Page 3, 14th May 1937

14th May 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 14th May 1937 — A DEGRELLE COMEBACK?

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Leader Again

From Our Belgian Correspondent

An eloquent appeal has been addressed to M. Leon Degrelle, leader of the Belgian Rexist party and has just been published in La Libre Belgique, Belgium's largest Catholic daily.

The writer's name is not given but he is said to be an important and influential Catholic belonging to the Christian and Democratic party, the most Left of the Catholic groups.

Reorganising the Catholic: political forces with the help of the Leader is the object of the appeal.

The Means of Returning

The following are extracts from the text of the appeal: " . You are too sensible, above all, not to understand that left to your own strength, your movement is henceforth incapable of reaching its object which is to carry off the power by legal means, i.e., by universal suffrage. . .

" You are too intelligent, in truth, not to have understood that the condemnation by your spiritual chiefs is a very hard blow to your movement, which is recruited, almost entirely, from Catholics. . . .

"The hour has struck for you to show the country that you are not only an eloquent tribune, a keen polemist, a powerful animator, but also a man of good faith, a sincere believer, an adroit politician, and a veritable future Chief.

"The hour has struck for you to grasp that your place is in the bosom of the Catholic party. . . .

" And in the accomplishing of your task, as yet uncompleted, of cleaning up the atmosphere and of purifying political morals, parliamentary and financial morals, the ,najority of Catholics shall stand by your side.

"Let Us Work Together"

" As to the drifting to the Left, we have deplored it, and shall daily deplore it as you do.

" But is not this drifting fatal and inevitable when the forces of the Right, weakened by disunion find themselves facing the army of the extreme Left, strong in its cohesion and discipline, and strengthened by our broils. • .

Your method, defendible. perhaps, at the outset, has proved inadequate and inefficacious. .A movement such as yours must be a clean sweep. The tempest is past. Yet the edifice you intended to destroy is still standing. You have shaken and cracked it. The time has come to repair the damage, lest it crumble and we with it, and you too. Let us work together. The task is not unworthy for you."

Party Leader's Disclaimer

Commenting on the above letter, M. Bodard, leader of the Christian Democrats, immediately declared that there could be no question of crystalising around M. Degrellc a concentration of the Right. " No conciliation," he said, "is possible between the Christian workers and Rexism."

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