UNITED NATIONS HALL, Flushing, N.Y. -- The United Nations general assembly in the most important decision it ever made, tonight voted to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish states.
Defy Arab Threats
The decision defied Arab threats to bathe the Holy Land in blood to prevent creation of a Jewish state in the middle east.
The partition plan, engineered by the United States and Russia, called for Great Britain to leave Palestine by August 1, letting a five-nation U.N. commission split the territory into Arab and Jewish states that will receive independence by October 1.
The plan won assembly approval, 33 to 13, with 10 nations abstaining.
This was easily the two-thirds majority required for the assembly to act. In computing the two-thirds requirement, only the "yes" and "no" votes were counted.
The crowded galleries, although strongly in favor of partition, greeted the verdict silently. One disturbance during the roll-call vote was gaveled down by Assembly President Oswaldo Aranha of Brazil.
Great Britain's Sir Alexander Cadogan immediately took the rostrum to express hope that a U.N. committee to supervise the partition will arrive in Palestine promptly.
Prince Faisal Saud of Saudi Arabia, dressed in a flowing brown robe with white headdress, angrily denounced the decision as a violation of the U.N. charter, and warned that Saudi Arabia "does not feel bound by this verdict."
The partition plan, as written by the United States and Russia, provided for:
1--Ending the British mandate over Palestine by August 1.
2--Withdrawal of all British troops from Palestine by August 1.
3--Creation of a five-nation U.N. commission to take over British responsibilities in the Holy Land. Splitting the territory into Arab and Jewish states and guiding them to independence by October 1.
4--Placing the holy city of Jerusalem and its environs under permanent international control through the U.N. trusteeship council.
British troops would withdraw from Palestine gradually, handing over each evacuated area to the U. N. commission. The commission then would appoint provisional governments in each of the new states and start the formation of militia to keep order.
The commission would see that the provisional governments set up democratic elections with all men and women over 18 years of age allowed to vote to select permanent governments.
Partitionists Take Lead
Partition in the final showdown polled a surprisingly heavy ballot. Up until the last hour, delegates were under a tremendous pressure from Arabs and Jews to switch votes but the partitionists clearly had lead.
The nations voting for partition were: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland. Liberia, Luxumbourg, The Nether lands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nor way, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, South Africa, Uruguay, U. S. S. R., United States and Venezuela.
Voting against partition were Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi, Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Yenan.
Speakers for Iraq and Iran fell into the line of Arab States by promising to ignore the U. N. decision.
Ardel Arslan of Iran cried: "The U. N. charter is dead it has been murdered, but like any man condemned to hang, we are allowed to say a few words. We will not recognize this decision."
Arabs Map Strategy
After the assembly adjourned, Arab delegates called a private meeting to plot strategy against partition.
Crowded galleries looked down on the acre of delegates' seats as the assembly made its fateful decision. Andrew J. Cordier, executive assistant to the secretary-general, called out the roll call of nations alphabetically.
Delegates seated in the blue-backed chairs shouted their replies sometimes "no," but mostly "yes," "si," "oui," or "da." France, which was scheduled to cast a neutral "abstention," voted "oui," and the galleries applauded. Assembly President Oswaldo Aranha of Brazil angrily banged his gavel.
The world parliament closed Its 11-week meeting in a final cascade of cautious but hopeful speeches by key figures.
Aranha termed the session "a memorable contribution toward peaceful and constructive solution of world problems."
"It has laid bare the struggles, the divergencies, the misgivings, the rivalries that beset the world today," Aranha asserted.
U.N. Secretary General Trygve Lie said in rumbling English that nobody could "disguise the fact that the second general assembly has been dominated by the differences which exist between the east and west between the very powers which originally took responsibility for bringing the United Nations into being."
Warren Austin, chairman of the American delegation to UN, said with characteristic optimism:
"It has proved the vitality of the United Nations."
But nobody doubted that the vote for partition loomed high over every other thing U. N. has done. While intended to end underground warfare and bloodshed, ft could lead to far worse.
Russia's Andrei Gromyko, who worked side-by-side with American delegates in pushing the partition plan, wrote out this comment for a reporter:
"I think that the decision on Palestine is a just one. It is the best of all possible decisions under the circumstances."
Arab delegates walked out of the great blue-and-tan assembly hall when the assembly began electing members of a five-nation commission to administer the partition.
The Arabs said the partition decision "murdered the U.N. charter," and Arabs therefore were not obliged to observe it. The Arab delegates -- some dressed in plain business suits and others dressed in gold, white and brown, robes -- were tight-lipped as they dramatically rose from their seats and shouldered toward the exits.
American delegate Warren Austin, commenting on the walkout, said that "this emotional demonstration will not separate us in U. N."