr. George Marshall on the subject matter now before the General Assembly. We therefore communicate this suggestion formally to yourself and at the same time to Mr. George Marshall, expressing the hope that it will be possible to arrange for such conversations to take place. If, however, it is desired we should take part in any such discussions,- we are entirely at your service."
The Prince replied the next day in the following way:
"It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 1 November 1947, and I wish to take this opportunity to express to you my hearty appreciation for the efforts that are being made with a view towards lessening the area of disagreement and with a hope of reaching a just solution, a solution which can guarantee justice and preserve the peace and security for which we are all striving.
"It is my pleasure to welcome the suggested meeting which is to take place between the Honourable Secretary, George Marshall, Chairman of the United States delegation, and myself.
"We are hoping that the result of this meeting will be fruitful and that justice may prevail once again. It is needless for me to say that it will be our pleasure if you could be present during the proposed meeting.
"Be assured, Excellency, of my esteem and high consideration."
No reply was received to this letter, nor were any arrangements made for such meeting and discussion. No approach was made to any of the delegations who are most directly concerned in this matter and no preparation was made to lay the groundwork for a possible conciliation.
For these reasons, I maintain that the Ad Hoc Committee did not fulfil its duties in that respect; neither did it fulfil its duties with respect to its terms of reference. The items referred to the Ad Hoc Committee were very clearly set forth. One of them was the report of UNSCOP. The UNSCOP report contained two plans; one for partition and one for federation. The Ad Hoc Committee gave consideration only to the plan for partition. It did not constitute a sub-committee to clarify the plan of federation. That subject was altogether neglected by it. Therefore,if the General Assembly chose to return the report of the Ad Hoc Committee to that Committee in order to complete this matter of conciliation and to clarify the minority report for federation, as well as to give consideration to the scheme which has now been presented by the representative of Lebanon, such action would not be out of order, nor would it be something that we could not do, as Mr. Johnson has stated. We are now making this request of the General Assembly. The representative of France made this suggestion yesterday, and I think, with good faith and innocent intention.
I think this matter should be very carefully considered by the General Assembly because it is a matter of tremendous importance which threatens and menaces the general peace. The General Assembly should adopt every means at its disposal to avoid possible bloodshed.
They say that peace will be endangered and bloodshed will result if this matter is left unsolved. We should not leave it unsolved, and we have the time to arrive at a better solution than the one which has been proposed. They say that if a scheme is proposed, which is objectionable to the Jews, we cannot accept it. They say it is not a matter of international law or history, but rather a political matter. Well, let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that we say it is a political matter. Are we to assume then that policy and politics agree that we should give satisfaction to a handful of people in the world and disregard the millions and millions of people in the Arab world and the Moslem world, leaving them dissatisfied and disappointed? That is not a very good policy. If we are to treat the matter on political grounds, we should take care of the other side too. We should not satisfy one party and dissatisfy the other. We must find some way to attain that goal by a means other than that which has been proposed.
They say that .the Jews refuse to accept a minority position in Palestine. But they will not be a minority. If a unitary state or federal state or cantonal state were to be established, the Jews would not be a minority. The political parties in the future will not be established on a religious basis. A Jewish party or Moslem party or Christian party does not exist in the world; nor are they contemplated in the plans of the United Nations. There will be social, political parties, a labour party, a democratic party, a republican party, any party of that kind, or a socialist party. All Arabs, Jews, Christians and Moslems will join those parties; and the Jews will join some party in which they will be a majority with the help of others, and be governors of the country, as they are in the United States even though they are a minority in that country.
You see to what extent their influence has extended here. In the United States they are one to thirty whereas in Palestine they are one to three. Living in this democratic country, they have extended their influence into all circles. They have even extended it to the centre of the United Nations and intimidate speakers by hissing at them. This is the proof that they are influencing and dominating people here even though they are one to thirty in this country. We should take account of that, and the United States and the people of the United States should be careful for the future" which awaits them.
The PRESIDENT: The representative of Iran made a proposal in which he asked for the adjournment of the debate. However, at the same time, there were many other proposals with regard to the way in which our work should be accomplished in the future.
I request that the proposal which is hand-written in French be translated, and then submitted to the President for his careful consideration before he can rule on a matter so important. The situation is further confused because of certain matters which have priority in the debate.
I now call upon the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Mr. GROMYKO (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (translated from Russian): The delegation of the USSR thought it would have been advisable to take a decision on the Ad Hoc Committee's recommendation yesterday. Unfortunately at yesterday's meeting it was decided on the proposal of the French delegation, to postpone the vote for twenty-four hours. The delegation of the USSR saw no sense in this French proposal and we doubt whether the French delegation itself sees any sense in the proposal, to judge by the statements the French representatives made yesterday after the meeting of the General Assembly.
Nothing has changed since yesterday's meeting. This was clear even yesterday: nothing could change in twenty-four hours, if only because this question has been debated and discussed for twenty-five years and has been discussed by the United Nations for at least six months. How could one expect a solution of the question in twenty-four hours? That is why we are now in the same situation as we were twenty-four hours ago.
The statements made here by the representatives of Lebanon and Syria have not introduced any new factor which could in any way change the situation; there is nothing new in their statements which would affect the position. They mentioned the establishment of a federal state. We referred to this as one of the possibilities at the outset of the debate on this question. The Arab representatives did not wish to discuss the matter. That is their business. They are free to behave as they deem necessary in the discussion of this question.
To reopen the debate on this problem as proposed, for instance, by the representative of Iran, would mean, however, going back at least six months. After the question was submitted to the General Assembly, all kinds of alternatives were studied and, after comprehensive and careful consideration of all the possible alternatives and proposals, the majority of the members of the Ad Hoc Committee came to the conclusion that Palestine would have to be divided into two sovereign, independent, democratic states—an Arab State and a Jewish State. This decision by the Committee is the result of a thorough, careful and profound study of this question.
The delegation of the USSR considers that it would be wrong now to set the General Assembly back six months and to begin all over again. I say nothing of the fact that to adopt such a proposal would mean wrecking the settlement of the Palestine problem. Certain manoeuvres which are going on in the General Assembly are understandable, but they cannot be justified. They can confuse and complicate the issue, but they cannot settle the problem of Palestine's future. Once having undertaken this task, the United Nations should settle the problem of Palestine's future. That is precisely why the delegation of the USSR considers that the General Assembly should, without further delay, take a decision on the Ad Hoc Committee's recommendation and proceed to vote on it. For its own part, the delegation of the USSR supports this proposal in. the General Assembly, just as it supported it in the Committee.
The PRESIDENT : I have received a draft resolution submitted by the delegation of Iran. This draft resolution reads as follows:
"The General Assembly, with the object of reaching a reasonable solution of the Palestinian Question which may give satisfaction both to the Arab and Jewish populations in Palestine;
"Decides to adjourn the discussion of this question until 15 January 1948;
"Invites the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question to study this question anew, taking into account the statements made by the representative of Lebanon during the meeting of today's date;
"Invites the Committee to prepare a plan for the future government of Palestine;
"Recommends the Secretary-General to communicate the report of the Ad Hoc Committee to the Member States before 31 January 1948."
As you will notice, we have before us a new resolution which must not be considered as a motion for adjournment of the debate, as was the suggestion of the representative of France yesterday, but as a new draft resolution. However, as President and in accordance with our rules of procedure, I cannot put this resolution to a vote until we shall have considered and voted on the resolutions previously presented to this General Assembly.
As you know, the Chair must give priority to resolutions in a few cases only, and these cases are enumerated in our provisional rules of procedure. The first case relates to a point of order, the second case relates to adjournment of the debate, and the third case relates to closure of the debate.
We have two other cases to which priority must be given amendments to proposals or resolutions and motions as to procedure. With all respect and with the most liberal and willing interpretation, the President cannot consider a resolution such as the one before the General Assembly as falling within one of these five categories. As that is my conviction, I shall put to a vote the resolution contained in document A/516, and then I shall put .the proposal of Iran to a vote.
I call upon the representative of Lebanon on a point of order. Mr. CHAMOUN (Lebanon) (translated from French): Just as we are about to vote, I notice that the twelve recommendations which served as a basis for the report now submitted to the Assembly have been completely neglected, and that, in its haste to vote on the report of Sub-committee 1, the Ad Hoc Committee did not vote on the eleven recommendations adopted unanimously and on the twelfth recommendation adopted by a substantial majority1/ The recommendations relating to the partition of Palestine which were studied by the Ad Hoc Committee are merely derived from the principles which were approved when those recommendations were unanimously adopted.
In the second place, if you reread the report submitted to the Assembly reaffirming the conclusions reached by Sub-Committee 1, you will find that the vote was taken, not on a special article providing for the partition of Palestine into two States, but on practical questions of implementation, on certain texts concerning the establishment of an economic union and of the board which is to direct that union, and that the principal text has been ignored.
In these circumstances, I ask you to draw the logical conclusion, and to vote on the recommendations unanimously adopted before you vote on the report now before you.
The PRESIDENT: The point raised, as I understand it, by the representative of Lebanon concerns the unanimous recommendations which are not included in the resolution recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question.
I must inform the General Assembly that all those unanimous recommendations appear, not in the resolution but in the reports of Sub-Committees 1 and 2. There is no reason for us to consider those recommendations specifically now when we are to vote on the resolution of the Ad Hoc Committee. That was a matter for the Ad Hoc Committee and not for the General Assembly.
We shall now proceed to vote by roll-call on the report of the Ad Hoc Committee (document A/516).
A vote was taken by roll-call. The result of the vote was as follows:
In favour: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of South Africa, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Against: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.
Abstained: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
The report was adopted by 33 votes to 13, with 10 abstentions.
The PRESIDENT: I now call upon the representative of the United Kingdom.
Sir Alexander CADOGAN (United Kingdom): Now that the General Assembly has adopted this resolution, I must point out that there will be a number of points of detail connected with the application of the plan that will closely affect my Government. I have therefore been instructed to express the hope that the United Nations Commission will communicate with His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom in order that arrangements may be agreed upon for the arrival of the Commission in Palestine and for the co-ordination of its plans with those of the mandatory Power in respect of the withdrawal of British administration and British military forces.
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the representative of Saudi Arabia.
H. R. H. Amir FAISAL AL SAUD (Saudi Arabia) (translated from Arabic): We came to the General Assembly filled with hope that both the large and small nations would direct their efforts towards the elevation of moral standards. We came here filled with hope that all nations would unanimously respect and uphold human rights and justice, and that this Organization would be an instrument for establishing international peace and security. At the same time, we had hoped that it would afford a sound basis for mutual understanding among all peoples. But alas! Today's resolution has dissipated our hopes.
We have pledged ourselves before God and history to fulfil the Charter in good faith, there – by respecting human rights and repelling aggression. However, today's resolution has destroyed the Charter and all the covenants preceding it.
We have felt, like many others, the pressure exerted on various representatives of this Organization by some of the big Powers in order that the vote should be in favour of partition. For these reasons, the Government of Saudi Arabia registers, on this historic occasion, the fact that it does not consider itself bound by the resolution adopted today by the General Assembly. Furthermore, it reserves to itself the full right to act freely in whatever way it deems fit, in accordance with the principles of right and justice. My Government holds responsible those parties that hampered all means of co-operation and understanding.
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the representative of Pakistan.
Mr. AYUB (Pakistan): Sir Mohammed Zafrullah Khan, head of the Pakistan delegation, was obliged to leave New York this morning, but he desired me to read to the General Assembly a statement which he would have liked to make if he had been present at this meeting and had witnessed the vote that took place a few minutes ago. The statement reads as follows:
"A fateful decision has been taken. The die has been cast. In the words of the greatest American, 'We have striven to do the right as God gives us to see the right.' We did succeed in persuading a sufficient number of our fellow representatives to see the right as we saw it, but they were not permitted to stand by the right as they saw it. Our hearts are sad but our conscience is easy. We would not have it the other way round.
"Empires rise and fall. History tells us of the empires of the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, the Arabs, the Persians and the Spaniards. Today, most of the talk is about the Americans and the Russians. The holy Koran says: We shall see the periods of rise and fall as between nations, and that cycle draws attention to the universal law. What endures on earth is that which is beneficent for God's creatures.
"No man can today predict whether the proposal which these two great countries have sponsored and supported will prove beneficent or the contrary in its actual working.
"We much fear that the beneficence, if any, to which partition may lead will be small in comparison to the mischief which it might inaugurate. It totally lacks legal validity. We entertain no sense of grievance against those of our friends and fellow representatives who have been compelled, under heavy pressure, to change sides and to cast their votes in support of a proposal the justice and fairness of which do not commend themselves to them. Our feeling for them is one of sympathy that they should have been placed in a position of such embarrassment between their judgment and conscience, on the one side, and the pressure to which they and their Governments were being subjected, on the other.
"Pakistan desires to wash its hands of all responsibility for the decision that has just now been taken. It will, therefore, take no part in the election of the United Nations Commission which will be set up to implement that decision."
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the representative of Iraq.
Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): In San Francisco we had high hopes for the world. Today, those hopes are shattered. We always thought that, after all, humanity was a bulwark of peace and a bulwark of justice. Today, that faith is destroyed. We did our best during the last few weeks to expound the spirit and the letter of the Charter and apply it to Palestine. The fact that we failed to win your support is not the.result of a lack of good will on the part of the members of this Assembly. It was not due to a lack of understanding and appreciation on the part of most of you. On the contrary, we understand very well that it was great pressure and great influence that worked itself through UNSCOP, through the Ad Hoc Committee and through the General Assembly to direct the matter in a course which led to this conclusion.
We believe that the decision which we have now taken is a very serious one. It is one that undermines peace, justice and democracy. In the name of my Government, I wish to state that it feels that this decision is antidemocratic, illegal, impractical and contrary to the Charter. It contradicts the spirit and letter of the Charter. Therefore, in the name of my Government, I wish to put on record that Iraq does not recognize the validity of this decision, will reserve freedom of action towards its implementation, and holds those who were influential in passing it against the free conscience of mankind responsible for the consequences.
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the representative of Syria.
Amir ARSLAN (Syria) (translated from French): Even before the Assembly took this decision, I think that most of the delegations had suspected a dictatorial attitude. It is useless to speak about it at length, but as it is customary to allow those condemned to death to speak freely to their executioners, we shall address ourselves to ours.
Gentlemen, the Charter is dead. But it did not die a natural death; it was murdered, and you all know who is guilty.
My country will never recognize such a decision. It will never agree to be responsible for it. Let the consequences be on the heads of others, not on ours.
The PRESIDENT: I now call upon the representative of Yemen.
H. R. H. Prince Seif El ISLAM ABDULLAH (Yemen) (translated from Arabic): The Yemen delegation has stated previously that the partition plan is contrary to justice and to the Charter of the United Nations. Therefore, the Government of Yemen does not consider itself bound by such a decision for it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Charter. The Government of Yemen will reserve its freedom of action to-wards the implementation of this decision.
The PRESIDENT: In accordance with section B, paragraph 1 of the resolution contained in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, it is necessary for the General Assembly to select the members of the Commission. If it is agreeable to the members of the General Assembly, I propose that the following Member States be represented on the Commission: Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Panama and the Philippines. If there is no objection, I shall consider this Commission appointed.
The President's proposal was adopted and the Commission thus appointed.
The PRESIDENT: The General Assembly will now consider a draft resolution submitted by the Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee. I call upon the representative of Sweden, acting for the Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee.
Mr. HAGGLOF (Sweden): I wish to move the adoption of the following draft resolution:
"The General Assembly authorizes the Secretary-General to draw from the Working Capital Fund a sum not to exceed $2,000,000 for the purposes set forth in the last paragraph of the resolution on the future government of Palestine."
This draft resolution is a consequence of the resolution just adopted by the General Assembly.
The PRESIDENT: As there is no objection to this draft resolution, it is adopted.
The resolution was adopted.
128. Final report of the Credentials Committee
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the representative of Iran, who will present the report of the Credentials Committee.
Mr. ADL (Iran) (translated from French): The Credentials Committee appointed during the second session of the General Assembly to report on the credentials of representatives, met for the second time on 26 November 1947 at 2 p.m. in Conference Room A in the General Assembly Building at Flushing Meadow.
The Committee was composed of the representatives of Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Honduras, Iran, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Siam and the United Kingdom.
The Committee examined the documents submitted to the Secretariat by twenty States Members since the Committee's first meeting. It also examined the documents submitted by the new Members of the United Nations, namely, Pakistan and Yemen.
The Committee found that the credentials given to the representatives of the Governments of the following States Members fully satisfied the requirements of rule 20 of the General Assembly's provisional rules of procedure: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Greece, Iceland, Lebanon, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Syria, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The Committee notes that all the Governments of the States Members represented at the second session of the General Assembly of the United Nations submitted credentials which fully satisfy the requirements of the above-mentioned rule.
The PRESIDENT: As there is no objection, I shall consider the report of the Credentials Committee adopted.
The report of the Credentials Committee was adopted.
129. Closing speeches
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the representative of Poland.
Mr. LANCE (Poland): I do not think that we should close this session of the General Assembly without expressing our thanks to the President for the way in which he has carried out the very difficult task which we decided to place upon his shoulders.
I also want to express my thanks to the Secretary-General and to all the members of the Secretariat, who did not stint their time— whether day or night—in helping us to conduct our work. I want to express my thanks to all my fellow representatives for the co-operation they have shown during this General Assembly.
This General Assembly opened under what seemed to be rather bad auspices. However, I think it can claim credit for having performed a useful task and for a number of positive achievements. Our disagreements, I am sure, will be forgotten, but such positive achievements as we have agreed upon will go down in history. There was discord even at the last moment, even a few minutes ago. But I am sure that this discord, like others which were expressed at earlier stages of this session of General Assembly, will be dissolved by the course of history, and that we shall all find a way to carry out loyally, all the resolutions which we have adopted, in common agreement.
The PRESIDENT: I now call upon the representative of the United States.
Mr. AUSTIN (United States of America): President Aranha, you have brought great glory to the peace-loving and friendly Republic of Brazil, and you have added to the stature of your public character and increased your dignity and influence in the world by the manner in which you have taken this great ship of the United Nations General Assembly through the tempest and, amid great waves of emotion and passion, avoided those parliamentary rocks of disorder and disobedience. You have done this with such a gracious manner, with the expression of that kindness which animates you in all your relations, whether with the public or with individuals, and makes you one of our most charming and endeared friends.
I would not omit on such a memorable occasion as this to characterize your great service here in bringing to an expeditious dose this remarkable session of the General Assembly. Because you have, personally, from that high office which you now occupy, advanced the great cause of peace, you have taken us far toward the abolition of war. For these great achievements, we give you our thanks.
Mr. Secretary-General Lie, Mr. Executive Assistant Cordier, and all of you in the Secretariat, let me say on this occasion that, without bias or partisanship, our Secretary-General has nevertheless, with great energy and constant intelligent diligence, and with consideration for all our needs and our feelings, organized and performed the vast services necessary to make this General Assembly function.
I am not going to speak at great length, but in order to keep the record straight, I wish to direct attention at this moment to some of the work that is required to make a General Assembly function. The work of the Documents Division provides an excellent example of the tireless manner in which the Secretariat has worked to make our labours faster, easier, and more effective. I am informed that this Division produced for us 68 million impressions of more than 6,000 documents. This is an increase of 50 per cent over the workload of last year's General Assembly, and yet this enormous task was performed without delay by a staff 25 per cent smaller than last year. Our translators command our admiration and gratitude. The excellence of their work is recognized beyond the walls of this Assembly. One evening, a radio comedian was seeking to describe the hectic activity of one of his associates and he reached over here into the General Assembly to find an apt- illustration. He said that his friend was as busy as an interpreter for Mr. Vyshinsky.
The service provided here is impressive, but when we realize that at the same time the Secretariat has been servicing the Conference on International Trade at Havana, meetings in Geneva, a session of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East in the Philippines, and other activities such as the General Assembly's Balkan Commission, and the Security Council's Committee of Good Offices in Indonesia, we can then appreciate how well the structure of our Organization has been built and how ably it is being directed by Secretary-General Lie.
Let us talk about ourselves for a moment. This General Assembly has proved beyond question the vitality of the United Nations. If doubt existed in that regard, the debates which have taken place here should have removed that doubt. Some of the contents of those debates may be deplored, but its vigour cannot be criticized. Free men and free institutions can always survive the challenges that have been made here at this session. By accepting them, we increase our strength, our clarity of vision, and our determination to make the United Nations achieve those great goals: abolition of war and establishment of conditions of peace.
The representatives here on this floor have performed well their most important function; the clarification for the peoples of the world of the differences that exist between us, between the nations that we represent. We did not create those differences. If we had our way, we know that the great friendship that has grown up among us personally would prevent such differences from being created at aft. They come down to us through years of history. They are venerable differences. But this General Assembly did reveal them in a clearer light than before. That old gentleman, democracy, for example, came under the klieg lights and. had his countenance identified.
Understanding of differences is a first step towards a solution. We understand now better than before. We have taken a more accurate measure of our task, and our actions here have shown that we are choosing remedies adapted to the realities. Time will determine the wisdom of the decisions we have taken.
Who can say that we have solved our problems by our decisions? We can say that we have taken long, firm strides toward the hilltop of collective security on which alone they can be solved.
Such steps include, briefly recounted, inauguration of the headquarters agreement, the authorization of the Secretary-General to negotiate a loan from the United States for $65,000,000 for the headquarters, the approval of agreements establishing working relations with the World Health Organization, the International Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the International Postal Union and the International Telecommunications Union. This brings our specialized agencies up to the number of nine, and, remember, it is through these specialized agencies that we engage in the business of removing the causes of war.
We especially note the United Nations' advance in removing causes of war through its decisions regarding Greece, Korea and the Interim Committee. Progress of significance was made by establishing the International Law Commission and assigning to it two functions: first, to codify those principles of the law that were applied to individuals as well as to countries and Governments and guide the Nuremberg and Far Eastern War Tribunals; secondly, the reference to the International Court of Justice of certain questions.
After the experience of this afternoon, are we not beginning to believe more unanimously than we did before that this great International Court of Justice will help us to solve some of our problems, so that we may not break up with a feeling of emotion such as we have had expressed here by a few of the members?
As the host country saying farewell to you, our fellow-representatives, we wish to assure you of our appreciation for the honour which you have done us in accepting our invitation. In perfect good humour, we say to you that we shall always remember this General Assembly because some of you have criticized us most severely, both collectively and individually, and we say to you in parting: There is no ill-feeling on our part; in fact, we have to thank you for accomplishing something which we could not perhaps have accomplished alone.
You probably do not realize how much you thereby consolidated the public opinion of the people of the United States of America in support of the principles and policies of the United Nations being carried out through the United States in the form of the Marshall Flan and other activities.
I think of the storms through which we have ridden in the words of that mountain-boy song, only a line of which I remembered while one of these events was occurring. This line was: "Bend your head low and hear the wind blow."
We express the continuing friendship of the host delegation to all the representatives. We know that every Member State is determined to prevent war and promote peace, no matter what has been said here in this rather turbulent debate. This great objective binds us so firmly in the United Nations that our differences regarding methods shall not separate us. Even such an emotional demonstration as we have witnessed here within the hour cannot separate us in the United Nations.
We will see you in Europe, and in the meantime our Lady of Liberty down here in the harbour will hold aloft her torch, beckoning you back to our shores and giving you the welcome of a people who will be glad indeed to have you here again.
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the representative of Argentina.
Mr. COROMFNAS (Argentina) (translated from Spanish): A few minutes ago this hall resounded with applause in honour of the resolute and unflagging efforts of President Aranha throughout this session of the General Assembly.
The applause was a tribute to an individual, but by extension it was also a tribute to his country, and perhaps by inference a tribute to all the countries congregated here to try to find a peaceful solution to the many problems with which the world is faced.
This tribute which all the delegations are paying you, Mr. President, is a fraternal greeting to the Republic of Brazil and is also a guarantee that the fifty-seven sister nations here assembled will always stand together in the work of strengthening the United Nations Charter and world peace, maintaining international security and ensuring the tranquillity of future generations.
Some days ago, President Aranha spoke of the need to replace the "cold war", which seemed to be a new form of discord among men, by a "cold peace" which could only be brought about by a closer understanding between individuals and peoples. The "cold war" separates men and separates hearts. It leads us from verbal disagreements to the clash of arms. "Cold peace" is the fruit of intelligence placed at the service of mankind. "Cold peace" is the use of words to create mutual respect and cordiality among men, enabling us, whatever our position or work in life, and wherever we may be, to build and strengthen hi our daily relationships, a real common ground for an anxious and distressed mankind, which aspires to live in peace and social tranquillity.
We might do well to keep in mind the "cold peace" of which President Aranha spoke and try to give form to that policy of tireless persuasion which is unquestionably the way to build up proper relationships between nations.
From the four corners of the earth, representatives of the peoples came to New York bearing messages of cordiality and peace; and it is clear that although some seats are empty this afternoon, the spirit of those who occupied them remains and the delegations of all fifty-seven nations are here to reaffirm their will to work for world peace.
I believe that we are standing in the path of history and on that path no one can go backward. Often those who do not believe that the world moves on, because they are unwilling to move on themselves, fail to recognize the march of the centuries. Others who wish to go fast do not think the world is going fast enough. But always, inexorably, whatever the moods and passions of men, whatever the dyke that holds back those passions, the world continues its slow but certain course towards its destiny. And that destiny is eternal happiness, it is the epitome of the Christian ideal, it is here in these open debates, spirited, difficult, fierce, bitter, sometimes transcending the power of words, but always proving in the end, when all the arguments, the committee discussions, the Assembly, are over, that all of us have been defending, with creative zeal, the common aspirations of the men of tomorrow.
In saluting you, Mr. President, as the one who has best interpreted the feelings of this Assembly, in saluting you on behalf of my people, my Government and my own feelings, you who have so finely interpreted the aspirations of this' historic Assembly, I voice the hope that future generations will be able to continue these discussions in peace, and that this century, already shaken by two terrible wars, will never again see bloodshed in any part of the world. I am confident that we shall find in our hands, our bodies, our feelings, and our love of right and justice, the essential elements to build a real and lasting peace; that this century will end in peace and that as we near its conclusion, we shall be able to bequeath to future generations another and happier century, a century of respect and peace, democracy and right, progressive spirit and international happiness.
The PRESIDENT: I call upon the Secretary-General.
Mr. LIE (Secretary-General): More than ten weeks of intensive work lie behind the representatives of the fifty-seven Member States as the second session of the General Assembly of the United Nations comes to a close.
Not a single day has been wasted. Meetings have been held morning, afternoon and evening. I am astonished at the amount of energy and strength which has been expended in going through the longest agenda which an international organization has ever had. Not everybody has been aware of the important fact that the United Nations, as Mr. Austin just mentioned, as it exists today, is in all respects much larger than any other international organization which has existed previously.
The vast amount of work which the General Assembly has accomplished during these weeks has been made possible, to some degree, by a great improvement in our technical apparatus. Without the modernization which has been accomplished by introducing simultaneous interpretation, such a General Assembly as this might have lasted four or five months instead of ten weeks. Nevertheless, I had hoped that this General Assembly would be able to finish its work One or two weeks sooner than it has. I hope the President will excuse me for saying that this might have happened if the length of speeches had not tended to increase in proportion to the economy of time which we achieved through the use of simultaneous interpretation.
As this session of the General Assembly ends, I want, first and foremost, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, who has been working daily with the President, to thank Mr. Oswaldo Aranha. I think we all agree that he stands as a shining example to all of us who have worked with him. His firm and honest character and his consideration for all the members of the Secretariat will be remembered.
For all of us who have come to know him, he will always remain a great son of Brazil and of all South America, and a genuine representative of the ideals of the United Nations.
I should also like to thank all those who have expressed themselves in a friendly and considerate manner regarding the Secretariat and its work during the general debate in the plenary sessions, in the Fifth Committee during the discussions of the budget, and again here today. We have heard criticism, too; that is natural in a parliamentary organization. Still, the criticism has been constructive and positive. I assure you that during the coming year we will take to heart both those things for which we have been thanked and those things for which we have been criticized.
The end of the second session of the General Assembly of the United Nations coincides with the first meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers which met earlier this week in London. It is fitting, particularly in view of the experience which we have had during this session of the General Assembly, once more to express the earnest hope that the Foreign Ministers of the four Powers will achieve real progress toward the conclusion of the major peace treaties.
It would be improper and useless to try to disguise the fact that the second session of the General Assembly has been dominated by the differences which exist between the East and the West—between the very Powers which originally took responsibility for bringing the United Nations into being. It cannot be repeated too often that the United Nations was founded on the assumption that the major powers would be in substantial agreement with one another. It is clear for all the world to see that our Organization can accomplish its tasks, as laid down by the Charter, only if the great Powers, and consequently the other nations included in our membership, can work together with a reasonable degree of harmony. Agreement on the peace treaties with Germany, Austria and later, Japan would mark a further step toward conciliation and agreement on other questions.
During this year's session of the General Assembly there have been more political issues between the great Powers and fewer agreements on these issues than there were during the last session of the General Assembly held in 1946. Nevertheless, a vast amount of work has been accomplished. When I look at the record of votes on all the decisions made at this session, I find that unanimity has been the rule, not the exception. It is a striking fact that the General Assembly continued to move closer to the ideal of unanimity than most national parliaments and legislatures despite much wider divergencies among the Members.
The worst unresolved differences between the majority and the minority have arisen over, the issues of the Interim Committee, the Special Committee on the Greek Question and the Temporary Commission for Korea. All these proposals have been adopted by large majorities, but in each case the minority has refused to accept the decision and has announced its intention of refusing to participate in carrying it out.
On the other hand, the principal parties to these controversies have joined together in a serious effort to work out a plan for Palestine.
The sharpest debate which has taken place in this General Assembly concerned war propaganda; but this debate has resulted in the unanimous adoption of recommendations directed toward better understanding and greater friendship among all the peoples of the United Nations. These resolutions do more than condemn war propaganda and slanderous statements made about other Member nations. They are positive measures. They request the Members States to promote friendship among the nations in accordance with the principles of the Charter and by all available means of publicity and propaganda; to encourage the spreading of information expressing the universal desire for peace.
Another important recommendation invites all Member States to encourage the teaching of the Charter, organization and activities of the United Nations to all school children. If these resolutions are loyally carried out, they will contribute greatly to building what is, in the long run, the only firm foundation for lasting peace—an informed and effective public opinion.
I regret that the General Assembly's preoccupation with political and constitutional differences has resulted in little attention being given to the great and pressing economic problems that beset most of the world at the present time. Nevertheless, further progress has been made in setting in order the vast interlocking machinery of the United Nations that has been created to deal with these problems: its Economic and Social Council and its Commissions and the specialized agencies. This world-wide machinery has been created because the Member States recognize that a lasting solution of these problems can be found only by full international co-operation on a world-wide basis. It is to be hoped that, in the coming year, they will make the fullest possible use of the Organization's machinery, which they themselves have established for their common benefit.
The General Assembly has made progress in fulfilling Charter obligations toward dependent peoples. The Trusteeship System has been strengthened. New provisions for reporting by the responsible Powers on the progress of all dependent peoples and for evaluation of these reports have been adopted. The General Assembly has also acted in other fields to bring about a better implementation of the Charter and of its own recommendations. The Secretary-General has been requested to report on what Member States have done toward carrying out all recommendations on economic and social matters before the next session. Member States have been specifically requested to report on action in behalf of refugees, on education regarding the United Nations, and on other matters. Since the General Assembly, as a rule, does not have the power to enforce its decisions, the building up of such a system of responsibility through world opinion, by means of regular reporting, is new and important. It will increase the moral force behind the acts of the General Assembly.
Adoption of the plans for financing and building the permanent headquarters in Manhattan was another demonstration of unanimity by the General Assembly. The buildings will be constructed to last a century. This unanimous act of faith in the permanence of the United Nations may serve to create confidence in some places where confidence has been lacking. A further source of confidence may be found in the records of our debates, which show that all sides hi the disputes over constitutional issues agreed on one all-important point. They reaffirmed their support of the Charter and their desire to strengthen the Organization.
I am sure that all of us — representatives and members of the Secretariat alike — are glad that we have reached the end of the session.
But the work of the United Nations is only beginning and therefore our work in the cause of the United Nations is not ended, nor even interrupted. The work of the United Nations will go on everywhere: in the government offices and parliaments to which many of the members of this Assembly will now return; at Lake Success and Geneva and wherever else an organ of the United Nations is at work; it will affect the daily lives of all the tens of millions of people in whose name we serve.
I am confident that out of all this work we shall be able to achieve real progress towards a more securely peaceful world in the ten months before we meet again in Europe for the third session of the General Assembly.
The PRESIDENT: I confess to all of you that I am really in one of the most difficult moments of my presidency. I cannot rule now and I cannot use my gavel I have to use my heart, and to express what is in my heart would be possible only in my own language. Even in Portuguese, however, it will be difficult for me to express the deep gratitude I owe to all of you — to the representatives, to the audience, and especially to Mr. Lange, Mr. Austin, Mr. Corominas and Mr. Trygve Lie for the tributes which I did not deserve but which I received this afternoon as a real personal consecration which will make my life, for myself and for my own people, so much more worthy than it really is.
I will not attempt to make a speech, hut, in fulfilment of my duties, I will proceed to render an account of our work. The record of this General Assembly has surpassed by far that of previous sessions. The work has been strenuous and difficult. Forty-nine plenary meetings were held, four hundred and forty-seven Committee and Sub-Committee meetings took place, and ninety-four resolutions were adopted. No efforts were spared, whether by the delegations or by representatives individually. All was done that could be done. We worked practically seven days a week and often far into the night. Our only pastime was work.
A large share of the credit for the success of our task is due to the Secretariat. We are greatly indebted to Mr. Trygve Lie. He has demonstrated during his tenure of office, amidst the difficulties of all kinds that beset every new enterprise, not only foresight, a high sense of duty and a steadfast devotion to the cause of our Organization; but also a gift of statesmanship which has gained our growing esteem and confidence. He has been a great servant of peace.
A special tribute of appreciation is due Mr. Andrew Cordier for his able and unfailing assistance to me especially and to the General Assembly.
We have felt at this session that the machinery at our disposal could not have worked better than it did. The simultaneous interpretation system, staffed by efficient and devoted personnel, was a really great improvement. The heavy burden which your generosity laid upon my shoulders was considerably lightened by the splendid co-operation constantly given me by everyone, and especially by the Vice-President.
The work of the General Assembly was facilitated by the masterly way in which the Chairmen and the Rapporteurs of the various Committees conducted their work. I am sorry that time will not allow me to call by name and to thank personally each and every one of those whose co-operation will remain in my memory as part of one of the most gratifying periods of my life.
The material work, however absorbing and , exhausting, was far less so than the responsibilities undertaken. They put to the test all our reserves of discernment, patience, goodwill, conciliation and vision.
This session of the General Assembly, even more than the preceding one, had the merit of exposing" world problems and of compelling their definition. It was featured by frankness, by explicitness, by a necessary and courageous approach to realities which were formerly kept under diplomatic wraps and shrouded in political conveniences. Such is the principal mission of the United Nations: to unveil truth and to face reality, so that its actions will be properly guided in the maintenance of peace and the security of peoples.
Those who do not yet believe in the work of our Organization or who doubt the immediate and future results of the action of the General Assembly are victims of self-deceit, for the United .Nations and the principles embodied in its Charter admit of no denial.
This Organization can only be a meeting ground for men of good will and nations of good faith. We have no room for those who refuse to believe, to hope and to understand. Civilization and culture owe nothing to indifference and scepticism. Peace can be maintained only by those who cling to good and never surrender to evil.
This session of the General Assembly has laid bare the struggles, the divergencies, the misgivings and rivalries that beset the world today. But these were not created by the United Nations. On the contrary, this Organization was created to seek a better solution for such conflicts and maladjustments in international life. They did not arise in our generation, nor will they be corrected within our life span. The nature of-these facts is too complex to admit of facile or improvised solutions. It calls for a slow evolutionary process rather than abrupt decision. Foresight and patient labour alone can win back the ground lost in the past. The realization of these facts was one of the major achievements of this session of the General Assembly.
This General Assembly therefore represented a searching of world conscience through the conscience of each and every one of the Members of the United Nations.
It is also beyond doubt that the notion of democracy itself, through our debates and these resolutions, acquired clearer and better defined aspects, capable of favouring a conciliatory conception halfway between the extremes in which contemporary political thought is struggling.
The ban on the use of majorities as a weapon for the oppression of minorities is the very foundation of democracy. I do not exclude our submission to the necessity of the concurrent votes of the five permanent members of the Security Council in special cases governed by the Charter. But I believe that, just as we accept this rule, the permanent members must equally accept the majority decisions. It would be an indefensible contradiction to reject the decision of the majority and, at the same time, to demand respect for the veto of the five permanent members. My feeling is that both systems are necessary and that they should function together for the improvement of our Organization.
Another aspect of our resolution which, in my opinion, was highly significant was the growing tendency of the General Assembly to resort to the International Court of Justice for clarification of the legal aspects of many doubts which still exist in our interpretation of the Charter and even in its application.
The validity of the resolution adopted on the Greek and Korean Questions may be challenged, and such challenges are worthy of our consideration. Although we believe in the sincerity of the objections, the significance of these resolutions must not be viewed in the light of these specific cases alone, but as a norm which is applied today to Greece and Korea, and which tomorrow may, likewise be applied to protect different regimes in other countries.
The approval of the agreements with our specialized agencies was a significant part of our work which I feel I should mention here. The execution of the Marshall Plan, a service offered to humanity by the American people and quite in keeping with Articles 55 and 56 of our Charter, may call for the collaboration of these agencies and of the United Nations itself, if such an arrangement be advisable, as everything appears to indicate.
The establishment of the Headquarters Committee, at the opening session of which I had the honour to preside, is worthy of special mention. As President, it is my.duty and my pleasure to extend congratulations to Ambassador Warren Austin and to Mr. Trygve Lie on the success of their efforts toward securing,, under very satisfactory conditions, the loan which has made it possible for the Committee to begin its task of constructing our future headquarters.
The Interim Committee is a new experiment, a transitory agency with moderating functions. Radical objections have been raised to its creation. It is my hope that these doubts and reservations will be dispelled once it enters into operation within its restricted grant of authority. I always believe in efforts which aim to facilitate a mature and extended analysis of our problems before they are brought to the final consideration of the General Assembly.
I feel sure that I speak for the General Assembly in extending to the Governments of India and of the Union of South Africa, headed by two great leaders of modern political thought, an appeal that they continue their efforts with a view to reaching an amicable agreement and settling their dispute through a round-table conference, and I trust that then- goodwill and sound judgment will guide them toward a fair solution of the problem.
The resolution on Spain adopted by the First Committee, was subsequently altered by the General Assembly, and the reaffirmation of our previous decision failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds vote. By recommending that its principles be respected and observed, this Organization does not intend to stifle the spirit of nations, but rather to help them to conquer an evil from which no benefit can come to any people and from which destruction may come to all peoples.
Although I have had no influence over our deliberation on Palestine either during this session of the General Assembly or during the special session, since my duty as President hi both cases imposed a neutral attitude, now, as President of this memorable General Assembly, I cannot but concur and express my confidence in this bold and historic experiment made by the United Nations.
Time will not allow me to enter into further details of our work. You who participated in it are conscious of its value, but it is necessary that the world, from which we have received our mandate to maintain peace, be made aware of our efforts and achievements. Among the outstanding gains of this General Assembly was the growing influence, of the opinion of the small States. The freedom and equal standing of nations, was one of the milestones of our progress during this session. Another notable feature was the concessions made by the great Powers to the small nations in favour of an ever greater extension of the Trusteeship System.
The Council of Foreign Ministers is now meeting in London. May they be guided on the right path to peace, in order that we may adopt the decisions necessary for its maintenance and so fulfil the task entrusted to us by nearly all the peoples of the world. Our future cannot lie at the mercy of the misunderstanding of Governments, however powerful. It is possible, in the meantime, that setbacks will occur in the rhythm of our work because the effects of the last war will continue to disturb the maintenance of peace and the establishment of its foundation.
But the United Nations will overcome the errors of any nation or any group of nations, I do not fear for its future, but rather for the future of those who will not understand it and accept its dictates and the supremacy of the Charter of San Francisco. Indeed, they run the risk of turning world opinion against themselves and they will go the way of fascism. All idea of force is today obsolete and negative. The old order, based on political power, is trying to survive, but there is no longer room for predominance through force. The United Nations stands for the new order, based on peaceful accord* on understanding, on free discussion, on free decision and on the common and equal responsibility of peoples. It is the organ of world public opinion. The world to which we all aspire can only be constructed by the United Nations.
Before I close this session, I should like to call your attention to the fact that this post-war period has not been marked by armed conflicts such as those which occurred in the period following the Peace of Versailles. Ours is a different era. We cannot, therefore, apply methods and procedures of bygone times to the problems of today. We have to live according to our times, with our minds turned to the future and not to the past. Our close contact with international political life leads to no forecast of a world war in the near future. The world seeks, however, new forms of political, economic and social integration in which the contest of ideas will supersede the clash of arms. The status quo is no longer possible. A new reality is arising in our days, to which we must impart the spirit of the United Nations, the only conception capable of ensuring peace, solidarity, dignity and equality for all peoples. Our action should not be post factum. Our task is one of foresight and of organized prevention to eliminate the factors capable of disturbing world order and to evolve policies which will bring that order within the grasp of all peoples.
It is our duty not only to do away with all causes of war by all the means at our disposal, but also to lay the economic, political and social bases for peace.
This General Assembly has shown an enlightened understanding of this task, and for this reason the decisions of this General Assembly will go on record as a memorable contribution toward the peaceful and constructive solution of world problems.
I wish to extend my thanks to everyone who has participated in this General Assembly. The second session of the General Assembly is closed. I trust that the third session, in the coming year, will be a step as great as ours has been toward the maintenance of peace and international security.
The meeting rose at 7 p.m
NOTE. The texts of documents marked with an asterisk have been amended in accordance with the relevant corrigenda.
Provisional agenda for the second regular session
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE
Document A/392* 22 September 1947
[Original text: English]
ESTABLISHMENT OF AD HOC COMMITTEES AND PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS
Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question
The General Committee has examined the provisional agenda, the supplementary list of items and requests for the inclusion of additional items, and considers that the work load will be unevenly distributed among the Main Committees of the Assembly, and that the time required by some of them to complete their agenda will be considerably longer than that required by others. , This situation is most serious in the case of the First Committee, which will have an extremely heavy agenda. In order to divide the work load more equally, the General Committee recommends the establishment of an ad hoc committee on the Palestinian question, on which each member of the General Assembly shall have the right to be represented, to consider and report to the General Assembly on any items on the agenda relating to Palestine.
Ad Hoc Committee on Headquarters
The General Committee also recommends that the General Assembly shall establish an ad hoc committee consisting of the members of the Advisory Committee on Headquarters set up under the terms of resolution 100 (I) of 14 December 1946 to consider the report of the Secretary-General on the permanent headquarters of the United Nations.
The ad hoc committee on headquarters shall re-port to the General Assembly on questions of general design, plans and requirements for official buildings and other necessary facilities, while questions of cost and financial arrangements shall be referred by the ad hoc committee to the Fifth Committee for report to the General Assembly.
The General Committee therefore recommends that the ad hoc committee shall consist of the following members: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Greece, India, Norway, Poland, Syria, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, -United Kingdom, United States of America and Yugoslavia.
Programme of meetings
The following arrangements, which had been tentatively made by the Secretary-General, are recommended to the General Assembly by the General Committee:
(a) Plenary meetings will be held at the General Assembly Hall at Flushing Meadow. The Committees of the General Assembly will meet in the committee rooms at the interim headquarters at Lake Success.
(b) Plenary and committee meetings will normally be scheduled for 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
(c) It is proposed that a six day working week be established.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The General Committee has considered the provisional agenda for the second regular session (document A/329), the supplementary list of items (document A/369), two additional items proposed by the United States of America (document A/BUR/85), and an additional item proposed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (document A/BUR/86).
The following items gave rise to discussion during the meetings and the recommendations of the General Committee thereon are recorded below.
Item 13 of the provisional agenda: reports from the specialized agencies
The General Committee took note of the fact that the Economic and Social Council had, at its last session, agreed not to consider the reports received from the specialized agencies until February 1948. The Committee felt that it would be more appropriate for the General Assembly to study these reports after they had been considered by the appropriate organ of the United Nations, and therefore recommends to the General Assembly that this item should not be included in the agenda.
Item 24 of the provisional agenda: convocation of a general conference under Article 109 of the Charter to abolish the privilege of the veto
The General Committee, by 9 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions, recommends to the General Assembly that this item, amended by the substitution of the word "amend" for "abolish", be included in the agenda.
Item 32 of the provisional agenda: proposal to increase the membership of the Economic and Social Council to twenty-four The General Committee, by 7 votes to 4, with 3
abstentions, recommends the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
Item 1 of the supplementary list: protection of the rights of the General Assembly in relation to the admission of new Members The General Committee, by 10 votes to 3, with 1 abstention, recommends the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
Item 2 of the supplementary list: resolution granting Pakistan and India full membership within the United Nations
The representative of Argentina withdrew the request made by his Government for the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
Item 3 of the supplementary list: resolution of the second part of the first session of the General Assembly in relation to the exercise of the veto in the Security Council and the extent to which the recommendations contained in that resolution have been carried out The General Committee, by 11 votes to 2, with 1 abstention, recommends the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
Item 4 of the supplementary list: threats to …political independence and territorial integrity of … Greece
The General Committee, by 12 votes to 2 recommends the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
Item 5 of the supplementary list: Peace Treaty with Italy
The representatives of Argentina and Honduras amended this item to read as follows: "Suggestions to the countries concerned with the Peace Treaty with Italy"
The representative of Ecuador withdrew the item proposed by his Government.
The Committee, by 4 votes to 2, with 8 abstentions, recommends the inclusion of the item as amended hi the agenda.
Item 13 of the supplementary list: draft charter of international human rights and duties
The Secretary-General notified the Committee that he had received a recommendation from the delegation of Ecuador requesting him to transmit to the Commission on Human Rights of the Economic and Social Council the draft charter of international human rights submitted by the Government of : (Ecuador (document A/341).
The General Committee therefore recommends ;that this item should not be included in the agenda.
Item 14 of the supplementary list: draft charter of the duties and rights of States
The delegation of Ecuador had informed the Secretary-General that the draft charter on the duties and rights of States (document A/340) should be considered as embodying die comments and observations of the Government of Ecuador in accordance with the recommendation of resolution 38 (I) adopted by the General Assembly on 11 December 1946, relative to die draft declaration on die rights and duties of States presented by Panama.
The General Committee therefore recommends to die General Assembly that this item should not be included in the agenda.
Item proposed by the United States of America: establishment of an interim committee of the General Assembly on peace and security
The General Committee, by 12 votes to 2, recommends the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
Item proposed by the United States of America: the problem of the independence of Korea The General Committee, by 12 votes to 2, recommends the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
Item proposed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: measures to be taken against propaganda and the inciters of a new war
The Committee unanimously recommends the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
Note. The list of items recommended by die General Committee and adopted by the General Assembly for the agenda of the second session is published on pages LI to LV of die introduction to this volume.
TIME LIMIT FOR THE SUBMISSION OF NEW ITEMS
The General Committee recommends to the General Assembly that the time limit for the submission of new items for inclusion in the agenda be midnight on Monday, 29 September 1947.
ALLOCATION OF AGENDA ITEMS TO COMMITTEES
Note. The allocation of agenda items to committees, recommended by the General Committee, is published in the volume of Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, second session.
The General Committee recommends that the General Assembly authorize the Second and Third Committees to refer to an eventual Joint Second and Third Committee any items on their respective agendas which they would wish to have considered by that Committee.
Item 11 of the supplementary list: recommendations to be made with a view to preventing the dissemination with regard to foreign States of slanderous reports which are harmful to good relations between States and contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations: item proposed by Yugoslavia The General Committee recommends, by 8 votes to 3, with 3 abstentions, that this item be considered by the Third Committee.
Item 17 of the supplementary list: recommendations to be made to ensure the surrender of war criminals, traitors and quislings to the States where their crimes were committed: item proposed by Yugoslavia
The General Committee recommends, by 10 votes to 4, that this item be referred to the Sixth Committee.
The General Committee, having considered the suggestion of the Norwegian delegation (document A/BUR/87) that the committee considering item 7 on the supplementary list: "agreements with specialized agencies", should request the Fifth Committee to express its opinion on these agreements, expressed the view that this request might more appropriately be presented to the committee dealing with the question.
Item 29 of the provisional agenda: draft convention on genocide
The General Committee recommends, that this item be referred to the Sixth Committee.
SECOND REPORT OF THE GENERAL COMMITTEE
Document A/392/Add.2 29 September 1947
[Original text: English]
The General Committee on 29 September considered the question of the allocation to a committee of the report of the Committee on Procedures and Organization (item 15 (a) of the agenda for the second regular session).
The General Committee, after having considered the draft resolution proposed by the Committee on Procedures and Organization in its report, agreed (the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics abstaining) to recommend to fat General Assembly the adoption of the following resolution in substitution for that proposed in the report (document A/388).
"The General Assembly
"1. Refers to the Sixth Committee part III of the report of the Committee on Procedures and Organization for consideration and report as soon as possible;
"2. Refers to the Fifth Committee chapter VII (Administrative and Budgetary Questions), chapter IX (Languages), and chapter X (Records) of the provisional rules of procedure, and any recommendations of the Advisory Committee on administrative and budgetary questions thereon;
"3. Instructs the Fifth Committee to submit to the Sixth Committee its recommendations, if any, for the revision of these chapters so that the Sixth Committee can make the rules of these chapters consistent in form and language with the other rules of the revised provisional rules of procedure;
"4. Instructs the Sixth Committee to submit its recommendations, if any, on revisions of chapters IX and X for incorporation into the provisional rules of procedure;
"5. Instructs the Sixth Committee to submit to the General Assembly its recommendations on the revision of the provisional rules of procedure early enough before the conclusion of the second session to ensure their full consideration; and
"6. Requests its President, in consultation with the General Committee, to consider means of carrying out the recommendations and suggestions contained in part II of the report of the Committee on Procedures and Organization, and to report to the General Assembly thereon from time to time at his discretion."
Notification from the Secretary-General to the President of the General Assembly pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Charter
Document A/389 16 September 1947
[Original text: English]
LETTER OF TRANSMISSION
In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Charter, and with the consent of the Security Council, I have the honour to send you herewith die notification to the General Assembly listing matters relative to the maintenance of international peace and security which are being dealt with by the Security Council and also matters with which the Council has ceased to deal.
At its two hundred and second meeting on 15 September 1947, the Security Council resolved that the dispute between Greece on the one hand and Albania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria on the other should be taken off the list of matters of which the Council is seized. The Greek question has, therefore, been deleted from the list of matters being dealt with by the Security Council as set forth in the "Summary statement by the Secretary-General of matters of which the Security Council is seized and of the stage reached in their consideration", dated 5 September 1947, and added to those matters with I which the Security Council has ceased to deal.
(Signed) Trygve Lie
16 September 1947
In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Charter, and with the consent of the Security Council, I have the honour to notify the General Assembly of matters relative to the maintenance of international peace and security which are being dealt with by the Security Council and also of matters with which the Security Council has ceased to deal.
The matters which are being dealt with by the Security Council, as set forth in the "Summary statement by the Secretary-General of matters of which the Security Council is seized and of the stage reached in their consideration", dated 5 September 1947, are as follows:
1. The general regulation and reduction of armaments and information on armed forces of the United Nations.
2. Special agreements under Article 43 of the Charter and the organization of the armed forces to be made available to the Security Council.
3. The Indonesian question.
4. The Egyptian question.
5. The Iranian question.
6. Appointment of a Governor of the Free Territory of Trieste.
The matters with which the Security Council has ceased to deal, since the second part of the first session of the General Assembly, are as follows:
1. The establishment of the Free Territory of Trieste (raised by letter, dated 12 December 1946, from the Chairman of the Council of Foreign Ministers addressed to the Secretary-General).
2. The United Kingdom complaint against Albania regarding incidents in the Corfu Channel.
3. The first report of the Atomic Energy Commission.
4. The Greek question.
Admission of Yemen and Pakistan to membership in the United Nations
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE
Rapporteur: Mr. P. FEDERSPIEL (Denmark).
Document A/399 25 September 1947
[Original text: English]
The General Assembly on 23 September 1947 decided to refer to the First Committee the resolution of the Security Council on the admission of new Members to the United Nations (document A/350) for consideration and report.
The First Committee considered the recommendation of the Security Council on the admission of Yemen and Pakistan on 24 September 1947. The representative of Australia proposed a resolution recommending that the General Assembly admit Yemen and Pakistan to membership in the United Nations and this resolution was unanimously approved by the Committee.
The First Committee, therefore, recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of the resolutions contained in the present report.
Note: The text of this resolution is published in .Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, second session, resolution 108 (II).
In connexion with the admission of Pakistan, certain legal questions were raised by the representative of Argentina and discussed by the Committee. It was decided on the motion of die representative of Australia "that the legal problem raised by the representative of Argentina be referred to the Legal Committee for consideration and report".
On the suggestion of the representative of Chile it was further agreed that in the view of the Committee the opinion eventually delivered by the Legal Committee would have no bearing on the recommendation of the Committee concerning the admission of Pakistan, but was for use in future cases only.
1/ See Official Records of the second session of the General Assembly, Supplement No. 11,