HC Deb 14 December 1953 vol 522 cc12-3
19. Mr. Wood

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the resolution, providing for an international régime for Jerusalem, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 29th November, 1947, is still in force; and whether Her Majesty's Government will initiate discussion on this matter at the Assembly's next session

Mr. Dodds-Parker

The Assembly recommendation in question was reaffirmed in 1949, but it proved impossible to implement the Statute for Jerusalem which was subsequently prepared by the Trusteeship Council. The Assembly has since taken no action in this matter. Her Majesty's Government much hope that the question of Jerusalem and the holy places can be regularised, but it is too early to say whether any positive result could be expected from discussion at the next session of the Assembly.

Mr. Wood

Does my hon. Friend think that an international regime for Jerusalem is any longer, or ever has been, a practical policy? If not, can he take urgent action to put an end to the very unreal situation which exists at the present time?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I should not like to venture a reply to my hon. Friend's first point, but everybody concerned is most anxious that a settlement should be reached as early as possible.

Mr. Janner

When dealing with this matter in future, will the hon. Gentleman take into consideration the fact that the Israeli Government are acting in a very considerate and sensible manner towards all the problems relating to the different religious sections within Israel? In view of that, will he consider taking an attitude which will assist towards a settlement which is different from the one adopted by the General Assembly?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I do not accept that the proposal which has been put forward so far is the wrong one. All concerned are most anxious that in this place, which is a holy place for three great religions, an early settlement should be reached.