18 Department of External Affairs to Gordon Walker

Cablegram 65, CANBERRA, 11 March 1948, 5.15 p.m.

SECRET

Palestine.

Your telegram No. 75 of 5th March.

We are glad to receive the assurance that the United Kingdom has endeavoured to impress upon the Arabs their responsibility towards the Middle East as a whole and towards Palestine in particular. We regret, however, that the United Kingdom does not see its way clear to adopt a similar attitude in treaty negotiations with the Egyptian and other Governments. For our part we regard our commitments to the United Nations as the overriding factor in our foreign policy and from the point of view of British Commonwealth interests in the Middle East no greater mistake could be made than prejudicing in any way successful fulfilment of the United Nations decision in respect of Palestine.

2. It would be a welcome example of the sincerity of the Western Powers' stated respect for the United Nations if the United Kingdom were able to persuade the Arab States that they should not obstruct the implementation of the General Assembly's recommendations.

3. For these reasons, while we are aware that the United Kingdom did not support the Assembly's recommendation for the partition of Palestine, we hope the United Kingdom will not fail to assist in securing the implementation of the decision of the majority of members of the United Nations.

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