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Ben Gurion Firm on Retirement; Negotiates Cabinet Reorganization

Premier David Ben Gurion, although deeply moved by appeals from all sides not to retire from the Government, today reiterated his decision to withdraw from the Cabinet. The state should not rest on one man, he was quoted as telling leaders of his own Mapai Party who are trying to induce him to remain as Premier.

Negotiations were started today between Mr. Ben Gurion and the four General Zionist Cabinet members on the reorganization of the Cabinet in connection with the Premier’s retirement. An official communique issued after the talks said that various aspects of the reorganization were discussed and further discussions will take place directly between the General Zionist Party and the Mapai Party.

It is understood that the General Zionists do not oppose Levi Eshkol as the next Premier, but they insist that he surrender the Finance portfolio which he now holds; Mr. Eshkol will not agree. In a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Mr. Eshkol said that he had told Premier Ben Gurion, as well as the central committee of the Mapai Party, that he is not ready to accept the Premiership.

All indications point to the fact that the General Zionists will agree to remaining in a reorganized Cabinet following Mr. Ben Gurions withdrawal, which they regret, However, they demand that they be given the Vice-Premiership and a part of the functions of the Treasury.

DR. GOLDMANN WANTS NO POST IN ISRAEL CABINET

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, commenting on reports in the Israel press that he has been designated for the post of Foreign Minister by his party with the support of various groups in Israel, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

“I am not a candidate for any post in the Israel Government. My responsibilities to the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency and the World Jewish Congress prevent me from taking on any other obligations.”

Dr. Goldmann will leave Israel on Sunday for Bonn where he will confer with German Chancellor Dr. Konrad Adenauer and other members of the West German Cabinet in connection with reparations payments to Israel. He will then proceed to Paris to participate in a meeting of the committee on Jewish claims against Austria.

In the meantime, he and Berl Locker, as co-chairmen of the Jewish Agency, today tendered a luncheon in honor of four American bankers who arrived here to advise the Agency on its economic development projects.

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