JERUSALEM (Dec. 21)
President Ben Zvi today authorized David Ben Gurion, Mapai leader and Premier in the previous two Israel Governments, to form a new government, Mr. Ben Gurion officially submitted the resignation of his last Cabinet — which was in office 14 months — to the President last Friday. Mr. Ben Gurion will present his new Cabinet to Parliament tomorrow.
The coalition will include Mr. Ben Gurion’s Labor Party, the General Zionists and the Progressive Party. After more than a week of strenuous negotiations the Progressives agreed to enter the government on the basis of compromise over the projected reform of the election laws. Negotiations continue with the Mizrachi Laborites for their entrance into the Cabinet and there is hope the there negotiations will be successful.
The Progressive Party’s central council decided by 18-9 today to join the new Cabinet after Progressive leaders reported that they had been assured in writing by both the Mapai and the General Zionists that the program of the new government would not include any mention of a limitation of Parliamentary representation to parties which obtain at least 10 per cent of the national vote. The compromise also provides that a special committee of representatives of all parties in the coalition shall be set up to study amendments to the election law.
Mr. Ben Gurion, who took the initiative in efforts to bring the Progressives into the Cabinet, also met today with Moshe Shapira and Dr. Joseph Burg, Mizarchi Labor leaders. He urged the Orthodox party to join the coalition and settle its differences with the larger parties from within. Which the elimination of the Parliamentary limitation from the new government program, the major bone’s of contention between the Orthodox group on one hand and the General Zionists and the Mapai on the other is the proposed amalgamation of the various party educational systems and the mobilization of women for national service.
As a meeting of the General Zionist central council last night was decided to name the following to Ministerial posts: Dr. Peretz Berstein, Minister of Trade and Industry; Israel Rokach, Minister of Interior; Jospeh Saphir, Minister of Communications; and Joseph Serlin; Minister of Health. The Progressives have decided to name Dr. Pinchas Rosen as candidate for the Justice portfolio.