Israel Cabinet Crisis Settled; Old Coalition Government Reestablished

The three-week old Israel Cabinet crisis was resolved today when the same five parties in the old coalition agreed to join again in operating a government on the basis of a revised platform. Premier David Ben Gurion will appear before Parliament tomorrow to ask for a vote of confidence in the new Cabinet. An official government communique announced:

“This morning five parties– Mapai, Religious, Achdut Avoda, Mapam and Progressive — agreed to establish a government on the basis, principles and coalition agreement of the previous government. The collective responsibility of all Cabinet members and coalition partners, as well as the secrecy of deliberations on security and foreign affairs, as well as any other matters so decided, has been assured. With this in view, a law will be submitted to the Knesset applying also to newspapers which publish state secrets or secret Cabinet deliberations. The new Cabinet will be presented to the Knesset tomorrow.”

The announcement made clear that Mr. Ben Gurion’s demand for the ousting of Ministers who violated secrecy has been modified and an agreement that a law be introduced providing for the prosecution of editors and newspapers which published material obtained through such “leaks.”

Yesterday, a deputation of local newspaper editors called on the Premier to protest his intention of pushing through legislation to punish them for publishing secret decisions. They only extracted one compromise from Mr. Ben Gurion–that representatives of the newspaper industry would be consulted when the bills to protect Cabinet secrecy are drafted.

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