TEL AVIV (Mar. 5)
Premier Golda Meir was urged by her Labor Party tonight to remain in office and to establish the minority coalition government that the party had agreed to support a week ago. Resolutions to that effect were to be conveyed to Mrs. Meir later tonight by Labor Party Secretary General Aharon Yadlin. The resolutions were adopted at a seven-hour meeting of the party’s Central Committee here.
The resolution calling on Mrs. Meir to revoke her announced intention to relinquish her mandate to form a new government was adopted without opposition. Four committee members abstained. The vote in favor of a minority government was adopted 238-7 with 45 abstentions. There was no opposition to a third resolution that called on Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Transport Minister Simon Peers to rescind their decisions not to serve in the new Cabinet.
The resolution urging Mrs. Meir to remain in office stated that a new government headed by her was an urgent and essential need for the nation. But while the party seemed united behind the Premier, the large number of abstentions on the question of a minority government indicated sharp differences of opinion on that issue.
The atmosphere of the long meeting was described as gloomy and the speeches by the Central Committee members, few of them first-line party leaders, seemed to bore their colleagues. No applause was heard when Yadlin opened the meeting at Arlosoroff Hall with the pronouncement that “The Golda Meir era is not yet over.”
RABIN FAVORS COALITION WITHOUT LIKUD
But Yitzhak Rabin, the former Ambassador to the U.S., was applauded warmly when he stated the questions confronting the party and the country. These are, he said, should a government be formed without delay? What will the aim of the next government be? And what will be its nature? Rabin argued that new elections would solve nothing and would indicate failure. Therefore, the answer to the first question must be yes, he said. The aim of the next government Rabin added, must be to seize every opportunity for peace inherent in the present situation. He said this could not be done by a national unity government that included Likud and therefore the coalition proposed by Premier Meir was the right one.
Rafi members, however, argued for a national coalition. Peres observed, “We lost nothing when we had a national unity Cabinet four years ago.” But he agreed that Mrs. Meir was the only one to head a government and pledged to support her regardless of the nature of her coalition. Dayan, in the course of a half-hour speech, generally agreed with Peres. Deputy Premier Yigal Allon expressed the sentiments of many of his colleagues when he declared that a national unity coalition was unnecessary because Labor is a national party. (By Yitzhak Shargil)