Israeli Industry Urged to Freeze Prizes in Combatting Inflation

In a further Government effort to reverse the trend toward inflation in this country, Minister of Commerce and Industry Haim Zadok called on Israeli industry last night to freeze prices. The Israeli Manufacturers Association promptly reacted to the call with alarm, summoning a special, country-wide assembly of its members to consider the Ministry’s plan. The Government had earlier called for a freeze on wages and salaries and on the prices of agricultural products.

Another effort to improve the economy was launched by Mr. Zadok at a ceremony today at a Hebrew University auditorium, where he presented certificates of merit to 300 Israeli exporters who have made sales abroad of at least $100,000 each last year. This step was aimed at encouraging greater exports abroad, thus increasing Israel’s foreign currency and reducing the gap between imports and exports.

The Defense Ministry announced today that it had made an agreement with France, granting to Israel the exclusive rights for the production of certain tools, instruments and parts for leading French industries. The result of this pact, it was said, will be that the French industrialists will pay 25 percent of the cost of the increasing Israeli procurement from France. Until now, a smaller percentage of the cost of those procurements from France has come back to Israel in the form of payments to Israel for the servicing of French aircraft and engines at an Israeli maintenance plant.

Histadrut, Israel’s federation of labor, took a step today to increase efficiency in its own offices, as part of the general drive to fight the inflationary trend. This move, of a relatively minor nature, took the form of an order to all Histadrut officials to do away with the traditional practice of drinking tea during office hours, so as to leave more time for necessary office work. The office “tea break,” both summer and winter, is an old custom in many Israeli offices.

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