JERUSALEM (Oct. 17)
The Israeli Cabinet today decided that if negotiations between the Ministry of Communications and the striking railroad engineers collapse the army will be ordered to take over the national rail system.
The Cabinet heard Premier David Ben Gurion–acting in the capacity of Defense Minister–report that the army had already begun to move foodstuffs and prefabricated houses needed in the immigrant work villages. The material has been piling up in the port of Haifa since Sunday when the walk-out began.
A total of 110 army trucks was dispatched to the port area of Haifa last night to transport the food and housing materials and it is planned to have the army hire additional trucks from private companies. Minister of Communications David Pinkas interrupted his holiday to attend the negotiations with the railroad engineers.
The Cabinet appointed a committee consisting of four Ministers to study the general supply situation in the country and submit a report in about two weeks. The committee consists of Minister of Trade and Industry Dov Joseph, Minister of Finance Eliezer Kaplan, Minister of Communications David Pinkas and Minister of Economic Co-ordination Peretz Naphtali.