Israel Cabinet Meets; Considers Plans for 3,000,000 Population

The Israel Cabinet was scheduled to meet late this evening in an extraordinary session to consider long-term development problems. There is a likelihood that the debate, which began at the regular session last Sunday, will result in the outline of a five-year development program, which does not exist at the moment.

The discussion was launched Sunday by a report by Premier David Ben Gurion which was based on the assumption that by 1962 Israel would have a population of 3,000,000. At present the country’s population stands at 1,925,000 with every reason to expect it to surpass the 2,000,000 mark before the end of the year.

At this point in the government’s planning for the next five years, each Minister has been asked to present the general problems which will face his department within the next five years, assuming the 50 percent growth in population.

Meanwhile, it was learned that Pinchas Saphir, Minister for Trade and Industry, has mapped a four-year plan for the development of Israel industry which would require the investment of 500,000,000 pounds by the end of 1960. The plan, which will be presented at tonight’s Cabinet session, calls for the establishment of 300 new industrial enterprises and the expansion of 200 existing firms.

The new industries would employ 26,000 new workers and will add 200,000,000 pounds annually to the net national output. The plan stresses an increase in the output of products which are exported, including cement, tires and diamonds. Some 150,000,000 pounds would be invested in the metals industry, according to Mr. Saphir’s blueprint, 120,000,000 pounds in textiles and 74,000,000 pounds in chemical plants.

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