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Ben Gurion to Offer Sharett a Cabinet Post; Excludes Foreign Ministry

Premier David Ben-Gurion will make an effort to persuade former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett to accept membership in the new Israel Cabinet, it was indicated here today. Mr. Ben-Gurion reportedly was ready to offer Mr. Sharett any portfolio except that of Foreign Affairs.

Mrs. Golda Meir, present Foreign Minister, was understood to be insisting she would not take that post in the next Cabinet but Premier Ben-Gurion reportedly hoped to persuade her to change her mind. If Mrs. Meir remains adamant, it was reported, Mapai leaders were expected to urge Mr. Ben-Gurion to offer the post to Mr. Sharett before considering Abba Eban, former Israel Ambassador to the United States, for the post.

Meanwhile, it was learned today that Zalman Aranne had informed Mr. Ben-Gurion in a letter that he did not wish to continue as Minister of Education in the next Cabinet.

Complete but unofficial returns in the elections for Israel’s fourth Knesset, the Parliament, today gave Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party 48 seats for a gain of eight seats. In addition, the Mapai-Jinked Arab parties will have four seats. The Knesset has 120 seats.

The right-wing Herut picked up two seats for a total of 17. The General Zionists dropped from 13 seats to eight and the Progressive party gained one for six seats. Mapam held its previous nine seats and Achdut Avodah lost three of its 10 seats. The two left-wing parties had been Mapai’s partners in the last coalition Government. The joint Agudah list kept its six seats and the National Religious party picked up one seat for a total of 12. The Communists lost three of their six seats.

The distribution indicated today was based on inclusion of the soldiers’ votes. The Israel Central Election Committee was scheduled to meet tomorrow to approve the distribution of Knesset seats and to issue official nominations to the new deputies.

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