6-239 To Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, May 18, 1948

Date: May 18, 1948

May 18, 1948
[Washington, DC]

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: I have just read your note of May 16 regarding the recognition of Palestine.1 All I can say in reply is that in relation to the United Nations, Ambassador Austin was advised shortly before the recognition was to be made public, but unfortunately he was not present with the Delegation at the time the public announcement became known, and Mr. Sayre had not been advised of the situation by Mr. Austin.

We were aware here of the unfortunate effect on our situation with the United Nations, which is much to be regretted. More than this, I am not free to say.

With my thanks for your letter, Faithfully yours,

GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers (Secretary of State, General)

1. Mrs. Roosevelt had written: “The way in which the recognition of Palestine came about has created complete consternation in the United Nations. . . . Much as I wanted the Palestine State recognized, I would not have wanted it done without the knowledge of our representatives in the United Nations who had been fighting for our changed position [i.e., a truce plus a temporary UN trusteeship]. . . . Several of the representatives of other governments have been to talk to me since, and have stated quite frankly that they do not see how they could ever follow the United States’ lead because the United States changed so often without any consultation. There seems to be no sense of interlocking information between the United States delegate and the State Department on the policy making level. . . . More and more the other delegates seem to believe that our whole policy is based on antagonism to Russia and that we think in terms of going it alone rather than in terms of building up a leadership within the United Nations. . . . I have seldom seen a more bitter, puzzled, discouraged group of people than some of those whom I saw on Saturday. Some of them I know are favorable to the rights of the Jews in Palestine, but they are just nonplused by the way in which we do things.” (Roosevelt to Marshall, May 18, 1948, NA/RG 59 [Central Decimal File, 867N.01/5–1648].)