TEL AVIV (Aug. 5)
The financial problems of the young state of Israel were outlined here tonight at a meeting of the Provisional State Council by Premier David Ben Gurion who revealed that the budget of Israel far exceeds the budgets of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish national institutions prior to the establishment of the state.
The state of Israel alone is not able to provide full relief for the families of soldiers on active duty, for invalids, orphans and widows, he disclosed. “Fortunately,” Ben Gurion added, “to our aid has come world Jewry. Not only have the American, but smaller Jewish communities liked the South African which provided one and a half million pounds.”
After his report, the State Council accepted the government’s suggestion that a special government department be established to handle the problems of the families of soldiers.
A report on his meeting earlier in the day with U.N. Palestine mediator Count Folke Bernadotte (see page l) was made to the session by Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok, who revealed that the mediator requested Israel to grant permission to British aircraft serving the U.N. truce commission to lead on Israeli territory.
“We have not agreed to this request because Britain is not neutral and British officers are in charge of the Arab Legion in all negotiations with us,” he said. “Therefore, we cannot allow British nationals to move freely in Israel.”
The Israeli Foreign Minister also disclosed that Bernadotte had asked the Jews for a few days in which to discuss with Arab leaders the Israel Government threat to halt Arab movements in the Latrun and Ramallah areas if the Arab Legion persists in interfering with Israeli convoys en route along the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway and with the Latrun water pumping station.
Shertok also reported that the Israeli Government advised Bernadotte that the present restriction on Jews praying at the Wailing Wall in the Old City constituted the first time in 2,000 years that Jews had been unable to worship at the ancient spot. The U.N. mediator promised to take action in the matter, Shertok said.