19 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN257, NEW YORK, 19 March 1948, 6.42 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

1. Statement to be made by Austin in the Security Council this afternoon.

'1. The plan proposed by the General Assembly[1] is an integral plan which cannot succeed unless each of its parts can be carried out. There seems to be general agreement that the plans cannot now be implemented by peaceful means.

2. We believe that further steps must be taken immediately not only to maintain the peace but also to afford a further opportunity to reach an agreement between the interested parties regarding the future Government of Palestine. To this end we believe that a temporary trusteeship for Palestine should be established under the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. Such a United Nations trusteeship would be without prejudice to the rights and claims of position of the parties concerned or to the character of the eventual political settlement, which we hope can be achieved without long delay. In our opinion the Security Council should recommend the establishment of such a Trusteeship to the General Assembly and to the mandatory power. This would require an immediate special session of the General Assembly, which the Security Council should request the Secretary-General to convoke under Article 20 of the Charter.

3. Pending the meeting of the proposed Special Session of the General Assembly, we believe that the Security Council should instruct the Palestine Commission to suspend its efforts to implement the proposed partition plan.'[2]

[1] That is, the plan to partition Palestine.

[2] In a further cablegram on the same day (UN259) the delegation commented that the United States was determined not to involve itself 'in any enforcement action which would bring Soviet forces into the Middle East'.

[AA : A1838, 191/2/1A, I]