Danger of Cabinet Crisis in Israel Averted; Agreement Reached

The danger of a Cabinet crisis in Israel was removed here today at an extraordinary session of the Cabinet at which agreement was reached over the rights and prerogatives of the Minister of Interior.

The basic agreement was hammered out at a conference last night of Moshe Sharett, Acting Premier, and Minister without portfolio Pinhas Lavon–who represented the Mapat–and Minister of Health Joseph Serlin and Minister of Communications Joseph Saphir–representing the General Zionists.

The dispute, which had been brewing in the municipalities where many Mapai councilors and mayors resented some of the regulations promulgated by Interior Minister Israel Rokach, broke out at Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting. Minister Lavon, voicing the complaints of the municipalities, questioned Mr. Rokach’s handling of their problems. Mr. Rokach, defending his policies, reportedly threatened to resign.

Today’s agreement provides that the municipalities will be bound by the instructions of the Minister of Interior on all matters relating to local by-laws and municipal taxation. In one specific case, involving the area of jurisdiction of Givat Hayim, the matter was left for final decision by Premier David Ben Gurion.

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