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Prime Minister’s Office Denies Mrs. Meir Ordered Cabinet Members Placed Under Surveillance

The Prime Minister’s Office denied today that Premier Golda Meir had ordered the security services to put members of her Cabinet under surveillance in 1970 to track down alleged leaks of classified information to the press. The statement issued this morning referred to a report published yesterday in Haaretz. It termed the newspaper report as unfounded.

The statement said that in 1969 material damaging to the State’s security was leaked to the press and that Mrs. Meir, acting on a Cabinet decision of March 19, 1969, ordered all persons who had access to the restricted information questioned about it. They included the entire Cabinet. The questioning was done openly and no minister was placed under surveillance, the statement said.

Mrs. Meir said yesterday that only one minister objected to the questioning but did not identify him. According to the Haaretz story, Gahal leader Menachem Beigin, a member of the coalition government at the time, raised the issue at a Cabinet meeting and succeeded in getting Mrs. Meir to rescind her alleged surveillance order.