Ben Gurion Submits Resignation Today; Cabinet Grants Him “vacation”

David Ben Gurion today announced that he will submit his resignation as Premier to President Ben Zvi tomorrow.

Earlier, at the regular Cabinet session this afternoon, the Cabinet granted Mr. Ben Gurion an indefinite vacation starting Tuesday. Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, the Mapai Party’s choice to succeed Mr. Ben Gurion as Premier, has been named Acting Premier. Pinchas Lavon, Minister without portfolio, has been named Acting Defense Minister.

Dr. Peretz Naphtali, another Minister without portfolio in the present government, has been named Acting Finance Minister while Levi Eshkol is in the United States. Mr. Eshkol left this morning for the U.S. where he will remain for ten days to raise funds to cover Israel’s short term obligations and will confer with United Jewish Appeal and bond organization leaders. He will not meet with any U.S. Government leaders.

Meanwhile, after a week-end of discussion, the General Zionists today agreed to renew negotiations with the Mapai for a new coalition Cabinet. The talks were broken off last week. The Mapai-Mapam talks seem to be getting nowhere, but there will be another meeting between representatives of the two labor parties tomorrow.

In a 20-minute ceremony in the Premier’s office, Mr. Ben Gurion today invested Brig. Moshe Dayan with the symbols of his new office–Chief of Staff of the Israel Army of Defense. Accepting the letter of resignation from Gen. Mordecai Makleff, Mr. Ben Gurion warmly embraced his retiring aide. He then turned and handed the commission and flag of the Chief of Staff to Gen. Dayan, who thus became the fourth Chief of Staff in Israel’s five-and-a-half year history.

NEXT STORY