Ben Gurion Reports His Reasons for Retiring from Cabinet

The Mapai central committee tonight decided to make one more appeal to Premier David Ben Gurion not to resign his Cabinet posts. The decision to make the appeal came after the committee heard Meir Argov, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee, read a letter from Mr. Ben Gurion outlining his reasons for resigning.

The letter told Mr. Ben Gurion’s party colleagues that he was too tired to go on with his work. He pointed out that he had worked for the past six years under a “super-tension” which was so great that he doubted that it could be understood by anybody else, even after he had explained it. The Premier also recalled the 17 years he had worked under pressure and tension during the Mandatory regime.

For the last year, he said, he had felt that he could no longer bear the tremendous burdens of his office. He insisted that the fatigue resulting from this tension was much greater than ordinary tiredness and revealed that he had taken a lengthy rest in an attempt to recoup his strength to continue his job.

“But when I returned, I found I could not go on without a lengthy leave,” he declared. “I reached the conclusion that I must leave this work for a year or two or more, since I cannot any longer stand this tension.”

REFUSES TO TAKE EXTENDED LEAVE; SAYS HE FULFILLED HIS TASK

Turning to the suggestion, made frequently in recent weeks, that he continue in the post of Premier but take an extended leave, Mr. Ben Gurion said he would not take such a leave, even if the Constitution permitted it. Such a step, he insisted, would make a “mockery” of the post of Premier. Once again he denied the oft-repeated rumors that his resignation came about as a result of differences of opinion with his fellow party members.

In a brief paragraph dealing with the manner in which he had carried out his functions, Mr. Ben Gurion stated: “It seems to me that I have done everything to fulfill my obligation as a Cabinet member in paving the way along which we should go, and in operating all public forces in the execution of these tasks.”

The Premier’s letter said that he was now satisfied with the security of the State because that was being taken care of by the Israel army–”an army which any nation would be proud of.” Mr. Ben Gurion reiterated the need for a wide coalition of all Zionist parties in the government, asserting that even at this point he would welcome such a broadening of the government coalition. Before leaving the Cabinet, he pledged, he would “ensure the stability of the present coalition.”

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