Israel Cabinet Meeting Today on Economic Crisis; Experts from Various Groups Participate

Faced with increased economic difficulties, the Israel Cabinet will meet here tomorrow for the sole purpose of discussing the country’s economic situation. Also attending the meeting–to which economic circles attribute great importance–will be top-flight economic experts of various political groups.

In advance of this meeting, the members of the Cabinet belonging to the Orthodox Bloc held an urgent conference today with economic experts of the religious parties. It is understood that as a result of this parley, the religious Ministers will suggest at tomorrow’s Cabinet session that the government allow free trading in gold, in order to force down the price of gold which has jumped to 16 Israeli pounds for one British gold sovereign, which currently is valued at $8.12 in American currency.

Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan last night summoned the heads of all Chambers of Commerce throughout the country and discussed with them the economic situation, explaining the causes of the present crisis. The Minister spoke for more than an hour calling for cooperation from all circles. The parley was adjourned till after the conclusion of the meeting which the Cabinet and the Jewish Agency will have this weekend with 44 delegates from the United States who have been invited by Premier David Ben Gurion to Jerusalem to discuss the economic and financial problems of Israel. Meanwhile, the Chambers of Commerce will prepare practical proposals for their economic cooperation with the government.

ISRAEL WILL SEEK A LOAN AND CONTRIBUTIONS FROM U.S. JEWS, LOCKER SAYS

At a meeting of the Jewish Agency executive today, Berl Locker, chairman, reported on the forthcoming economic consultations which will start on Sunday with the American Jewish leaders. Mr. Locker said that the Americans will be told that Israel will need a loan and contributions in order to bring 200,000 Jews annually into the Jewish state from various countries during the next three years.

Practical proposals to this effect will be outlined at the parley by Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan and Levi Eshkol, Agency treasurer, Mr. Locker reported. They will be followed by a general debate.

A Parliamentary committee which was named to study the problem of rationing clothing and shoes met today and heard a report from Dov Joseph, Minister of Supply, on the background of the rationing of these commodities. The Minister also outlined the prospects for future rationing.

In the meantime, some General Zionists today made a last-minute approach to the government, asking that Dr. Abba Hillel Silver also be invited to Sunday’s Jerusalem economic parley. An editorial in Hearetz, General Zionist newspaper, expressed surprise that Dr. Silver is not among the American Jewish leaders invited by the Premier to the economic talks.

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