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Tuesday, 2 December 1947

Mr CHIFLEY - What the United Kingdom did in connexion with voting on the Palestine partition plan is a matter entirely for the government of that country, and does not call for comment by the Australian Government. The subject has not been discussed by the Australian Government. Indeed, I should regard it as a presumptuous act to question the action taken by the Government of the United Kingdom. I imagine that that Government refrained from participating in the deliberations because it is so actively associated with the present administration of Palestine that it might not have been regarded as an impartial party to the deliberations. The partition of Palestine has been the subject of discussion between the Australian Government and the Minister representing it at the conference. The honorable member asks whether, having regard to all the circumstances, Australia's vote for the partition of Palestine was wise. I answer that question in the affirmative. The Government was kept fully informed of all the reasons for and against the partition, and having considered the matter, it decided that partition was the best course to f ollow. It was not a matter of choosing between the bad and the good, but of choosing the least of a number of evils. Throughout the negotiations the Australian Government was kept fully informed, and it approved the vote cast, by its representative.

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