JERUSALEM (Jun. 20)
Finance Minister and Premier-designate Levi Eshkol virtually completed today the formation of a Cabinet which probably will be presented to the Parliament on Monday.
One difficulty to the formation of a new Government to succeed that of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was resolved when Agriculture Minister Moshe Dayan reversed himself and said he would join the new Cabinet. He had previously asserted that he would resign to devote himself to study and the writing of a book. However, the former Chief of Staff said he would remain in the new Cabinet for only a few months.
It was indicated that a veteran Mapai leader, Zalman Aranne, would be named Education Minister and that Abba Eban, the present Education Minister, would be Deputy Prime Minister. Still unsettled was the question of whether Mr. Eshkol would continue as Finance Minister, in addition to being Prime Minister and Defense Minister. The indications were that the Finance Ministry might be given to Trade Minister Pinhas Sapir, who would continue also in the Trade Ministry pending a final decision in a few months.
Gen. Dayan had created a brief deadlock by reportedly demanding the Defense port folio “or nothing” but changed his mind and agreed to continue as Agriculture Minister in the new Cabinet. His agreement averted other problems, primarily that involving Shimon Peres, who agreed to continue as Deputy Defense Minister only if Mr. Dayan remained a Cabinet member.
Observers said that what apparently emerged from the Cabinet maneuvering in Mapai was that the party veterans had managed to retain their almost total influence on the Government with the party’s “young Turks” having almost no say in the situation.