The Israel Parliament held its last session today, after endorsing last night the new Cabinet by a 66-32 vote, with three abstentions, thus leaving the General Zionists out of the government. Elections for a new Parliament will be held on July 26.
In closing the session, Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of the House, announced the construction of a new building for the Parliament, and expressed hope that the new structure will be inaugurated shortly. At present the Parliament is housed temporarily in a building leased from a private owner.
In presenting his new Cabinet to the Parliament for approval, Premier Moshe Sharett said that the reshuffled government, from which the four General Zionist members are left out, will follow no new program. No new ministers, he said, have been invited into the Cabinet, but the portfolios of the General Zionist members have been distributed among the remaining members of the coalition cabinet which is now composed of the Mapai, Progressives and Mizrachi Laborites.
Mr. Sharett asked the Parliament for a vote of confidence in the new Cabinet, and he received this vote after a three-hour debate. The portfolios of the four ousted General Zionists were distributed by Premier Sharett as follows: Zalman Aranne, Minister Without Portfolio, was given the Ministry of Communications; Moshe Shapiro, who holds the post of Minister of Social Welfare, will also be Minister of Interior; Dov Joseph, Minister of Health, received also the Ministry of Development; and Peretz Naftali, Minister of Trade and Industry, will be also the Minister of Agriculture.
The new Cabinet will thus be a three-party instead of a four-party coalition, and will serve out the term until the July 26 national elections. It includes 12 members of the Mapai party, two Zionist Laborites, and one Progressive Zionist. The purge of the four General Zionists from the Cabinet was precipitated by the fact that they abstained from voting in Parliament on two motions of non-confidence in the government presented separately this week by the Communists and the right-wing Herut deputies.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.