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Kaplan Resigns As Israel’s Minister of Trade and Industry; Remains Finance Minister

Eliezer Kaplan today resigned his portfolio as Minister of Trade and Industry, but kept the Ministry of Finance. The announcement of his action was made in the course of the presentation of the budget. It is understood that David Pinkas, chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, is in line for the portfolio.

“Israel’s financial situation is considerably improved and we hope that by next year the budget will be completely balanced and finances will be stabilized,” Mr. Pinkas reported in Parliament today as he introduced the government budget for its second reading.

The present budget has been brought into balance by cutting out certain items originally needed and by increasing taxes. Last minute compromises within the coalition have paved the way for acceptance of the budget.

The Israel Parliament has accepted an invitation from the British Parliament to send a delegation of deputies for a visit to England and the Parliament, it was announced here today. All major factions, except the Herut, agreed to participate and the Knesset named a four-member group.

A group of 50 leaders of the Pioneer Women’s Organization of America arrived at Lydda airport today aboard an El Al plane in a direct flight from New York. Beba Idelson, woman member of the Israel Parliament, greeted the Americans and was presented with a $57,000 check for Histadrut institutions. The Pioneer Women expect to spond a month here.

Israel hopes to receive and absorb 180,000 immigrants during 1950, Itzhak Raphel, head of the Jewish Agency immigration department, told newsmen today. He added that 72,000 men, women and children arrived in the first six months of this year and that it is expected that 45,000 will arrive in the next three months.

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