Israeli Trade Minister Urges That Wages Be Frozen to Check Rising Cost of Living

Minister of Trade Dr. Fritz Bernstein demanded this week end at a meeting of the State Council that wages be frozen and industry and agriculture concentrate only on the production of necessities in order to check the rising cost of living in the Jewish state. Dr. Bernstein emphasized the need for an expanded export program to aid in the absorption of new immigrants and to pay in part for imports into Israel.

The Ministry of Welfare, which deals with war casualties and losses, has expended $2,000,000 during the past six months in helping victims of the war, Rabbi Judah L. Fishman, Minister of Social Welfare, told a press conference today. Forty percent of the total figure was spent in Jerusalem and at present a total of 7,000 cases have been handled.

Direct damage to agriculture as a result of the fighting, Rabbi Fishman stated, amounts to $10,000,000. The next Israeli budget will include an appropriation of $1,000,000 for rebuilding agricultural settlements damaged during the war.

Hundreds of Orthodox Jews demonstrated outside the offices of the State Council protesting the importation of non-kosher meat into Israel. A representative of the demonstrators who was invited into the Council chambers to confer with the Orthodox members of that body demanded the immediate enactment of legislation barring the import of any non-kosher meat into Israel.

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