JERUSALEM (Aug. 26)
The Israel Parliament today passed in the final reading the oil bill submitted by the Government. The vote was 54 to 13 with two abstainees. The Communists and Mapam deputies voted against the bill.
Pinchas Lavon, Minister without portfolio, told the Parliament that the Israel Government will extend equal opportunities to all prospectors “whether Jews, non-Jews, Israelis, or outsiders” in the prospecting of oil in Israel. The Government will now start the drafting of regulations regarding oil prospecting. It is expected that the regulations will be ready within three months, after which actual drilling will be started.
(The rapid development of a new, potentially oil-rich area of the Middle East was predicted today by the Jewish Agency in New York as a result of the U.S. Government’s stipulated guaranty of American investments in Israel and Israel’s petroleum legislation, offering attractive terms to foreign investors. “These measures, by the two Governments, will hasten the search for oil in the Negev,” the economic department of the Jewish Agency stated.)