Page 9, 14th April 1938

14th April 1938
Page 9
Page 9, 14th April 1938 — SOCEALIST BID TOR STATE CONTROL Thwarted by Catholics
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People: M. Soudan
Locations: Brussels, ANTWERP

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SOCEALIST BID TOR STATE CONTROL Thwarted by Catholics

From Our Own Correspondent

ANTWERP.

The Belgian Socialist Party is making a hold hid to State control and nationalise everything. The Bloc Catholique has smartly stepped in to stop it.

This is how it came about. The country is faced with a fearful financial problem —.the gravest in Belgium's history, caused by Socialist squandermania.

M. de Man, Socialist Minister of Finance, has gone into sudden and shamefaced retirement. He knowingly, it is stated, deceived the country by his constant assurance that his budget was balanced. His deceit has been revealed. The revelation of a budget deficit of 2,000 million francs has aroused consternation.

The new Socialist Finance Minister, M. Soudan, proposes a scheme of extra taxation that the already over-burdened Belgian taxpaper cannot hear. The scheme is so framed that it is the " bourgeois " and the middle man that must hear the burden. It has singular features. One is the taxation of the nonmilitary citizen, including a military tax on foreign residents.

Akin to Panic

The public here is in a mood akin to panic less the Catholic Right, through devotion to the Tripartite government, vote for the scheme.

To reassure the population of Belgium, the Bloc Catholique has promptly acted. Yesterday at Brussels, it grouped every section of the Catholic Party, Flemish and French, in an extraordinary Congress specially to discuss the financial problem. The Bloc Catholique decided to opi pose any attempt by the State to assume liability for private enterprise and the nationalisation of key industries.

The Bloc Congress has adjourned for a fortnight. Meantime, the committees are to study a plan of social, economic action in keeping with Catholic conceptions. It is safe to augur that a policy to thwart Socialist State control will be set up, and applied in Parliament under the guidance of the Bloc.




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