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Motion Defeated for Parliamentary Probe into Affairs of Autocar Co.

The Knesset voted 54-26 last night to defeat an opposition motion for a full scale parliamentary inquiry into the affairs of the bankrupt Autocar Co., the Israeli subsidiary of the British Leyland Motors Corp, that was put into receivership last month. The alleged scandal is currently being probed by the Knesset finance committee at hearings open to the press.

Gahal wanted a formal parliamentary commission of inquiry appointed, a move opposed by the Labor Alignment though not, apparently, by all of its members. Several Alignment MKs walked out of the chamber before the vote as did three of the National Religious Party, the Alignment’s coalition partners. Gahal was supported by the New Communists, Uri Avneri and Shalom Cohen.

Although the Alignment apparently does not want the investigation enlarged, it is not altogether pleased by the way the Knesset finance committee conducts the inquiry. Labor Party leaders in the Knesset have charged that the committee was arrogating to itself the functions of a formal commission of inquiry. The charge was challenged by Mordecai Zar, a Labor MK, who resigned yesterday as head of the Alignment slate of the finance committee.