JERUSALEM (Oct. 18)
David Ben Gurion today called on President Weizmann to report his failure to establish a new Cabinet following the vote of “no confidence” which the Parliament returned early this morning, after an all-night session. The result of the vote is that the Knesset must dissolve and a now body must be elected.
Two hours later, President Weizmann summoned Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the Knesset, to his residence at Rehovot to ask for clarification of the situation. It is expected that Dr. Weizmann will ask the leader of some other party to attempt to form a government.
The vote on refusing to endorse Mr. Ben Gurion’s proposal for a “caretaker Cabinet” composed of seven Mapai ministers was 57 to 43, with eight abstentions. Voting against Ben Gurion’s proposal were the Mapam, Religious Bloc, Herut and Communist Party; only his own party–the Mapai–supported Mr. Ben Gurion, while the Progressives, Sephardim and WIZO abstained.
Meanwhile, the Knesset Judiciary Committee went to work preparing an election bill, which will include the date for new elections and other technical details. The committee was acting in accordance with instructions from the parent body which, immediately after the vote of “no confidence,” ordered it to produce such a bill within two weeks.
At the conclusion of the seven-hour debate, just prior to the vote of “no confidence,” Mr. Ben Gurion made a conciliatory speech and appealed to the Religious Bloc’s Ministers to remain in the Cabinet and save the coalition. The Orthodox leaders, however, asserting that Mr. Ben Gurion was making no concrete offer of settling their grievances, refused to remain in the government.