28 Hood to Burton

Cablegram UN322, NEW YORK, 15 April 1948, 10.39 p.m.

SECRET CONFIDENTIAL

My UN328. PALESTINE.

1. From varied discussions prior to the opening of the Special Assembly I can find little real support at this stage for the United States Trusteeship Plan or justification for American confidence that the plan would go through. This is largely due to the imprecision of proposals and to doubt whether even at this point the plan has the solid backing of all United States Departments concerned. From further details now received it appears proposals place no time limit on the term of trusteeship or have anything more specific to suggest as regards enforcement than that responsibility should lie jointly with the United States, United Kingdom and France. At the same time Austin is saying privately that United States is still committed to partition.

2. As a result many Delegations have lost confidence in the United States initiative in the whole matter. On present improvisions, a definite line followed through by smaller powers would be welcomed. Apart from other considerations Australian attitude should have, in particular, substantial support on this ground.

[matter omitted]

5. In a short talk today on passing on the message contained in your 188[1] Trygve Lie said he found the Australian attitude most encouraging. He thought credit of the United Nations had never been lower than at present and it was essential and Palestine should not be allowed to lower its authority further.

[1] Dispatched 15 April 1948. Burton asked Hood to assure Lie that Australia supported his statement of 12 April in which Lie said that the United Nations was the only way to peace. Burton suggested that Hood use Lie's words in his statement.

[AA : A1838, 852/20/2, V]