JERUSALEM (Sep. 27)
Premier-designate David Ben Gurion returned from his home in Sdeh Boker to Jerusalem today to resume his efforts to form a new coalition government, although circles close to Mr. Ben Gurion are not too hopeful that he will be able to form a stable government for another three weeks.
The first task facing Mr. Ben Gurion was a conference with a group of top leaders of his own–Mapai–party to consider demands by the Achdut Avodah, labor party between the Mapai and Mapam in political orientation, which has demanded the Agriculture Ministry, a portfolio which the Mapai refuses to relinquish. Afterwards. Mr. Ben Gurion is scheduled to confer with the representatives of five other parties.
Mr. Ben Gurion has made a new effort to enlist the Progressive Party in his coalition government, together with the Mapai, Mapam and Achdut Avodah Parties. Addressing a meeting of the centrist party’s executive committee, Mr. Ben Gurion appealed to the patriotic instincts of his listeners, pointing out that the Jewish State was facing a number of great difficulties which could best be met only by a broad coalition government. He told them that three labor parties might, at a future date, meet some of the Progressive demands, including turning over control of the labor exchanges–now administered by the Histadrut–to the government. Afterwards, the Progressive committee declared its readiness to accept government responsibility and empowered a special committee to continue negotiations.