Ben Gurion Reports to Cabinet on Government ‘crisis’

The Israel Cabinet, meeting today, was informed by Premier David Ben Gurion of the secession of two religious parties from the government coalition and from the cabinet, and of his conversations with representatives of parties not in the government, including the General Zionists.

A government spokesman said following the meeting that the cabinet had no intention of convening a special session of Parliament to deal with the government “crisis.”

Knesset members of the Mizrachi Workers Party met today to consider their party’s stand in the crisis. The Mizrachi and the Mizrachi Workers failed to follow suit when their Agudist colleagues in the Religious Bloc walked out of the coalition last week, and their central committee is expected to announce that they will remain in the cabinet.

Meanwhile, it was learned the Achdut Avoda Party, a splinter group which recently quit the leftwing Mapam Party, is considering the Mapai Party’s invitation to join the government coalition. The group, which holds two seats in Parliament, is said to have been offered a deputy ministerial post.

The cabinet today also considered questions on implementation of the German-Israel reparations agreement and formation of a company to handle Israel’s end of the pact. It is understood that Finance Minister Levi Eshkol will head the company and Dr. George Josephthal, member of the delegation which negotiated the agreement, will be his deputy.

The cabinet approved appointment of Zeev Shind as temporary director-general of the Ministry of Communications and decided to set up an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate activities concerning international festivals and assemblies here and abroad to avoid duplication and faulty arrangements.

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