JERUSALEM (Jan. 12)
Efforts to avert a Cabinet crisis were made here today following serious differences of opinion over the budget which developed between Laborites and members of the General Zionist Party within the Cabinet.
The General Zionists insisted that the budget prepared by Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, a Laborite, for submission to Parliament, be cut by 15,000,000 pounds. Otherwise, they threatened to vote against it. Such an opposition vote would mean an immediate Cabinet crisis.
Leaders of the Progressive Party and of the Mizrachi Laborites, seeking to avert such a crisis, were busy today trying to work out a compromise acceptable to both sides. However, Cabinet members of both parties indicated that they will not accept any compromise. Nevertheless, Finance Minister Eshkol was optimistic over the possibility that a solution will be found.
The rift in the Cabinet developed yesterday when the members of the government had to adopt a final decision on the budget before submitting it to the Parliament for a vote. The Cabinet meeting was adjourned until next week to enable the Ministers to consult their respective parties.
The Knesset saw the first rift within the government coalition recorded in a vote today when the General Zionist voted with the religious parties against the Mapai on a matter dealing with education. All parties of the left supported the Mapai.