10 Hood to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UNSCOP 12 GENEVA, 28 August 1947, 6.37 p.m.


1. Our UNSCOP.9. Views in Committee have now finally emerged as follows-for partition plus economic union seven, for federation three (India, Iran, Yugoslavia), without commitment to either proposal Australia. The Australian attitude was outlined as follows-that in accordance with the terms of reference and with undoubted intention of the special assembly the primary obligation of the committee was that of a recording, reporting and fact- finding body, that even had there been something like unanimity on the particular solution the Assembly would have been entitled to receive in the report a discussion of other possible solutions, that in the present situation such considerations applied even more strongly and that it was essential that the report should present to the Assembly the whole range of arguments covered in the committee's discussions in such form as to enable the Assembly to review the question as a whole and to make its own determination. We stated that in these circumstances we saw no necessity to indicate now a preference for one proposed arrangement over another; the final determination could only be in the hands of the Assembly which alone was the competent body to decide what was workable and what was not workable in the light of all factors including political factors many of which were beyond the committee's scope.

2. There was a strong move on the part of some members including the chairman to let the matter go forward in the form of a majority and [a] minority report but with the help of the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia we succeeded in getting adopted the view that the report would go forward as a whole with a full discussion of the two main alternatives on which the delegates, if they so desired, could record their preference in the body of the report.

3. The report will also contain a chapter setting out certain matters on which common ground agreement has been found in the committee, for example, the termination of mandate and granting of independence at the earliest practicable date, rejection of extreme solutions, United Nations responsibility during a transitional period, holy places and religious interests, increased but controlled Jewish immigration in transitional period, special action by the Assembly with regard to Jewish displaced persons as a whole as a means of alleviating the Palestine problem.

4. I recommend that we be enabled to sign the report in the above form adding if necessary a statement reserving our position with regard to the two main alternative proposals on the lines referred to in paragraph two. The report will probably come up for signature on 1st September so should be glad to receive any comments immediately.

[AA : A1838, 852/19/1/1]