JERUSALEM (Oct. 22)
President Weizmann today gave Dr. Pinhas Rosen, Progressive Party leader and Minister of Justice in the Cabinet which fell last week, and additional day to try to form a coalition government which will be able to muster the support of the Parliament.
President Weizmann’s action followed a telephone call from Dr. Rosen requesting the delay. The Progressive leader will journey to Rehovoth tomorrow morning, several hours before the Knesset resumes its session.
From sources close to Dr. Rosen it was learned that a tentative agreement by the General Zionists to enter a coalition Cabinet was withdrawn late today, leaving only the Mapai and the Religious Bloc among the large parties which could unite to form a government capable of receiving the support of a Parliamentary majority.
After a report late this afternoon by David Ben Gurion the Mapai executive committee decided that the only solution for the present situation is the conducting of national elections immediately, unless a stable government can be assured on the basis of Mr. Ben Gurion’s program–including his demand for a Cabinet re-shuffle.
The Orthodox parties were still conferring this evening. Sources close to the Religious Bloc assert that the Mapai has agreed to concede a Deputy Ministership and another important government post to the Religious Bloc. It is further reported that the Mapai has agreed to the constitution of an inter-Ministerial committee of two Religious Bloc Ministers and two of other parties to examine the remaining demands of the Orthodox parties.
Speaking at his party’s municipal election rally here yesterday, Dr. Rosen expressed the opinion that national Parliamentary elections would not settle the issue because no one party could achieve a majority of the votes. He outlined a program for a stable government capable of bringing to speedy conclusion the problem of immigration. He also called for a strengthening of ties with American Zionism which, he said, is closest to that of his party.