§ 4.5 p.m.
§ LORD BALFOUR OF INCHRYE
My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government the following Question, of which I have given them private notice:— namely, whether they have any statement to make about the reported declaration by the Jordan Government with regard to the union of Arab Palestine with Jordan.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (LORD HENDERSON)
My Lords, I have a statement to make and I must crave your Lordships' indulgence as it is rather long. His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have been officially informed by the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan of the union of the Kingdom of Jordan and of that part of Palestine under Jordan occupation and control. The Jordan Government in this communication have stated that an Act providing for this union was unanimously adopted on April 24 by the Jordan Assembly, which is composed of representatives of both these territories, and received the royal assent on the same day. His Majesty's Government have decided to accord formal recognition to this union. They take this opportunity of declaring that they regard the provisions of the Anglo-Jordan Treaty of Alliance of 1948 as applicable to all the territory included in the union. This action is subject to explanation on two points.
The first of these points relates to the frontier between this territory and Israel. This frontier has not yet been finally determined. The existing boundary is the line laid down in the Armistice Agreement signed between Israel and Jordan 1212 on April 3, 1949, and is subject to any modification which may be agreed upon by the two States under the terms of that Agreement, or of any final settlement which may replace it. Until, therefore, the frontier between Israel and Jordan is determined by a final settlement between them, His Majesty's Government regard the territory to which the Anglo-Jordan Treaty is applicable as being bounded by the Armistice Line or any modification of it which may be agreed upon by the two parties.
The second point relates to Jerusalem. The part of Palestine which is now united to the Kingdom of Jordan includes a portion of the area defined in the resolution on the internationalisation of Jerusalem adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1949. His Majesty's Government wish to state that, pending a final determination of the status of this area, they are unable to recognise Jordan sovereignty over any part of it. They do, however, recognise that Jordan exercises de facto authority in the part occupied by her. They consider therefore that the Anglo-Jordan Treaty applies to this part unless or until the United Nations shall have established effective authority there. His Majesty's Government's obligations under the Treaty are of course subject always to their overriding obligations under the United Nations Charter. His Majesty's Government wish to add that they have no intention of requesting the establishment of military bases in peace time within the area of Palestine now united to the Kingdom of Jordan.
His Majesty's Government have also decided to accord de jure recognition to the State of Israel, subject to explanations on two points corresponding to those described above in regard to the case of Jordan. These points are as follows: first, that His Majesty's Government are unable to recognise the sovereignty of Israel over that part of Jerusalem which she occupies, though, pending a final determination of the status of the area, they recognise that Israel exercises de facto authority in it; secondly, that His Majesty's Government cannot regard the present boundaries between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Lebanon as constituting the definitive frontiers of Israel, as these 1213 boundaries were laid down in the Armistice Agreements concluded severally between Israel and each of these States, and are subject to any modifications which may be agreed upon under the terms of those Agreements or of any final settlements which may replace them.
In announcing these two acts of recognition, His Majesty's Government wish to reaffirm their conviction that the problem of Palestine is capable of solution by peaceful means, given good will and understanding on the part of all the parties concerned. It is their earnest hope that the steps they have now taken will help to create stability in the areas concerned and will therefore make a contribution towards the peace of the Middle East as a whole.