Count Folke BernadotteBernadotte Says Single Question Prevents Cease-Fire Agreement

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LAKE SUCCESS, N. Y., June 4 (AP)-Count Folke Bernadotte, United Nations mediator for Palestine, reported tonight the question of Jewish immigration alone was holding up a cease-fire in the Arab-Jewish war.

He cabled an urgent appeal to Lake Success from Cairo, asking the Security Council for instructions. Faris El Khouri of Syria, this month’s President of the Council, immediately called a special meeting for tomorrow morning. In a matter of minutes he canceled the meeting.

The U. N. explained the sudden switch in an official statement which said Bernadotte had withdrawn his request after receiving additional information from U. N. headquarters.

The statement said El Khouri canceled the meeting after contact with Bernadotte in which the mediator was informed of the Council’s attitude, namely, that the mediator has authority to make interpretations of the U. N. peace appeal and need only refer to the Council if his interpretations are challenged.

The U. N. announced Bernadotte withdrew his request after receiving this information.


Bernadotte has been flying back and forth from Tel Aviv to the capitals of the Arab states. He was given the job, by the Security Council, of interpreting terms of the truce and fixing the exact day and hour of the cease-fire as a prelude to a four weeks’ armistice.

In a cable to the Council tonight he said-

“The question of Jewish immigration into Palestine during the duration of the truce alone is obstructing an agreement between the two parties on the effective date of the truce.

“The difficulty arises concerning the precise interpretation to be given to the phrases ‘fighting personnel’ and ‘men of military age’…

“Does the (U. N.) resolution envisage that men of military age may be brought into the Jewish area of Palestine during the period of the truce provided that they are not mobilized or submitted to training? Is the resolution permissive in this regard or does the resolution seek the exclusion of all men of military ages?…


“Have the most urgent need of official interpretation of these clauses by Saturday 5 June. I may assure you. . . that I am exerting every possible effort to achieve an agreement between the two parties on the date and hour of the truce and hope to succeed.”

(The U. N. resolution first called upon Jews and Arabs “to undertake that they will not introduce fighting personnel” into the countries concerned during the truce. But in the next paragraph the resolution called upon the countries “should men of military age be introduced . . . not to mobilize them or submit them to military training.”)

Earlier today in Cairo, Bernadotte said he would not fix a cease-fire hour until Arab and Jewish interpretations of the proposed four week truce are clarified. He said he hoped to obtain this clarification in a day or two, but added it was no definite promise.


In Amman, capital of Trans-Jordan, a reliable diplomatic source said Bernadotte was negotiating for a cease-fire to become effective at 9 a. m., Sunday (midnight Saturday, PDT), with the four-week truce to begin nine hours later at 6 a. m., Monday (9 p. m., PDT, Sunday).

An earlier dispatch from Amman quoted a foreign office source as saying Trans-Jordan had “accepted Bernadotte’s proposal for a cease-fire effective”-but the date was omitted. It had apparently been eliminated by a censor or dropped in transmission.

Count Bernadotte made his statements at a news conference after a plane trip yesterday to TransJordan and Israel and a meeting here with Premier Nokrashy Pasha.

Yesterday King Farouk made known he stood with King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan against a Jewish state in Palestine under any circumstances. Asked whether this made his task more difficult the count said-

“The task is difficult but the key problem is to get a truce. I have not discussed with anybody the future of Palestine. What we want is peace. Before we get it we must have a truce. We are now working on a truce. If and when we get it, we will start to discuss the future of Palestine.”

(United Press reported Bernadotte said he wanted to talk to the Syrians and Lebanese before he fixed a date for the truce to start. It was indicated Bernadotte intended to remain in Cairo for a day or two.

(When he does fix the time for a truce, he will give the Arabs and Jews several days in which to get the news to their remotest outposts, it is understood.

(Bernadotte was still confident that the truce can be arranged, and he disclosed he was already discussing the question of getting neutral army officers to act as observers.

(Harold Evans, a Pennsylvania Quaker named by the U. N. to be Mayor of Jerusalem under a neutral regime, accompanied Bernadotte on his flying visit to other mid-eastern capitals.

(Premier Nokrashy spoke warmly of Bernadotte after their conference.

(“The U. N. has made an excellent choice for mediator,” Nokrashy said. “Count Bernadotte’s personality and character make him best fitted to undertake such a mission.”)