From Our Own Correspondent ANTWERP.
The CatholiC Minister Pierlot failed to form a Cabinet. He had secured the cooperation of the Flemish Catholics and of the Liberals, but the Socialist Minister of Finance wrecked M. Pierlot's combination by witholding the Socialist adhesion. This was to spite the Liberals for having thwarted his ambition to become Prime Minister by their refusal to enter his proposed Cabinet out of dislike for his plan du travail."
Thereupon ing l.eopold Ill called upon M. Spaak to f rrn a Cabinet. As outgoing Minister for F reign Affairs, M. Speak had been chosen to preside over the Nine Power Conference atl Brussels. But he had to interrupt his duties to set about forming a Cabinet. H s task has not been an easy one. It has p oved too hard.
Catho ics and Socialists Much of the difficulty M. Speak has met with came fr m the strong attitude taken by the new 131 c Catholique. The Bloc refused to count nonce Catholic co-operation with a Cabine unless the number of Catholic Ministers as equal to that of the Socialists; and unless Catholics held the important posits of Justice and Foreign
Affairs. Another difficulty has been the drawing up of a policy of social reform acceptable both to Catholics and Socialists.
The Socialist Party in Belgium, it must be noted, is not in reality the strongest party. The Catholics are far and away the strongest party hi the country. It is merely due to the divergence of opinion between some of the Catholic groups that the Socialists enjoy a nominal majority.
Rexist Olive Branch
A feature of signal interest was the olive branch extended to the Catholic Party by Leon Degrelle.
On Saturday morning, whilst M. Spaak was comment ng his consultations. M. Leon Degrellc pub] shed in his Pays Reel an open letter to M. iovanni Hoyois, joint head of the Bloc C tholique, which was entitled: A Final A p eal to the Catholic Party Before the Catastrophe.
This action on the part of M. Degrelle has earned t e support of some of the Catholic lead rs and Press.
It is felt t t sufficient consideration has not been giv to the appeal by the Directorate of the Joe Catholique.