TEL AVIV (Jul. 16)
Israel can no longer depend for its upbuilding on donations and contributions from abroad which are meant for bringing in large masses of immigrants rather than for helping to maintain Israel’s standard of living, Premier David Ben Gurion declared here today. Speaking at a meeting in honor of a Histadrut delegation which has just returned from America where its members studied American technical “know-how,” the Premier warned that Israel might face further austerity and rationing unless production can be increased in the Jewish state.
Premier Ben Gurion listed Israel’s three major economic aims as: 1. Providing the means for mass immigration and absorption in Israel; 2. Economic independence, and 3. Improving the standard of living in the Jewish state. The Premier stressed that these goals can only be achieved by increasing agricultural and industrial production rather than by austerity and rationing.
Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan told the gathering that Israel’s agricultural production has failed to keep pace with her population growth. Since statehood, Mr. Kaplan declared, Israel’s population has increased by 66 percent, while agricultural output has been boosted by only 50 percent. Another Cabinet member, Dov Joseph, Minister of Supply and Rationing, warned that Israel may soon be unable to buy raw materials because of lack of foreign currency which must be spent for the importation of essential foods.