Ben-gurion Says Jewish Agency Work is Important; Replies to Sharett

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion today assured former Premier Moshe Sharett, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, that he was fully aware of the importance of the Jewish Agency’s activities in the fields of immigration, absorption and settlement and that his statement last week in Parliament–for which Mr. Sharett criticized him–had been misinterpreted.

That was the essence of the Premier’s reply to a letter published this week by Mr. Sharett in which the latter took Mr. Ben-Gurion to task for expressing “ignorance” of the Agency’s work, Mr. Sharett had referred to Premier Ben-Gurion’s reply to a question in Parliament about the arrival after the onset of the Sabbath, of an El Al plane, bringing a group of Bar Mitzva boys from Argentina. Mr. Ben-Gurion said in the reply that the Government Tourist Corporation had no part in arranging the tour, adding that “the Government is not the proprietor of the Jewish Agency. I don’t know what it does.”

In his letter today to Mr. Sharett, the Premier said he was referring to a particular incident only and not to the Agency’s activities generally. It is understood that Premier Ben-Gurion’s letter was worded in cordial terms and that with this reply the issue was believed to be closed.

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