JERUSALEM (Oct. 23)
President Dr. Chaim Weizmann today received Dr. Pinhas Rosen, Progressive Party leader and Minister of Justice in the dissolved Cabinet, and heard a report on the difficulties Dr. Rosen encounters in his attempt to form a new Cabinet. Following Dr. Rosen’s report on his negotiations with various party leaders, President Weizmann asked him to continue his efforts until tomorrow night.
After leaving Dr. Weizmann’s residence at Rehovot, Dr. Rosen told reporters that he will make new efforts to bring about the formation of a coalition Cabinet within the next 36 hours. However, he intimated that the prospects for achieving this aim are deteriorating. He expressed the opinion that there is almost no possibility at present of avoiding general elections in the immediate future.
At a press conference here later he reiterated his statement that he had been given an additional 36 hours and that the situation is still “very grave.” He said that the chief “stumbling block” remains the demands of the Religious Bloc for the enforcement of Kashruth and Sabbath observance laws. Dr. Rosen described the Religious Bloc’s demands as being not “ultimative” but “very persistent.” He also announced that the old Cabinet would meet tomorrow to hear a report by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, who returned today from the United States, on the International situation.
MAPAI LEADER SAYS HIS PARTY INSISTS ON GENERAL ELECTION
Pinhas Inbianiker, secretary-general of the Histadrut and leading member of the Mapai, today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “there is no solution to the crisic, therefore we have decided to insist upon a general election.”
After a meeting between David Ben Gurion and Moshe Shapira, Hapoel Hamizrechi leader and Minister of Immigration, Health and Interior in the defunct Cabinet, Mr. Shapira told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “I am hopeful since my talk with the Premier revealed the possibility of agreement. I hope matters will move toward a favorable settlsment.”
Meanwhile, President Weirann conferred with Rabbi I.M. Lewin, Minister of Social Welfare and Agudas Israel leader, at Rehovoth this evening, but no report is available of the conversation. After the Weizmann-Lewin and the Ben Gurion-Shapira conferences, the Religious Bloc deputies in the Knesset again went into conference. At a late meeting last night, the Orthodox leaders hammered out the following progress for presentation to Dr. Rosen as a miniman basis on which they could enter a coalition Cabinet:
1. The new Cabinet must give assurances of enforcement of Sabbath observance laws and must ban the importation of non-kosher food for Jews; 2. Other demands of the Religious Bloc to be examined by a Ministerial committee within a prescribed time limit; and 3. Appointment of a Religious Bloc director of the Trade and Industry Ministry and appointment of a Religious Bloc director of a new religious department in the Ministry of Education.
Meanwhile, the Jewish Agency executive here received a cable from New York signed by all American members of the Agency asking that an appeal be made to all parties to end the Cabinet crisis immediately.