Israel Premier Believes Cabinet Crisis Will Be Settled Soon

Premier David Ben Gurion today told the Israel Parliament that he has made no final decision yet regarding the fate of his Cabinet, from which four General Zionist members have resigned, and that he will not be able to announce any decision before next week.

Mr. Ben Gurion invited the four former Cabinet members to confer with him tomorrow. He also invited leaders of the center wing of the Mapam to discuss the situation, but made no contact with the Agudah and Poale Agudah parties which are not now represented in the Cabinet.

The General Zionists today rejected a proposal by the Mapai Party to postpone for six months implementation of the Cabinet decision to permit the raising of the red flag and the singing of the “Internationals” in schools on trade union holidays. It was in protest against this decision that the four General Zionist leaders resigned from the government.

BROAD COALITION IS VITAL TO ISRAEL, BEN GURION EMPHASIZES

Addressing Parliament today, Premier Ben Gurion said: “I consider it my duty to make, within the next few days, an earnest attempt to maintain a broad coalition which is vital to the state. It is perfectly clear to me that there is no real ground for a Cabinet crisis. We are faced with a temporary misunderstanding which can be settled by a display of goodwill and mutual trust.

“The problem of the flag,” Mr. Ben Gurion continued, “has been given a false interpretation abroad. Several newspapers abroad presented the case as if there were divergences between the members of the Cabinet, or the coalition parties, on the Communist flag. Except for a small group of five, (there are only five Communists among the 120 members of the Israel Parliament) there is not a single party bearing the Communist flag.

“I know that not only within the coalition parties, but also in wider circles, there is a conviction of the need for national unity today, and I will do whatever depends on me within the next days for the stabilization of the government coalition, and, if possible, to widen it. There is no discussion within the Cabinet regarding the importance of the Education Bill as it was phrased with general consent, but there are minor misunderstandings on a few details, and I believe that within the next few days these too will be settled.”

NEXT STORY